Debra Dietz

Company: Alliance Appraisal Associates of Florida, Inc.

Why did you become an appraiser?

Shortly after high school I got a job as a receptionist at a local appraisal firm. This was in the early 80’s, before certification was required, you only needed a real estate sales license to be an appraiser. The firm I was working with was doing mass appraisals for the airport noise abatement program and they took me along for training. It was so interesting that I fell in love with it. I left the field for about 9 years to go to work for the U.S. Postal Service but I returned to appraising after realizing I couldn’t spend my career working in a factory-type setting.

What has been the highlight of your professional career so far?

Getting my SRA designation from The Appraisal Institute. I learned a lot going through the rigorous education process of obtaining the designation.

What piece of advice would you offer young people considering a career in this profession?

That they should speak to several experienced appraisers who have been around for many years and really get to understand what they are about to be involved in. I try to be brutally honest when people call me for advice about entering this field. They must be extremely committed and expect to work hard for several years with little pay. In the long run it is rewarding but it is not for the person looking for a quick career change.

What book would we find on your nightstand right now?

Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dougard. My husband read it over the holidays and couldn’t put it down and passed it over to me.

Can you share a funny or unique story about an appraisal you’ve done?

Once I went into a vacant home that was surrounded by tall Pine Trees. I was doing my interior inspection when I heard some noise in a back bedroom. When I looked in there, it was a squirrel running around trying to get out. It was going nuts, running all over the place, cornered. It was like a scene from Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation move. It had chewed its way thru the fan in the microwave to enter the home.  I called the Realtor and she had me open all the windows and doors in hopes that it would find its way out.

Do you have a favorite quote? Why?

"I do not regret one moment of my life" by Lillie Langtry. It’s my favorite because I truly live regret free. I believe I’ve learned a valuable lesson from everything I’ve experienced and wouldn’t change a thing.

If you could change one thing about the appraisal industry today, what would it be?

That they would make delivery of appraisals uniform. Each client has their own website with a different type of upload. It’s very time consuming when you are delivering 10 appraisals per day.

Tell us something about yourself that people might not know.

 I have an identical twin sister who is also an appraiser.

When not at work, you are most likely…

swimming in my pool

What is the best thing about your job?

That I work for myself and I can sleep with a clear conscience at night because the appraisers that work for me are very honest, ethical and appraise with integrity.

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