Monday, April 20, 2015

Register Today: First Chubb Webinar on May 6

During the annual business meeting at this year’s Assets conference, our President Cindy Charleston-Rosenberg, ISA CAPP, announced that ISA would be participating in a series of webinars that would allow us to exchange advice and expertise with our Gold Sponsor and Affinity Business Party, Chubb Personal Insurance. We could not be more elated that Chubb has chosen ISA as the appraisal organization they trust to educate their community of agents, brokers, and collectors.

The first of these webinar presentations, “Changing Demographics in Collecting: Covering Passion and Investment Collections,” will be held on May 6 at 2:30 ET by Laura M. Doyle and Melissa Lalka, Chubb’s National Art Specialist and Worldwide Fine Art Manager, respectively. One of many installments in this continuing collaborative webinar series, this presentation (which is free to ISA members) will focus on evolving collector profiles – passion collectors vs. investment collectors – and risk management.

The webinar is now open for registration. Sign up and take part in what is only the start of a very fruitful continuing education partnership opportunity.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Looks Like We Struck a Chord!

Shelly Berman-Rubera
By Shelly Berman-Rubera, President of Small Business Results, ISA Affinity Business Partner

Dear ISA Members,

I am so proud to have presented the closing keynote at the ISA Assets 2015 conference in Philadelphia. Every attendee was raving about their experience.

In my presentation, “Growing and Propelling Your Appraisal Practice Revenue,” I addressed four major areas of ISA member concern. I hope it is helpful to reiterate the challenges presented and offer a summary of my suggestions here:

Q. How do we compete with free services offered by those less qualified?
A. We don’t! Those seeking free appraisal services are not our target client. We must have the courage to walk away from those clients that are not a right fit for our practice. Learn how to use the time to market to true prospects. ISA members and credentialing are at the cutting edge of the appraisal profession. We can’t work for free and can’t be compared to free or lesser priced appraisers. Educate those who would truly benefit from your level of service as to why your experience and credential should matter to them.

Q. How do we get to the gate keepers?
A. Our networking and outreach must be directed to obtaining beneficial introductions and opening the right doors. Focus on building reciprocal lasting relationships, rather than one-time meetings and pitches.

Q. How do we deal with time management?
A. I suggested that time management is emotional management, and when we manage our feelings and our client’s feelings, we are better equipped at managing our time. I also suggested looking at pricing and packaging. Selling a block of time might be an attractive offer to some clients.

Q. How do I market my business?
A. ISA has marketing pieces that can be co-branded with your business and can be found at the member resources page on the website. This month your organization launched a professional newsletter (login required) with educational content aimed at prospective referral sources. This is a powerful marketing tool that not only promotes the ISA credential but your own expertise as well. Personalize this with your photo and bio, attach to emails to industry referral sources like insurance brokers, estate attorneys and financial planners. Print it and hand out at local business industry meetings. And remember to follow up!

It is important to remember that random acts of kindness are lovely, but random acts of marketing are not effective. Please remember, you are the president of your company! Think strategically, make a commitment to developing systems and structures for everything you do.

My best to all of you, and let me know if I can help,

Shelly Berman-Rubera
President SBR-Small Business Results

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Chubb Personal Insurance Connoisseurship Series Featuring the Expertise of ISA Appraisers

By Libby Holloway, ISA CAPP

I believe that everyone who attends ISA’s annual conferences will agree that each year gets better. Not only are the speakers some of the premier experts in the country, but it seems that the last few years have been full of announcements that make my membership with ISA more valuable. We’ve gotten accustomed to going home each year with new marketing tools for our business, as well as new information about changes to USPAP and methodology.

This year, our President Cindy Charleston-Rosenberg, ISA CAPP, surprised us with an opportunity for our members to show that we are experts in our fields. During the annual business meeting, she announced that we will be participating in a series of webinars, exchanging expertise with our Gold Sponsor, Chubb Personal Insurance. We are looking for a few connoisseurs in our own ranks to provide webinars on a broad array of specialties of interest to collectors from coins to cars, Asian ceramics to Abstract Expressionism. A list of vetted webinars and topics will be shared with Chubb as a “menu” from which they may choose.

It is such an honor that Chubb has chosen ISA as the appraisal organization they trust to educate their community of agents, brokers and collectors. Their first webinar presentation to us will be held on May 6 at 2:30 ET by Laura Doyle, Chubb's National Fine Art Specialist, and Melissa Lalka, Chubb's Worldwide Fine Art Manager, on Changing Demographics in Collecting: Covering Passion and Investment Collections. The webinar is free to ISA members and is now open for registration.

Applicants must be members of ISA in good standing who have expertise in connoisseurship in a subject. Each presentation will be a 45-60 minute PowerPoint webinar. A successful applicant will have provided information that shows that they are not only an expert, but have a passion for their topic that translates to the audience. The application will request information on the proposed presentation to include a title, topic abstract, and a brief biography intended to show that the applicant is an expert in the topic area and has experience presenting for a group. We will ask for 2-3 references who have heard the person present and a short video, voice recording or webinar presentation. The applications will be vetted by a committee which will include a member who is not an appraiser but who is an expert in public speaking.

Apply to be a presenter

I will be chairing the committee and will be available to answer any questions you might have. Please feel free to contact me at

Friday, April 3, 2015

Ask Leon: I was asked to do a local radio show and need six points to give them to ask me questions. Any ideas?

ISA members are invited to send in their questions on all things appraising and education to Leon Castner, ISA CAPP. Leon will share his answers on the ISA Now Blog. Please send questions to

Question: I was asked to do a local radio show and need six points to give them to ask me questions. Any ideas?

Answer: The key to any good interview is having the right questions to answer. That means one should suggest the types of questions to ask. (This will not only ensure you have the correct answer, but does a lot of work for the interviewer. You make their job easier. They will be happy to use your questions.)

Here are six I would suggest:
  1. What makes a good appraiser?
  2. How can you make sure you get a good one?
  3. Do appraisers specialize in certain areas?
  4. Is there licensing for appraisers and is that important?
  5. Are there different types of values or costs for personal property?
  6. Does one need a written document when one gets an appraisal?
That’s certainly not all of them and maybe it isn’t even a great list, but it sure gets the ball rolling. It allows you to speak confidently about your qualifications, the uniqueness of ISA, and makes everyone look smarter, both you and the interviewer. They will thank you for it.

Trivial Pursuit II
Misconceptions taken from our Core Course Exam
These statements are ALL FALSE!
  1. Value is defined as the amount of money paid for an item of personal property.
  2. The IRS requires that an appraisal report for the intended use of filing for a charitable contribution include a statement of original cost.
  3. Revenue Procedure 96-15 outlines the format and types of market research required when writing Federal tax appraisals.
  4. Replacement cost new considers wear and tear and economic obsolescence.
  5. ISA appraisal standards mandate that all appraisal reports be in narrative form.