FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT • JIM AMORIN, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS
The valuation profession in the U.S. is experiencing an overall decline in the number of appraisers. I’m certain most
of you are all too aware of this issue.
Appraisal Institute research shows that at the
close of 2016, there were 73,731 licensed
appraisers in the U.S., which represents a nearly
4 percent drop from the same point a year
earlier. Since 2007, the number of appraisers
has declined every year.
Our profession is losing a lot of great people
to retirement and other factors, and we don’t
see enough new people entering the profession
because of such obstacles as difficulty getting
hired as an appraiser trainee and onerous government regulations. Of course, different markets experience different rates of decline, so
what’s happening in your area may not be
reflective of what others are experiencing.
The solution to the trainee problem is relatively easy. Hire trainees! Problem solved.
Is there a good reason you haven’t yet taken
on a trainee? I’ve seen research where appraisers
said they see no benefit to hiring trainees. That’s
an argument I don’t understand. Helping to
train the future generation of appraisers is a crucial — and potentially very gratifying — step in
boosting the ranks of the valuation profession.
That seems like a huge benefit to me.
Trainees also can help ease your workload.
For example, they can complete a property
inspection without a supervisory appraiser
having to inspect the property as well. Fannie
Mae reaffirmed this policy in a Jan. 31 Selling
Guide update (see http://bit.ly/2r7JkLU).
I’ve also heard appraisers argue that taking
on a trainee means they’re training their future
competition. To which I say, yeah, maybe.
That’s part of the risk in any business. But
there’s a greater chance a trainee will stay on
board if given the opportunity, and that per-
son will have been groomed by you and under-
stand your policies, procedures and processes.
That seems less risky than taking a chance on
an outside hire who hasn’t benefited from your
mentoring and who most likely is expecting a
larger compensation package.
This might surprise you, but I have no
qualms about training my potential competition. Doing so helps them develop appraisals
on an equivalent basis so they value their work
as highly as I value mine. This approach also
addresses the argument that the profession
doesn’t have an appraiser shortage problem —
it has a fee problem. Professionals who value
their work don’t charge low fees, and higher
fees are a great strategy for attracting people to
the valuation profession.
This subject deserves your attention and
serious consideration. To help trainees’ supervisors, the Appraisal Institute offers numerous
resources at http://bit.ly/2naAHL6.
The solution to the regulatory environment is
more difficult because real estate valuation
is one of the most highly regulated professions
in the U.S., and the burdensome rules and regulations imposed on appraisers have proven a
barrier to entry to the profession.
In November, AI testified before Congress
on ways that the current structure, which is
both overregulated and poorly regulated, can be
modernized and simplified. (Read AI’s congressional testimony at http://bit.ly/2fVOXWm.)
AI will continue to make its voice heard in
Washington and will work toward a regulatory
structure and process that’s more efficient and
responsive to the needs of appraisers, their clients and consumers. F
Regaining lost ground
Hiring trainees and modernizing regulation can strengthen the valuation profession
E The Appraisal Institute
encourages students to
consider the valuation
profession and works closely
with the country’s real estate
programs offering master’s
degrees. Learn more at
E See the latest U.S. appraiser
demographics, including the
enhanced earning potential for
Appraisal Institute professionals, at http://bit.ly/2dgQuJ1.
E Watch a video in which
Appraisal Institute Designated
Members talk about the
benefits of being an appraiser:
We don’t see enough
new people entering