How many times have you had a phone call from review appraiser, underwriter or investigator to question your work? The majority of appraisers never get these calls, then why are we so paranoid about how we write a report, what we say, and if we can give evidence to support our statements? The answer is simple, the questions that people ask are not the questions we dread. The questions that we dread are those question that linger in the mind of the reviewer, or investigator. The questions that lead to having us removed from a panel or placed under subpoena. Generally speaking, it is less than 4% of residential appraisers that find themselves in court or a very large percentage of us lose work or our professional standing because of a report that was poorly presented.
When the phone rings or you receive that ominous email, take the opportunity to glean the reviewers thoughts. Don’t waste your time with bluster or posturing, this is not a contest to see who has better control of their urinal flow. It is indeed an opportunity to make a connection with your client, possibly to help them understand your reasoning or your market area, or it is an opportunity to for the appraiser to learn and improve.
Either way, take advantage of this contact and do not waste the limited times that you actually have to interact in person with a real live client, or potential client.
Remember to properly document your work files, and stay focused. A challenge does not mean you have done something wrong, often times it is a client that did not clearly understand the report. Still, if we remember that our first job is to present a report in a way that is easy to follow and not misleading, if we are receiving too many calls it may be time to reconsider the manner in which we are presenting our appraisals.
Remember not to take yourself too seriously. Nobody else does. And for the parents, the next time you feel like you are getting too “puffed up” just spend some time talking to your pre-teens or teenagers and you will be reminded very quickly just how little you really know.
See you around the water cooler!