Your education ain’t complete

Our commercial valuation vertical might take note of the accounting industry. They recognize it’s a work in progress, but I like their encouraging attitude towards change. “The CPA Evolution initiative aims to transform the CPA licensure model to recognize the rapidly changing skills and competencies the practice of accounting requires today and will require in the future.

You told us the effort to evolve the licensure model should not solely be focused on attracting those with technological and analytical skills to become CPAs; it should be about ensuring the CPA license remains fit for purpose to assure continued public protection. We needed to think bigger and approach this challenge with a different mindset.

The model is adaptive and flexible, helping to future-proof the CPA as the profession continues to evolve.” That sounds relevant to commercial appraisers to me. So how do we as valuation professionals avoid becoming analogous to a luggage car rack (recognizable as to its function, but not sure of its usefulness)?

Peldi Guilizzoni, the founder of Balsamiq (UI wireframing software tool) in a podcast with Dan Martell (serial entrepreneur, SaaS expert) highlights some solutions. Many appraisers want to just appraise property (technician) rather than invest time as a businessperson (strategic). Similarly, Mr. Guilizzoni, early-on, just wanted to be alone to code. He didn’t want to be the CEO or grow his business, much less to its current size.

He suggests taking on the challenge of listening to his customers and changing the dynamic of your firm.  “Maybe there’s ways to innovate your company. We treat our company like a product, we’re on Version 5 right now. Every few years you have to reinvent it and work on it together. We work in small teams of a four or five people. You think you’re building these rules that they last forever, you can’t. It doesn’t work.”

Mr. Guilizzoni mentioned the “relentless customer focus,” which seems at odds with the historical training we received as commercial appraisers. Yes appraisers need to be 100% independent. That’s job 101. But after that, how should we market, sell, interact, communicate and deliver our appraisal product? He suggests focusing on things that aren’t going to change over the next 10 years. Start with creating professional development programs to try to do what’s right by your customers.

Your appraisal firm, regardless of size, needs a leader, somebody to craft a vision. Find the time to think strategically. The decisions you will make will likely create happier employees for years to come. Leverage the “team think,” smart people that you have on-staff to add some entrepreneurial sauce to your firm. Your education ain’t complete.

[Listen to our Podcast Here]