Rachel Massey, SRA, AI-RRS, IFA and a member of RAC, is not just a colleague but a friend. I have now known Rachel for at least 5 years. We have written many blogs together and share conversations via telephone many times a year. Rachel is a well-respected residential appraiser. She cares deeply about the profession and is always willing to try and help whether it’s with a simple question from a colleague on social media or volunteering her time with various appraisal and real estate organizations.
I hope you all enjoy learning more about my colleague and friend, Rachel Massey:
Courtesy of Rachel Massey
VN: How long have you been in the profession?
RM: 29-years and counting.
VN: What is your favorite thing about the profession?
RM: Solving problems. I really enjoy looking at what the problem to be solved is and tucking in and doing so.
VN: Who are your mentors and idols within the profession?
RM: My early mentors were a handful of local SRAs, Jim Miner, Tim Somers and Marlene Consiglio, who all were willing to spend the time helping me understand the process and what I needed to do to solve problems. Recent mentors and idols include Denis DeSaix, George Hatch, Maureen Sweeney and countless others, all of whom are willing to provide time and expertise to assist others, and to do so without judgement and without leading the appraiser to feel inferior. To me, this is the mark of a true mentor, and true professional.
VN: What are some of your passions inside the profession?
Writing, review, and relocation appraisal work. If I could figure out a way to make a living as a writer, I would strongly consider it, but short of that, I have found an abiding passion for doing review work, as well as relocation work. Now if I could just marry the two, and combine it with writing, then my appraisal world would be complete 😊
VN: Where do you see the profession in 3 years? 5 years? 10 years?
RM: There is no doubt that the mortgage appraisal side is changing. Technological advances are everywhere, including the valuation side, and unless appraisers step forward and provide something that cannot be provided by an algorithm, we are likely to have a lessened role in the future, even within three years. That said, if the market melts down again, I see us back in the role of truly being the eyes and the ears of our clients.
We, as a profession, need to be able to tell our customers and clients exactly what we see and what we have analyzed, without the fear of being removed from panels and turned into the state licensing boards because people do not like our answers. If we present reasoned, supportable analysis in a manner that is easy to understand, we should be valued by those who hire us, regardless of whether they like our opinion of value or not. In order to continue to be a profession, we have got to be able to be honest and forthright without losing business. This is an ongoing problem with the field, that has not lessened due to changes after the Great Recession.
So, in short, we could continue being viable if we collectively have a backbone, and if not, we are likely to go the way of travel agencies.
VN: What is one thing about your personal business that you are most proud?
RM: My seminal achievements personally have been obtaining my SRA designation and becoming an AQB Certified USPAP Instructor. Both taught me a tremendous amount about the valuation process, and about critical thinking.
VN: If you could change one thing about your business model what would it be?
RM: It would be to marry the passions I have into a perfect job. That would be to be a lead appraiser with a relocation company, writing the occasional review within the appraisal and relocation industry, and writing guidance and doing education within the organization. Otherwise I am very happy with my current trajectory as a post-funding reviewer for a mortgage lender.
VN: What are some present goals for you and what you do are doing in the valuation space?
RM: My current goals revolve around more teaching and developing of small educational offerings, writing articles and being available to help others. Immediate goals include learning about Green Valuation, something I see as upcoming, although it has not hit my area with any significance yet, it will and I need to be prepared.
VN: If you could change one thing in valuation, what would it be?
RM: Quality over quantity. Slow down a bit and do not cut corners and be rewarded for going beyond the minimums. In the mortgage arena, good enough is good enough. No one wants poor quality, but there is no reward for excellence within much of the mortgage field (there are exceptions, but those tend towards the private client group realm). This is not solely an appraisal issue, but is an issue with business in general, where good enough is rewarded over excellence due to time and cost restraints. I wish I could change that, but it is not likely feasible, or desired.
VN: What advice would you give someone just getting in the profession?
RM: Be a sponge and soak up what everyone has to say. Do not be discouraged and surround yourself with those whom you admire. Try not to sink into negativity and try always to do your best work. Be proud of what you do, and let that pride speak through your written words, and through your professionalism in the field.
VN: This last one is for you to discuss or talk about whatever you would like.
RM: Here I would like to make a plea to all appraisers to get involved in supporting the field. There are multiple organizations that are working on behalf of appraisers, some national and established, others state grass roots organizations. There are so many different avenues to get involved in the profession and to help it, that no matter what we are doing, something will fit. Just get involved, and while doing so, help everyone you can. Do not denigrate other appraisers or organizations. Just get involved in whatever way you can. This is an honorable and valuable profession and it needs all of us to be involved in advancing it. Doing so will benefit the public, and since appraisal is about protecting the public trust, we owe it to not only ourselves, but to everyone.
There you have it, folks.
I want to emphasize Rachel’s last point. Get Involved. The amount of negative comments and trying to put one organization over another is not productive. Find an organization that you like. Hopefully the organizations out there will also start working together rather than trying to prove their worth is greater than any others. Get plugged in and contribute. We are a small profession but an important one. The more divisive we become the more easily controlled we become by the users of our services.