Commercial Appraisal & Consulting, LLC, dba Appraisal & Consulting Group, LLC
Vancouver, WA, USA
Industry: Real Estate
Field: Commercial Real Estate Appraisal
As the owner of and appraiser for Commercial Appraisal & Consulting, LLC dba Appraisal & Consulting Group, LLC, Sally Blye Eddy is an expert in the valuation of commercial properties within the coastal areas of Oregon and Washington. This geographical area was a highly underserved location with lenders often waiting months for an appraisal. She regularly performs commercial appraisals that are used for mortgage lending, loan monitoring, tax appeals, estate evaluations and lease negotiations. As such, her services provide a valuable asset to the industry in underserved areas of the market.
Among Ms. Eddy’s greatest professional assets are her research and quick study skills. Her research skills were honed by years of research in the pulp and paper industry where she worked for 27 years prior to her most recent venture, which began in June 1998. She consistently ensures that her client understands and is satisfied with the timeliness and reliability of her work product.
Ms. Eddy feels that everyone, regardless of profession, needs to experience the feeling that their work is appreciated and that it has value and relevance. In fact, she considers this aspect to be the most rewarding of this most recent career. She considers herself fortunate to have found a profession which provides positive feedback on a regular basis.
While Ms. Eddy loves her profession and couldn’t see herself in another one, she feels that the recent governmental regulations are not well understood by lenders. As a result, direct communication between appraisers and lenders has barriers imposed internally that affect the ability of the appraiser to obtain relevant information in a timely manner. These regulations, which are intended to protect the end consumer and lenders in her opinion can ultimately impact the reliability and credibility of the valuation results. Within this environment it is important to stay up to date in order to comply with regulations, since “the consequences for missing a change can mean re-doing an appraisal, which is time lost, [or the possibility of] litigation or losing one’s license.”
Ms. Eddy also believes that the world is split between two types of people: those who are willing to make decisions, and those who are not. She further believes that among the decision-makers are two subsets: those who put up obstacles to change, and those who try to overcome those barriers. She sees herself as being in the latter group. As a woman having worked in two industries that are male-dominated, Ms. Eddy is certainly no stranger to overcoming barriers and finding the success that she currently enjoys.
Within the next five years, Ms. Eddy hopes to be comfortably retired so that she can spend more quality time with her adult children and adult grandchildren and hopefully future great-grandchildren. Thanks to her daughter’s decision to move back to Vancouver, both of Ms. Eddy’s children now live within five miles of her. She plans to make the most of her soon-to-be-retirement years, enjoying the companionship of family and friends.
Conversation with Sally Blye Eddy
Worldwide Publishing: On what topics do you consider yourself to be an expert?
Sally Blye Eddy: Valuation of commercial real estate in coastal markets in Oregon and Washington. This is an area that I have been covering since 1998. I made the choice to focus in this underserved market when I first entered the appraisal profession. I saw the need and the unwillingness of others to serve the more remote areas.
What characteristics help to separate you from your competitors?
I know I’m an exceptional researcher, an exceptionally fast study and I still have an excellent memory. Couple those characteristics with being objective, unbiased and having a history of consistently providing a timely quality product to my clients. Being sensitive to the time restrictions of a client helps one to rise above the competition.
What motivates you?
There’s a constancy of learning that I think is important to me, and I need to have what I do have value. As individuals, we all want to know that we have made a contribution, and I am lucky I have found a venue where that happens with regularity.
What short-term and long-term career goals are you currently pursuing?
In the short term I would like to help grow our new company. At recent count we have grown to 10 appraiser/owners in the first year. Long term, I want to be comfortably retired; my flower gardens and bridge games are calling me.
What is the most difficult obstacle or challenge you have faced in pursuit of your goals?
To be heard — as a woman sitting at a table with men — to be heard. This barrier still exists; it always surprises me when it surfaces in the most unusual places. At a recent meeting, I had been asking some probing questions when the person in charge patted me on the head and said “trust me.” Can you imagine doing that to a male counterpart?
What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of your profession?
To know that what I do makes a difference.
What is your favorite or least favorite work-related task to do and why?
My most favorite is problem solving; it gives me great pleasure. I was one who always enjoyed those math story problems in high school and college. This has carried over to problem solving in research and development in the pulp and paper industry and also on a regular basis with difficult appraisal assignments.
My least favorite is having to go over a report in detail multiple times to make sure the information is correct, consistent and understandable.
What advice can you offer fellow members or others aspiring to work in your industry?
Develop contacts … this is your most valuable resource. Make sure they know who you are. Meet face-to-face and thank those who help on a regular basis. In today’s environment, too much work is done from the chair in front of the computer.
Who have been your mentors or people who have greatly influenced you?
There have been several individuals who have influenced me, each at a differing point in my life: Bill Click, my high school math teacher, who saw promise in a young girl in the sciences; and Dr. Carl Bonhorst, my freshman chemistry teacher, who also saw promise in a young woman in the sciences and made sure that the opportunity to complete my college education was there for me. This was an era in which women went to college and found a husband; few prepared for a profession.
Also, Dr. William C. Wilson, my first boss at Crown Zellerbach Corporation, who provided me with the opportunity to be successful in research and development. He made sure that the R&D area which he assigned to me had future for growth. I was the third professional woman hired by CZ and none had stayed longer than five years. I was asked when interviewed whether I planned on having children. Do I have stories to tell regarding my 27 and a half years in the pulp and paper industry. It would make an interesting book.
Another mentor was Michael C. Langsdorf, an attorney and childhood friend, who opened the door for immeasurable opportunities for community service at high levels in southwest Washington in the 1980s. Lastly, David E. Pietka, MAI, an appraiser/owner in our current company, who provides the consummate role model for an appraiser. He is never judgmental and looks for an answer that brings a positive outcome.
What changes have you observed in your industry/field since you started?
The reliance upon computer technology and related technologies is likely the most profound. It provides so many improvements in how we do our work that there are too many to mention.
How do you see these changes affecting the future of your industry?
These changes provide the means to improve our productivity and resulting bottom line. Within this environment, however, as appraisers we have to remember to step back from what we have done and always ask the questions, “Does it make sense?” and “Does it reflect what the market would do?”
What are some questions that an individual interested in your services can ask to ensure a more productive relationship?
A good fit between client and provider is essential. Asking questions regarding the firm, type of clients, and references are always key. Probably the most important is whether the clients timing requirements can be met and does the appraiser/appraisal firm have the expertise to “competently” complete the appraisal.
Did you ever consider pursuing a different career path or another profession? If yes, how did you end up working in your current field?
As mentioned earlier in this interview, I worked in several professional capacities within the pulp and paper industry. I started with CZ before there were laws affecting workplace discrimination, equal pay issues, or sexual harassment. In 1993, the industry in which I worked began a downward spiral due to changes in environmental legislation — in particular protection of the spotted owl in the northwest. Downsizing became prevalent and my job was eliminated. I had always invested in real estate, and I instinctively knew that commercial real estate appraising was the correct choice for me. I determined what was necessary for me to enter the field and took those courses offered by the Appraisal Institute to prepare myself given the opportunity within a local firm. It was that simple — except it took about five years for the door to open. I was fortunate to be hired by that company that was recognized on the West Coast as the best company for training new appraisers. This was a great environment in which to learn and grow.
I retired in December 2007, started my own company in January 2008 and relocated to the Coast of Southwest Washington..One year ago, I received a call asking if I would like to join the new venture in Portland. Of course, my answer was yes. The organizational structure that our company uses provides our clients with a product that consistently meets the highest of industry standards in a difficult real estate market recovering from the recent recession.