THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE, AND WE LET THEM OFF THE HOOK. That was the sound bite Dennis Green said after the Chicago Bears came back and beat the Arizona Cardinals in a football game in October 2006. It will forever go down as one of the best sound bites ever in NFL history and to this day its replayed over and over.
To me, this quote is not only amazing (I’m a Chicago Bears fan) but it’s also so true in many aspects in my appraisal career.
See we all should know who we are dealing with when it comes to our clients. We should be asking others about them, doing our research on them, get feedback, good or bad and make a decision. If its bad feedback and the known people or companies are terrible to deal with, what are you complaining about if you choose to work with them? If you know who they are and how they operate, then why do you continue to do business with them. If they are good to deal with in many aspects then all should be well.
This is an ongoing and constant trend within the appraisal profession. Appraisers ask about a company, get feedback and make a decision to work with them or not. Many different opinions result from this. Some have good experiences and some have bad depending on where you reside. But in the end, it’s YOU that has to be the judge of the experience. Only you can truly decide if a company is worth working for or with. Again everyone is different. Some appraisers are better than others, some just do what’s needed and some go the extra mile. Now don’t get me wrong. When 90% of the reviews or feedback is negative and you choose to go accept an assignment and get stiffed or have issues, who is to blame?
I’ll give you an example. For a couple years, many were discussing a certain AMC and their issues. As time went on, more issues were coming out and the writing was on the wall. For many appraisers they stopped working with them due to the feedback they were getting from other appraisers about non payments, late payments, and a variety of other issues. After some time the company went out of business owing millions to appraisers that they would never see. Even after all the signs were there, after all the posts about this company not paying and having issues, after all the articles written, many appraisers had absolutely no clue until it was too late. So late that some appraisers were still doing work for this company while they were practically done.
So ask yourself.. Did you do your homework on this company? Did you take the feedback you got serious? Was this about a paycheck? Was this about just getting a job to do? Ask yourself the hard questions and answer them. What did you do to ensure that this client was acceptable to work for?
They are who we thought they were… and we let them off the hook.
To me, this quote means this: If you know who these companies are, if you know how they operate, how they pay and how they treat others, then why are you willing to let them off the hook and do business with them? Ultimately it’s your decision, however if they are what others are saying, you have no one to blame but yourself.
I’ll throw out a suggestion. Get online and get into some groups for appraisers or better yet, start reaching out to appraisers in your area and make some friends. Forming relationships with other appraisers in your area is one of the best ways to keep up with information. You will be surprised just how much other appraisers are willing to help, share info and willing to meet up and talk. I for one am friends with about 10 appraisers in my area, we meet up occasionally to talk shop and when I need help or someone to bounce an idea off of, one of them will always answer the phone and talk it over.
While some are not fond of social media and may not be on it, I would highly suggest that you at least get on some to follow what is going on out there. Here are some groups to consider becoming a part of that are made up of or run by appraisers:
1) 100% Real Estate Appraisers: This group is for independent appraisers, has over 2600 members and is full of topics relating to the profession, knowledge from many appraisers, answers to many everyday questions and reviews of potential clients. (You must be an independent appraiser to join the group)
2) Appraiser Client Search: This group was specifically created to answer questions about potential clients and has over 1,200 members in it.
Non Facebook :
1) Appraiser Forums: For those not wanting to be on Facebook this forum has numerous threads that you can ask questions and or seek information on many topics.
2) Appraisers Blogs: While this is not a group or forum, its a Blog to keep up to date with various issues and topics. They are also on Facebook as well.
3) Local Appraiser Groups or Organizations: Become a part of your state organization or local groups. Develop your own if need be and get involved.
4) Podcasts: We all have a way to listen to podcasts these days. Many of these offer a plethora of information. My favorites:
The Real Value Podcast with Blaine Feyen
The Appraiser Coach with Dustin Harris
The Appraisers Advocate with Tim Anderson
Appraiser E-Learning with Craig Morley
The more information you can obtain from various resources (Online or in person), the more informed you will be making the hard decisions especially when the narrative is by appraisers for appraisers.