Arlen C. Mills: July 11,1932 – January 26, 2022

Arlen C Mills

7/11/1932 – 01/26/2022

Berkeley native Arlen C. Mills, MAI — a pivotal force in the professionalization of the American commercial real estate valuation industry — has died at the age of 89. Mills was a longtime resident of the Oakmont Community

As the author of numerous books on real estate valuation, Mills’ influence and mentorship runs deeply throughout the modern commercial appraisal industry.

Mills authored numerous textbooks required for certification and for the professional designations earned from the Appraisal Institute. In addition, he led dozens of the rigorous educational courses required by certified appraisers practicing today. Mills also mentored many of today’s top practitioners.

His work has involved well-known Bay Area icons including the Transamerica Pyramid which he appraised multiple times for both the owners and federal agencies.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Zarley Mills, his daughters Megan Mills-Perdue, MAI, and Lauren Mills-Zwitter, his son, Anthony Curtis Mills, MAI, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

No memorial service is planned.

In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the Appraisal Institute Education and Relief Foundation either by mail or through their website:

Appraisal Institute Education and Relief Foundation
c/o Appraisal Institute
200 W Madison St., Suite 1500
Chicago, IL 60606

[email protected]

A Summary of Arlen’s Professional Achievements

Arlen Mills, Summary For His 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Appraisal Institute (AI), the  largest professional association of real estate appraiser sin the United States.

In 1993 he received the Appraisal Institute’s Percy and Betty Wagner Award for advancement of appraisal education and knowledge.

He also received the Appraisal Institute’s prestigious George L. Schmutz Award for his special contribution to the advancement of appraisal knowledge through his publications on residential appraisal report form preparation.

On October 5, 1996 the Appraisal Foundation Board of Trustees elected Arlen to membership of the Appraisal Foundation in Washington D.C. He served on the five-member Appraiser Qualifications Board for a number of years and was Chair during 2000 and 2001.

Arlen has been an instructor and lecturer since 1965 on various aspects of appraisal techniques and consulting practices. Specialized topics include:

  • Pretrial preparation and court testimony
  • Down-zoning and its effects on property value
  • Assessment practices and the effectiveness of the appeal board system
  • Preparation of residential form reports
  • Narrative appraisal report writing
  • The relationship of the realtor and the consultant in developing and operating commercial properties, and
  • Standards of Professional Practice for real estate appraisers.

Mills has served as an instructor of real estate valuation courses for the Appraisal Institute, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the California Association of Realtors, the University of Southern California’s College of Continuing Education, Cal Trans, and Golden Gate University’s Graduate School of Business. Mills has also provided educational consulting to numerous private firms throughout the United States.

Additionally, he has over the past 30 years been selected on multiple occasions to write valuation courses and has served as a consultant to the Appraisal Institute as well as a number of other organizations in developing courses and curriculum for their members and employees.

Arlen has authored and co-authored a number of articles and papers on a variety of real estate topics, which include:

  • The Appraiser as an Expert Witness
  • Real Estate Market Analysis
  • Appraising the Industrial Warehouse
  • Income Property Valuation
  • Commercial Office Buildings
  • Litigation Valuation
  • How to Appraise a View
  • The effect of the Energy Crisis on Real Estate Values, and
  • What Is A Real Estate Appraiser?

Since 1987 he has written multiple guidebooks for residential real estate appraisers and co-authored a book on the Appraisal of Apartment Buildings, which have been published by the Appraisal Institute. The titles include:

  • The Valuation of Apartment Properties
  • The Small Residential Income Property Appraisal Report
  • The Individual Condominium Unit Appraisal Report
  • Communicating the Appraisal: the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report
  • Communicating the Appraisal: the Individual Condominium or PUD Unit Appraisal Report

Most recently, he has written a seminar concerning the valuation of small residential income properties, as well as developed two classroom courses, two on-line courses and three on-line seminars for the Appraisal Institute.

Arlen has served on AI’s national faculty for decades, during which time he has taught a multitude of courses:

  • 15 Hour USPAP
  • 7 Hour USPAP
  • Basic Appraisal Principals
  • Basic Appraisal Procedures
  • Residential Report Writing and Case Studies
  • Residential Market Analysis and Highest and Best Use
  • Residential Site Valuation and Cost Approach
  • Residential Sales Comparison and Income Approaches
  • High Value Historic Homes
  • Residential Litigation
  • Commercial Site Valuation and Cost Approach
  • Sales Comparison of Small Mixed-Use Properties
  • Alternative Uses and Cost Valuation of Mixed-Use Properties
  • Income Approach for Small Mixed-Use Properties