Heather M. Placer, MAI, SRA, CCIM, IFAS, ASA is an appraiser located in Midlothian, Virginia. Heather is a career long appraiser that got started at an early age. She volunteers her time to the Appraisal Institute (AI) and is currently the president of the Virginia Commonwealth Chapter of the Appraisal institute. It would require too much space to list everything that she does and is a part of with the AI. Heather is also the lead non-residential appraiser on our Virginia team for our company, Valucentric. As well as Vice-President of the company. She is also an active commercial real estate agent.
VN: How long have you been in the profession?
HP: 25 years (started in 1993 as an assistant to an appraiser)
VN: What is your favorite thing about the profession?
HP: I love the flexibility of my hours and the challenges of the assignments. I also like visiting different businesses and learning about how they are successful. One of the most interesting things is talking to small business owners and seeing what makes them successful.
VN: Who are your mentors and idols within the profession?
HP: Any of our leaders at the Appraisal Institute have been exceptional. Scott Robinson, MAI, SRA, AI-RRS, AI-GRS our most recent past president, did a great job at trying to get younger people into the profession. We have a number of professionals coming up that exemplify the passion we need to continue moving the industry forward.
VN: What are some of your passions inside the profession?
HP: I am really interested in going concerns-anything that seems strange or odd in the commercial world fascinates me.
VN: What are some passions of yours outside of the profession?
HP: I am also a commercial sales agent. I recently earned my CCIM. That has been a different experience. I also enjoy teaching. In my downtime I have a passion for anything with water and my next goal is to buy a lake house.
VN: Where do you see the profession in 3 years? 5 years? 10 years?
HP: As technology continues to impact the profession I think that in 3/5/10 years the most successful appraisers will be those that can specialize in one area and those that have earned their designations.
VN: What is one thing about your personal business that you are most proud?
HP: I have spent a considerable amount of time studying vineyards. I am really enjoying branching out into assignment types that many appraisers do not like.
VN: If you could change one thing about your business model what would it be?
HP: I would try to get away from the standard “cookie cutter” bank work
VN: What are some present goals for you and what you do are doing in the valuation space?
HP: I am working on really trying to learn more about the going concern models. I want to continue to build a database to get a good foundation of multipliers and other ratios to contribute to the study of separating intangible components.
VN: If you could change one thing in valuation, what would it be?
HP: Doing away with AVM’s and banks that think they can apply a standardized model to our profession. This is not an industry that can be automated.
VN: What advice would you give someone just getting in the profession?
HP: You may have to make less the first two years while you are training but it will be worth it
VN: This last one is for you to discuss or talk about whatever you would like.
HP: I cannot stress enough the importance of continuing to take education, whether you are new in the business or a seasoned veteran. This industry changes continuously; the best appraisers are the ones that continue to keep up with these changes.
There you have it folks. Heather is a testament to what education and hard work can get you. She has vigorously chased and earned several designations. I have personally done several assignments with her and she knows value.