It’s not my fault, I didn’t see it coming

For commercial appraisers, the writing has been on the wall for a long time. There are no surprises as to what’s coming. Zero. “It’s not my fault, I didn’t see it coming.” Peter Sheahan, Group CEO and Founder of global consultancy at Karrikins Group said that over and over at a recent presentation. Mr. Sheahan explained that industry trends are obvious if CEOs are willing to see (and react) to them. Getting out of their own way.

Mr. Sheahan quoted Jeff Bezos, “Are you leading your clients to the future or are you following them there?” I think this is the single most important question appraisers should be asking themselves. Similar to Bruce Turkel’s book, All About Them – Grow Your Business by Focusing on Others.

Mr. Sheahan gave examples of other industries that experienced Blockbuster Video-like failure because the CEOs chose to ignore known trends. They made long-range plans based on old info. A promotional attitude rather than a narrow protectionist view requires optimism and letting go of your years of experience. Escape the gravity of your own past success.

The answer is productivity delivered with technology which makes for happy clients. If all decisions are made through a client-focused lens, value is maximized. What do your clients want but don’t know they want yet? Answering that question requires strong listening skills.

Maybe you could offer your clients:

  • Real-time tracking of valuation stages via an app
  • Post appraisal consulting such as tenant base analysis
  • Assessment and insurance RCN monitoring
  • Capital expenditure feasibility to maximize reversion
  • Annual market value SWOT analysis and repositioning
  • Identify property type trends – what and when to buy, sell, or hold

Mr. Sheahan’s challenge: “What are the higher order problems your clients face that you are uniquely positioned to solve? Technology allows you as a valuation professional to solve your clients’ problems. While appraiser independence and customer service may seem like Yin and Yang: seemingly opposite or contrary forces; they may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent. Mr. Sheahan concludes with, “always move your customer cause forward.”

Take ownership recognizing current trends in our industry, but remain optimistic. Ascertain what your clients want. Try to get a step ahead of them and you may achieve an Amazon-like loyal following. If your business model remains fixed, you might find yourself saying, “It’s not my fault, I didn’t see it coming.”