Wow. Its been a while since I have written a blog post, however my reasons are many. The market has been insane, Covid, playing a lot of golf. Oh wait I’m making excuses… Its good to be back writing and I hope you like this one.
I am an appraiser!! We see it and hear it all the time in groups and blog posts. We see and listen to appraisers all over, advising on the appraisal profession, the issues we encounter, and often seek solutions to problems they are incurring.
As many know, I run a group on Facebook called 100% Real Estate Appraisers, that as of this writing, has over 3200 independent appraisers in it. The group provides appraisers a place to talk about all these issues and keep appraisers up to date with changes and more that are coming soon. One common theme I have seen, especially over the past year, is that of appraisers complaining about many issues that have plagued the profession. From Appraisal management companies and education, changes to become an appraiser to Racial issues and New Technology, making waves change the profession as we know it. However, when you read through all the comments on these issues, one thing is pretty clear… Most appraisers are willing to give their opinions on these issues, share their views on how things should be done, and look for others to fix them. It’s not just in the group that we see this, it’s also in numerous blogs that have been posted on other forums.
So that brings me to these questions. Are you more than just an Appraiser? Are you actively a member of any organization where your voice can be heard? What more are you doing to help create solutions to the problems out there other than voicing your opinion to other appraisers? What are you doing to make your business better as well as be prepared for the oncoming changes?
See, the common denominator of this is that appraisers are more than happy to express their opinions on issues. However, most of them are not members of any organization or group to make changes happen. Whats, even more of concern is that many appraisers will always throw an organization under the bus for not doing anything; however, they aren’t even a member. I, too, was guilty of doing just this. I would often call out the Appraisal Institute for not doing what’s best for the independent appraiser. They are the largest appraiser organization; however, I am not a member of that organization. I just assumed that they would have my non-member best interests at heart. I was utterly wrong. They will always do what’s best for them and their members, you know, the ones that speak up and present them with information on topics to decide which course of action to take. It wasn’t until I became a member and current president of the American Guild of Appraisers that I learned this. As a member of the AGA, I expected them to have my best interests represented. When I became president, I finally understood that only my members’ best interests were to be taken care of and that we needed to help them and them only. I had many appraisers come to me for help; however, I could only help them in a small way and not the way I could if they were a member.
Let me take you back a couple of years. I was a loudmouth. I used my voice and my group to voice concerns and advocate for the independent appraiser. I was part of creating a conference for the appraiser; I was on podcasts, YouTube, etc. However, I was basically doing what everyone else was but on a larger stage. Did I accomplish anything positive for the profession besides a lawsuit? Some may say I did. But looking back, my answer is… Absolutely Not. Why? Because I had 0 concept of value adding. It wasn’t until I got my life in order, until I decided I needed coaching and more stability to do more than just being an appraiser and comment on blogs, posts, and other useless time-wasting things that I started to understand the concept of adding value.
Fast forward to last year and the creation of the Positive Adjustments Show with Blaine Feyen, where we decided to put on a show for appraisers that are looking to become more successful, be more in the know and become more successful. I was getting more involved with other conferences, new appraiser software, and doing my very best to help appraisers. I started to get involved in other groups to help educate others on the appraisal profession, created my blog and podcast (that’s been on hold for a bit now), started talking to the right people out there and making friends with all of those I thought were enemies because i didn’t agree with what they said in the past. I’ve become more open-minded to all people out there and all organizations regardless if I agree or not with what they are trying to accomplish. Knowledge is Power, and Power with the right knowledge can lead to great things. Today I am helping make the right changes because I decided that instead of being defiant, I would be more accepting and then use it to help others. I won’t always have the right answers; however, no matter what I can provide to someone to help them, it will always be a positive experience. Before all of this, I was just a guy with a megaphone for a mouth and creating more issues than solutions because that was the rush for me and what others wanted and needed.
The other day I decided to join the National Association of Appraisers, an organization I was vocal about in the past in a negative way. So now I am the president of the AGA and a member of the NAA. My reason for joining… To have a voice in another organization to bring my issues and thoughts to the table. Some well-respected appraisers are members of this organization, and who better to run your thoughts and ideas than well-respected peers. I may not agree with all that they may do or say; however, as a member, I will have the opportunity to be a part of the thought process and more. I will also now be more in the know when it comes to appraiser issues and to be able to see how this organization views them, thus allowing me to present the knowledge and more I have obtained to make a difference hopefully.
As independent appraisers, we have a choice. We can continue to do the same thing day in and day out, we can continue to give our opinions on issues to other appraisers, complain non stop, or we can take it upon ourselves to set out, educate the public, join organizations, join coaching groups, establish ourselves as experts and better ourselves personally and professionally and add VALUE. For me, I set out to do all of the above, and the rewards have far exceeded my expectations.