Connecticut appraiser Jack Boyles, a former process engineer, has been part of the a la mode family for 15 years. He’s also a proud VA appraiser and is honored to support veterans in his work. Learn more about Jack, his thoughts on progressing technology, and how he’s used his a la mode Elite membership to stay ahead of the competition.

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Jack, tell us about your life before you entered the appraisal industry.

Jack Boyles (JB): After many years as a process engineer at a local manufacturing company, upper management began downsizing all departments in 1999. I was married with a nine-year-old daughter and loving life. In 2001, after returning to work earlier than expected from back surgery, it was my turn at the downsize wheel; “Workforce in Transition” they called it. Although I anticipated the downsize, it was still chaotic and stressful.

Advancements in technology altered the manufacturing landscape forever. It was difficult landing another engineering position at one of the few companies remaining in the area that still offered them. The Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. work shifts were over for me.

So, what made real estate appraisal an interesting career prospect for you?

JB: After a few sessions with an awesome career coach, who guided me through different options, I decided on a career in residential real estate appraisal due to my analytical experience. My local community college offered state-approved appraisal classes and, before long, I had the classroom hours necessary to obtain a provisional appraisal license in 2002.

What do you most enjoy about being an appraiser?

JB: Without hesitation, it was being accepted as a VA (Veteran Affairs) appraiser about nine years ago. It’s humbling and quite an honor for me to proudly help our vets in this fashion.

Have a funny story to tell?

JB: While still in provisional license mode, I was scrambling to find a certified appraiser to mentor me to gain experience hours on the job. One of my classmates mentioned he worked for a company that appraised in the entire state of Connecticut using a two-person system in a van. The provisional appraiser drove the van and assisted the appraiser, who sat at the rear of the van typing reports while they drove to the next assignment. They also wore company-issued uniforms. The company was looking to hire. Since I never heard of such a setup before, and the uniforms were hilarious, I told my classmate “thanks, but no thanks.” Several weeks passed with no luck having someone sponsor me. So, with nowhere else to turn, I ate crow and joined this merry band of uniformed appraisers and assistants!

Talk about staying mobile! Speaking of – how have a la mode and your Elite membership helped you in your career?

JB: One of the benefits of the first company I worked with was they started out using ACI software then switched to WinTOTAL. After a comparison, it was no contest! When I started my LLC in 2005, a la mode was the first, and only, call I needed to make for appraisal software. Your staff helped me weed through what I needed and didn’t need. And, to this day with Elite, I have peace of mind that, with one phone call or online help request, ANY issue will be resolved in the shortest amount of time. Love my Elite hotline!

We are so happy you have felt the value of your products and Elite membership, Jack. Any advice you’d like to give the upcoming generation of appraisers?

JB: Every day is a learning experience – from the first day appraising until now. Always be willing to learn new techniques and processes, not only to keep up, but to stay ahead of the curve.

Will you share what you’ll miss most about your job in retirement?

JB: Retirement? What does that mean? Haha. Seriously, I probably will miss being my own boss and setting my own schedule at a pace I am comfortable with. Also, the homeowners – they can be characters at times.

Liana Whitehead

Interview by Liana Whitehead, Elite Product Manager