When is Enough, Enough?

Michael Ford

Michael Ford

General Certified Real Estate Appraiser at Michael F. Ford Appraisal
Over 28 years appraising all property types and interests, in Southern California real estate. VP/Chairman National Appraiser Peer Review Committee, American Guild of Appraisers, #44OPEIU/AFL-CIO. - Michael Ford on e-AppraisersDirectory
Michael Ford

Latest posts by Michael Ford (see all)

Virtual Assistants & Outsourcing Appraisals? When is Enough, Enough?

Yet another expert who is making gazillions of dollars using "virtual assistants and outsourcing"…

I have been blessed in my life with more than my share of good friends. I’m talking about the lifelong kind. The kind we maintain friendships over 30; 40 or even 50+ years. My Mother and Father have always told me you can never really have too many real friends. They were right.

So, at my age I don’t need or consciously seek to make enemies. Just as I have had more than my fair share of true friends, I’ve probably also had my share of folks that really don’t love or even like me. I’m ok with that and like I said I don’t really seek out opportunities to make enemies.

Sometimes they just fall into my lap.

Now I LIKE WorkingRE and have a lot of respect for Isaac Peck and David over there. I think they do many good things for appraisers. Sadly, they also do some things in pursuit of advertising dollars that aren’t very good for appraisers. Heck, they aren’t even good for errors and omissions Insurance providers!

Go Ahead and click this link. I’ll wait.

OK, finished reading?

Y’all KNOW how fond I am of euphemisms. It’s a little like waving a red banner in front of an angry bull. Usually I can ignore them and just read past the fluff. “Leveraging” may be my least favorite. I’m not quite sure yet.

So as I read the WorkingRE Special Edition one of the ‘Value Added’ benefits is that my barely repressed annoyance leveraged itself into full blown anger. Picture your favorite rap star in his favorite performance pose and think to yourself “leverage THIS!”

leveraging the power of virtual assistants

I’m sure the staff at WorkingRE ears must have been burning as well. Certainly, the air in my house was filled with loud references to very old professions other than journalism.

using "virtual assistants and outsourcing" to do his appraisalsIt seems that WorkingRE was promoting yet another expert who is making gazillions of dollars using "virtual assistants and outsourcing" to do his appraisals and he is willing to share the secrets of his success (for a fee). In fact he’ll even reach out to us from the Philippines to do so. Apparently, Bangalore Bob and Hyderabad Harriet are too overworked or overpaid and THEIR appraisal windfall is now being outsourced to the Philippine Islands. Or at least part of it is. Roy still uses India too.

Here’s where my ‘not a friend’ list gets longer.

How clever of Mr. Meyer to recognize that this unique twist on practicing a profession could earn him so many wards and accolades. Ever since Zaio crashed and bitcoins tanked, it must be harder and harder to conceive the next scam of the month. Congrats to Mr. Meyer for succeeding!

You can read more about Mr. Myers particular brand of packaged pony loaf below:

  1. http://roymeyer.com/
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/roymeyeronline/
  3. https://www.linkedin.com/in/roymeyer2/
  4. http://temeculaappraiser.com/about/
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1Mii1Wq2is

From ASC:

First Name: Roy Middle Initial: L Last Name: Meyer
Company Name: Roy Meyer Appraisals
Street Address: 2522 Chambers Road, Suite 168
City: Tustin State: CA Zip Code: 92780
County: ORANGE
Telephone Number: [Redacted – the point is not to harass the guy folks]
Status: Active Credentialing State: CA State Credential Number: AR017734
Credential Certificate Type: Certified Residential
Effective Date of Credential: 05/07/2013
Expiration Date of Credential: 05/06/2019
 Conforms to AQB Criteria: Yes

For anyone still with me, you will note in his 25+ years he’s done over 15,000 appraisals! That’s an average of 600 per year.

Every year.

Since his first year in the business.

Presumably fit in around his busy ‘teaching’ and self-promotion schedule.

My cynical side can’t help but wonder if there is some kind of legal protection or benefit to offering webinars from the Philippines that aren’t available if offered in the States, using wire communications or internet?

One thing I’m still unclear on. In saying he’s ‘done over 15,000 appraisals’ does he mean he has signed 15,000 or just outsourced his signature for others to sign 15,000 appraisals?

How many of those 15,000 appraisals done by other people had advance client permission to disclose nonpublic, personal information? How many of those 15,000 borrowers (or sellers) knew their private housing information; or the fact they were applying for a loan was being broadcast all over the globe along the old Pan American Flying Boat routes? Complete with interior photographs.

How many of those 15,000 – virtual assistant prepared appraisals would Mr. Meyer be willing to stake his career on? How many of those 15,000 disclosed in the scope of work that virtual assistants (as opposed to the ordinary kind) were doing the work? How many of those 15,000 would withstand an impartial review by any USPAP instructors that read this blog?

Mr. Meyer is in my opinion, a disgrace to the profession. It is people like him that fast tracked the contempt with which the NAR, ABA and MBA hold our profession.

Michael Ford

Michael Ford

Over 28 years appraising all property types and interests, in Southern California real estate. VP/Chairman National Appraiser Peer Review Committee, American Guild of Appraisers, #44OPEIU/AFL-CIO. - Michael Ford on e-AppraisersDirectory

You may also like...

96 Responses

  1. Bill Johnson says:

    The appraiser coach is in the office on Mondays only, and in a 2016 blog he claimed to completed 3 to 8 appraisals per day. With a 6 day work week and a weeks worth of vacation, that’s 918 to 2,448 signatures per year. I’m not making a claim of knowing about offshore outsourcing, but perhaps the sweatshops are in our own borders to produce such numbers. In full disclosure, a blog from 2017 said he only does 4 times the amount of appraisals as the typical appraiser.

    24

    0
    • So, you have gone from personal attacks on my blog site to personal attacks on this forum, Bill?  Would love to sit down with you some day and show you what I  ACTUALLY do.  Seriously, call me.  208-745-9330

      10

      16
      • Tim says:

        You are nothing but a puppet for Joan Trice, OHHH good for you 6-8 appraisals a day.. bet ya they all suck and are loaded with boilerplate comments go back to selling cars or whatever you did before Dust in the wind Harris

        16

        1
      • Bill Johnson says:

        Since when is reporting the truth as told in YOUR blog a personal attack Dustin? In your blog “Never had a Raise in 20 Years? BS” (04/2016) you in part said the following.

        “I  complete 3-8 full-appraisals per day without compromising  quality(before you start freaking out, please see my comments below). I was never good at math, but I would say that my fees have  increased about 600%. And all of this due to technology.”

        In your blog “Appraisal Volume and Appraisal Quality” (01/2017) you made the following statement.

