Appraiser Spotlight: Callie Saumweber | Clear Capital | Blog
Appraiser Spotlight

Appraiser Spotlight: Callie Saumweber

By December 6, 2022 No Comments

Get to know Callie Saumweber, Clear Capital’s first spotlighted appraiser. Callie comes from a family of appraisers, and has been in the industry more than 20 years. Discover more about Callie’s background, why she likes working with Clear Capital, and how new tech has helped her improve her appraisals.

Tell us about yourself. How long have you been in the industry?

Like many appraisers, I came to this industry through family connections. My father and older brothers were appraisers, so as far back as I can remember, the appraisal world surrounded me. I worked in the family office in high school and college, completed appraiser licensing courses, became licensed in 1999, and Certified Residential in 2006.

What do you like about working with Clear Capital the most?

The people. I thoroughly enjoy the positive attitude and approachability of every person I interact with at Clear Capital.

Which parts of your job do you most enjoy?

The unique aspect of appraising is the dualism of routine and variety. On the one hand, there is a systematic procedure to the appraisal process. On the other hand, each property is a unique set of features and attributes. Working the steps in the appraisal practice appeals to my analytical side. Inspecting properties of all different shapes, sizes, and designs appeals to my creative side, the side that loves real estate and design.

Do you use CubiCasa? How long have you been using it, and what is your takeaway from the experience?

As with most appraisers, I can be skeptical of any new process or technology. But I have always opted to be open to new ways and especially to new technology, so when I heard positive feedback about CubiCasa, I opted to do a quick scan of my own home, knowing very well the floor plan and dimensions. I was thoroughly impressed with the results and how professional and detailed the floor plan ended up looking. I then started using CubiCasa in the field, working in tandem with my trusty laser. I doubled up by scanning the home with CubiCasa to generate a floor plan, and measuring with my laser and sketching into Total Mobile. I was initially concerned with technology errors, losing my scan and not having backup notes.Also, I was worried about accuracy. After about a dozen scans, I stopped doubling up on the work and relied on CubiCasa entirely due to the end results. My biggest “ah ha” moment was when I had a high-rise condo unit where all the walls were angled or rounded. When that scan resulted in an accurate floor plan with a 5-minute walk-through, I was converted!

What are your tips for new CubiCasa users? How has it benefited your appraisals?

My routine is to walk through the property with my tablet, taking notes and photographs all while getting the property ready to scan: opening doors, turning on lights, unlocking any exterior doors that would lead to decks, patios, etc. On my second walkthrough, I would scan, starting at the lowest level, and work my way up, either following a clockwise or counter-clockwise path, depending on the flow of the individual property. Any patios, porches, or decks were scanned on their level.

It is very common in my market for multi-level splits, with one or two levels below grade and others above grade. As I would vocally record the room labels, I would make sure to say “Basement Bedroom” or “Basement Bathroom,” which I believe helped delineate between above-grade and below-grade when the floor plans were generated on CubiCasa’s end.

The biggest benefit is a professional, accurate floor plan, which I believe helps the intended user understand the property and allows the appraiser to provide a higher-quality appraisal report.

If you had to start over as an appraiser, what would you do differently?

Appraising can be an isolating profession, and there is a tendency for appraisers to be islands, with little dialogue between appraisers. This way of operating doesn’t facilitate growth and learning in our industry. Peer-to-peer connections are vital. During my tenure at Clario, I was lucky to have worked with the leaders who recognized this tendency in the profession and organized weekly collaborative appraiser meetings to discuss the best practices, issues faced by appraisers, and how to be better at our jobs. If I could go back in time, I would find a way to have a network of other appraisers (outside of my family and my supervisor) with whom I could discuss the ever-changing real estate and valuation markets.

What accomplishments you are proud of this year?

The real estate market has taken a wild ride in the last year. I will always pride myself on my willingness to take on new roles, accept market and industry changes, and pivot when faced with challenges.

What are some of the most important qualities for an appraiser?

Strong communications skills: providing clear and concise status updates to the lender and in providing well-supported reports. Attention to detail: being able to accurately identify and report the different characteristics, materials, and workmanship in properties. Accountability: meeting client expectations in quality and due dates are critical, and taking responsibility to meet or exceed these expectations is essential. Organization: the ability to coordinate multiple files at various points in the appraisal process, prioritize what needs to be done, and take the information gathered from the physical inspection or the inspection report and relay that information into the appraisal report accurately.

How do you maintain high standards of professionalism when working with clients and other parties involved in the lending process?

Respect. There is no way I can do my job without the real estate brokers, salespersons, lenders, assessors, and support staff. I operate on the belief that everyone is trying their best and deserves kindness and respect.

What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?

“The purpose of life is to be happy.” –The 14th Dali Lama
I raise money for Rein In Sarcoma in the name of my late husband. Together we loved traveling to our beautiful National Parks, exploring and seeking adventure on this awe-inspiring planet by camping, biking, hiking, and kayaking. I raise money for Rein In Sarcoma so that other people may have more time with their loved ones and more time for happiness and adventure.

Clear Capital

Author Clear Capital

More posts by Clear Capital