Michael Vogt, MAI
Atlanta Area Chapter
Option: Traditional Demo
Which option did you choose (Traditional Demo, E-demo, Defense of Reports, Capstone Program) and why?
I selected the Traditional Demo option. While I believe the other options were still in the process of being developed, I chose the Traditional Demo for two reasons: I felt like it was the most customary route to designation and I wanted to prove, to myself, that I could prepare a passing Demonstration Appraisal Report.
How did the Appraisal Institute help you on your journey to designated membership?
Member support and their genuine interest in helping other members achieve designation.
What was the biggest obstacle you faced during the process and how did you overcome it?
Not working in a traditional valuation role proved to be my biggest obstacle. Working for an investment manager, valuation is critical to our business, however my background meant that I was not always completely prepared for the designation requirements. I overcame this by identifying where I lacked experience and focused on mastering these topics. My comparison is an engineer who is studying for a law degree, with hopes of practicing Patent Law. She may excel in her Patent Law courses given her background, but may have to spend more time on her Constitutional Law courses to be successful in achieving her degree.
What surprised you the most about the membership process?
The professional and personal growth one undergoes through the process surprised me in that designation requires a member to be diligent and accountable for his or her own progress.
What is the biggest benefit of becoming designated?
I benefit the most from the access to a network of other members and recognition of the designation in the market. Also, I feel that I have a more rounded approach to valuations.
What advice do you have for Associate members working towards designated membership?
Break the requirements down into smaller personal goals. For example, if you’re stuck on which asset to do your Demo Report on, work on writing a general outline that can be applied to any subject. Also, don’t obsess over the perfect alignment of your career and experience with the requirements. Naturally, you will have gaps in your experience and an aversion to tackling requirements outside your comfort zone. However, try taking a stab at doing the best you can and you may be surprised with your results.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do different, knowing what you know now?
I tried to speak to as many members as possible during my journey to becoming designated. If I had it to do all over again, I would have spoken to even more members. Sometimes, I found that a small nugget of advice or encouragement went a long way in achieving certain goals.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I would encourage members to continue to look for ways to expand their reach within their careers as valuation is a key component to many business decisions.