Wednesday, February 21, 2024 | The Latest Buzz for the Appraisal Industry

Three Things Appraisers Should Remember During A Pandemic

Dustin Harris
Dustin Harris, Owner of The Appraiser Coach

I used to say it to my parents, and now my children say it to me, “Are we there yet?” Of course, those words typically come during a peaceful -yet tedious – car-ride to grandma’s house, but I find myself lately saying it about the roller coaster we call the pandemic! Though the world of real estate valuation has always been riddled with change, none of us have experienced as much change in such a short amount of time as we have recently and I find myself saying, “Are we there yet? Can we just be done with all of this, please?”

Life is full of ups and downs. Though we can take steps to prepare, we can never fully control what changes come our way. It is our role to determine how we will respond. Though the human spirit resists change by nature, it can be a fertile field for growth if we choose to see it that way. During this, and any season of vicissitude, there are three things an appraiser would be wise to remember.

Pandemics Are Not A Get Out of Jail Free Card

We have learned a lot over the past few weeks. Scope of work can change. Certifications can be modified. The way we gather data can look very different than it did “back in 2019.” One thing that does remain constant is our responsibility to be responsible. USPAP has not been suspended. We must still gather ‘credible’ data from trusted sources. State Law still applies we must perform our due diligence. So, gather and analyze in accordance with Standard 1, then report, disclose, and tell the story in accordance with Standard 2. Though our reports may be looked at differently in these challenging times, we do not have a carte blanc to do whatever we want. We still have a responsibility to our codes of ethics. Be careful out there.

We Truly Are Essential Workers

During the virus outbreak, the word ‘essential’ took on new meaning. Though some government officials felt it was their duty to determine who was and who was not ‘essential,’ we now have an opportunity to show our clients and potential clients that we truly are essential to the world of real estate and valuation. We live in a world where hybrids, Zillow, and AVMs have threatened to replace the appraiser. Well, not on my watch! This crisis provides the perfect platform to show our worth. Computers cannot model the local market that is in rapid flux like a professional appraiser can. Bifurcation can only be as good as the people involved in the data gathering process. Are you taking this opportunity to show your local market that you are not only essential, but critical to the analysis and understanding that comes from hiring the licensed and experienced professional you are?

We Should Not Be Social Distancing From Our Fellow Appraisers

Six-feet-apart might be the smart thing when you are in the grocery store, but not when it comes to your interaction with other appraisers. With all of the change and confusion coming our way, we need each other now more than we have ever needed each other before. Zoom, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even a good-old-fashioned phone call can be your best friend in helping us all understand the changes that are happening and continuing. My All-Star Team has never been more active and is full of appraisers asking and answering questions as well as offering sane and brilliant advice on how to navigate these crazy waters.

You do not have to do it on your own. You should not do it on your own. Are we there yet? We may not be ‘there’ for weeks, months, or even years. This global crisis has and will continue to affect our lives for time to come. How are you choosing to deal with the changes? Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay in contact with one another, and let’s take a crisis and make it into a success for appraisers everywhere!

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