CHANGE—THREAT OR OPPORTUNITY?
I had the opportunity yesterday to do a webinar for the NAR Appraisal Section, for the RAA and GAA members. The webinar was: “Beyond HVCC”, and for me, it was fun to do because it was positive and embraced change. I certainly know how HVCC has turned appraisers’ lives upside down, as well as agents. But this gave me an opportunity to talk to appraisers about their business and how to think about their business in a different way.
Appraisers traditionally have not had to market the way agents have. An appraiser got established, got on the ‘lists’ of lenders, and the work came in. Lenders shared lists, and life was good. Occasionally there was a bump in the road if your favorite lender merged, closed, sold out, or your best contact there got another job, or retired. But pretty much, for many of the years I was doing lots of residential appraisals, the work just came in.
It’s a different world today; there’s pressure on fees, on turn-around time, and competition. To that end, in the webinar, I talked about ideas of other types of appraisal work that appraisers can pursue. Successful agents are into niches; appraisers should be as well. And the successful agents who get into niches realize that they are picking their own clients, instead of the other way around.
The ideas I brought forth were all types of appraisals, or types of value, or specific clients or situations. We talked about everything from learning how to do appraisals for trust work to assessment work. NAR will post the webinar shortly on their site, for interested viewers; the first time through it was available only to RAA and GAA members.
In my career, which is now primarily trainer/writer as opposed to appraiser/ agent, I find it is useful to be able to communicate to both groups. Agents don’t understand always what appraisers do; appraisers have (up until now) been able to avoid defining their market and pursing it. I still have both an associate broker’s license and an appraisal certification. At one time, I took any work in either field I could get. But when you do that, you end up either bored, resentful or both. It’s better for your clients—and much better for you—if you can focus on the work you really love—and do an outstanding job.
This world of real estate is not the one I entered in the mid 1970’s—it’s much more challenging; requires more skills; has more competition; and is simply not as easy as it used to be. But these changes are an opportunity to grow—and prosper.