The Best Part of Attending the ATA Conference from Idaho was not just the Weather

As The Appraiser Coach, I do a lot of plane hopping and hotel crashing.  Not all of it is as glamorous as it sounds, but I had an experience in February that was particularly enjoyable.  I was invited to leave my snowy abode in Idaho and fly to New Braunfels, TX for the Association of Texas Appraisers (ATA)Mid-year Meeting.  Where is New Braunfels you ask?  It is a little town midway between Austin and San Antonio.  It was founded by German immigrants and has a Texas flavor all its own.

For two days, I was able to rub shoulders with both giants in the appraisal industry and regular ‘ol folk like y’all and I (that’s my attempt at Texas speak).  The organizer of the conference was more than accommodating—Theresa is a good friend.  In fact, that is the feel I had from virtually everyone I met in Texas; they treated me like I was one of them rather than a visitor from a foreign land.  I had some enlightening conversations, made some new connections and enjoyed some wonderful classes to boot.

Of course, the food was incredible and, other than missing my flight home and having to take a later one (my family was not too happy about that one), the trip was nearly perfect.  I had a few thoughts while I was in the South.  First, appraisers are good, good people who have been dealt a difficult hand lately.  Some are busy complaining, while others are making things happen.  I met a lot of the latter in Texas.  Secondly, if we are going to survive as an industry, we need to be more willing to associate with one another like they do in Texas.

Currently, there are relatively very few appraiser associations in the United States.  As a consequence, there are relatively very few things getting done in our industry on any grand scale.  It is sad, really.  On the other hand, those who are organized are networking, passing pro-appraiser legislation, educating one another, and improving standards overall.  It is a need that I have been pushing for many years.

Of course, I have had opportunity to visit with associations like ATA across the nation.  Some are better organized than others.  All have a place, but each could learn a little something from the good folks down in Texas.  Thanks again ATA for a wonderful weekend and for setting the standard for the industry as a whole.

Now, go create some value!



Dustin Harris is a multi-business owner, but he has found most of his success as a self-employed, residential real estate appraiser. He has been appraising for nearly two decades. He is the owner and President of Appraisal Precision and Consulting Group, Inc., and is a popular author, speaker and consultant. He owns and operates The Appraiser Coach ( where he personally advises and mentors other appraisers helping them to also run successful appraisal companies and increase their net worth. He is also the Founder and President of Your Appraisal Office ( which implements some of the systems he has developed to help lower costs and free up time for real estate business owners. He and his wife reside in Idaho with their four children.

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