In 2019 will you begin to see 2020?

Happy New Year! New Year’s Day is one of my absolute favorite times of the year. There is no history… only future! I can take all of the lessons I’ve learned in the past, add the information that I’ve learned is coming down the road, and plan my future. Don’t get me wrong, I know things will change, but if you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. So, why not engage the future on purpose?

I know that there are those who would rather set their year up in a different way. Some begin the year looking at everything that can go wrong, everything that they are afraid will happen or everything that will change in the next year. They may spend their time complaining how things should go back to how they once were. At the same time, many of these same people have more skill, more knowledge, and more influence than anyone around them. They are the leaders… the Engineers destined to drive the train, but they are forever riding on the caboose and never driving the engine. 

Driving the engine requires a different attitude than sitting in the caboose. It requires action and forethought. It requires the use of new technologies that would improve the way the engine functions and advising on those innovations that actually bog it down. Please don’t get confused, I am not saying that the engineer selects the direction of the whole industry but they can choose to run the best, most efficient train, rather than getting run over by it. Who knows, maybe they can gain enough influence to help select the best route for the new train tracks as well.

Enough about trains. The point is, how can you look at the future and drive it, rather than it driving you? For this, you have to take inventory. At the beginning of each year it is necessary to take a deep look at what you want to accomplish by the end of that year and take note of where you are now. For everyone this looks different but it is refreshing. It is ok to dream here, as long as there is something to accomplish towards your goals and dreams by the end of the year. So, don’t forget to include all aspects of your life… including you. 

To help you get started here are 10 questions to ask yourself to help you get started that I find are helpful. You will have others as well, incorporate them. One thing to remember is always put YOU first. It’s a great time to do the internal look. As my dad used to say, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”

  1. Do I like who I am? This includes health, wealth, and personal life. What do I need to change?
  2. Did I dedicate adequate priorities and time in my life between my God, my family, my friends, my community, and my work? If not, how do I re-align?
  3. Did I spend enough time and effort to develop new friendships? 
  4. Did I learn enough new things?
  5. What can I do to further reach outside myself and my company to make a positive impact in my industry?
  6. Am I looking at every valuation with the person (borrower), in mind that I am helping?
  7. What new innovation (at least one) can I utilize to improve my valuation reports; my company?
  8. Do I have the right clients? If not, set out goals to make changes.
  9. Do I love what I do? If not, how do I fall in love again, or how do I make a change?
  10. What is not true today that would have to be true by December 31st of 2019 in order to help me obtain each of my goals?

Again, this is just a start, but doing this will get you in the role you are designed to be in. You were not created to ride aimlessly in the caboose. You are meant to drive your own train.

So, what does 2019 look like for Crispin and Allterra Group? As you know, I had the opportunity to make a change before the end of the year, and I am thrilled to be with such an amazing company at the start of 2019. I am eagerly excited about the direction we at Allterra Group are heading. The consensus across the industry is that there is quite a bit of change coming.  Appraisers, and valuation reports of all types are, and always will be needed. But how that looks remains to be seen. We (you and I) can help shape this by providing leadership with direction on where to lay the tracks.

You have, no doubt already noticed some changes in logos and publication lay-outs, but this is just the beginning. We will be focused on helping improve your world. This starts with more involvement, better input, and training for our lenders. This will follow through to a more helpful and focused approach for the AMCs and improve communication to and from appraisers.

The Collateral Risk Network is already a tremendous resource for the valuation industry. We will not be satisfied until we are working hand-in-hand with other industry leaders and become the primary voice of the valuation profession as a whole.

Climb aboard!  The view may be a little foggy right now, but together in 2019 we will see 2020.

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About Crispin Bennett

Crispin Bennett
As Chief Operating Officer at Allterra Group Crispin is a seasoned and trusted leader in the valuation profession. His long time career within the industry has created a unique perspective based on his diverse background in Governance, Risk Management and Appraisal. A member of the CRN since the early 2000's, Crispin has served as Chief Appraiser for one of the largest AMCs in the nation, Chief Collateral Office for several large banks, and Chief Valuation Officer for Finance. Crispin has authored numerous articles and bulletins, and is a prominent instructor as well as a frequent contributor to industry groups, government agencies, and policymakers.

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