Get by with a little help from our friends


The appraisal field is challenging, difficult to get involved with, difficult to succeed at many times, and ever changing.


As appraisers we are often micromanaged, critiqued and criticized. We are often marginalized and put down by others. Sometimes appraisers are more critical of other appraisers than the public or our clients are, and this short piece is about stepping out of that mind-set and trying to help each other out. Not only helping each other out, but actually helping each other grow and succeed.


I was honored to be invited to the Valuation Expo this past week in Las Vegas. At the Expo, I was the recipient of others reaching their hands out to try and help me grow. Chief appraisers and management alike at various entities, all were generous with their time, and the contacts I made will likely benefit me going forward. Being invited to attend itself was a helping hand, and one very kind chief appraiser volunteered me to present a segment that a group worked on together, giving me some exposure that I might not otherwise have had. This is a great example of what we can do to give a little, and possibly make a huge difference in someone’s career. The offer to attend the Expo was the first offer of help, and the nudge to present was another. Just the friendly conversations with many appraisers in and of itself was helpful and I am grateful.


On a daily basis we have opportunities to accept help, as well as provide help.  When the review 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 weaknesses may be. Discussions on Facebook or LinkedIn, or other networking sites also provide an opportunity to learn new ways of approaching problems, as do reading articles and blogs. Everyone has something to teach us, and everyone of us has something to learn.


So how can we help each other? We can engage in conversations in a non-judgmental manner in efforts to help. We can write articles, we can teach courses, we can 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. We can nudge someone along to get out of a comfort zone and speak. There are many more ways to help each other than to discourage or criticize each other.


My hope is that we think of these ways, and pay it forward.

Categories real estate

7 thoughts on “Get by with a little help from our friends

  1. I so agree with your thoughts here! Thank you for your insight and what you share with others in the appraisal profession.

    1. Thank you Shannon! We are doing what we can. Need to stay positive in an environment which isn’t always (plead guilty here at times too). Thank you forwhat you do.

  2. This is truly a beautiful article Rachel! I feel the same way. It is better to try and help our fellow appraisers than being critical of them. This is a difficult profession, often made more difficult by the negativity of others. Thank you also for pointing out that if we are asked for some additional clarification in one of our reports, there is a good chance that we didn’t explain things well enough. I am on the side of all appraisers who are honest and doing their best to do good work! Like you! Thaks for a great article and for setting a great example in our field of expertise!

    1. Thank you Jamie, it is a reminder to myself as well. Sometimes we get negatie, but that doesn’t help. I prefer trying to focus on the positives, and what we can do to help each other. Appreciate your comment.

  3. Great commentary Rachel and congratulations on your invitation to speak at the Expo. You have a great positive attitude and will do well going forward as you move away from mortgage transactional work. I made the decision in 1984 to distance myself further from bank work. Then, in ‘99-‘00 I realized that residential mortgage work would one day disappear, slowly and incrementally. I encourage you to consider moving into the world of litigation support. You would do great. A mix of litigation, Relo and Estate-Trust and put the lender stuff in your rear view mirror, with maybe some exceptions. You have a great attitude. Sorry to have missed meeting you at RAC as I couldn’t make it this year.

    1. Thank you Craig! It wasn’t speaking as much as being the presenter of common ideas for our work group. It was a gentle nudge by a very kind and accomplished appraiser. A reminder of how little things we do can help a lot.

      Sorry to have missed you at RAC and hope to see you next year. It was a great conference with highly professional and caring appraisers. Amazing how many outstanding people there are in the profession.

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