Friday, June 2, 2023 | The Latest Buzz for the Appraisal Industry

Drum Roll Please………

Allterra Group is excited to announce that Rick Hiton has been awarded the very first Valuation Expo Most Valuable Appraiser award! Collateral Risk Network members were allowed to nominate an independent appraiser who exemplified the following traits:

Professionalism: The award is intended to honor the achievement of an individual appraiser who exemplifies professionalism, knowledge, and ethics.  This appraiser exhibits a high standard of quality and competency in their work product.

Influence:  Candidates will have demonstrated their desire and willingness to contribute to the greater good of the industry and to be actively engaged in effecting positive changes in the profession.

Character/Reputation: Candidates for the award possess a reputation for good character, with a regular pursuit of professionalism in their interaction with clients.

Achievement: The achievements of individuals are given careful attention and may be in any field or endeavor, having made such accomplishments while maintaining a positive force in the appraisal industry.

The nominating committee narrowed down the nominees to four final candidates based on their nomination forms as well as personal interviews. The Appraisal industry as a whole was given an opportunity to vote for the nominee they would like to see win this award. They selected Rick Hiton as the Valuation Expo Most Valuable Appraiser for 2017.

Buzz: Rick, give us a little background on your appraisal experience?

Rick: Currently, I am the President and Owner of Rick Hiton and Associates, one of the largest and oldest real estate appraisal and consulting firms (1981) in the Chicagoland area. I have held various leadership positions in the appraisal industry, including the 2015 President of the Illinois Coalition of Appraisal Professionals (ICAP). I currently serve on the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers (NAIFA) Chicago Chapter Board.

I hold the IFAS designation from the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers and a Master’s of Science Degree in Real Estate and Urban Economics. In 2016, I completed the Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership Program, a Certificate Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University.

My specialty is providing expertise in sustainability and environmental impact as a certified LEED Green Associate and I am committed to the green building movement. I am also certified by the Appraisal Institute in Commercial/Residential Solar Valuation. Finally, I consult nationally regarding Sustainability and Green Valuation.

Buzz: What interested you in becoming a real estate appraiser?

Rick: I was hooked the first day of my first real estate class in college. I have an affinity for construction, development and urban economics. The appraisal profession led me on my path for working in the various modalities.

Buzz: What does it mean to you to be nominated by your peers to be the Appraisal Buzz’s very first Most Valuable Appraiser?

Rick: The email from Allterra Group telling me that I was nominated and would be interviewed was most humbling. I have had a great opportunity to meet wonderful appraisers throughout Illinois and the surrounding states in the last 10 years. So many of them have amazing qualities. The fact that someone nominated me was stunning. The phone interview and finding out that I made the final cut was truly the accomplishment for me and knowing that Allterra Group thought I was worthy of moving forward. Being a humble, Zen-like person, getting news that I won, well I felt like I hit the walk-off homer!

Buzz: What do you believe are the traits needed for someone to be a Valuable Appraiser?

Rick: I think that appraisers that accept change in our industry, seek continuing education, belong to a national organization or state coalition, and work to educate consumers on what we do, have the attributes for consideration.

Buzz: What advice would you give to someone considering becoming a real estate appraiser?

Rick: This is as honest an answer I can give: My son graduated from Denver University as a real estate major and worked summers for me. He is now a real estate analysist for an equity company. This is a trying time for young appraisers getting into the industry. They have to work in a firm that is well rounded in the kinds of assignments they take. Getting logs completed and limited experience in the field getting to a certified level is the barrier that we find hard to maneuver.

Buzz: On a lighter note, can you share an experience or assignment that was unusual?

Rick: Luckily for me, I am located in Chicago and I have had the chance to meet many famous local athletes by doing their valuations. Being a die-hard Cubs fan from the 60’s, my favorite inspection ever was a chance to appraise my all-time hero’s condo, Ernie Banks. I actually brought my 9 baseball cards in perfect condition to the inspection. After I did the walk-thru we sat down to go over a few things and then I told him how many games I went to in 1969. I pulled out the cards and he just smiled and said that he would not sign them as they will be much more valuable in mint condition. He pulled out a glossy from the Cubs and personalized a note to me…. I had a good day!

Buzz: Anything else you would like to add?

Rick: When I was President of ICAP, my mantra that year was “if not now, then when?”. It applied to getting states to recognized reasonable fees and getting appraisers to move forward with the huge changes in the industry. For myself it was going to Harvard for the Sustainability program, going through the entire GREEN Valuation training program at AI and getting LEED GA. If we respect our industry as APPRAISERS and not APPEASERS, we will all have a new future.

Buzz: Congratulations again Rick. We are so happy to have you as our first ever Valuation Expo Most Valuable Appraiser. If any of our readers would like to head out to Valuation Expo for the award ceremony in person and check out the conference for themselves they can register now with the code MVA and save 15% off any type of pass. REGISTER NOW