Q: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
A: My name is Susan Kelly. I grew up in Providence, attended St. Mary’s Bay View for high school and then I attended college in NYC at the Fashion Institute of Technology to study fashion buying and merchandising. I was a product developer for Gitano Jewelry in New York.
I worked in the industry until I had my first child and then I went back to Providence College and obtained a degree in and I started an IT company with my former husband. That’s where I learned to run a business. And at the time, when I was at PC, I took accounting and marketing courses. That was a very successful company, but my personal life changed and brought me into the life of an appraiser. I went back to school and opened Appraisal Solutions in 2008 and within the first seven years and obtained my general certified license and as well as a designation of the Appraisal Institute. When I started my company, I hired appraisers that had been in the business for 20 years. I have eight appraisers working for me.
Q: How did you discover Block Island?
A: I started coming here when I was about five years old with my father and we used to dock at Champlin’s. Brownie was our taxi driver and we came over regularly, but we never could afford to stay overnight so we did day trips. My mother came over here for years.
Q: Tell us what an appraiser does?
A: An appraiser develops an opinion of market value. It could be of a piece of property, a fine art picture. Your job as an appraiser is to develop an opinion to the value of that property. We do a lot analytical work. At the end of the day I’m just telling the facts. Our company has never lost a client in 12 years.
Q: Where do you do appraisals?
A: All of Block Island, Rhode Island Martha’s Vineyard and in Massachusetts up to Denham.
Q: How many appraisals have you done?
Q: Does Block Island pose any unique issues in appraising properties?
A: Block Island is unique and I’ve been taking time spending time here in the off season and appreciating the view of individual properties, understanding where they are located, whether there is access to the beach, access to facilities. I consider things such as “Are you in walking distance to the ferry”? All of those things come into play. The internet could come into play in the future.
Q: Why should a homeowner or bank choose Appraisal Solutions?
A: We raised the bar for every appraiser in the state of Rhode Island because we require what others don’t. Some people think we might do too much. Every stone must be overturned because a home is the most important item anyone will every purchase in their entire life. We also get hired a lot for conservation easements. We’ve been hired by The Land Trust and the Historical Society. We are very efficient and detail oriented.