Thursday, June 1, 2023 | The Latest Buzz for the Appraisal Industry

Who Moved My Appraisal Cheese?

If you have ever read or heard about the book titled “Who Moved My Cheese,” you may know the story about the four characters in the book and what the cheese refers to. The cheese is a metaphor for what you want in life or business. The characters all love cheese but are caught in a maze. When the cheese disappears, the four characters are faced with adapting to change. Two of the characters in the book, Scurry and Sniff, are willing to do whatever it takes to find the cheese. The other two characters, Hem and Haw, commiserate and complain that the cheese is gone. The moral of the story is to be quick to adapt to change so that you can experience more success and joy in life.

As an appraiser, I cannot help but make the connection between the characters in the book and appraisers. Complainers like Hem and Haw are abundant in the appraisal world. They are the most vocal amongst us appraisers. Appraisers that are willing to swim upstream and are willing to adapt to change are the survivors of our industry. How many appraisers do you think started out as trainees in a big firm, or worked as a staff appraiser as a newbie, and went out on their own to create their own businesses? Most of the appraisers that identify with Scurry and Sniff, that’s who! This mindset can set an appraiser apart from the appraisers that identify more with Hem and Haw.
The book is a series of lessons that can help appraisers.

Lesson One: Change Happens. This is inevitable. Whether in business or your life, change happens.
Lesson Two: Anticipate Change. Stay on top of what is new and what might affect your situation in the future.
Lesson Three: Monitor Change. Again, be aware of the change that is happening and consider adapting to it
Lesson Four: Adapt Quickly to Change. Stay ahead of the competition or stay back and complain.
Lesson Five: Change. If the cheese moves-move with it. Better yet, move before your cheese does.
Lesson Six: Enjoy Change. Savor the taste of the new cheese and the fact that you get to taste it first.

One thing about the appraisal industry that you can count on is change. There have been some significant changes in the appraisal world recently. Desktops and Hybrids and ANSI, oh my. That is just scratching the surface. Who has been in this business long enough to remember the beginnings of FIRREA, Licensing, and USPAP? Currently the change is in appraisal and mortgage origination volume. Rates have recently increased considerably. Mortgage applications have dropped. Appraisal volume has also fallen off a cliff. The smell of brake dust in the air as the mortgage world is pumping the brakes on two years of incredible acceleration. Hem and Haw might have been under the illusion that rates would remain under 3% forever. Scurry and Sniff probably sensed that things were changing when the price of EVERYTHING has increased, and inflation got out of control. They may have decided to seek out the cheese that might smell like hybrid appraisals or expert witness testimony. Meanwhile Hem and Haw are wondering, where the heck did the cheese go? My friends, the cheese is still out there. The old cheese is gone. There is new cheese out there, but it changed. Adapt to the change and experience more joy in your life. I will leave you with two quotes that are relate to this topic

“Life moves on, and so should we.” Spencer Johnson, Co-author of Who Moved My Cheese?
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Ferris Bueller.

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