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[Sounding Bored] “V” Also Stands For Vindictive and Vicious: Why Can’t Professionals Get Along?

Sounding Bored is my semi-regular column on the state of the appraisal profession. There have been more changes made to the profession in the past several years than in the entire history of the profession, and most of the changes have not resulted in a more credible service. Still, I’d like to hope that the latest financial services sector turmoil will bring a clean slate approach to better regulatory oversight (devoid of insanity).

A few weeks ago I was asked a question by a local real estate agent referencing something my local appraisal competitor was doing. The agent was wondering if our firm could do the same thing for her. This same matter had been brought up to me before by another agent from a different brokerage firm so I didn’t think it was simply a misinterpretation by the agent.

Alarmed, I dropped my colleague a quick email mentioning what the last agent had told me and suggested they look into it and see if one of their employees might be doing something they shouldn’t. I wasn’t accusitory (I didn’t think) and thought tone was more like “I’m sure it isn’t true but you might want to check into it.”

Literally, a minute later I got a flurry of emails, viscious in tone, attacking me and to “get over myself.” This is from the same person who goes out of his way to say hi to me at appraiser functions. I can’t wait to see him at the next one – should be interesting.

This vindictive tone has been played out in the review appraisal scenario across the entire appraisal profession for years and perhaps this is why the appraiser was so sensitive – some appraisers feel the need to unreasonably criticize another appraiser’s work when reviewing a report for a client – in hopes of winning over the client. Nothing wrong with legitimate criticism but often times the line is crossed.

It looks like a private comment to alert someone of a possible transgression is on par with ripping someone to pieces for no legitimate reason.

I’m no Victim here, but why do we as a profession do this?

Professional mores indicate I was wrong so I won’t make that mistake again.