        “I do around 4 times as many appraisals as my competitors. That’s not a boast: I’ve done my research and it’s the truth”.

        Is taking your numbers from your blog and calculating them out over a 6 day work week (typical for many) over one year (minus a vacation) a personal attack?

        In recently blocking me from your site, I thinks its you can’t handle the truth, and have made things personal. Thanks for stalking me on this site, and I’m still waiting for your first comment here in defense of your prior blog “The Way Things Used To Be”.

        Dustin, if you want a pat on the back and reassurance of your opinions, then I’m sure your merry band of all stars will be on your side, I for one have no problem being a maverick, and going against the grain if necessary. Silencing an opinion will get you no where.

        SEEK THE TRUTH.

        16

        3
        • Bill

          Since when have I ever silenced your opinion? You seem to make time to comment on nearly everything I write or say. No problem. You are welcome to, and I am flattered by your infatuation,  but I have invited you on several occasions to have a “real” conversation with me, and you have ignored me. Why is that? Easier to hide behind your keyboard than to talk and actually try to understand each other I assume? The fact is, you do not know the first thing about my business model. You have glummed on to a few, obscure comments in a few blog posts, while ignoring nearly everything else I have written, but you will not accept an invitation to talk and try to understand each other. Don’t you think we might be able to work things out in that manner better than throwing jabs at one another on a website? My invitation still stands, Bill. 208-745-9330 is my number.

          7

          0
          • Bill Johnson says:

            The last two comments I tried to post on your site have not shown up, thus it was my conclusion that I was blocked. As it relates to making comments on nearly everything you write or talk abut (blog, podcast, etc.), without doing the research, my comment ratio is most likely in the neighborhood of one comment per every twenty of your offerings which is hardly an infatuation. As it relates to your business model, its true I’ve never bought one of your VHS tapes nor am I on your cheer leading crew, but if you support the AMC model, spend as little as 30 minutes reviewing an appraisal before signing it, and work in a single appraiser office where at times you have done 8 appraisals in one day, then I say no thank you. As it relates to hiding, why did you provide comments on your site “The Way Things Used To Be”, but after extreme interest here, you remain silent. Feel free to offer your opinions as often as you want in any forum you want, and I will do the same.

            Seek the truth.

            8

            2
            • I have never, ever, ever blocked you or anyone else on my site. I almost blocked you once because you got really crude, but I even decided to just warn you and leave that one. I do not censor comments (though I would if it got ugly or profane). If your comments are not showing up, it is tech or user error. I have no  idea what you are talking about with regard to the Way Things Used To Be conversation. I remained very involved in that conversation till it got old and stale and the same comments were coming up over and over. I even spent some time on the podcast addressing the misunderstandings. That is hardly remaining silent. Again, your comments above show an ignorance for my business model. Cherry picking comments from here or there and ignoring the other 99% of what I say does not make for good understanding. Do you know what does (as witnessed below with Roy and Mike talking over the phone), conversations. Would love to have one with you. 208-745-9330.

              3

              0
              • Bill Johnson says:

                Dustin, don’t take this personal, but I don’t want to go out with you. Can you please stop stalking me with your phone number. Its me, not you.

                Seek the truth.

                7

                0
                • Dustin Harris says:

                  Bill
                  Not everyone who gives you a phone number wants to go out, and I don’t do phone dating. Sorry to burst your bubble.

                  In all seriousness, I have offered to have a conversation with you, rather than taking jabs at one another on websites, multiple times. In every case, you have either ignored me or changed the subject. I am assuming that you are not interested in understanding sorry to burst your bubble.

                  In all seriousness, I have offered to have a conversation with you, rather than taking jabs at one another on websites, multiple times. In every case, you have either ignored me or changed the subject. I can take a hint, but I am saddened by your unwillingness to maybe learn a thing from one another. You sign all of your posts with “seek the truth,” but it is clear to me that that is not what you are seeking.

                  4

                  0
                • Bill, like me I don’t think you’d agree with or adapt Dustin’s model but also like me I suspect you’d develop a certain level of personal respect for him if you spoke with him. I have a highly respected friend that uses his methods and Roy’s as well.

                  I KNOW my friends system, some of the people involved, and the quality of his work and his work ethic. I used to be his review appraiser (my friend, not Dustin’s).

                  MY view is through the lense of a Los Angeles (and yes, once in awhile even San Diego ‘burbs) appraiser, where it takes me 1 1/2 hours to drive by freeway to the other side of L.A. and another 1 1/2 to  drive back. So I cannot know what it’s like to regularly be in a rural area where despite distances one gets to drive from 50 to 65 mph most of the way instead of stop and go zero to 30 with brief spurts to 60.

                  I don’t like a lot of tech in the field. A year ago first time I used my laser on commercial I had to go back out next day and remeasure 20,000 sf of offices by steel tape; and long ago I tried having my trainee take my big screen laptop into field with me. Maybe a small screen would have worked but big didn’t (bounces too much). There may be work arounds. I can see scenario where I COULD do two a day in a long day, but not everyday (for me).

                  Now I DO know of people that sign 4 to 6 a day (1004 or 2055) and I can tell you that without exception they are not doing their own field work for their 20 to 30 weekly reports.

                  7

                  0
      • Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

        I too have spent years attacking (exposing) you on both your website and every space I found with your “Fool’s Gold” promotions. I’m trying to cut back these days. Lucky for you.

        4

        0
  2. I understand people getting upset about a situation like this, but I have not reviewed the quality of work of the Appraiser Coach or the subject of this article. (If I did, it would be a confidential appraisal assignment result anyway.)

    I personally have no interest in running a sweatshop. However, the big problem, IMHO, is that the mortgage banking world really isn’t all that interested in quality appraisals. They just want a number and they want that number to hit contract price.

    I worked as a staff appraiser for a large AMC reviewing reports. While some were gems, many were very thin and some were so abhorrent you could smell the stink from the moment you opened the document. A lot of lenders JUST. DON’T. CARE.

    So, we can criticize appraisers who do this, which is our right. But if the state board hasn’t pulled their license. If Fannie Mae hasn’t put them on a do not use list. If the FBI hasn’t kicked down their door, then what can you do?

    Every industry has members that operate on a spectrum of ethics. While I am not passing judgement on anyone’s ethics, i do think articles like this serve little purpose other than to make others angry a few are getting rich in our profession.

    17

    21
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      This particular argument falls absolutely flat based on one key point. The lenders, through the FDIC, are gambling taxpayers money with their risk, not their own. To game this system is to betray the trust the institution of the appraisal profession was established to protect in the first place.

      7

      0
      • Baggins,

        I have made this point many times in a number of forums: lenders know they will be bailed out, so appraisal quality is not a huge priority. If all lenders were caught holding the sack on bad loans, the appraisal industry would change overnight and reports would become much more detailed and airtight.

