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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Looking Forward to 2012

 As 2011 comes to its conclusion, we look forward to 2012 as an exciting year for ISA and our members.  The ISA Board meeting at the end of October was a great success with many member initiatives scheduled for the New Year.

The new ISA website should be up and functioning for the start of 2012.  This new website has been developed from the ground-up, and will function as the center point for promoting ISA and our members.  It will include appraisal news, appraisal information, member updates, social media connections and most importantly a newly designed find an appraiser search utility with proximity functionality and enhanced member profiles.  The new website will be graphically pleasing and intuitive, incorporating the most up to date technology and programming features. The new site will be an important tool for ISA and members to interact with the public and allied professionals.

 Built into the website will be a new and robust member database section, new forum software, e-commerce connectivity, plus member and staff functionality for easily updating member accounts.  In adding the database functionality, which is directly connected and interactive with the website, ISA will now move away from the rather difficult, non user friendly system we have been using for the past several years.  The web design team is now working on the transfer of membership records to the new database and the added efficiencies will greatly enhance our operations and tracking requirements.

Beyond the website and member database, ISA continues with important back room operations updates.  In addition to the new website for 2012, we will begin digitizing member records.  This will allow for easy searches by staff on current and historical information for members, such as certificates on file, class completion information, milestones etc.

As a sign of our growth and seriousness for proper internal controls, the ISA Board has also asked Sentergroup to contract with an independent financial auditing firm to perform a complete and industry accepted audit of our financial records.

The ISA Board is also looking at a complete review and renewal of our committee structure.  ISA has been operating under the same committee system for years, and it is now time for a complete review and updating.  This review will look to both consolidate and add new committees.  New committees under consideration include an ISA by-law and governance committee, a membership committee, finance and audit committee, as well as marketing and resource groups.  The new committee structure will support ISA's growth and efficiency while enhancing our ability to provide and encourage new leadership and member management.

ISA also plans to continue promoting our brand and our appraisers in 2012.  We have already started this process with a three month color half page ad in Maine Antiques Digest during the last quarter of 2011.  Once the new website goes live, future professionally designed marketing and promotional campaigns will be devised to include cross channel branding and social media marketing. We have allocated money in the 2012 budget for advertising and promotional campaigns to advance our brand, market the importance of personal property appraising, promote ISA as the leading appraisal association and encourage the hiring of ISA credentialed appraisers.

ISA has the reputation of having the best appraisal conferences and education.  Assets 2012 is no different and continues with our strong tradition of offering the latest scholarship in product knowledge, current appraisal trends and appraisal methodology.  The three day conference (four with tours) will include motivation speakers, art law discussions, media channel talks, mid century modern discussions, inspection and condition topics, and good, better, best analysis to name only a few, plus all of the networking and socialization that has become a staple of an ISA conference.  Members can look for updated ARC and Fine Art classes as well as new course offerings in 2012.

With the new website, membership database and record digitization, most of the backroom and capital intensive operations and updates for ISA will be complete.  Funding that has been used for these long term investments will soon be allocated for membership benefits and societal growth.

Now when someone asks what does your appraisal association do for you, it will be easy to respond. ISA offers the best appraisal education, the best marketing outreach, the best credentialing options, the best conference, the best association management, the best members forum, the best member services/support and of course the best members in the profession.

Sorry I got a little long winded on this post, but ISA is progressing quickly to enhance our membership experience.  It is a good time to be an ISA member.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Todd W. Sigety, ISA CAPP
President, ISA

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