The 2021 ACTS conference (Appraiser Conference & Trade Show) put on by the National Association of Appraisers or NAA, in Bay St Louis Mississippi, had a little bit of everything you could want in an appraiser conference and I will say that I am glad I went.
While I wasn’t there for the Thursday presentations, getting in at around 2 pm, I was able to attend the Friday presentations and they didn’t disappoint. From a Mock Trial to E&O explanations to issues at hand, the information was well worth being in attendance. However that wasn’t the best part of it for me. I decided to come up with a top 10 list of my experience at the conference and share it here with all of you.
Now I want to preface this with the fact that my wife came with me to her first ever appraiser conference at the Hollywood Hotel and Casino in Bay St. Louis Mississippi and well, we had a fantastic time together. While the weather did not cooperate, as it rained 90% of the time we were there, we were able to get away ourselves and explore the town and other areas.
Here is my top 10 list from the trip.
1) Bay St Louis Ms and the surrounding area is a really cool place to explore and hang out in.
2) the Food is AMAZING
3) Highlight #1. I got to finally meet some really amazing people in person from my 100% Real Estate Appraiser Facebook group (over 3300 independent appraiser members). Finally being able to put an actual face and more was really amazing.
4) Highlight #2: I got to meet some amazing people who are not a member of my facebook group and have some great conversations with them. There are some really great knowledgeable appraisers out there that arent part of facebook etc..
5) Craig Capilla the attorney is a guy that everyone should become friends with and or at least connect with
6) Thanks to my massive total of winnings at the casino ($5,200) I was able to secure a 4 night trip to Nashville plus 2 tickets to the Grand Ole Opry (which my wife is so happy about) in a live auction with the donation going to the NAA appraiser relief Fund to help appraisers in need. I won with a $3200 bid paid for by the casino.
7) I learned a lot on Friday, as well as just talking to appraisers that I may never have met had I not attended. This alone was worth the trip
8 ) It was nice to be involved in something again and hopefully bring my voice to issues and more going forward. I may not agree with everything that other members or others may think or say, however I learned that I dont have to agree with them, and just being there and raising my voice to be heard and collaborate with others creates dialogue and more.
9) I learned something that I now will try hard to bring forward in my life as well as the profession: That is this… I am passionate about this profession, I am a voice that can be heard and while others may not share the same visions and thoughts I have, I need to take a step back and not allow myself to let my emotions and thoughts get the best of me. Everyone I met has some sort of passion for this profession and while we may come from different positions (AMCS, Independent appraisers, Staff appraisers, Trainees etc) I need to focus more on what I can bring to the table, what I can contribute, what I can control and do my best to have an open mind while also being true to myself and to the independent appraiser. I need to learn as much as I can from each and every member regardless of their position, so that I can better put myself in a position to advocate for the independent appraiser and the profession as well as contribute to the issues at hand.
10) Last but not least… My wife has the worst luck in a casino. (Most tickets cashed out at $.75 or less)
I really encourage any appraiser to attend a conference for appraisers regardless of your thoughts on who is running it or who else is there etc. I have been to a couple now including the Valuation Expo and well even ran one in the AppraiserFest. The face to face interaction, the conversations and the information you will obtain is worth every single penny spent.
Last note: Attending this conference has fueled my fire again to become more active than I have been in awhile. Due to other circumstances, I have had to step back from being involved, however after this trip, my passion meter has increased and I am thinking about ways to have more voices heard.
I’ll end this with a thank you to all I met at the conference and for taking time to have conversations with me. I want to also give a very special thank you to Bryan Reynolds the President of the NAA. I thank you for having me, I thank you for taking time to speak with me one on one and I thank you for your passion and dedication to the profession of the Real Estate Appraiser.
Make no mistake about it. I will be in Charleston SC next year for the Acts conference as well as the Appraisal Summit in Las Vegas in November and the Valuation Expo in Las Vegas in September.