        3

        0
        • Baggins Baggins says:

          Two wrongs does not make a right. That is called lack of personal ethic. Since these jokers won’t answer my question below about providing incentive to be the preferred selectee, distorted market pricing, and cost savings not being returned to consumers which has fueled this outsourcing embarrassment in the first place, activity which would be deemed otherwise illegal in other sectors, perhaps you can take a crack at that one genius. Lenders presume too much, audit the fed, they are not too big to fail. Bail them out with your money, my children deserve better.

          4

          1
    • Abdul, when you were reviewing reports, did you ‘pass’ on those that were ‘thin’ or abhorrent? Many do.

      The measure of appraisal acceptability is not whether FNMA has put one on a do not use list; nor is it whether the FBI has kicked in the door. The ONLY measure of acceptability under USPAP is in the context of acceptability / suitability for its intended use AND what an appraisers peers would conclude.

      Lets not pretend the standard is only criminal or near criminal abuse. There are hundreds of appraisals each year that are unacceptable but which fall far short of those egregious levels.

      I don’t accept a ‘spectrum’ of ethics. Right and wrong rarely have gradations imho. Appraisers know the difference.

      1

      0
  3. Fritz Vogel CREA,CRS,CEI,GRI NY Cert. Appraiser 26+yrs says:

    I don’t know what your MAD about Mr. Ford. The fact this guy makes more money or the fact that he can complete 15,000 reports in 25 years. It is possible in certain geo regions, with a type “A” personality, with all  cookie cutter valuations, it can be done. He could be adding into his quoted figure the 704’s so popular 2004-2010, or 2055’s as a large mix to his quote.. (you do remember the 10 little pages we filled out pre MC Report, Pre HVCC, pre almost any “crap” that USPAP and the Lenders have tossed at us to fill out)

    I never outsourced anything, I did have a great typest, “in office”, 10 years worth,  that pre typed all of my work in the good days.

    It is possible for these numbers to exist. Without going over seas and loosing “Control” of data.

    Get over it. Move on, we have bigger things to fight for than 1 guy making money.

    15

    2
    • OR as his webinar suggests, he could be referring them overseas to be completed for $8.00 per report. Mr Meyer cites that he’s had “thousands” (by default meaning no less than two) take his course. At $299 (can’t remember if its $297 or $299) that’s a minimum of $598,000. I suspect it’s very much more.

      I think we would all have to agree that’s significant money. It would be naive to think that’s not a factor in his motivation. Having said that; frankly I think (after the fact) that the free webinar of his I took today was worth that much just for the time management suggestions and solutions. So no, I don’t begrudge anyone making a lot of money doing seminars. His was actually pretty good.

      EXCEPT FOR THE PART ABOUT OUTSOURCING JOBS TO OTHER COUNTRIES! Including appraisals.

      11

      0
  4. Roy B says:

    I completely agree with Mike. I know Dustan works in a rural area where cookie cutters are few to none. I know from subscribing to him for a year when the Appraiser Coach started his teaching business he often does very complex work, at least sometimes. I also know that, other than the inspection, he does little more than signing the appraisal. That is ok. His style of doing business is apparently accepted by the GSEs. They know what he is doing. Abdur is correct. They just don’t care. I have seen many very bad appraisals in my career. They have never been questioned by lenders or GSEs.

    I would never accept the methods of Roy Meyer or Dustin Harris, regardless if they are ‘good guys’ or not. If I ever reviewed either one of them I would give the appraisal a very hard look and double check everything. This is a job that requires technical skill and the ability evaluate and to make decisions based on knowledge and experience. If that can be correctly accomplished by an uncertified office assistant or a virtual assistant from India or the Philippines, then we don’t need certified appraisers. Bankers don’t seem to go to jail for illegally milking the public and betraying their trust. But appraisers do. I personally have no desire to visit the grey bar hotel. Dustin Harris and Roy Meyer are walking a thin line. It’s hard to stay inbounds when you are always straddling the line.

    17

    2
    • With due respect, Roy… I do MUCH more than inspect and sign. I am surprised you do not know more about my business model if you subscribed for a year to my membership. I am pretty transparent. I take my signature and liability very seriously.

      7

      16
      • Bill Johnson says:

        From your blog “Appraisal Volume and Appraisal Quality” you made the following comment Dustin in response to Don (01/19/2017 11:24 A.M)

        “Thank you for your professional tone. The question is difficult to answer because every report is different. The amount of time I spend on the actual report and checking over it varies. Some reports can be as little as 30 minutes another reports can be as much as over an hour. Needless to say, I am heavily involved in every report that has my name on it. As the article indicates, it is my name on the line. I think sometimes people who know just a little bit about my business model make assumptions that are incorrect. I am not one that will slough off important aspects of report writing to others and be hands off. Not worth the liability.”

        Is it a personal attack when I quote what you have previously said in regards to spending 30 to 60+ minutes on the actual report? If you have a perfect day and spend as little as 30 minutes on your high range appraisal variance (8 reports), is it possible you’ve spent only 4 hours checking over 8 reports?

        Seek the truth.

        16

        1
  5. Brad Bassi says:

    Hello Mr. Ford, I find your rant rather interesting since I don’t think you have met Mr. Meyer, nor have you seen his work or that of his firm. You and Mr. Johnson, who seems to love trading punches with Mr. Harris, certainly do have a good amount of time available to start off on theses rants, as I seem to run across your gentlemen’s name out their in the WWW. I would suggest that if you plan on throwing people under the bus, then you might want to make your list a lot bigger. How about a rant against Datamaster, Spark, Anow, Titan Analytics and House Canary, they all do data input and some are offshore. How about all those appraisers that have a spouse or family member who are not an appraiser but still type up their reports, you might want to get a good rant about them as well.

    Look if you have issues over a VA then you might want to check in with your Doctor as there are a significant number of doctors these days using VA’s to type up their notes from either recordings or video sessions with the patient. If there is a way to be efficient and still do quality work, or there is a way for a VA to assist with marketing your firm and assisting with blog posts, website updates and all the other things that the 21st century seems to have placed upon us, then why can’t an appraiser make that business decision to learn about that possible service. If they know what their cost of doing business is and they have the business sense to offload the work that doesn’t really need their direct input, like file set up and pulling property profiles, plat maps and prior MLS listings of the subject, cutting and pasting MLS comp information from the Listing Agent, then why can’t a “Mr. Meyer” who knows about VA business and set up, teach those that want to learn.

