It’s never easy to put your day-to-day work on hold and inconvenience yourself by traveling across the country to attend an industry conference. We all have busy lives both professional and personally, and we can easily conclude that we can’t be bothered to stop what we’re doing to attend a conference.
But the decision to take a break from the day-to-day and make some time to head to a conference also means giving yourself an opportunity to look into the future and see how your industry is changing – before those changes catch you unaware. This is why I joined the hundreds of real estate appraisers that attended Valuation Expo in Las Vegas last week.
The number of appraisers is much smaller than that of their licensed counterparts in real estate sales or mortgage loan origination. As a result, there are fewer national conferences to pick from. In fact, Valuation is one of the few. This is a good thing, since it means the conference is able to attract some of the biggest names and thought leaders in the industry, and the venue is small enough that attendees really get an opportunity to speak with just about whoever they want. Conference speakers include key people from ACI, Narrative1, the Appraisal Foundation, Appraisal Institute, FHA, Fannie Mae and the VA, Wells Fargo — just to name a few.
Throughout this year’s conference, there were panels dealing with alternative valuations (AVMs, BPOs) and how they impact the appraisal business, and how there is a greater expectation from appraisers (again) to evolve from being collectors of data to data analysts. There were many great speakers at Valuation and I’d like to highlight all of them, but over the next few posts I’ll organize and publish my notes from what I felt were some of the most relevant and influential speakers I had an opportunity to listen to and meet.
So, despite the inconvenience, Valuation was a great opportunity to connect, listen to insightful and inspiring speakers. Appraisers also benefited from up to 21 hours of CE credit. Put Valuation in your calendar for 2015 — I hope to see you there.