BPOs, Drones, Oil War & Appraising

VaCAP Board

VaCAP Board

Coalition of Appraisers in Virginia at Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals
Coalition of individual appraisers working together to unite, promote and protect the collective interests of all appraisal professionals in Virginia; to promote needed changes in laws, rules, regulations, policies and standards affecting all appraisers in Virginia; to observe and report the actions of regulatory, legislative, oversight, and standards-setting entities of the Commonwealth.
VaCAP Board

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BPOs, Drones, Oil War & Appraising

Appraisers doing $300,000 a year in BPOs

There has been a lot of chatter about BPOs again. Maybe we should consider changing the law in Virginia from being a mandatory USPAP state to a state like Tennessee. Appraisers can do BPOs in Tennessee and they do not have to worry about USPAP. Now, mortgage work still falls under USPAP. But I hear of appraisers doing $300,000 a year in BPOs. Food for thought. It won’t affect your business in a negative sense. Because those who want BPOs are getting them already. Just ask any agent. It will just let us eat some of their pie. AND they can’t get any of our pie, because they are not appraisers. Believe it or not, BPOs are also being performed on commercial properties. I had an office building to appraise. It was for a divorce case. They tried using a BPO but the judge threw it out. First thing they did at the the time of inspection was hand me the BPO. It was 5 pages, had 4 listings, 4 sales, 4 rentals – ALL FROM COSTAR. And the agent got paid $500. If he had 20 minutes in it I would be shocked. Should this be VaCAP’s next challenge?

The Saudis and Iranians are engaged in an oil war. Who can pump the most oil and break the other’s back. The sad part is both countries have a very young and large unemployed population. They need to be concerned about that. Well, the lower oil price, mind you I am not complaining, is disrupting economies around the world. As a result Europe and Japan are going ever deeper in to paying negative interest rates. And it costs you to put your money in a bank. So there is a flight to the US treasuries. This drives down the interest rates. So it’s busy time for appraisers. It also forced Janet Yellen to put rate hikes on hold. So enjoy it.

Drones! I want one. A nice one. Nicer than Andy Austin’s! One that can do my inspections for me. It will be like playing a video game from the comfort of my home. Fly down the street, look at my comps, look at the subject. Maybe even fly it inside of the subject. So, is this an inspection? I have been looking into this. I asked this to the board and they all looked at me as if I had landed from another planet. USPAP and FNMA says the appraiser must inspect. It does not say physically. So, is a MLS or Loopnet photo an inspection? What about Google Earth? Surveyors are using drones. Could we?

The Virginia state board meeting is April 26 at 10 AM in Richmond. This could be interesting, especially for those 9+/- appraisers fighting to keep their non compliant license issued by the state. VaCAP will be having a board meeting at Melito’s afterwards at 1:00. All are invited to attend.

Go FLY (Fight) Win

By Alex Uminski,  VaCAP Treasurer

VaCAP Board

VaCAP Board

Coalition of individual appraisers working together to unite, promote and protect the collective interests of all appraisal professionals in Virginia; to promote needed changes in laws, rules, regulations, policies and standards affecting all appraisers in Virginia; to observe and report the actions of regulatory, legislative, oversight, and standards-setting entities of the Commonwealth.

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3 Responses

  1. Mike Ford CA AG, SCREA, AGA, GAA, RAA Mike Ford CA AG, SCREA, AGA, GAA, RAA says:

    Hi Alex, the TN alternative standards were pushed through the back room by the AI just as they tried to do in California (AB 624) which “we” stopped even after the legislature passed it. AGA; ASA, CaCAP, NAIFA, TAF and a host of others opposed it. I think they have also succeeded in TX and or Illinois, or maybe they are still in the targeting stages.

    NOT because we all thought it was inherently bad, but because we opposed the manner in which the AI tried to sneak it through. Correction DID sneak it through at first. The head of CaCAP even knew the bills author and spoke to him about why he sponsored it. He was under the impression that the bill that was physically written by others and given to him as a finished product, was merely an appraisal ‘housekeeping  issue’. At the Redondo Beach 2015 TAF meeting the AI attorney-lobbyist even tried to claim AI speaks for ‘all’ appraisers, putting the interests of the profession above even their own (we DID call him out on that one).

    Alex maybe it IS time to have the alternative standards discussion out in public so ALL can provide input on pros and cons. It certainly WOULD open up a host of products and services that are currently being ILLEGALLY performed by others.

    I’m sure CoStar would LOVE to have the name of the appraiser that did the commercial BPO by running off their copyrighted work product which they are traditionally VERY protective of.

    Lets also have the discussion about completely eliminating real estate appraiser licenses too! If we are not going to adhere to the MINIMUM appraisal standards of USPAP, then what is the point of licensing at all?

    The issue is (seriously) worthy of extensive discussion though. Throw away the standards we operate under and go for the bucks, or start showing people how faulty and unreliable BPO products usually are (especially for commercial!); Heck why bother with a BPO at all? We have ZILLOW! OR better yet, the County tax assessors have already determined the values for us! Lets just use those.

    I am a general certified  real estate appraiser. I have been specifically trained in the profession of real estate appraisal. Good or bad, it has taken me thirty years to get to where I am today.

    IF all that is needed from now on is a BPO, then I am dumping my license and liability and will just do BPOs under my old semi retired Broker friends license. Heck, as long as no standards, rules or regulations are required, I see no need to even use my own name!

    Heck without rules, I can send out minimum wage picture takers and write up 20 to 30 of these a day. $300,000 a year? Chump change! I think I could hit $400,000…at least until some title company sees how easy it is to be profitable without rules and undercuts THOSE fees. What’s their bottom? $20? $25?

    Am I wrong? Should I give a damn about professional integrity or taxpayer exposure to another TARP? I mean after all, there is MONEY to be made!

    Maybe it IS time to just throw FIRREA away completely. We already know that despite promises to the contrary when the Goldman Sachs investigation was started by AG Lynch NO ONE GOES to jail for outright fraud anymore, do they?

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  2. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    I’ve never heard of a BPO that paid over $50.  Things have certainly changed in the last few years if what you say is true.

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  3. Baggins - BPO trash can Baggins - BPO trash can says:

    If I see a drone in front of my house, I’m taking it down.  If the drone operator cries about it, I’ll tell him he should not have played spy games with a drone in front of my house.  Nope, your idea that drones are good is incorrect.  If I knew the google street cam car was casing my area, I’d call the police and demand they leave.  I’m still waiting for the right to be forgotten, and have my home blacked out on google street views.  Without corporate backing such use of intrusive technology is otherwise known as stalking.  Too much room for abuse, and your illustrious dreams of being a drone operator are a FAIL.  If you want to do bpo’s get a sales license.  BPO’s are no substitute for a more thorough and time consuming appraisal.  Eroding and altering existing ethical rules is not an acceptable excuse to make more money.  If you want to do bpo’s, get a realty license, otherwise leave that work for the realty agents please.  Must I remind you that the P in bpo is for price, and price and value are two entirely separate considerations.  Also the B is for broker.  The only thing applicable about a bpo and an appraiser is the O for opinion.  As appraisers are neither brokers, nor focused on price, the bpo is clearly not intended, nor should it be intended, to be completed by a valuation specialist.  Anyhoo…. / Edit is working here but not on the other page. Strange…

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