I have been serving as a mentor for Kalim, a midcareer professional in computer animation, for the last ten months. He first approached me for an informational interview because he was considering changing professions into Asian Art Appraiser.  He made the change.
It should be clear from the beginning his skills in Asian Art, were top quality. He spoke and could read and write several Asian languages and started collecting while he was nine years old. What he hoped to learn from me were the skills of a personal property appraiser.

Over the time we have been working together, Kalim has pursued the appraisal profession by becoming a member of the American Society of Appraisers, taking the Ethics exam and taking the required classes of becoming a professional, personal property appraiser.  Last month, he finished nearly all academic class requirements to become an appraiser for the American Society of Appraisers.  He needs to pass the five-hour Asian Art exam to have the designation Asian Art Appraiser and then five years’ experience working as appraiser to earn the Accredited Senior Appraiser, ASA, status.

So what skills has Kalim learned from me over the last ten months? We have done several different types of appraisals, meaning for different purposes, and thus searching different types of value. One report was for the IRS stepped up basis, for tax reporting. The client had high unrealistic, expectations, and the quality and rarity of some of the personal property did not justify the previous appraisal values given. All 29 properties were researched, with current fair market values listed, with as much information as to quality and value characteristics required by ASA.

Another important skill in the personal property appraisal profession is patience. Often a client contacts me one month, and either one month, six months or years later I am contacted again as if the conversation had just happened. The point being, I always need to be prepared for that next assignment. A few months ago, I was contacted by someone wanting help in assembling groups for equitable distribution among three heirs. they specifically mentioned they did not need nor want a written document, that there were 60 properties of Korean ceramics and bronzes, and the intention was keeping some, and selling the others. Within a week of discussing with the client, I went to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco to spend some time looking at the Korean porcelains. Since then, I have also researched on YouTube many different museum collections that have Korean porcelains. Three months after I was first contacted, the client wrote to me again, that everything was in place and could I please schedule a zoom appointment. I replied I could schedule an appointment in three weeks, I had another job. Again, that conversation was paused, I have to be ready. I thought about the experts I need to contact. Korean art is very popular right now, in fashion too.

My assistant Kalim, mentioned to me the first, and most important thing he learned from me, was confidentiality. I’m proud he said that, it is important. That and honesty. Like the detective said, “Just the facts please ”..