    I am not sure why you decided to pick a fight on this subject. You might want to focus on Fannie Mae, CU and their PIW, How about Freddie Mac and their waivers, or how about FHA that wants the appraiser to test all the appliances, but says we aren’t home inspectors, how about Tristar Bank in Tennessee that wants waivers on everything and those in Congress that want to raise the De Minimus Level. Or how about the ASB or AQB that seem to have a mind of their own and I am not so sure that they have the appraiser’s best interest. I guess you can always rant on AMC’s that would seem to be a good target as well, especially those that like to broadcast email bid request or ask you to appraise a 11,000 sf custom home on acreage for $325 and they would like it back in 3 days. I would think those would be great targets for some of your rants and attention. I am just not sure why you decided to pick this fight with someone you don’t know.

    I will say this appraisers are getting to be a rowdy bunch these days. Funny how the appraisal world laid down and let the AMC world explode and now after the gate is left open to the corral and the horses have all run out we all jump up and start screaming to close the gate.

    Mr. Ford I wish you well, just don’t understand how this particular burr got under your saddle.

    13

    16
    • Interesting. Brad if you had read as much of my views as you infer then you wou already know I am NOT a fan of any automated analytics; I have already written similar articles about Datamaster and canary. As for medical doctors using VAs to type notes…NOT MY DOCTOR. Oddly, my doctor is a “VA” of sorts. Veteran’s Administration and whatever other faults the VA may be perceived as having, outsourcing my confidential medical record is not one of them.

      Brad, is pulling a property profile all that you do as an appraiser when researching a subject? Don’t you also analyze it? At its most basic level that is still a task that MUST be performed by the appraiser himself (or herself). For example zoning of LAC2 and LCC2 may not mean anything to the untrained data puller, but to an experienced appraiser it tells them that one property is located in the city of Los Angeles and that the other is located in unincorporated Los Angeles County. IF the subject happens to be an apartment building (despite C2 zone), these two simple codes also tell the appraiser that IF it is L.A. City build prior to November 1978 then rent control applies. (If it is county then no RC). It also tells them that comparable sales that are C2; C1, R2, RD2 RD1.5 BUT NOT R3 may also be usable. These are not tasks for a clerk or data puller. To infer that they are or could be done effectively by a non appraiser diminishes our professional image.

      Whether it is properly understanding something like a legal description of ownership interest shown or ‘hinted at’ in a profile this most fundamental of steps is filled with appraiser-opinion requirements. Is the VA going to recognize when there is a plat map discrepancy, or does the report just go out with the wrong information? “Cutting and pasting MLS comp information from MLS”?  My first question is why an unauthorized person is being given access to MLS in the first place. There is not one MLS in Southern California where Mr. Meyers office is located that allows this. In fact giving out your mls access codes is grounds for being booted from mls access. So is your ‘get with the 21st Century’ inference an acknowledgement that rules no longer have to be followed, if they are inconvenient?

      Friends and I recently successfully defended against false allegations in court where the other sides millennial aged, internet savvy star witness stated under oath that she believed it “was OK to lie for business purposes”. Is that the 21st Century you are referring to?

      Mr. Meyers may absolutely teach others to do as he is doing. In fact one of his personal friends who is also a highly respected business associate and friend of my own called me after reading the article. He assured me Mr. Meyers is a man of good, sound ethics that would not knowingly violate rules or laws. I accept that.

      But…he is STILL:

      1. disclosing personal non public information (the mere fact that a person applied for a loan does not need to be broadcast around the world).

      2. He is further putting out a floor plan and interior pictures of someone’s home to third parties that have no right or legitimate reason to know that information.

      3. He is outsourcing jobs that IF authorized in advance by clients AND homeowners alike, could be done by Americans

      4. He is promoting the belief that ‘most of what we do’ doesn’t require any special skill; and he is undermining the concept of reasonable fees. I live and work in America and I charge fees based on my living needs in America – not some typists costs in Bangalore or Olongapo.

      Now I told my friend I would post his high personal reference & opinion for Mr. Meyer which coming from him DOES mean a lot to me, but that I would continue to oppose Mr. Meyer’s practices for the four reasons noted above. I also said I will happily review ANY one of his outsourced (redacted) reports for free if he’s that confident that they are USPAP complaint.

      Lastly for anyone (or all) that use similar methods; do you disclose that “appraiser has outsourced this appraisal report prior to completion to  overseas form fillers in order to keep appraisal costs down and turn around times up?” If it is an honorable and truly ethical thing to do why wouldn’t one disclose that?

      17

      3
      • Michael Mathis says:

        Let me get this straight. It is OK for you to buy a stereo, TV, computer and clothes at lower and more affordable prices, at price levels created SOLELY as a result of outsourcing this work to Asian countries, but it is wrong when done so by an appraiser? Fascinating logic. Unless you buy ONLY American made products, and I will bet anything you don’t, you have ZERO basis to put someone down for figuring out how to enhance his/her income by using staff and having the wisdom of finding the best and most cost effective staff by searching the WORLD. ZERO. As one who has attempted to use fully trained appraisers in his office as support staff and in every instance found those persons, persons who had made over $100K a year as licensed appraisers for several years, to be both ignorant and lazy, I have found using virtual assistants to be a blessing and, yes, a profit center. You really need to wake up and realize it is the year 2018 and not 1980 anymore. To paraphrase Dylan, “the times they done changed”.

        2

        0
    • Bill Johnson says:

      Thanks for being a fan Brad. As an appraiser we are trained to have multiple data sources to back up our claims, and I don’t think offering a different reality from what Dustin often preaches should be considered throwing a punch. In my opinion Brad, Dustin is like a Star Wars movie in that when you have blogs, podcasts, booths at Valuation Expo, etc., etc., its hard to remember what you’ve said, and to keep your stories straight?

      Seek the truth.

      15

      1
      • Baggins Baggins says:

        One shot wonders who show up to question the dialogue, obviously having never read the multitude of articles which deal exactly with his challenges. Advocates outnumber careful laborers these days.

        4

        0
  6. TruthBTold says:

    What I do know is that the demise of the real estate appraisal profession is largely attributable to lies, misrepresentations, greed and fake propaganda. Most of it coming from banks, AMC’s, organizations like REVVVA, and people/organizations presenting themselves as being advocates for appraisers, when in reality, trying to make a profit off of them. These schemes seem to work more on the newer appraisers because they don’t know any better and the presentation and money that is behind much of this propaganda is convincing. When I get a call from someone who is looking for a training supervisor, I ask “what have you heard about the profession”. Their perception of what this profession entails can’t be farther from the truth. I then ask, “where have you obtained this information”, and it’s usually from a mortgage person, AMC or bank. Our profession has gotten to this low, partly because appraisers have not spoken out in the past. We are not unified, and have not had a vehicle like this blog and social media to get the truth out! Yes, I think Mikes words are a little harsh, but look at all the assumptions, hypotheticals and conditions Fritz has to site to make Mr. Meyers claims possible. Proof that Mr. Meyers claims are more snake oil than factual, real world, appraisal “norms”. I feel Mike’s frustration and am more willing to make the assumption that he didn’t mean to make a personal attack against Mr. Meyer, rather than make all the assumptions Fritz is willing to make or the passive attitude Mr. Abdul-Malik is willing to take. This is what got us to the bottom of the barrel!

