3 Articles to Read Today to be a Better Appraiser

As appraisers, we don’t often talk about delighting our clients and customers. We rely on our businesses to let us know whether our clients are satisfied through the number of orders we receive. We also rely on underwriters to give us feedback by suggesting additional comps (which we’ve probably already considered) or accepting the valuation without question.

If we plot our appraisals on a scale from unacceptable to delighting our customers, the middle point is neutral. And neutral is just keeping your head down and doing everything the way you’ve always done it.

How do you get past neutral? You can focus on customer service – let’s call this the Airbnb model – you go above and beyond for every client.

Or you could focus on providing as much data as possible, so you elevate your standing with your client.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, you have to improve yourself by understanding changes in the industry, whether it’s keeping up to date on trends, legal proceedings, threats to the appraisal industry, or exploring and integrating new technologies.

It seems like every time we create a list of must-read articles, George Dell makes an appearance. In this article, he explores the methods appraisers use to choose comps.

Now that data is so readily available online, suddenly all sales are available and that can affect the way you choose comps and which comps you include in your reports. Are you violating USPAP if you don’t include all sales you have access to?

This article is great food-for-thought if you’re examining how you gather comps.

Click here to read George’s article about USPAP Violations

Future Illustration

Will AVMs Create a World Without Appraisers

This article comes to you from the let’s-worry-about-the-future department. Instead of making the case that more automation will push out traditional appraising, this article makes the case that there’s a case for traditional appraisals.

Peter G. Miller walks through some of the perceived alternatives to an appraisal, including BPOs, CMAs, Online Home Value Estimates, etc. Miller recognizes that appraisal fees often come when a borrower has the least financial flexibility. He argues that there are three reasons an appraisal is worth the cost.

First – and of huge importance – appraisers actually spend time at the property, go inside, and are local valuation experts. Borrowers are getting something for their money.

Second, the appraiser’s job is to establish a property value, a value which may prevent buyers from paying too much and lenders from accepting too much risk.

Third, there can be a major difference between what borrowers pay for appraisal services and what appraisers actually collect, a point that doesn’t get much attention.

I particularly liked the way Miller examined different subjects related to appraisals and doesn’t shy away from the proposed changes to the appraisal exemption.

While this article is very pro-appraiser, it’s worth putting yourself in the borrower’s shoes and the information they have access to (usually online) and the questions they have when they’re faced with the cost of an appraisal.

Click here for more about AVMs

This short article from McKissock gives the results of a survey that’s part of their 2019 Appraisal Income Guide. It covers some of the recommendations for building your appraisal business and what advice established appraisers would give to newly-minted appraisers.

There are several subjects in this article that are near and dear to our heart here at DataMaster. And we actually covered them in a recent webinar. Click here to see the webinar.

They identify two opportunities for appraisers across the industry: technology training and non-lender assignments.

Click here for professionalism tips.

I’m sure there are other articles we missed, but we wanted to make this a simple list to introduce a few good articles. If there are other articles, blog posts, infographics, etc. please let us know in the comments.

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