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Valuation Insights & Perspectives

New directions, new challenges

New directions, new challenges

Terry R. Dunkin

As appraisers, we take seriously our abilities to observe trends and events, sometimes losing sight of the fact that often we find ourselves in the midst of them. Take “sustainability,” the overriding theme of this issue of Valuation. Whether or not you accept the premise that global warming is occurring, as appraisers we can’t disregard the direction the marketplace is taking toward sustainability of the planet. Magazines, newspapers and Web sites overflow with articles on this topic. As observers of the marketplace, appraisers need to recognize the value people are beginning to place on “green” technology and “green” living. In fact, we can place ourselves at the forefront of measuring sustainability by paying close attention to what homebuyers and commercial enterprises are now willing to pay for “green” features in their homes, office buildings and retail establishments.

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Because of the growing importance being placed on sustainability issues, the Appraisal Institute has appointed Theddi Chappell, MAI, to be our official representative to this burgeoning arena of interest. She and vice president Jim Amorin, MAI, SRA, attended the recent Vancouver Valuation Summit, which brought together valuation organizations from around the globe “to begin the process to embed sustainability into valuation and appraisals.” You’ll read more about these efforts in this issue, but I want to commend Theddi for assuming this role on our behalf.

Another issue we find ourselves in the midst of is the future direction of our profession. As many readers are already aware, the Appraisal Institute, the American Society of Appraisers and the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers have confirmed a commitment to the goal of unifying the property economics profession under one association. My counterparts and I sent out a joint letter to our respective memberships in early March, advising our members of this undertaking. We recognize that a long history of mutual involvement already exists, including our original sponsorship of The Appraisal Foundation and development of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. Other initiatives such as our joint advocacy efforts have led to both a very positive relationship as well as successful outcomes. Currently, a team of 15 members, five from each organization, is working on a proposed plan of unification, which we hope to present to our respective boards later this year and then to our memberships at large.

Obviously, there are many issues that need to be addressed in such an undertaking. We appreciate the feedback we have already received from members as a result of our initial announcement in March. As I write this, we are in the process of developing a Q & A document to address some of the issues that most concerned our members, and by the time you read this, we hope the Q & A will be available on our respective Web sites.

I also look forward to working with Frederick H. Grubbe, the Appraisal Institute’s new chief executive officer (see page 34). Fred comes to us with more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit organizations and government-related agencies. I am impressed with his emphasis on communication and consensus building, and we look forward to Fred bringing his background and experience into play as he assumes responsibility for overseeing the continued growth and prestige of the Appraisal Institute.

Finally, it’s always nice to get confirmation that something’s working. Several weeks ago, right after our Visibility Campaign radio ads began running in several cities, we were copied by the San Diego chapter on a short message they’d received from a member in that area. It read in part: “FYI: I’ve gotten two calls for appraisals due to the AI advertising. That’s a good deal!” While two calls to just one member may not seem like much, this puts a personal face to all the cost-benefit statistics we’ve gathered over the two-plus years our national campaign has been running. Marketing doesn’t come naturally to many appraisers, as you’ll read in this issue’s Roundtable, which points up the value of having a national campaign behind you.

By the time you read this, our 75th anniversary year will be half over, but the celebration is only getting started. The premier event is our 75th Anniversary Conference next month (July 15-22) at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Full details can be accessed at www.appraisalinstitute.org/75thanniversary/event.asp. There’s still time to register, and I invite all our readers to attend this festive event. I look forward to seeing you there.

By Appraisal Institute President

Terry R. Dunkin, MAI, SRA

COPYRIGHT 2007 The Appraisal Institute

COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning