What do clients really want (apart from faster, cheaper service)? According to the Appraisal Institute's Main Street survey conducted several years ago, better and more frequent communication is the single most important thing that could improve the client-appraiser relationship. In addition, the clients interviewed in that survey said they could utilize something other than the "cookbook" approach to valuation. They want services ranging from reports without value conclusions to asset performance monitoring to providing going concern, business and equipment and even personal property valuations. Specialty areas such as eminent domain and conservation easements were also mentioned.
Another suggestion called for updated evaluations that simply state that the economic characteristics, market area and physical attributes of the subject have not changed. In other words, appraisers "should attempt to add value to the client by providing additional commentary on issues that may impact the property over time." Some clients who participated in this survey expressed frustration over appraisers who "are not willing to change."
The bottom line is that today's clients are looking for improved communication, responsiveness to timing and services that are more than (or other than) traditional appraisal reports. An underlying assumption is that clients want to know that they are receiving the services of a professional, but what exactly does it mean to be a professional? Recently a project team formed by the Appraisal Institute came up with the following tenets of professionalism that can serve as guideposts for all of us.
Ethics/Integrity: The professional appraiser strictly adheres to all applicable standards and ethical rules and acts with honesty and integrity in the performance of all appraisal services.
Competency: The professional appraiser develops competency through advanced education, continuing education and experience; relies on education and experience to develop judgment and sound reasoning; and continually strives to improve his or her knowledge and skills.
Image: The professional appraiser strives to present a positive image of the profession to clients and to the public.
Services: The professional appraiser strives to consistently provide high-quality services, reports and other products to clients and other users of appraisal services....