    12

    0
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Interesting. I ask applicants if they have any field experience with construction, engineering, or mechanical experience… Cubicle wizards with fancy keyboards, foreign companies, and underqualified unlicensed day laborers continue to disappoint. Unity is not the requirement for the sustainability of this industry, this is checks and balances. All that is necessary is for lenders to risk their own money, they’d sing a different tune tomorrow if they had to hold all these investments for in house servicing. Pass the buck, the staple of hucksters along the entire length of the food chain. Updated FNMA form question requests: Did you use any outsourced services in the development of this report? If yes, state all sources, costs, dates, business addresses, and specific names of the persons whom provided assistance. Did any person whom did not possess an appraiser’s license provide development assistance of this report? If yes, state all sources, costs, dates, etc.

      5

      0
  7. Casey Lyon says:

    Hey Michael – The only shocking thing here is that you do not have more enemies than those that “just fall into your lap”. You just took one article about someone’s business model and made sweeping judgements and acquisitions about their character and career. Clearly, you have no idea who Roy Meyer is as a person or business man. You might disagree with outsourcing and that is your right to your opinion. However, since you seem to know all about the quality of Mr. Meyer’s work, I would like to know how many of Roy’s appraisals you have seen or reviewed? For that matter, have you ever meet the man or had a conversation with him? You accuse Roy of self promotion, yet you have a blog – for what purpose? To better mankind?

    I happen to know Roy as he has been a mentor to me for several years now and if it was not for Roy I would never have had the courage to start my own business. The man that I know cares deeply about people and seeing people have better opportunities in life, both here in the United States and in the Philippines. I respect your right to an opinion, but maybe next time you could have the decency to get to know someone before attacking them personally.

    7

    15
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      To date, every single disclosure of reports which have utilized outsourced services and unlicensed help have been shockingly deficient. Scroll back a few pages of articles, and if you’d care to provide a redacted sample of these stellar work products, be our guest and the administrator of this site will publish in an unbiased fair manner. It’s not personal, we’re simply dealing in facts as we know them to be generally true. If you wave a certain flag, expect a certain recognition.

      4

      1
    • Casey anyone and I repeat ANYONE that advocates outsourcing of report writing overseas can expect to be attacked. I’d probably not comment blindly on him because he outsourced to a professional spamming service 35,000 (his numbers from his webinar) to generate leads. By itelf it would not have triggered me.

      Since about 3PM I listened to his webinar. I think he presents a great time-management and goal setting seminar. If that’s all it were, I’d sing his praises all day long. But its not all he does.

      I would still criticize him for hiring one overseas rather than American telemarketers or email spammers.

      I believe his numbers of paying from $2 to $4 an hour in RP is good pay (if minimum wage there is $6 a day). His treatment of his “VA” staff is very good. His treatment of Americans looking for work or more business doing what he outsources? Not so much.

      How does this differ (much) from when Nike got all the heat for hiring Vietnamese for chicken feed?

      Oddly the one thing he did NOT say in his webinar is what his level of participation is in each and every one of his appraisals. How much time per report does he pesonally spend?

      9

      0
  8. Paul says:

    You say, “Mr. Meyer is in my opinion, a disgrace to the profession.”.  

    I have known Roy for 5 years now and can emphatically say that not only is he not a disgrace to the profession, but an asset. He teaches so much more than outsourcing. He has personally been one of the most influential people in this profession for my business not only showing me how to outsource effectively and efficiently, but how to be a better business owner. When I first met Roy, I could not afford a full time assistant or office manager. With his help, bringing on a virtual assistant to help me with marketing, data entry, etc, has allowed me to grow to a point where I now have 3 full time employees, 3 certified appraisers, 2 trainees and a VA. It is the appraisers that are willing to adapt to the times and implement new tools, technology and resources that are going to be able to succeed in this profession as it changes. BTW, outsourcing doesn’t always mean overseas. I have an office manager that works from her home. She would be considered a virtual assistant that I have outsourced my office manager responsibilities to. I don’t do my own taxes. I outsource to a CPA. I don’t make my own marketing videos, I outsource to someone who is an expert with video editing software.

    I hope this doesn’t come across as an attack on you (I don’t know you), but rather a defense of someone who I consider a mentor and friend. Roy’s integrity is 2nd to none and I’m just not sure why so much anger in your attack. Seems odd.

    9

    13
    • Paul, it doesn’t (come across as personal). I take it in the vein its intended.

      14

      0
      • Baggins Baggins says:

        The virtual signaling with some of these guys is beyond the pale. I’d like to see them adopt a similar tone in the hundreds of previous articles in this website and I challenge them to try and uphold such opinions in the face of the disclosed data and dialogue this website was rich with long before they became aware of it. All previous articles still accept fresh dialog posting to this day. Refusing outsourced labor is the new counter culture…

        3

        1
  9. Fritz Vogel CREA,CRS,CEI,GRI NY Cert. Appraiser 26+yrs says:

    Burger King grills over a flame, McDonalds fries on a flat top, so, they are both burgers. Both “Compliant”.

    I still don’t want to knock a guy, I have never seen, met, reviewed, heard of etc. Just because he marches to a different drummer.

    15

    1
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      So you’re a soyboy into dangerous gmo pesticide laden foods? Weak analogy. Outsourcing is a valid trigger word. It reeks of irresponsible behavior and inadequate oversight.

      3

      1
  10. Brad Bassi says:

    Well TruthBtold, I guess we all have an opinion just like the area we sit on. We all have one of those as well. I just don’t know how this type of written public attack with I am presuming no knowledge of who Mr. Meyer is or what he does, makes sense. If the gentlemen that started this string, or thread or whatever you call this, has personal direct knowledge of what this VA world is and how it works or he has personally worked with Mr. Meyer, then I would think his rant could hold water, but like a lot of us, the frustration of this business is starting to get to people in a not so good way. Oh yea I don’t have a VA, but I don’t see the value in this type of communication or whatever you want to call accomplishes anything except wasting time and energy. I don’t think it makes us look all that good as a profession either. I thought we were a fact based business, but oh yes we do state an “opinion” of value.

    I hope you have a good  rest of the day, TruthBtold, as I am going to get out of the middle of this. I have work to finish.

    5

    13
  11. Mr. Ford, will you be publishing Mr. Meyer’s reply to your post or will you block it?

