Lending a Helping Hand

The appraisal field is ever changing, challenging to enter the profession, and difficult to succeed in. As appraisers we are often micromanaged, critiqued, and criticized. It is sad to say, but some appraisers are more critical of their peers than the public or our clients will ever be. As an integrated community we need to focus on improving the industry by creating a mind-set that allows us to help each other grow and succeed.

As 2019 progresses we need to focus on marketing ourselves and our business and staying focused on our continuing education. Right now, these are the connections that count. These are the connections that will take us further.

I was honored to be invited to Valuation Expo in Las Vegas in October of 2018. At Expo, I was surrounded by others reaching their hands out to help me grow. Chief appraisers and management from a variety of companies were all generous with their time. The contacts I made will likely benefit me in many ways going forward.

This was a very enjoyable event. It was a gathering of enthusiastic individuals with the same goals; grow their business, meet new clients, and for many of us, to make our industry better. For example, during a group assignment, one chief appraiser volunteered me to present. That was an opportunity I would normally not have received. I witnessed multiple friendly conversations between appraisers, AMCs, lenders, and software developers. Most people I met were there to lend a helping hand.

On a daily basis we have the opportunity to accept help, and to provide help. When an appraisal reviewer comes back asking for more detail about the sales comparison approach and how the final value opinion was concluded, we can get angry, or we can look at it as an opportunity to grow. If our client does not understand our conclusion, then perhaps we were not as clear as we thought we were. 

We have to be open to understanding others in order to understand where our own weaknesses may be. Constructive discussions on Facebook, LinkedIn, or other networking sites also provide an opportunity to learn new ways of approaching problems, as do reading articles and helpful blogs. Everyone has something to teach us, and every one of us has something to learn.

So, how can we help each other? How can we help our industry? Engage in positive conversations in a non-judgmental manner, write articles for publication, teach courses, or take someone under our wing and help bring them along. We can recommend others for jobs, because these personal connections matter very much. We can attend conferences and be generous with our time and be kind to others. We can encourage, as opposed to discourage. There are many more ways to help each other than to deter or criticize each other. My hope is that we think of these ways and pay it forward. My expectation is that in 2019 we become a community…again.

For more information on Valuation Expo, Chicago 2019, March 18th-20th, visit the website here.

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About Rachel Massey

Rachel Massey
Rachel Massey is a designated member of the Appraisal Institute and NAIFA, a RAC member, and AQB Certified USPAP instructor. She has close to three decades in the appraisal field, working alternately between being an independent fee appraiser and on the back-end in review for several mortgage lenders. Rachel is based out of Ann Arbor where she raised and educated.

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