For those of you who have been following me for awhile, you know that I have a habit of signing off my posts with the tag line, “Now, go create some value.” I have taken a little flack from some in the appraisal world for that line. “What, you think it is appraisers who ‘create’ property values or something?” I guess some explanation is needed.
Let me begin with a little history. Before I created the system that is The Appraiser Coach, I was like all of my peers. I did all the things that most appraisers did… thus, I got what most appraisers got. Go figure. When I decided that ‘average’ was not for me, I began a journey of research and discovery. My studies led me, interestingly enough, to the Founding Fathers of our country. I wanted to know how a group of men such as this could become such a success. What were they doing with their lives that allowed them to take 3-5 months away from their livelihoods to meet together in a stifling hot room in Philadelphia to write the Constitution of the United States? Could you do that and not have your businesses fall to pieces? Why were most of them financially wealthy? Why did they have so much in common? My study of these men (and their amazing wives) led me to discover what I now refer to as the Ancient Principles of Prosperity.
I found that these principles were truths that have always existed and will continue to be in effect for eternity. The Founders did not invent them. In fact, Jefferson, Madison, and the like, learned them through the study of other successful societies such as the ancient Israelites, the Anglo-Saxons, and Romans. However, they are principles which work every time in every place and under any circumstance.
Space doth not permit a full discourse on these principles here, but they are available to all who wish to avail themselves through the same course of study that I took. Start with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Federalists Papers, the journals and biographies of the Founding Fathers, and follow the path that will begin to unfold from there. What do these political writings have to do with wealth creation? Everything. Your journey will be different than mine, but it will, in many respects, be the same.
There are many Principles of Prosperity, but allow me to give you one as it relates to this particular article. “Money flows to those who create value for others.” What is money? It is simply a receipt for perceived value given to others. There are two ways to obtain these ‘green receipts;’ you can either steal, deceive or defraud another, or you can create value for someone who will pay you in return. This ‘value’ comes in one of two forms; either as a good or a service. Why do people not only pay as much as $7 for a cup of coffee at Starbucks but actually stand in line for the privilege? Value. Why would you ever give someone $300 per hour to listen to your problems while you lie on a couch? Value. Why would a bank pay an appraiser hundreds of dollars for a .pdf of a 20 page report? Value.
We live in a world where everyone wants to be rich. ‘Get rich quick’ schemes are found everywhere. Yet, there is a simple way to achieve all of your financial dreams (though it often does not come quickly). The key is value. Every dollar you earn must first come from the pocket of another. Again, that dollar can be stolen or earned. For purposes of this discussion, let’s just assume you are not inclined toward the former. Therefore, in order to get another individual to reach in his/her pocket, pull out a Ben Franklin and put it in your hand, you have to convince him/her that you have done something worthy of that gesture. Why was Steve Jobs so wealthy? Donald Trump? How about that one Microsoft geek? What’s his name? The key is value creation. Wanna be rich? Find something that someone else wants (hopefully a lot of people want), create it and share. Dollars will flow.
Now, nothing happens in a vacuum. There are several Principles of Prosperity, not just one. They build on each other, and you must understand them all and how they work together in order to see their full fruits… but they do work. Yes, every time!
So, for those of you who are ready to jump my case next time you read me say, “Now, go create some value,” remember that it is a play on words. Though the National Association of Realtors may think we do, appraisers do not determine value… the ‘invisible hand’ of the market does. On the other hand, appraisers – well, successful appraisers – do create value. Lots of it. What is yours? What sets you apart from your competition?
Now, go create some value!
Dustin Harris is a multi-business owner and 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. He owns and operates The Appraiser Coach where he personally advises and mentors other appraisers. 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 ime. His principles and methodologies are also taught in an online, Mastermind group. He and his wife reside in Idaho with their four children.