Tuesday, May 26, 2009

An expert for every market

I spend most of my days working on real estate deals in one form or another. Sometimes it is a loan being sold to investors, sometimes it is the liquidation of a developer's inventory and on a rare occasion it is a good old fashioned traditional real estate transaction. I want to share one of my secret weapons with you; his name is Mike Timmerman.

Mike and I have known each other for over 10 years and he consistently delivers recommendations based on hard data versus other "experts" that go with the current trend. If you are a regular reader then you know I like Mike and have written about his great talent for making sense of all those real estate numbers. Mike and I have not had a chance to work together much over the last few years but we did have an opportunity last week and that is what I want to tell you about today.

I have a client that needed to know precisely what the market decline rate has been since 2005 for a specific market. I had my own ideas and my client had his own ideas about the market for this type of product. Mike quickly dove into the data and delivered an analysis that, after extensive review, was right on the money. I will say Mike did not give us the answer we were looking for but his insight and mountains of data backing his conclusions were absolutely spot on.

Today it seems as though everyone with a computer is an "expert" analyst and nobody thinks twice about manipulating the data to reach a preconceived conclusion. Fortunately, Mike never got that memo and he works like he has for the last 30 years - letting the data reach the conclusion. That is not to say Mike does not have instinct. In late 2005 Mike presented his analysis at an Urban Land Institute program in Naples where he announced the party was over. Now if he had just looked at sales or permits issued he would not have come to his gloomy conclusion. Mike took it a step further and looked at affordability and a survey of where people closing real estate contracts lived. He found the market had priced most real buyers out of the market place the previous years appreciation rates had reached unsustainable heights. He also found most buyers were from up north, namely Ohio and Michigan. In hind sight Mike called as he saw it and he was correct.

If you have a need for hardcore data analysis and someone to make sense of market you are in, I suggest you contact Mike at mtimmerman@fishkind.com, oh yeah, tell him Dave sent you.

Just in case you are wondering, Mike did not ask me or pay me to write this blog. I cannot help that I am a cheerleader for those I respect and admire.

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