How’s that Appraiser Cave Working Out for You?

One of the biggest challenges to our profession is that we do not associate with other appraisers on a regular basis.  Appraising is mostly a solo career with only occasional interaction with our peers.  We exit our cave long enough to travel to and from our appraisal inspections, but then head right back in for write-up hibernation.  Though some of us communicate with other appraisers via social media or the occasional appraisal conference, regular exchanges with others in our profession is not the norm.  Consequently, we do not often hear important industry news or changes until it is too late, go for years doing things incorrectly or inefficiently because we just do not know a better way, become stagnant in our progress, or do not grow our businesses through ideas and innovations from other appraisal business owners.

Appraiser MeetingFor the past 8 years, I have been heavily involved in Masterminds.  A Mastermind is simply a small group of like-minded individuals who meet together frequently for a common goal.  These types of groups usually consist of 3-12 people and can either meet online or in person.  Though I am a member of online Mastermind groups, I get most benefit from the groups I meet with in person.  For example, I gather with a small group of business owners in my local area every two weeks.  One member is an insurance agency owner, another runs multiple pizza restaurants, and still another is a financial planner.  We use our time together to share goals, motivate one another, and talk through specific problems we may be having in our individual businesses.  The biggest benefit from such a group is that you get the perspective of others to help you solve your most pressing problems or help give you vision for how you might grow your business in the future.

I have also been involved with a Mastermind group that meets every 3 months in Southern California.  Though this one requires some travel, I find that there is great benefit to spending one day a quarter with a group of forward-thinking entrepreneurs who are interested in helping me to succeed.  Just getting away from the office for a few days to travel is also a great opportunity to work ON my business rather than always IN my appraisal business.  The investment is minimal for the benefit I have received.

Masterminding with appraisal peers in your local area might have some drawbacks due to the sensitive insider information shared in such meetings.  However, being able to be taught marketing ideas, efficiency tips, and business practices from other successful appraisers across the country could be a huge boost to your appraisal quality and business bottom line.  That is why I have decided to form a national appraiser Mastermind called the Dream Team.

True to the nature of a successful Mastermind, this group will be small enough that everyone gets an opportunity to share and receive feedback each time we meet.  The Mastermind is only open to a handful of entrepreneurial and forward-thinking appraisers who are interested in sharing ideas and gleaning the knowledge of other appraisers across the nation.  I will be there also sharing real ideas that will change the way you do business as a real estate appraiser and business owner.  Everything discussed in these meetings will be kept confidential so that we can feel free to speak openly and truly dig down into what makes a successful appraisal firm.  There are a limited number of chairs and no two appraisers from the same geographical area will be allowed to join.  We will be meeting in Salt Lake City, UT every 3 months beginning on March 17, 2014.  So far, only those who have been to one of my successful appraiser workshops have been allowed to join.  There are only 2 seats left, so if you are interested in being a part of such a group of successful appraisers, CLICK HERE for more information.

Andrew Carnegie, Harvey Firestone, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Napoleon Hill all attributed the bulk of their success to being a part of a Mastermind.  Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul) has said, “I don’t know anybody who has become supersuccessful who has not employed the principle of Masterminding.”  One of the two remaining seats could be yours.  Hope to see you in Salt Lake.


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 and his wife reside in Idaho with their four children.


6 thoughts on “How’s that Appraiser Cave Working Out for You?”

  1. I have been involved in master mind groups for over ten years now here in California. They are a big help to me personally, but I have never thought about doing them with other appraisers. I would not want to with those who cover my same area, but I think this group is a great idea. I just looked and there is an inexpensive flight from LAX to Slc. I will be calling your office soon. I can’t wait to kick ideas around with other appraisers who are Successful. It will be awesome to meet one on one with you too, Dustin. I have attended your workshop and your ideas are very innovative.

  2. Dwayne, I am glad you have been in Mastermind groups and have experienced the value of these groups. I think we already have someone from S California in the group, but call our office at 208-745-9330 and we will see what areas you cover. If they do not overlap, we would be happy to have you. Also, workshop attendees get a discount, so we can talk about that as well.

  3. I am 99% appraiser and 1% realtor. Being in touch with local reale state agents helps me to be a better appraiser. We appraisers tend to work with past figures while realtors work with present and future values. I have sat on our local MLS board, SouthWest Michigan Board of Realtors for (4) years now and have always liked the way realtors share ideas and help each other. I have wanted to help appraisers do the same; the group rule of only allowing one appraiser per market might be the key to making this work. Thanks.

  4. For many years during the 1990s there were about a group of 5-7 of us appraisers that covered the same area that met for lunch about every other month. Most of us were from the same city and nearby cities. It was 5 women and 2 men, and at that time we were about the only appraisers in this area. We never had a problem taking about work, fees, etc. In fact, if someone got hurt or really sick, we tried to cover for them. It worked out great for many years. Most of those appraisers are retired now, or have moved on. Not too many appraisers can make that work, but at that time we all did.

  5. Jeffrey Patterson

    Caves… Sir you seem to be under the illusion that we are a still a profession. At one time this industry was made up of professionals. There were appraisal firms and infrastructures that provided education and support when completing appraisal reports. Appraisal firms provided environment or debate and support.

    When the appraisal firms existed the owner appraisers acted as review appraisers with opinions and technical understanding of evaluating property. While there was disagreement in the finer points. It created healthy debate on appraisal topics like cost analysis for example.

    Discussing the source cost and the accuracy of the sources, methods of measuring depreciation and when each was appropriate, the methods of determining site or land value and its contributory value via land sales, extractions and allocation. Yes… I am aware that the concusses is the cost approach is primarily dismissed by most appraisers.

    Its hard to believe that these discussion and debates existed in office environment.

    That said working out of a cave … in all honest is where we need to be. It fits our clients needs.

    So no rallying the associates in support for a difference of opinion and then meeting with the client. Nor an attempt to utilize some of that vast knowledge you have obtained from a professional education organization.

    Now we utilize secondary lending guidelines as if they set the guidelines for all appraisals, estates, divorce and etc. We do that because were not challenged we conform to survive. It creates stagnation and consistency which is essential to keeping that peace of mind that comes with ignorance.

    The appraiser is aware this secondary market guideline has been exceed and in his opinion is not an indication of an adverse condition regarding the subjects marketability.

    Sorry …habit

  6. Hey there! I’ve been ffollowing your site for a long time now and finally gott
    the courage to go ahead and give you a sout out freom Atascocita Tx!
    Just wanted too say keep up the good job!

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