The appraisal and valuation world has been in constant change for the past ten years. Like all change, there is change for the better and then there is change for the worse. Currently in the appraisal and valuation world, there seems to be nothing but change for the worse with no end in sight. 

But is that really true? As with all change, it’s a matter of perception and that perception depends on which side of the change you are on.

See, for a long time I believed I was on the right side of change only to find out later that I was on the wrong side of it. I was trying to change things that I couldn’t possibly change, although I tried. I tried very hard on a daily basis and with that effort I consequently changed my focus. The single thing I truly had control over, My Focus, I managed to change for the worse as well. 

While I accomplished many things during this time and succeeded in doing things others could not, I lost focus on what really mattered most, Myself, My Business, and My Profession. Time to refocus on what I can change.

So what can I change or what have I already changed? For starters, I have decided to focus more on my business and less on the issues I cannot control. I decided to become a business owner and not just a real estate appraiser. For so long I was outspoken against AMCs and other entities, focusing my energy on them rather than what I could do to develop new business. 

Like many, I did nothing but complain and create issues rather than seeking a solution. I spent so much time on facebook groups and forums rather than developing my business. What did I accomplish in my business? Absolutely Nothing…. Sure the 100% Real Estate Appraisers Group became the largest community group of independent appraisers, The Appraiserfest idea was a complete success and well, I beat Coester! Beyond that, my business didn’t see any success or growth until recently, until I took back my focus, put it where it belonged, and made changes to my business. 

I took up the Appraiser Coach Dustin Harris on his mastermind group and started learning new ways both to do business and how to run a business. I took the plunge and enrolled in the Real Value Coaching Academy, run by Blaine Feyen, so I could learn even more about myself, my business and how to create opportunities. 

I completely transformed my website and SEO with the help of Steve Whitby a fellow appraiser and SEO expert which, as of today, has helped my business tremendously. Instead of concentrating all my efforts and focus on things I cannot control, I have freed up much more valuable time to focus not only on my business but also on my family and myself.

You see, by recreating focus on the things I can control and do, I’ve already become more successful than I’ve ever been, not just in terms of money but in terms of self and well being. I’m happier and much more in tune with my immediate surroundings. I’ve been able to check off all those things I wanted to do before and never got to. I no longer say I will do this or I won’t do that. Instead, I ask myself, “Am I willing to do this or am I not willing to do that.” By asking myself am I willing or not willing makes me answer the question instead of having already made up my mind. I have to give myself a reason to do or not to do. It’s absolutely amazing to have to answer such questions and I’ll tell you this…. it’s a lot less scary when you lay it all out.

One of my recent accomplishments is that I recently took on the role of President at the American Guild of Appraisers, something I would not have been able to do had I not made changes in myself and my business. What i have learned is that we at the AGA are a team and that its not just about one of us. It takes all of us to make things happen, to continue to grow as an organization and to help our members. Something I really enjoy and want to continue to do. This is something I’m very passionate about as many know: Helping appraisers. But now my FOCUS is on just that and not all the other things I can’t do alone. All the negative thoughts about this profession have now become a positive aspect for me in that I can help others achieve better things despite these negatives.

We all know that the real estate appraisal profession is changing. We all know that there are people and entities out there more powerful, with more money and more resources, who keep making changes to this profession that we as individuals cannot control. There are a lot of organizations and more out there trying to combat all these changes such as the American Guild of Appraisers, The Network of Appraiser Coalitions, the American Society of Appraisers, and The Appraisal Institute, among others. These organizations should be supported and joined by all appraisers so that positive change can be made on the broader issues.

I’ll be a little biased here… I would suggest you join the AGA and help us help not only you but your peers and appraisers everywhere. The AGA is the only organization that takes on individual appraiser needs and gets results. We have a high success rate in helping our members with State board complaints, blacklisting as well as payment issues. But that’s not all we are about. With new leadership in place, 2020 is going to see the AGA do more for their members than stated above. We too are focusing on Change and looking to make the AGA more powerful than ever. An organization backed by unions (OPEIU/ AFL-CIO) and that only has appraisers in mind can be a successful and powerful one.

Change doesn’t happen overnight. Change takes time. It requires change in ourselves  We have to be willing to change. Whether it be our thoughts, habits, diet, friends, or business, change starts with the individual. In order for change to happen, one must focus on the things that matter most. The things that you alone can control. I can’t control how you will receive this article but I surely can control how I will or will not respond to these concepts. 

I’m an open book. I’m happy to speak with anyone about my path and my goals as well as the AGA.

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