“The appraisal industry has so many opportunities if we work together”, Cindy Chance Ph.D. and CEO of the Appraisal Institute.

Cindy was gracious to present at our recent Chief Appraiser FIVA (Financial Institution Valuation Advisors) meeting.

5 Takeaways

  1. She showed up. She could have easily said “no” and ignored my invite.
  2. She’s not an appraiser. A different leadership perspective is EXACTLY what we need.
  3. She’s on a listening tour, taking the hits (pent-up frustrations) of the past.
  4. She’s identified weaknesses but brings solutions.
  5. She calls it like it is, which is refreshing.

As an Appraisal Institute member for decades, I get it. You pay dues and don’t feel there’s a ROI.

You substantiate the cost by saying, “I guess the MAI designation is still worth it.” But most members feel like it’s diminishing, which ironically, is largely due to the lack of us collaborating.

We’re competing with ourselves, which isn’t productive.

The Collaborative Advantage

Cindy suggests that the Appraisal Institute as an organization is in need of change. It’s been too inward facing. It needs to serve the members and be an external facing organization.

It’s funny that with just a few “From Cindy’s Desk” e-mails, I’ve felt more connected, informed and personal with the Appraisal Institute in decades.

She said we haven’t figured out how to work together. We’re not rowing in the same direction. As a result, we’ve lost local impact.

One Voice, One Profession

She’s spot on that appraisers aren’t good at telling our story. The most obvious is the lack of response to the appraisal bias narrative.

Bias is an open water topic, proving a negative is elusive but perceived “guilt” is amplified when our industry only plays defense.

The Appraisal Institute should have taken the lead in communicating, defending and explaining what appraisers do. The public really doesn’t know the roll of the appraiser. The public doesn’t know that the lack of competency can result in disparate market values, resulting in perceived bias.

The Appraisal Institute needs to respond to avoid elongating the issue due to the government’s sunk cost fallacy to continue the bias narrative.

Let’s avoid the appraisal industry becoming the next Amanda Knox (Sam Harris podcast #345 Resilience or on Netflix), falsely convicted regardless of a lot of evidence to the contrary.

Harnessing Collective Intelligence

Cindy says that appraisers are underestimating their impact.

Better coordination with chapters will be a positive change since relationships are at the local level.

We’re at a time of dramatic change in ability to use data, the way data flows. It’s important how appraisers position themselves.

Our industry will start to attract the next generation if we break down our silos that are limiting our collective impact.

The next generation will demand an investment in technology.

Appraisal Institute 2.0

As an organization, the Appraisal Institute needs to provide an outcome. Clear strategic goals will be the road map.

The work ahead of the CEO is to determine the best way for members to receive things.

It’s already started: picking a CEO outside of our industry shows we’re open to change (since you don’t know what you’re going to get with an outsider choice).

New entrants are excited to collaborate and want a less hierarchical model.

Second Chances

Let’s give Cindy a chance (pun intended).

That said, one CEO can’t magically change three decades of rigidity.

It’s really about us doing the work ourselves.

If you don’t like something you see, then do something.

Come out into the open.