When the topic of commercial valuation comes up, it’s mostly negative. Words like “declining number of appraisers,” “silver tsunami of retirement” and “relevancy”. How about we change that. Let’s start hearing about entrepreneurism, enthusiasm and optimism. 

Commercial fee appraisers and those in appraisal departments in banks struggle to hire new appraisers. Why is that? Some don’t want to hire and train appraisers assuming the Millennial mindset will walk out the door after 18 months. Bounce off to the next thing and maybe compete with them. 

Let go of the old appraiser mindset 

I think the challenge for all of us is to have a mindset shift. Since most of us are 50 to 70 years old, we might feel that we’re getting towards the end of the work road. But we have a choice. We can choose an old or young mindset. We can choose the duration and quality of our careers.  

We might look to the Okinawans, who have one of the highest life expectancy in the world. Besides having a good diet, strong heart and low stress, the key is they’re happy. Strong coping skills with a deep sense of spirituality, meaning and purpose. Why can’t appraisers do the same? 

“Kicking the can mentality is the valuation industry’s biggest challenge.” 

As an owner of an appraisal company or chief appraiser, operating on cruise control works in the short term. However, the ability to attract and retain younger talent will remain a challenge until we let go of the old appraiser mindset of kicking the can down the road. 

If you’re a young person interviewing and hear a tired voice, a dispassionate tone and low energy, what would you do? You wouldn’t want to become an appraiser. This is our lost opportunity. 

Snap out of Groundhog Day 

Sometimes it can feel that as a commercial fee appraiser, we just mechanically do the same thing every day – create appraisals, send appraisals, repeat. Same for those in banks – order appraisals, review appraisals, repeat. There’s so much more, but it starts with a change in attitude. 

It might require you to develop new skills. Are you investing in yourself? Show leadership. Show disciple. Hold your team accountable. Create the process that answers the question, “What does success look like?” How do we know when the valuation industry is moving in the right direction? Simple answer. You have new young people in your office that weren’t there three months ago. To help out, we created an employment forum to hire new folks in appraisal departments. Check out FIVA Forum.

Find your purpose 

Change is not usually fun, but don’t fear movement. Like stretching, it starts with letting go. Let your body relax to move into longer stretches. Invest time and money in your firm and department with new technology and processes. But perhaps more importantly, have a positive motivational attitude towards implementing these new processes.  

Alex Samant says: “Here’s a few things you WON’T do out of fear”: 

  1. Build a great business. 
  1. Have a great team of people you can rely on. 
  1. Have great and fulfilling intimate relationships. 
  1. Have a healthy body. 
  1. Feel confident and happy. 

These things, you’ll only be able to achieve out of love, acceptance and respect for yourself. “Learn to let go.”