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The influence of clients on valuations: the clients' perspective

Deborah Levy (Department of Property, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)
Edward Schuck (Frank Russell Company (NZ) Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand)

Journal of Property Investment & Finance

ISSN: 1463-578X

Article publication date: 1 April 2005




This study aims to consider the theoretical potential for client influences to bias valuations, and assess the validity of the resulting framework by seeking input from practising valuers and commissioning clients.


Reports upon a series of individual interviews with senior New Zealand property executives responsible for the management of large portfolios of institutional‐grade property assets.


The results indicate that clients with expertise and a high level of knowledge of the property market are able to influence valuers by way of expert and information power. Opportunities to exert influence are afforded by the control the client has over the valuation process including the common practice in New Zealand of permitting clients to review draft valuations prior to their formalisation.

Research limitations/implications

The general aim of this paper is to build on the theory as opposed to testing theory. In order to achieve this aim a qualitative approach was taken, this permits a focus on the search for meaning and understanding. As in most qualitative research therefore it does not claim that the findings can be generalised to a wider population, but it provides theory for later testing. The results however, not only provide a more in‐depth understanding of the process, motivation and opportunities for client influence but also help to highlight the justification for further theoretical and empirical research in this area in order to achieve a more in‐depth knowledge of the valuation process.


This paper succeeded in its objective of developing an holistic and deeper understanding of valuation by gaining insights from clients involved directly in the commissioning of valuations for property funds in New Zealand. The results suggest that there are a number of specific influences that have not been previously documented, but appear to have the potential to affect valuation outcomes and valuations that are ultimately reported to stakeholders.



Levy, D. and Schuck, E. (2005), "The influence of clients on valuations: the clients' perspective", Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 182-201.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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