Although Appraisal Nation is physically headquartered in Cary, NC, the company has a number of remote employees located across the country. This dynamic work environment is facilitated by a suite of customized technology to seamlessly connect remote and in-office workers with clientele—creating a unique corporate structure that made the recent transition to all employees operating on a remote basis in light of the COVID-19 pandemic comparably smooth as opposed to traditional business setups.
A core component of Appraisal Nation’s internet-based operations is the RingCentral platform, which enables employees to exchange real-time messages via a company-wide chatroom that keeps teammates connected and informed. Prior to the coronavirus stay at home order, the company produced a monthly event calendar consisting of theme days, potlucks, contests and off-site gatherings to foster a collaborative work environment. With many of those events now rendered unfeasible due to the public health crisis, Appraisal Nation now utilizes RingCentral and a company-wide chat box to maintain a spirit of interconnectedness. This chat box has provided a place for people to send each other inspirational music / videos, new ideas, funny / light-hearted content, as well as relevant updates about the company and the world at large.
Appraisal Nation has grown significantly since its founding, yet the company provides itself on maintaining a “small company” family-like corporate culture. Members at all levels of the company—from the owners to the front-line team leads—share mutual connections fostered by years of cooperation and uncompromised work ethic, almost like a company family tree. It’s not uncommon to hear stories about employees such as “I worked with him back at my old company 20 years ago,” “I used to know him when he bartended,” or even “I’m married to her sister.” Such a close-knit community creates shared trust that spans across the entire company—a characteristic that has become a source of strength and resilience to draw upon in these challenging times. It is undeniable that working from home can be an isolating and lonely experience, RingCentral has made it possible for Appraisal Nation employees to provide each other with emotional support and a feeling of companionship despite the inherent lack of physical interaction. A key facet of Appraisal Nation’s company culture is its proven ability to constantly evolve and adapt to stay relevant and sustain its remarkable growth over the years. The company’s flexible nature is particularly important in the ever-fluctuating real estate industry that—despite the advent of technology—still fundamentally relies on physical encounters to complete transactions. The necessity of social distancing has understandably complicated this aspect of the business. The creative thinking that has made Appraisal Nation so successful, however, once again rose to the challenge—with SVP of Strategic Partnerships, Dave Roberts, collaborating with a tech developer to produce a home buyer inspection application that captures images of properties and transmits them to off-site appraisers who can then complete their reports without ever setting foot inside the owner’s home. The company elected to provide this vital service on a complimentary basis to assist all involved parties during the COVID-19 outbreak. While the future is inherently unpredictable, those familiar with Appraisal Nation’s track record of creativity and resourcefulness are confident the company will continue to adapt and overcome.