New Hybrid Desktop Hucksters
What could lure these successful 'professionals' from their chosen careers?
Fellow appraisers, I just received an advertisement for a company that wants to pay ‘me’ $50.00 an hour to do desktop appraisals. Actually, probably not me, because they prefer a degree.
Now, my routine hourly rate for complex appraisal assignments is $150 ($500 for EW and something variable in between for pretty much everything else). So they are asking me to take a cut of 2/3… assuming I could meet their degree requirement “preference”.
It got me thinking. I cannot always command my hourly rate for 8 hours a day, every day of the week, for 4.3 weeks per month, twelve months a year. So, how are they different?
Well first of all. They are professionals! One can always tell by the word “Degree”- Even AQB and TAF subscribe to this belief.
, but this family business is indeed comprised of professionals. Professionals that have abandoned their careers in Medicine, Law, and even a CPA as well as assorted sundry other professions. Not being appraisers, they are unhampered by all those pesky regulatory constraints appraisers have. With diverse purely professional backgrounds, annoying issues like professional appraiser ethics become ‘debatable, more flexible items’ rather than clearly required or prohibited principles and actions specific to any one profession.
What could lure these successful 'professionals' from their chosen careers? Apparently an entire family elected to throw away all or most of their college, medical and law school educations in favor of becoming a multi-faceted appraisal management company. Having advanced educations, they readily recognized that AMCs are more profitable than their original chosen professions. OK, perhaps that’s a little unfair. Daddy Noe handed them the insurance service business he built. Nothing wrong with that.
The problem is their belief that being a general insurance service reports provider somehow makes them qualified to be appraisal service providers. (I’m beginning to wonder if the insurance industry as a whole has a ‘someplace that urges dabbling in R.E. Appraisal once they hit a certain gross income?)
If AMCs can be profitable, just think how profitable AMCs can be that don’t hustle USPAP compliant products!
But here is where the sheer brilliance comes into play. WHAT IF THEY ONLY CHARGE 2/3 OF WHAT COMPETITORS CHARGE? Absolute marketing genius!
That’s right. Where other hucksters with little to no appraisal experience claim they will pay appraisers $75 out of $100 total fees for hybrid non appraiser inspectors / desktop appraisals, these savvy businessmen will only be paying $50 an hour!
Actually, that’s a petty great idea because their executive leadership appears to be very top heavy. Just take a look at their Rogues Gallery, (Mueller Insurance Services, Inc. Tonawanda, New York). I clicked the ads in workingRE to get there. Also, BE SURE TO READ RipOffReports comments against them, and on their behalf. $10.00 an hour for college educated insurance inspectors??? Seriously?
OK, I digress. So what’s wrong with top heavy management? We know that Brian Coester used to pay his vice president about $180,000; from court testimony. If the Noe Family execs are the only ones getting that much (more perhaps?) then that’s $540,000 right off the top – plus their accounting, marketing and administrative level 'professionals'. It’s going to take a lot of $50 “+” appraisals to pay for that overhead!
Well, not unlike Coester, a disproportionately huge amount of money goes to executive overhead. Unlike Coester that executive overhead really has little or no appraisal experience. Their insurances services core business has been around since the 1980’s, they only jumped in the AMC feeding trough in 2014. It’s really worth the time to read ALL their online links, especially the Entry Level Jobs being advertised all over the country, plus the part time “staff Appraiser” positions.
Anyway, clearly with paying only $50.00 appraiser fees and field inspector fees of only $10 an hour if they are using their entry level insurance inspectors for that (covers their ALTA site inspections too, potentially) they can use their national ‘presence’ to corner the market, right?
At least until someone else comes along and says they can do it for $40 an appraisal. Someone like Streetlinks, or Corelogic or perhaps even our old friends at First American… and all ANY of them have to do is sell American Legislators & Regulators on the idea that completely circumventing FIRREA is acceptable.