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The “Serial” Podcast and Your Appraiser

Podcasts are a growing medium for both education and entertainment.  Research shows it has grown over 25% per year for the past few years.  As an appraiser, I find myself spending a lot of time at my computer as well as traveling to and from appraisal inspections.  I discovered podcasting about a year ago and have not turned on talk radio since.  Podcasting allows me to specifically pick the topics I want to hear and listen to them when I have the time to listen.  I love ‘em.

Recently, a few friends of mine turned me on to the Serial Podcast which is produced by This American Life.  Unlike the podcast topics I SerialPodcastAppraisertypically choose (which are mostly informative), this one is entertainment.  It is like reading a John Grisham novel or watching a really great episode of CSI; only this is a true story.

Serial is narrated by a reporter who begins with a true story and attempts to follow it through to the end.  Each episode follows developments in a cold case murder from 1999 in Baltimore, Maryland.  How does it end?  No one knows because each podcast is produced almost as quickly as the creators learn new information.  The conclusion is still yet to be written.    This is a fascinating (and addicting) story.   Trust me, I dare you to listen to two episodes and then quit.  It is like Lays potato chips… you can’t eat just one.

As the case unfolds, I find myself sucked further and further into the drama.  There are times when I am confident I know who did it.  Then, some other piece of evidence comes to light and I am not so sure again.  The podcast is like that.  Back and forth.  Back and forth.  Did Adnan do it or not?  Who knows?

What I find fascinating about the investigation is how difficult it is for witnesses and participants to remember the details of what happened the day Hae Min Lee disappeared.  You would think that on the day your girlfriend, friend, or associate was murdered that you would recall the details of that day.  Not so.  In fact, that is what is so hard about cases like this; even testimonies given just a few days after the event are often contradicted at later times.

So what, pray tell, does this stupid addiction of mine have to do with your appraiser?  Great question.  As I was listening to Serial today, I had a crazy thought about picking appraisers who see the importance of paying close attention to details as well as keeping good records.  An appraisal is a very important document.  It can (and often does) have a great affect on major life and financial decisions.  You are going to want to choose your appraiser carefully.  Look for one who has been in business more than just a few years.  Find a professional who can answer your questions.  Do not take this decision lightly.

Do you listen to podcasts while you work or drive?  Would love to hear what your favorite shows are.  Please comment below.  I am always looking for a new obsession.

-Dustin Harris