In “The Appraisal Update,” Bryan Reynolds asks four ACTS attendees to share their reasons for coming to the conference and their takeaways from the week. Here are a few highlights of Bryan’s questions and his interviewees’ answers, condensed and edited for clarity:

Why did you decide to attend ACTS this year?

Jason Covington, an appraiser in Nashville, TN and first-time attendee:

“The timing was right for me to go experience what everybody’s been talking about, to meet the people who’ve been doing this longer than me, people I can learn from … names you’ve heard of, people you work in and around but never have met directly. This gave me the avenue to have conversations with those people and actually see the answer to the question, ‘How do I make change? How does my voice impact my industry? How does my voice count?’”

Nakia Manning, a trainee in Atlanta, GA and first-time attendee:

“I found it was necessary for my growth as an appraiser to go out and meet other appraisers. Up until now, my only contact with the appraisal world had just been my mentor. I felt like it was essential that I join this organization so I could learn more and come to this event, For me, it wasn’t the continuing ed. It was more that I felt the need to meet other people in my profession.”

Mark Skapinetz, an appraiser in Atlanta, GA and first-time attendee:

“For me [the motivation was], meeting people I’ve been wanting to meet for a long time. Having good conversations. You are building relationships with people you can call when you have a problem. I’ve had those people. Now I’ve gained more people to go to when I have a problem, to help me solve it. That alone is worth its weight in gold.”

How was your experience?

Ken Williams, an appraiser in Jackson, MS, second-time attendee, and splendid fisherman:

“This was probably my greatest experience at an ACTS conference. This meeting was really special. Of course, catching that fish didn’t hurt things at all.

“The first conference I was a newbie and everybody was a stranger to me. But I came back with a lot of knowledge and brought it back [to Mississippi] … This time around, I knew a lot of the people. It really brought the camaraderie together. I could loosen up a little bit and freely mingle, having fun and not being offensive. Come to find out it’s hard to offend you guys. But the camaraderie, the information, is what it’s all about. I think [NAA is] a wonderful organization, it’s going to do good things. And I do know that in numbers we’re going to accomplish a lot more. And I think we have that with this association.”

Mark Skapinetz

“I loved it. I liked the setup, I liked the way it was run. I liked the topics I was there for. That mock trial, along with what Craig Capilla added in his presentation after that, hands down, was the best thing I’ve heard in so long. It was something well needed, from somebody that knows what he’s talking about. Hopefully we do another mock trial. Most people have never been in front of a board. You don’t know what you’re up against. That opened my eyes as well. Really well done.

“It was different from other conferences in the sense that it didn’t seem so robotic to me. I liked the intimacy of it. I like that everyone was getting to know each other. I’m looking forward to next year.“

Nakia Manning

“It was amazing! … As soon as I was introducing myself, the central theme was, ‘Hey, you’re a trainee. Take my information. If there is anything I can do to help you, just give me a call.’ What stood out to me about the conference? It was the family atmosphere. It was still more than just a profession. It was all love, it was all community and family. It felt like more than just work. It felt like people who were genuinely interested in my well-being as an appraiser, and my well-being as an individual as well.”

“It felt like more than just work. It felt like people who were genuinely interested in my well-being as an appraiser, and my well-being as an individual as well.” —Nakia Manning

Jason Covington

“I found myself in an environment where I felt like I mattered and my voice was heard. There were platforms where I could get involved and petition for change. It felt wonderful to be a part of something like that.”

Will you come back to future ACTS conferences?

Nakia Manning

“Indeed! I’m from South Carolina, so it will be a pleasure to go to Charleston. Hopefully I’ll be able to puff my shoulders up and actually be an appraiser, not a trainee.”

Ken Williams

“Did you have to ask that question? <laughs> Absolutely! I’m already looking forward to [the next] one.”

What would you tell other appraisers about this conference?

Nakia Manning

“If there are any trainees listening, don’t wait like I did until the end of your training period to realize the need to get out and meet other appraisers. People have different ways of arriving at their opinion, and it would help you tremendously to see things from other perspectives. It was education about what we do, but there was also education about how to run your business — not just the job itself, but how to be more effective from a business standpoint. Really great people, really good information, and the CE is just the icing on the cake.”

Jason Covington

“Take a chance. Break out of the normal routine. Take a few days to meet some people. The topics and the speakers were top-notch. Wonderful information! The information I received was incredible. Give it a try!”

Ken "Big Fish" Williams
Ken “Big Fish” Williams

About the Author:

Bryan S. Reynolds, CDEI™ is a KY/TN Certified General Real Property Appraiser, a registered agent with the TN State Board of Equalization and an AQB Certified USPAP Instructor. He has testified in various courts, planning and zoning boards as both an expert and as an agent making valuation arguments before local and state hearing officials and Administrated Law Judges. Reynolds is the owner of Bryan S. Reynolds & Associates, Reynolds Appraisal Service and a partner in Appraiser eLearning. He provides residential and commercial valuation services, educational offerings, mentoring, consulting, and litigation support services throughout the country. He is available for lectures and is well known for his Think Outside the “Check” Box approach.

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