Commercial Grade is a weekly post by John Cicero, MAI who provides commentary on issues affecting real estate appraisers, with specific focus on commercial valuation. Today John talks stuff, and how he is not a vendor.

Disclosure: John is a partner of mine in our commercial real estate valuation concern [Miller Cicero, LLC]( and he is, on Thursdays, one of the smartest guys I know. …Jonathan Miller

When I think of a [vendor](, I think of a booth at a flea market or a hot dog cartsomeone that sells stuff. Twice this past week I was referred to as a vendor by a clientone explained to me that the assignment that I bid on went to another vendor at a lower fee (no, I am not going there again!). This didn’t sit right with meanother vendor? But I don’t sell stuff!

I like to think that I sell my intellectuality when I am hired for an assignment, which really makes me a consultant. (In fact, I do have a client that refers to the appraisers he retains as external consultants).

This may just be a matter of semantics, but this is an important distinction which goes to the heart of how our profession is perceivedare we vendors selling a commodity, or consultants that provide a service? I know many commercial appraisal firms that call themselves Appraisers and Consultants or Real Estate Advisors, but none that advertise themselves as Vendors.

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