    6

    15
    • Michael Coyle, we do not censor comments!

      Mr. Meyer is welcome to comment. If he has never commented here before, his comment will be held for moderation and this is only done with people commenting for the first time to avoid spam. Michael Ford is not a moderator of this blog. He has no control and does not assist in the administration of AppraisersBlogs.

      18

      -1
  12. Mr. Ford and fellow readers of this post. Below is Mr. Meyer’s reply since it appears as though Mr. Ford has blocked it.

    Michael, I appreciate your blog post, however, it couldn’t be any more off target, misinformed or further from the truth and it’s unfortunate that you would go on such a brutal attack and write such a misinformed blog post without truly understanding or knowing the facts.

    In fact, rather than go on such a brutal tyrant and misinformed attack I would have been more than happy to have a conversation with you first to fill you in on any questions you had so that you could have written a more informed, more accurate, more truthful and less anger filled post.

    It’s disheartening in our industry that some appraisers including yourself, often choose to first viciously attack something or someone simply because they either don’t understand something or because they assume without merit they know all the facts, when in fact they don’t, and your blog post is unfortunately another example of that type of misguided behavior.

    FYI, at one point in the early 2000’s and for a number of the boom years I had one of the larger appraisal firms in southern CA, so yes we were doing a very high volume of appraisals for quite a number of years including a combination of my own appraisals plus those that I reviewed and signed with my staff as well, so those numbers are correct. You also seemed to interpret that VA’s handled all of that appraisal work on the back-end and that I shared everyone’s personal info with the world, which was simply NOT the case whatsoever.

    I can also assure you that the quality of our work has never been in question. Ask any appraiser that I’ve ever trained over the years just how strict we were regarding training including crossing our i’s, dotting out t’s and making sure our reports were as perfect as possible. You could also ask any of our clients over the years to present, and they would also share with you that the quality of our work was and has never been in question and superior to most.

    The majority of your blog post rants about virtual assistants and “data entry” when in fact, 99% of what I teach and share in regards to virtual assistants has nothing whatsoever to do with data entry as you incorrectly assume, but rather how to use virtual assistants to grow and market one’s business. In fact, data entry is probably the most insignificant way you can use a virtual assistant in your business, yet you assume in your mind…that using a virtual assistant must always be associated with “data entry” which simply isn’t the case.

    You also assume working with virtual assistants always means working with someone overseas which also isn’t true, although that may often be the case. ie: My office manager is technically a virtual assistant as she works from home. I have a PT virtual assistant in Michigan that helps with social media marketing and helps other appraisers set up their social media profiles as well. I have PT virtual assistant in Las Vegas who helps me with transcriptions. I have a PT virtual assistant in Canada that helps with marketing on Pinterest. I have a virtual assistant in Boston that helps me with Facebook ads for marketing. I’ve also hired countless virtual assistants on sites like Upwork.com, Fiverr.com, 99Designs and others to help with graphics, copy-writing, logos, marketing videos, pulling lists of attorneys and other target audiences to market to, direct mail campaigns, setting up marketing funnels, website designs, and a LOT of other ways you can use virtual assistants from these sites to help grow your appraisal business as well. This is a big part of what we teach regarding working with virtual assistants so where is the “scam” about this? Simply because you may not know about these things, doesn’t mean its bogus or a scam. This type of learning is critical for appraisers who are looking to diversify and leverage their time.

    I also do work with and have a team of virtual assistants in India and the Philippines that continue to help market and grow my businesses in different ways which is MUCH more affordable than in the states for the tasks they do. In fact, none of my VA’s are even doing data entry as you rant about and all of them are instead focused on different aspects to help my businesses grow. I also don’t teach theory on any of this as everything I teach I’ve personally done successfully in my business and other’s as well and I have countless testimonials and thank-you’ s to prove it.

    Without even knowing me or what I’m about you state I’m a scam and a disgrace to the industry. Wow! Ask anyone who truly knows me in the industry and they’ll tell you there are few others willing to do more to help fellow appraisers grow their businesses or show them how to market and diversify in a way that I have over the years.

    I take great pride in knowing the extra mile I’ve always gone on every occasion to help appraisers any way I can to transform and diversify both their businesses and their lives. Had you asked, I could have provided you countless appraiser referrals of those I’ve worked with and helped across the country who would have gladly shared their experience in working with me. You say I’m a scam and disgrace to the industry, but I would challenge you to show me anyone who has shown appraisers more openly about how to market, grow and diversify their businesses.

    You say I’m a scam and disgrace to the industry, yet, over the last couple years I’ve flown across the country speaking at multiple Institute meetings and other appraiser events solely to help those chapters and others raise money, asking for nothing in return and donating all of my time to do so. In fact, at “every single” Institute chapter meeting I’ve ever spoke at, nearly everyone in attendance has said it was the best learning they’ve ever had regarding showing them how to actually grow their business. Didn’t hear any of the attendees stating they felt scammed…quite the opposite. If you need any character witnesses from people who actually know me, please let me know as I can refer you to plenty of high ranking Institute members who personally know me and who would vouch for me and my character as well.

    You’re also probably unaware that several years ago I did an appraisal Case Study where I built a 2nd appraisal business from the ground up centered around Non-Lender work, in a new market area where I hadn’t worked before, “solely” to show appraisers what’s possible and provide them with a step by step road map how they could do the same. By the way that proven Case Study started generating a 6-figure income in less than 6 months and once again, I did this primarily to show appraisers how to do the same. I may be mistaken, but I don’t know anyone else in the appraisal industry who has ever done that before for appraisers? Perhaps you have?

    You say I’m a scam and disgrace to the industry, however, the appraiser I work with in Boston who has doubled his income after one year probably doesn’t feel that way. Or the appraiser in Chicago who has grown from a one-person business to a thriving 3-person office and 3 new appraisers on staff and nearly quadrupled his income the last several years probably doesn’t feel that way. Or the appraiser I’m working with who recently moved to Denver, who soon after left the appraisal company he was working with there after just a few months, started his own company, doubled his income, has better clientele, has already brought on additional office staff and is now looking to hire appraisers to help handle volume, didn’t hear him saying he was scammed. Or, the appraiser from Texas who recently sent me an email thanking me for helping to change his business as all his virtual assistant was doing was sending out regular emails to his list of 35,000 realtors to market his business and he went from 10% to 41% non-lender work. Or the recent email I received from an appraiser 70 years old stating, “My success is yours as well my friend. This my 40th year in this crazy business. I started in 1977 with the old Green Hornet appraisal forms. Roy, your ideas have helped maintain my excitement for innovation. I can now go until I’m 80… another 17 years!” And, I could easily provide you with countless more appraiser success stories from across the country who I guarantee…don’t feel like they were scammed and quite the opposite.

