Appraisers complain to us all the time that they don’t have enough backup. Many single appraiser offices feel like it is them against the world. Where can appraisers turn for support? We interviewed Keith Ellis of Anow and TJ McCarthy of Accurity to find out some of their answers about their upcoming webinar: Why Appraiser Service Networks Matter.
Buzz: Thank you both for joining us. Before we talk about the webinar can you both tell us a little bit about your history in the Appraisal industry?
Keith Ellis: I’m the Chief Operating Officer of perhaps the most innovative software company in the the appraisal world, Anow. Most of my day is talking with independent appraisers or large firms about how they can use technology to not only simplify their lives and improve their efficiency – but – also about how appraisers want to transform their industry. I spend a lot of my time listening to how appraisers want to use tech because so much of what we’re going to talk about simply could not happen in the absence of rethinking how appraisers could be using technology. I will also present to maybe 1,000 appraisers this month in webinars like this one or others that we do with partners such as ASA, NAA, and BAREA. Yes, I have a whole alphabet soup of degrees and sit on a bunch of boards, but frankly, TJ’s bio is crazy amazing, so go read that!
TJ McCarthy: I started my appraisal career in 1977 as a staff appraiser for a Chicago Savings and Loan. Back in those days, most of my peers entered the profession though the banking industry and you were immediately placed on a path toward designation with either the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers or the Society of Real Estate Appraisers. I earned an RM designation with AIREA and went into private practice in 1984. I was fortunate to work with several great mentors who inspired me to be proactive. Over the years I have had the pleasure to serve on numerous committees and in many leadership roles including serving on and chairing the Illinois Real Estate Appraiser Board, past president of the Chicago Chapter of the Appraisal Institute and past president of the Illinois Coalition of Appraiser Professionals (ICAP). I currently serve on the ICAP Board and the American Society of Appraisers Real Property Committee.
Buzz: Without giving away too much of the webinar, what is an Appraiser Service Network?
Keith Ellis: A Service Network is about appraisers working with other appraisers toward common goals. Appraisers can use service networks to build demand, get orders out the door faster, and deliver better service to clients. In the past, if five appraisers wanted to band together to improve service to a few smaller local lenders, they couldn’t really do it. Technology has now changed to make it possible.
TJ McCarthy: First and foremost, an Appraiser Service Network (ASN) is a group of professional appraisers connected through a common technology platform. We all need to start speaking the same techno language if we hope to grow and continue to be relevant in a world that is automating many other professions out of existence. ANOW has created that language. An ASN is also a means for appraisers to share a recognized and respected brand. So many other professions have been doing this for years including; Realtors, attorney and accountants, to name but a few. Why has it taken appraisers so long to come to this realization? We look forward to changing that!
Buzz: How will an Appraiser Service Network help the normal appraiser?
TJ McCarthy: ASN’s will allow appraisers to expand their professional footprint locally, regionally, and nationally, while assuring their clients a continued level of service, knowledge, and quality. The appraiser will also be able to expand their menu of valuation services beyond their level of expertise. They will now be connected to other appraisers who specialize in different valuation disciplines such as commercial, residential, litigation, green, and more. ASN’s will also provide appraisers with a secondary source of growth to their practice by their affiliation with like-minded appraisers all sharing a common, recognized brand. ASN’s can also provide access to benefits and support that may be difficult and costly to attain as an individual.
Keith Ellis: As TJ says, it’s geographic footprint, scope of service, quality and access to specialized services: I think these are huge. I also think it’s about community. As appraisers work with other appraisers, something magical happens as that community realizes they can take on bigger and bigger problems or they realize their customers see the service from an ASN as far superior to what they were getting before
Buzz: What is the number one reason appraisers need to attend this webinar?
TJ McCarthy: We know that most appraisers are solo practitioners and the majority are not associated with any professional appraisal organizations. How do you plan to keep current with changes and challenges within the industry on everything from technology to regulations? We feel the industry is at the threshold of the largest evolutionary change in its history as a result of the marriage of big data, technology, and the appraiser practitioner. The days of an individual appraiser surviving without an affiliation to an ASN, which provides them these needed benefits is coming to an end. The option of maintaining independence while plugging into a support system and network for growth is something that every appraiser needs to know about. It’s time to take back our profession, appraisers supporting appraisers and working together.
Keith Ellis: I think we are at a point of tremendous structural change for appraisers; WAY more change than the industry faced back in 2006. But ultimately, in the short term, taking time out of your day is about money and efficiency. If an appraiser coming into this session can get 2 ideas that show them how to take on 3 more orders in a month without killing themselves this translates into over $10K into their jeans at the end of the year. But, I think there is a bigger picture here and opportunity for appraisers to be part of larger movement that benefits appraisers.
Buzz: Thank you Keith and TJ, we can’t wait to hear more about Appraiser Service Networks at your webinar on Tuesday April 16th at noon eastern! It’s not too late for Appraisers to register for this free webinar.