Publications

Geoffrey Dohrmann
- February 1, 2024: Vol. 16, Number 2

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The trouble with performance numbers: Making comparisons is nearly impossible

by Geoffrey Dohrmann

I’ve noticed over the years that people in this industry take a far too casual stance when it comes to sharing (and comparing) performance numbers.

First of all, a performance number is only comparable if the inputs that go into the formula for calculating those numbers have been uniformly defined and collected, and if the formulas that are used to calculate are identical.

According to John Baczewski, who helped chair the effort by PREA and NCREIF to create their jointly issued Real Estate Information Standards (REIS), there are currently 549 defined terms in the Global Definitions Database. And, according to Baczewski, a change in the way even one of those is defined potentially can have a measurable impact on the nature of the formula input data.

Members of PREA and NCREIF are encouraged to apply those standards when pulling information to enter into their client and consulting portfolio management and reporting systems, and when calculating the numbers that

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