    You say I’m a scam and disgrace to the industry, yet; there are multiple different appraisal related firms in the industry who have reached out to me for help and whom I’m working with right now (you would know them if I mentioned them) and I can assure you they’re not feeling scammed or questioning my character and are enjoying the results they’re seeing. If I was a scam artist I also doubt I would be asked to speak about business development and marketing at one of the leading business schools in India, a leading entrepreneurial school for kids in Malaysia, several colleges in the Philippines, as well as multiple events in the U.S.

    You also state I’m looking for self-promotion and offering a get rich quick type of scheme for appraisers which also could not be further from the truth. Again, I don’t and have never taught theory and only teach things that have worked successfully for me and my clients over the years. In fact, right from the start I always state there are no magic bullets, however, if an appraiser is willing to put in the work to market their business they have the world at their fingertips because most appraisers are not willing to make that extra effort to market for non-lender work. In addition, I spend a small fortune each month in order to work with many of THE top marketing and thought leaders on the planet so that I can continue to stay up to speed with the latest cutting edge marketing and business development strategies that are working now, which I’m then able to trickle that learning down to appraisers so they don’t have to spend that type of money for the same information to help them in their business.

    I could easily go on and dig much deeper into your unfair, biased and uninformed attack on myself and my character, however; I’ll finish with the topic at hand. Do I use virtual assistants? Absolutely, as they’re an affordable way to help market, scale and diversify anyone’s business in a much quicker time-frame. Note, because of working with VA’s it’s also allowed me to be able to hire more people locally as well because of the increased business volume. Do I promise millions as “you” state by working with VA’s? NO, never have and never will. There are no magic bullets, but if utilized correctly they’ve proven time and time again to be a difference maker. For myself and countless appraisers I know, the experience in working with virtual assistants has in fact, been life changing as well. Not promising, just sayin.

    Do I know a lot about the virtual industry and how to be successful? YES, and more than most. In fact, aside from having a proven track record of success with appraisers and other clients, I’ve been doing this for over 15 years. I’ve been in the trenches in India, I’ve been to the Philippines many times and I’ve done this in the US as well. I speak internationally on this topic including at a variety of colleges, conferences and other venues including India and the Philippines. I work first hand with VA’s in the Philippines on how to be successful working with US employers. I’ve worked with several government entities in the Philippines in regard to training and helping provide jobs for them as well. I’ve also been heavily involved in local outreach in the Philippines as well working a lot with homeless families and children there as a way of giving back especially when considering the benefits and results as a result of working with virtual assistants there.

    I hope you will allow my reply to post in full as a rebuttal to your post. You’ve made a lot of extraordinary assumptions which simply are false, misguided and unwarranted which I’m assuming most of which is for shock value to draw attention to your blog. I’m sure you mean well and you’re probably a decent guy and great appraiser, however; your personal and brutal attack on me and my character is simply unfounded, unwarranted, and well below the belt. In fact, from the overwhelming response and support I’ve received from appraisers and others since you’re post, I fear in the end this will be more of a reflection on you and your character than myself because of the manner in which you’ve handled this.

    Take care and I wish you the best of success in your own business now and in the future.

    11

    15
    • Mr. Meyer has not been blocked and we did not block his comment. He simply did not post a comment.

      17

      0
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      “Assuming without merit they know all the facts.”

      Interesting choice of words. Please respond to the below article on dangers of outsourcing in that well documented lengthy article from someone with direct experience in that arena. You’re not saving the world, you’re redirecting income away from worthy Americans and distorting market pricing for your own personal limited benefit.

      4

      1
  13. Mr. Coyle Why would you open your rebuttal with an outright lie? Its seems if you are serious you’d start with truth rather than a lie.

    1. I have zero control over what others write in this forum. Either as posts or as articles.

    2. The fact that your post appeared at all is proof no one ‘blocked it’. Perhaps with all your advanced technological skills and having other people write your work for you simply couldn’t figure posting out?

    13

    2
  14. Jack Of All Trades says:

    I have no idea why your all arguing about a dead end profession, surely you all have better things to do than argue about a high liability, has been, throw your license in the toilet, mail your license back to the board with toilet paper for there disposal?

    21

    2
    • Bill Johnson says:

      Its important Jack because the truth still matters. People in power will often latch on to any idea that benefits them to spread their agenda (example / appraiser shortage) even if it doesn’t apply to the masses (typical appraiser). Either last year or the year before Rob Chrisman a contributor for Mortgage News Daily was quoted as saying appraisers complete 2 assignments per day at $700 each and gross $420,000 a year. He was the head speaker at Valuation Expo (2 years ago ?) and with such a soapbox it takes a massive effort to fight the propaganda.

      Seek the truth.

      17

      0
      • Jack Of All Trades says:

        You are 100% correct Bill, but at the end of the day it’s a losing battle, one we lost a long time ago. There is just way too many problems to list what is actually wrong with the profession. Best of luck to you Bill.

        5

        0
  15. Roy a personal friend of yours that I respect called me today and assured me of your good personal character. I respect and accept his judgement in that regard without hesitation or reservation. It doesn’t mean I think what you do is right, just that your personal character is good among your friends. As for your post above, the claims are decidedly different from the WorkingRE inference.

    ANY appraiser that is farming their appraisal work overseas is a detriment to the profession. Mr. Meyer’s work in either India or Malaysia may be altruistic or it may be self serving. I don’t care because MY concern is what is best for myself and other American appraisers.

    I find it interesting that overseas sourced appraisal work is bragged about when considered the trend of the future, but then downplayed when its practitioners are called to account for it. Let readers decide for themselves. The link to your article is above; and the webinar is in 2 hours and ten minutes.

    15

    2
  16.  

    Overseas AMC Staff: Could I Speak to “Villiam?”

    12

    1
  17. Roy Meyer says:

    Good grief Mike.

    You’ve basically created and turned this into your own “Fake News” post with your personal misguided assumptions & misunderstanding in regards to virtual assistants and how we use them. Once again, our focus and what we teach in regards to using VA’s is primarily how to use them to help appraisers market & grow their businesses which has “nothing” to do whatsoever with data entry and/or sharing info and/or disclosing info, yet you continue to attack me based on these false assumptions and statements you’re making.

    It’s obvious you’re unable to understand the difference between “marketing” and “data entry.” I keep talking about using VA’s to help market and grow one’s business while YOU keep changing the topic and conversation and instead want to make it all about data entry. For whatever reason you can’t get over the hurdle of understanding as to what “marketing” is all about or what’s involved.

    ie: What is your issue with the one example I shared of the appraiser in which all he had his VA do was send out marketing emails to a large list of realtors promoting his company. That appraiser went from 10-41% non-lender appraisal work. These are the types of things that I’m talking about that you’re not understanding or listening to.

