We are pleased to announce the Valuation Visionary award winner for 2017 is Alan Hummel of Forsythe Appraisals, a First American Company.
Every year the Collateral Risk Network (a nationwide consortium of individuals representing all aspects of collateral valuation, including appraisers, lenders, regulators and vendors) joins together to nominate and vote on the most influential mind in the appraisal industry for the year. The winner is presented with the prestigious Valuation Visionary Award. The purpose of the award is to recognize the person who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, innovation and professionalism in the valuation industry in the past year. This year Alan Hummel will be our 7th ever recipient of the award.
Buzz: Alan, tell us a bit about your participation in the Collateral Risk Network.
Hummel: Since my attendance at the inaugural CRN conference, I’ve had the opportunity and privilege to moderate panels, give a variety of presentations at meetings and participate in subcommittee gatherings to formulate strategies, all of which have had the overarching goal of enhancing the way collateral valuations are completed. Currently, I’m co-chair of the CRN’s Executive Council, through which all sub-committee reports and ideas funnel into in order to be vetted for action on behalf of the CRN.
Buzz: You’ve been an appraiser for quite a while. Tell us about your involvement in the greater appraisal community.
Hummel: I’ve been called a lot of things, and “son of an appraiser” is the one I’m most proud of. Like many, I started my career at the hip of a family member, my Dad. Through his encouragement, I became involved very early with the Appraisal Institute, culminating in being asked to serve as their national president. I’ve also served as an officer of the Appraisal Foundation and as a member of its Appraisal Practices Board. Representing industry organizations, I’ve had the opportunity to testify before the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives and to address appraisal issues to bodies across the nation and internationally. As chief appraiser for First American Mortgage Solutions and our staff appraisal model, Forsythe Appraisals, I get to practice one of my greatest passions, education. I truly enjoy teaching everything from appraisal principles to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). Educating and developing the next generation of appraisers is not only something I get great enjoyment out of, but from the bigger picture perspective, it is absolutely essential to the survival of the profession.
Buzz: Look into your crystal ball. What do you see on the horizon for appraisers in 2017?
Hummel: 2017 will be a year of change, but the big, monumental shifts are probably a year or two further away. But, they are coming. In fact, I feel so strongly about the direction the industry and the valuation profession are headed, that I wrote an article about it for the Buzz Magazine. 2017 will be the start of something big. It will be the year we look back on and say, “That’s when we realized the future belonged to the data-enabled, analytically-enhanced, information-rich appraisal.” In 2017 I think we’ll see accelerated acknowledgement by appraisers of the need to incorporate data into their process. Actually, I just read with great interest Allterra’s 2016 National Appraiser Survey, and while there was a lot of interesting information in it, one response actually leapt off the page at me. Appraisers were asked, “What technology do you desire that is currently not available to you?” And the number one answer by far was, “More robust data sources.” If 2015 was the year that Collateral Underwriter and other similar things made “big data” a taboo concept to appraisers, I predict 2017 will be the year that makes appraisers realize that “big data” is the key to the future prosperity of the profession.
Buzz: While those of us in CRN are working on a big picture agenda, what advice can you offer to appraisers in the field?
Hummel: Don’t just embrace change – be an instigator of change! No one knows the appraisal process better than the “folks on the street.” When you see an opportunity to improve the process for yourself and your clients, act on it. Involve your clients in the brainstorming of new, innovative ways of doing things, instead of thinking you have to solve it by yourself. Many of your vendors and customers are willing to be involved in creating new appraisal products and technologies which will be to everyone’s benefit. Finally, attend meetings and conventions and take advantage of educational opportunities that include a diverse mix of collateral valuation professionals. Variety is the spice of life. Having dialogue with other folks who have a vested interest in collateral valuation allows you to better understand not only what is changing, but why certain changes may be desired and how you can better prepare yourself to be the go-to person to provide the product, service or solution.