Confessions of a valuer, chapter 7: no problem! – whatever the language – The Property Chronicle
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Confessions of a valuer, chapter 7: no problem! – whatever the language

Investor's Notebook

In this very special series of exclusive articles for the Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Norman has a limited life expectancy of five years from December 2018 due to a diagnosed terminal blood cancer, which he has cheerfully accepted in preference to (in his words) “kicking the bucket without notice”. We are honoured he has chosen us to publish these brilliant, funny and incisive reflections of a lifetime in property.

Chapter 7: No problem! – whatever the language

I was a quick learner. I didn’t need to be told how to tie my shoelaces – I wore slip-ons.

My immediate boss was busy – he’d given birth the week I joined. I later learned that it was his wife who’d given birth. He was there to make up for not being sober at the time of conception.

What you have (left), versus what the boss wants (right):

What the boss wanted was solutions. There were three types of problems:
1. The ones with obvious solutions.
2. The ones with difficult alternative solutions.
3. What I could claim on expenses.

Three types of problems: easy, difficult… and expenses (plus a suggested solution):

Investor's Notebook

About Norman Harker

Norman Harker

Norman Harker FRICS FAPI, the Principal of Sydney-based consultant Norman Harker & Associates, is a specialist Excel property consultant, with expertise in developing, validating, and securing the robustness of Excel DCF and CF analyses for analysing transactions, valuations, investment analysis and feasibility studies. He was an elected New South Wales divisional board member of the Australian Property Institute in 2013-2015 and for many years was a senior lecturer at the University of Western Sydney, where he specialised in developing applications for the use of practising valuers; before that he lectured at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He began his career at Conrad Ritblat & Co in London, where he rose from trainee valuer to associate partner. He was diagnosed with incurable multiple myeloma in 2018 and given a life expectancy of five years, and also suffers from an incurable and often inappropriate sense of humour.

Articles by Norman Harker

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