An Instructor’s Log:
I learn from You
June 20, 2018
At this juncture of my career, I am going on my 18th year of practice. I have held my SRA designation with the Appraisal Institute since 2011.I also hold my AI-RRS designation as well, and I am a member of RAC (Relocation Appraisers and Consultants). I currently am the Residential Chief Appraiser and Vice President of Valucentric, LLC.
I dislike typing out my designations and positions. Not because I am ashamed of them, but because it sometimes seems pretentious to list out my credentials. I am not one to hang onto a credential and think that I am any better or less than anyone else that works in this profession. I am proud of my accomplishments, but I still consider myself a serious learner. Education and training and experience are still important for me to obtain. I am on a journey with no real destination; I am a life-long learner.
As I am typing this, I am finishing up instructing an amazing class in Aurora, CO. I have had the pleasure of facilitating a class for 24 designated members of the AI. Residential Review Theory is a great class that normally has students that have lots of experience and much knowledge to share. Taking a class like this is great as a student, but even more beneficial to the instructor. I get to hear many students (over and over as I teach the class more often) share their own experiences, or “war stories” as we call them.
I get busy with my day to day tasks with work, home and my own personal stuff. I get overwhelmed sometimes with it all. Taking on the responsibilities of instructing is a major commitment, but the result for me is that I get a mental break from my daily grind. I can focus my energy towards helping students earn a designation or assist them in broadening their knowledge. It feels good to help others. That is why I am willing to travel around and do this.
One of the best things about being a part of the Appraisal Institute is that I can network and help others. I have met some impressive folks that do all sorts of expert work in niche specialties. I am floored by the talent and backgrounds that many of these professionals have. I feel fortunate to meet many that I can call later and learn more about what they do and get guidance in my own work.
Being an instructor is a worthy thing to do for those that think they may want to do some of this type of work. It will make you better if for no other reason you must explain complex methods and concepts to a group of people. You will find that while you may understand something well, you understand it even more when you can get 8 different learning styles to understand it. Everyone looks at stuff from different perspectives and matching up to a room with 10 or 24 people, helps the instructor as much as it helps the student.
The best advice that I can give anyone that wants to instruct is that you must have a spirit of service to get anywhere. If you are doing it solely for prestige: there is none. For the money: it pays well enough, but it doesn’t net out to where I can exist solely doing it. Or for any other reason than you want to help students you may want to use your time for something more financially rewarding. Students appreciate the hard work that goes into preparing for and setting up a class. It’s like anything, if you pour yourself into it, you will be successful. They will recognize someone genuinely there to help them, versus someone that has other motives.
I am hoping that as I make it around to various classes, that I can keep you updated on my travels and adventures. Adventures is a word that I use with some poetic license. Those that know me will quickly say my adventures usually rotate around good food, good drink and enjoying the company of other professionals in the business. I do get to see some cool things as well.
My good friend, Ben Davidson, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, was gracious enough to take me up to Estes Park, CO to show me what real mountains look like. I am not a heights guy, and we both enjoyed laughing at my fear of peering over a guardrail-less critical drop into one of the many valleys we drove by. Being in a moving vehicle while I am staring at what will be my assured death. All I could do is think, “I can see the news now: The remains of two real estate appraisers were found in the wreckage of a White Yukon last night. The driver seemed to be laughing at the passenger who was yellow from fear.” It was a great experience to see the things that I saw on that drive, and I will be forever grateful to Ben for showing it to me.