The spring selling season is upon us and the market is kicking into high gear. That means increased work volume for appraisers. However, with an increased workload comes the likelihood of more revision requests. Sometimes it’s because we missed something in our reports. Other times, it’s because the person reviewing our reports missed seeing what they were looking for, even though it was there.
There are few things that make an appraiser's blood boil more than unnecessary revision requests. As appraisers, we work hard to make sure that our reports are accurate and supportable. When our reports are rejected, it is hard not to be upset. It is important to note that there are no perfect appraisals or appraisers. All appraisers get revision requests at times. However, a revision request doesn’t always mean that we made a mistake. Sometimes it's just something that needs to be changed and is not reflective of an error on our part.
Whatever the case is, at times, it can be challenging to not let it raise our blood pressure. There are some things that I have found can help an appraiser cope with revision requests.
DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY
This is a difficult thing to achieve since, as appraisers, we take pride in our work. We work hard to make sure that there are no errors. When we get the "Rejection" notice, it is often cold and without much context. It just states the things that need to be revised. Being human, our natural inclination is to have a negative outlook. It's easy to take it personally when we receive this kind of notice. In our minds, we might imagine some reviewer that could care less about our hard work and that is just looking for any minor thing to write up to justify their job. Sometimes that may be true. But not always! To be fair, sometimes a reviewer may catch an error of ours that may have the potential to get into trouble down the road. As an appraiser, I would rather know and have the opportunity to correct the error before it gets to the lender.
I think what makes it feel like we are being picked on is a lack of human interaction. While technology has helped our profession in many ways, the lack of personal communication with our clients has exasperated the situation. Revision requests often come across digitally in a cold and matter of fact way that leaves the appraiser feeling unappreciated. It's not just that way with appraisers. With the advent of digital communication, something is being lost. That's why emoticons are becoming increasingly popular. :) I am not saying that they need to be added to
revision requests. However, a few additional comments by our client can go a long way in adding context to the revision request. For instance, thanking the appraiser for an overall good report, when warranted, can be helpful. Of course, as professionals, we probably shouldn't not anticipate that most reviewers will do so. The few AMC's that I work with usually add a note of appreciation regarding my report before asking for the revision. That goes a long way! Should an AMC have to do so? After all, we are professionals. While it shouldn't be necessary, I think it is helpful at maintaining good relationships between the AMC and the appraiser. Appraisers are human. Ironically, it's the ability to feel that makes appraiser's better at estimating market value than computers, at least in my opinion. Appraisers can observe things in the market that computers cannot. We are sensitive to human reaction. So being human is not a weakness.
What can help us not to take a revision request personally? If I feel as though the reviewer is not being fair or reasonable in their request, I like to call them and speak with them. Not to berate them. I simply like to talk it out and try to understand their view. Almost every time, I find that the revision was minor in their eyes and that they were not just picking on my report. They usually compliment me on my work and then kindly explain why, in their eyes, the revision was needed. After the discussion, even if I don't agree, I at least am at peace with where they are coming from and that they are just trying to do what they were hired to do. If an appraiser has solid reasons for not complying with a revision request, for instance, if doing so would violates USPAP, then we should not comply. Many times, the information needed is already in the report and the reviewer just missed it. To be fair though, there are times when a revision request makes it obvious to me that I didn't explain a situation in my report as well as I should have.
On every revision request I receive, I strive to learn from it by