Competition & Joe Above-Average
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The appraisal profession is in competition with other professions
Ask any appraiser nowadays, and they can give you numerous details and opinions about why things are a mess and why appraisers are leaving this profession in droves. In a previous story, it was reported that Illinois alone lost somewhere near 900 appraisers last renewal. Every appraiser already knows about the fee problem, insane liability, higher costs, ridiculous revision requests, and the list goes on. All those reasons are the finer details. I would like to add a different perspective and paint a bigger picture as to why I think appraisers are leaving this profession. And it’s a reason we don’t often hear or probably think about.
Competition is defined as
“is a contest between two or more organisms, animals, individuals, groups, etc., for territory, a niche, for a location of resources, for resources and goods, for mates, for prestige, for recognition, for awards, for group or social status, or for leadership.”
Competition is a contest between two parties for something.
Competition is not something we really think about, but it’s everywhere. Everyone is always competing for something in any business or occupation. People can be found competing every day, whether it be in a work place or on a race track somewhere. Appraisers, own and operate their own businesses, and are always in competition against other appraisers for work. Competition makes appraisers strive to do better in all their reports. Competition makes appraisers strive to make their customers happy. Competition makes appraisers do everything better. Competition makes all businesses strive to do better every day. Competition is what makes businesses grow and excel.
Competition can also be found in the workplace, whether it be one employee against another employee. Or it could be one company competing against another company to hire or keep the best employees. We often see companies who want the best employees, offer those employees sign-on bonuses or large salaries. Sometimes those employees will be given a bigger or a better office, a company car, stock options, etc..
I believe that one of the many reasons that appraisers are leaving the profession right now is competition. “Huh?” you say? Look at it this way. Picture in your mind a job fair in your area. It’s a small job fair, consisting of only two vendors. One vendor is an appraiser/recruiter. The other table is almost everything else. Joe Above-Average walks in the door. He goes to both tables to hear their sales pitches about why Joe Above-Average should work for them.
If both recruiters are completely honest with Joe, Joe Above-Average is probably not going to accept a position as an appraiser, is he? Joe Above-Average is going to find out that being a self-employed appraiser nowadays will consist of things like absurd education and training requirements, crazy liability, very low pay especially during the training years, long hours, no benefits or pension, no company car, no stock options, no sign-on bonus, controlled fees, classes and licensing costs way over and above most everything else, over-zealous regulatory boards constantly threatening costly lawsuits, USPAP, no room for advancement, etc., etc..
Joe Above-Average at the other table however, depending on the job, is going to find out that being just about anything else, could consist of things like a pension, benefits such as life or health insurance, none of all the appraiser nonsense mentioned above, advancement possibilities, raises, weekends and evenings all to himself, no liability, no licensing or regulatory boards to deal with, etc., etc..
What will Joe Above-Average do? In today’s environment, I don’t think its a tough decision at all. And I think we all KNOW what he will do.
Because so many employers are looking for good, experienced and mature employees, the appraisal profession, in competition with hundreds if not thousands of other professions, will always LOSE the contest to draw in and keep good people. Until everyone inside and outside of the ENTIRE appraisal profession realizes the appraisal profession is in serious trouble, realizes that the profession is in competition with other professions, makes significant CHANGES, makes changes that will draw in and keep the best people, the appraisal profession will continue to lose good people to most other professions all day long.
A big problem with the new four-year college degree requirement for appraisers is, it instantly made drawing in and keeping good people even harder and the appraisal profession even less competitive. Because those people will have even more choices and better opportunities than those who don’t have a four-year degree.
I am not saying that we need to find a way to give appraisers sign-on bonuses or a company car, or stock options, etc. What I am saying is, our leaders need to take a SERIOUS look at taking the profession in an entirely different direction than where it is going now. They need to find ways to make the appraisal profession much more competitive and attractive to everyone, new or old. The entire industry can no longer afford to be lazy in its old habits. It has to be more proactive than it ever has been before if it wants to draw in and keep good people. In my opinion, the best place to start is solving the C&R fee problem. Current appraisal fees stuck in the year 1995 is a huge problem. Deciding to make less pay with all the nonsense vs. making more pay with less nonsense and benefits, is a no-brainer decision for anyone.
If the goal is for the appraisal profession to survive, then the entire mindset of our leaders, and the current path that the profession is going on, HAS TO CHANGE. And it has to change FAST.
the bleeding continues…