We reached out to some of our customers to help us look back and share their experience with us through the years. Marilyn Gibson has been appraising since 1985. Recently retired, she takes a look back at her career, her favorite tech tools, and her 34-year run with us.
How long have you been appraising?
Marilyn: I worked for a contractor building custom homes in Apple Valley, CA during the 1970s. That same contractor moved to City of Industry to build Burger Kings and Wendy's restaurants as well as medical office buildings.
During my employment at both locations, I wore many hats, which allowed me to learn the full concept of the construction business. At one point, I was asked to do an appraisal of a vacant one-story medical building.
Long story short, I enjoyed that project so much that I proceeded to take any and all appraisal classes I could find and the rest is history — enjoying 34 years of real estate appraising.
What was appraising like back in the 80s?
Marilyn: Back then, we were typing our reports on electric typewriters and printing them on dot matrix printers. It was a time of glue, double-stick tape, and Polaroid cameras. We even used carbon paper, if you can imagine that. It's a wonder I lasted this long.
“It was a time of glue, double-stick tape, and Polaroid cameras.”
You've been with us since the beginning, for 34 years. Why have you been so loyal?
Marilyn: I started using a la mode software from the time it first became available. It has been many, many years.
Since the beginning, a la mode has kept up with the appraisal industry's requirements and provided updated software to meet all the guidelines required by the appraiser. The software is easy to use and has every tool available to produce an appraisal report that is accepted by every bank and mortgage company that I have worked for.
Top that off with top-notch customer service, and there's really no reason to look elsewhere. When a la mode says they have support online or via phone 24/7 that is actually what they mean. I've had no complaints since day one. If I needed support, the response was immediate whether by phone or Internet.
So, as far as I am concerned there is only one software to use... You guessed it, a la mode.
“I've had no complaints since day one.”
What type of work do you do? I noticed you've had an XSite with us for some time. Do you do a lot of non-lender work?
Marilyn: I got my website back in 2004. I wanted it so people could find me on the web. Other than that, it's been mostly lender work. I've gotten a lot of referrals too — lender to lender. I also did some Date of Death appraisals.
Are you looking forward to retirement?
Marilyn: Looking forward to it? No, I'm already two weeks in and loving every minute of it. I really enjoyed my career as an appraiser. It was a lot of fun.
“a la mode's software made it easy for me to make a good living for a long time.”
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the industry?
Marilyn: New appraisers need to find a shop with more than one appraiser. There's more opportunity to learn. Oh, and no property is ever the same. Remember that.
Thank you for your time. I really appreciate it. Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Marilyn: As you know, I recently retired. a la mode's software made it easy for me to make a good living for a long time. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change one thing — including the software. Sorry that I'm going to miss what you come out with next.
“There was no reason for me to experiment with other appraisal software since I selected the best one to start with.”
For Marilyn, her decision to stay with a provider throughout her career was simple.
Thank you, Marilyn, for trusting us to help you run your business.
If you're ready to find a partner for the long haul, give us a call at 1-866-366-4075. Or click here to sign up for a free 30-day trial. There's nothing to lose, especially with our 100-day, 100% money-back guarantee.