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    President's Message May 29, 2024

    President's Message, May 2024

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    Spring 2024 President's Message

    Where has half the year gone? It seems like January 1st was just a few weeks ago and yet it’s almost June already. When I began my term as Board President I promised myself to do what it took to leave the Appraisal Institute better than I found it. Simple, but not easy. That meant taking a hard look at where we were and supporting decisions that move us towards where need to be for our members. And people don’t always agree! This is why leadership is not easy. There have been some difficult decisions since the beginning of the year—and there will be more before the year is done—but the need for positive change becomes clearer to me with every passing week, and I hear that too from my many conversations with members and Chapter leaders.

    My touchstone is this—keep our mission and the interests of our members in focus. Our shared mission is the bond that keeps us together in good times and bad, and it is what will guide us towards the best way forward. All the rules, policies and processes in the world don’t mean a thing if they don’t help us advance our profession and represent our members in the ways they deserve. In fact, we need to change rules and policies that don’t advance our mission and benefit our members. We humans don’t like change, but it is what being a leader is all about.

    Reducing bureaucracy and inefficient processes was one of the important topics at the leadership offsite that I led in early January. These sessions resulted in several important new initiatives and plans that our CEO, Cindy Chance and I have been working hard to move forward for our members since then. Here is the news release we posted at the end of the meetings. We’ve made great progress with some of the priorities highlighted in the release—One Appraisal Institute, appraiser centric advocacy, and a major increase in transparency and member engagement on strategic and business priorities—while others remain challenging. As you’ve read in our recent report from the 2Q Board meeting here, rebuilding and revitalizing our educational offers is going more slowly than we hoped. Despite the challenges we face, the excitement and positive attitudes I’ve experienced meeting members and visiting chapters is inspiring, and many people remark to me how much they appreciate our increased transparency and communications: they’d rather know about the issues so we can face them together. Awareness and action help solve problems and seize opportunities. I tell my fellow Board members that we should be driving towards solutions, not away from problems.

    The last five months have been very busy with events surrounding our members and potential members through conferences, symposiums, and chapter meetings. I’ll share an overview of the events, a few pictures, and answer questions that I hear in my travels.

    On April 21-23rd Cindy and I attended the ACTS Conference in Colorado Spring that I mentioned in my last message. It was a great place to meet other Appraisal Institute members and network with other appraisers that are not part of our organization. The ACTS president, Malinda Griffin, gave us a special invitation and recognition during the conference. Below is a photo with Malinda and our own Josh Walitt. We’ve been a bit inward looking in recent years, and there is no question in my mind that it helps our members and the profession when we collaborate and communicate with organizations with missions that align with ours.

    ACTS Conference

    At the ACTS Conference Cindy and I had the opportunity to be a part of a session on the Appraiser Diversity Initiative. Cindy moderated the appraisal panel discussion, and I was a panelist. The panelists told some funny appraiser stories to give the attendees a little insight into the life of a residential appraiser.

    ACTS Conference

    On April 25th, the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter held a meeting at Top Golf in St. Petersburg, FL. It’s always fun to mix business with pleasure. My swing is not so great, but the crowd’s laughter afterward was contagious. These types of venues tend to draw members and prospective members. A nonaffiliated appraiser that I met at the Acts Conference in Colorado Springs the week before attended the outing because I invited him. Some are just waiting to be invited to join the Appraisal Institute, and anyone who has been listening to me knows that “Welcome” is one of my favorite words when it comes to the way we approach anyone interested in our profession or organization.

    On May 2nd, the Oregon/SW Washington Real Estate Conference in Wilsonville, OR drew around 60 attendees. Because of the travel difficulties with the conference the next day in Fairfield, CA, I provided a virtual update on the Appraisal Institute’s happenings. The attendees were a mix of residential and commercial professionals.

    On May 3rd, REAA/NorCAL partnered to hold a Residential Conference in Fairfield, CA. The 52 residential attendees were engaged and asked many questions.

    REAA/NorCAL Conference

    I had the honor of being the Keynote to share how the Appraisal Institute is working for the residential appraiser. About 80% of the attendees were not affiliated with the Appraisal Institute. Attending and speaking at events where we can reach unaffiliated appraisers is where we should be. It will help to grow membership and the AI Brand. Several questions from the audience were centered around PAREA. Seeing our chapters partner with other appraisal related groups to hold events like this is a wonderful way to grow the voice of our profession.

    On May 13th, South Florida held the chapter meeting and the Florida Law Class. It was so nice to see three newly designated appraisers recognized. Congratulations to Garret Langford, SRA, Sarah Brand, MAI, and Inna Babakulieva, MAI on receiving designations at chapter events. It was a high energy meeting and there were some great questions there about our reorganization and plans for further change.

    South Florida held the chapter meeting
    Greg Becker, MAI, chapter President, Garrett Langford, SRA, Sarah Brand, MAI, and Inna Babakulieva, MAI.

    On May 15-17th, the Leadership Development Advisory Council (LDAC) was held in Washington, D.C. where 125 AI Professionals came together to discuss topics that concerned the profession. It was a great time of networking with other professionals around the country and brainstorming ideas. The participants visited Capitol Hill to lobby legislators about topics such as the Portal for Appraiser Licensing (PAL), AMC transparency, and ASC funding for PAREA. The opening session was excellent this year with two speakers from the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) giving an overview of NAR’s lobby platform. They have a well-developed plan in place that we can learn from and even collaborate with them on the local and national levels.

    May 29-30th, the Office of Comptroller of Currency (OCC) is holding the OCC Project REACh Summit on Financial Inclusion. The REACh initiatives were developed to bring forth new initiatives to increase economic mobility within financially underserved and under-resourced communities. The progress of Project REACh initiatives will be presented and discussed. I served on several of the REACh Project Teams along with our Washington D.C. Staff and a few of our members. The project team topics included Reconsideration of Value, the Appraisal Gap, and Homeownership. It is so important for appraisers to be at the table and have a voice in matters that affect the valuation professional’s work. Scott Dibiasio, Brian Rodgers, Cindy Chance, and I will be attending. We will provide a summary of the summit following the event.

    While I of course want you to please be sure to read the 45-Day notices that will be coming out soon and send your comments regarding the proposed changes, I also welcome (there it is again!) your emails with comments and suggestions. We want to hear from you to assist the Board in making decisions and making our governance more responsive to the membership and to the pace of change in the real estate industry and in the markets for appraisers’ skills and services. I’m planning to host a webinar on our governance structure and want to hear about any other topic that is of interest to you!

    Thank you for the opportunity and honor to serve as your President. I’m looking forward to our continued progress in 2024!

    Your friend,
    Sandra K. Adomatis signature
    Sandy Adomatis, SRA