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Employee Spotlight: Hank Outlaw Applies 'Never Stop Learning' Philosophy to Earn Distinguished Certification

With some 200 hours’ worth of courses, workshops, and tests, Property Appraiser Hank (Henry) Outlaw has earned his International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) Residential Evaluation Specialist (RES) designation. While that seems like a grueling amount of work, Hank says it’s part of the process of becoming the best he can be at his job. “The path gave me a better understanding of mass appraisal from the principles of appraising and fundamentals of mass appraisal to statistical analysis and real property modeling,” he says. “This is not only helpful in explaining the valuation process to taxpayers, but also vital when preparing for a countywide reappraisal.”

To earn this distinguished certification, Hank had to pass an eight-hour case study test and a four-hour RES Master Examination. “The real value in earning a designation, for me, is not the end result of earning the certificate or plaque. The real value is in the process, learning as you work through it and applying what you learn in your daily work. I am a firm believer that you never stop learning; anyone can always learn something new. That is one of the things that I enjoy most about this career field,” notes Hank. And the process is ongoing as he continues to have to earn continuing education requirements for North Carolina’s Department of Revenue and Appraisal Board, which can start the process of earning the Appraiser III certification.

Appraisal Supervisor Bryan Marshall says Hank’s accomplishment is no surprise and the result of hard work in the classroom and practical learning in the field. “Certification through education equips appraiser staff with additional knowledge and tools needed to understand and better explain to Buncombe County citizens mass appraisal processes, timelines, and the public’s role and responsibilities in ensuring real property values and listings are consistent, accurate, and equitable. Appraiser Certifications are crucial for building public trust, enhancing customer service and validate our qualifications to list and assess real property in Buncombe County,” explains Bryan.

Bryan also notes that while Hank came to the County with more than 35 years of experience, that hasn’t slowed him down from looking for the next achievement. “Professional development boosts an employee’s confidence, job satisfaction, and efficiency, which strengthens the whole department. Professional development is especially important for County appraisers because mass appraisal valuation is a very specialized, intellectual field of work that cannot be mastered solely through job experience,” says Bryan.

Hank’s latest accomplishment also builds connections to his family, “My career began during college working with an older brother who is a general contractor and another that is an appraiser, so I guess real estate is in my blood,” he exclaims. Looking forward, Hank says he wants to share is academic and practical knowledge with current and new employees. “I really enjoy real estate and appraisal and would really like to help new employees with onboarding and training or possibly get into teaching one day,” he says.

Congratulations to Hank on this latest achievement in your pursuit to always keep learning. Buncombe County is proud to have some dedicated to learning and eager to share on our Property Assessment team.

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Updated Sep 29, 2023 02:19 PM
Published May 15, 2023 07:00 AM

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