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on 18 August 2004
What would you expect from a book with this title? Well, you'd probably expect it to get pretty quickly to the ways in which the standard functions of Excel can be used to automate tasks and calculations which all types of surveyor might undertake on a daily basis. You'd hope for a few pointers on where the average user could get some added value to their spreadsheet usage, for instance in the area of valuation. You'd be quite pleased if the author went on to give those with a bit more experience some ideas of how to use Excel add-ins such as the user-defined functions and the VBA editor to really get the most from your spreadsheets, so that you could run some more advanced valuation and risk analysis.
What you actually get here is 60 pages of explanation what Excel is and does, even down to how to print off sections of a spreadsheet (fancy!). The remaining 40 pages include a miniscule section on how to mimic traditional UK property valuation in a spreadsheet (Years Purchase etc.), and a little bit later on about the magic of discounting cash flow. The authors treat the two approaches to valuation separately, which raises the question of whether they consider them to be two sides of the same coin or polar opposites - either way, they're not really that interested in their subject. Why use one or the other?
Essentially, this is a book which is aimed at residential surveyors who use Excel as a database and don't want to spend the cash on a separate database application. At £1 per 5 pages, this is a massive rip-off and I cannot advise people strongly enough not to buy it. The Estates Gazette should be ashamed that this is published under their label.
If you want to know how to use Excel properly, try Simon Beninga's book. If you want some ideas of how to mine Excel for property valuation, as well as a consideration of the traditional vs. modern approaches, try Brown & Matysiak's book, together with Brueggeman & Fisher for specific applications. JUST DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS BASIC PAMPHLET.
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on 28 February 2010
I have found this an excellent book for valuation and property management practitioners and students. It starts with c learly described functions of Excel - which are necessary to gain some understanding of how to use and develop useful spreadsheets. This also allows the reader to teach themsleves step by step rather than become overwhelmed by technical data and not know how to apply it.
I recommend the use of this book for my students when I teach the Residual Valuation Method (for Development Valuations) and Discounted Cash Flow DCF and Internal Rates of Return IRR. The book also includes other uses such as regression analysis and Term and Reversion valuations of leasehold interests.
I wish I had found this book many years ago.

Lynne Michael
Senior Lecturer Valuations
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