    Are you saying appraisers can’t market their business? Or are you saying that they can only market their business by themselves with no help? Are you saying we have to disclose in our reports the appraiser had help in marketing his or her business or disclose that we had help in getting ranked on Google? What does that have to do in regards to disclosures and the SOW in an appraisal?

    Our mutual friend speaks very highly of you and likewise I respect him greatly, so I’ll  take his word about you as well. I would appreciate though rather than you pose any further attacks on me or my business that before doing so you fully understand the topic and not change the conversation or at least give me the courtesy of a phone call to discuss first. I would be more than happy to hop on a quick call if you’re ever interested so you might have a better understanding of what I’m referring to.

    Take care and I wish you all the best moving forward. Definitely have tired of this conversation.

    Respectfully

    5

    5
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Fake news? Another buzzword. All news is biased, in its own right, one way or another.

      There are many kinds of marketing, mass solicitation and careful well researched individual sales efforts being the opposite polarities. We prefer the latter.

      Those who choose to be public should expect to manage criticism in the open arena, deserved or not. Not everyone is pro-outsourcing and to some careful manually orientated laborers like myself, so much of the solicitation language reads quite poorly. $2 dollars an hour labor? We looked across the room in utter surprise, read, then read again. I cleaned my glasses and had a fresh cup. Yes, I do believe he actually did say that…

      7

      3
      • Baggs – both he and I had ruffled feathers by this point in the postings. While we still have areas of disagreement we both agreed during a phone call that (1) we need to take it out of the realm of personal attacks. (2) We shared a number of views and on the non outsourcing of reports side of his efforts, I tend to concur with him. I don’t think there is any malevolence in his approach. He said he’s not advocating overseas outsourcing of appraisal report writing. It’s an illustrative example. His primary focus is showing people (and appraisers in particular) how to grow their businesses. Anway we also agreed (mutually) to stop pouring gasoline on the fire.

        10

        0
        • Baggins Baggins says:

          I’ll stop when the appraisal fee is paid 100% to the appraiser, and all other persons whom may be involved in distribution are paid separately. The value analyst experts whom don’t understand the concept of distorted pricing and improper incentives. If the 125,000 appraisers whom are no longer swinging were still here, this conversation would go much differently, there was notably more resistance to these concepts before this gaming of the ethics rules and assignment systems occurred. Brought to you by shared fees and outsourced development assistance.

          5

          0
  18. I know both Mike and Roy and can attest to the fact that they are both “good individuals. I happen to know a bit about Roy’s business model, have spoken to Mike on more than one occasion (publicly and privately), and I am sure Roy and Mike could learn a great deal from a “sit down” conversation with one another.  Since I know them both, I would be happy to get them “together.”  Just let me know how I can help. You can even use my Zoom meeting account.  🙂  

    16

    0
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Still waiting for a public response if you, and lets’ attach Roy into this request as well, take the ethical high road and assure that if you provide a discount for appraisal services, that cost savings are returned to consumers and not used as a profit incentive by the distributor to be the preferred selectee, against the spirit of the management rule. Been waiting many years now for recognition of this continually and cleverly avoided conversation point. Discounting for increased assignment volume when cost savings are not returned to borrowing consumers distorts the competitive market for truly locally focused and small scale business participators, shifting earnings opportunity away from both local and hopeful licensed candidates. Distributors would be far less eager to deal with those whom use outsourcing, if there was not such notable market distortions in place which provide financial incentive to both drive away in house labor approaches and drive down appraisal fees. When such approaches are used outside of appraisal distribution, they are legitimately and legally recognized as junk and unearned fees. Every single person involved with the development of an appraisal report, be it distribution department, value analysis, data gathering, report typing, photo taking, administrative review, or any other aspect which contributes directly to the final product and distribution of an appraisal report should be absolutely required to hold an appraisers license. Promoting outsourced labor over promoting in increased reliance and increased populace count of actually licensed qualified appraisers, well, that’s just taking advantage and is nothing to brag about. For every new hire a discounter and outsourcer is able to achieve, small scale operators like us actually experience a negative business growth challenge. In the absence of such discounting and non accountable relationships, this industry would not have recently shed over 125,000 licensed participators whom are now out of work.

      6

      1
      • Baggins Baggins says:

        And I’ll just add to that, for those advertising in such a manner, it is vital, necessary, and very important to make clear distinctions between outsourcing or vr or whatever with a very clear line drawn between appraisal development and other non appraisal related aspects of business. Outsource your advertisements all day long. The moment an unlicensed person puts their hands in development, distribution, or review of licensed appraisers work products, offense is taken and well deserved.

        7

        1
  19. Fritz Vogel CREA,CRS,CEI,GRI NY Cert. Appraiser 26+yrs says:

    OK GUYS, Give it up. Somebody said something, somebody assumed something, some others assumed the same, this is getting tired. And please DON”T USE the word transparent , it was invented by Poliiticos and a standard line from our old friend Joan T. in her new $$ ventures doing what ever… Give it Up.

    11

    0
  20. Fritz Vogel CREA,CRS,CEI,GRI NY Cert. Appraiser 26+yrs says:

    OK GUYS, Give it up. Somebody said something, somebody assumed something, some others assumed the same, this is getting tired. And please DON’T USE the word transparent, it was invented by Poliiticos and a standard line from our old friend Joan T. in her new $$ ventures doing what ever… Give it Up. Now I’m being EDITED by someone????

    9

    0
  21. Tammy H says:

    MIke, publicly eviscerating someone whom you do not know, have never spoken with and do not completely comprehend his business model is shameful. Mr. Meyer has worked hard to help appraisers improve their business with the assistance of VAs. Attacking his character and only rescinding your original opinion when someone else tells you you are wrong is not acceptable. I would reconsider who the disgraced one is in this scenario.

    14

    0
    • I just took Mr. Meyers online course (Philippines Webinar). 1 1/2 hours. If, repeat IF he excluded the part about paying $8.00 per report to have his appraisal typed in the Philippines I’d actually applaud much about his system. In fact, while I would not have paid for this webinar (which he wont be offering anymore). I’d even concede the time management and business building side of his presentation alone should be worth the $297 his Virtual Academy costs. I have no regrets about the 1 1/2 hours time I spent. Prior to taking it I also posted links to it in the 100%Appraisers group and asked for unbiased opinions. That’s a group of about 1500+ appraisers with very broad ideas and viewpoints. I haven’t read the results there yet.

      What I STILL have a huge problem with is outsourcing the writing up of real estate appraisal reports! Especially overseas. Roys presentation indicates he commands high end of range fees in his market so I won’t criticize about undercutting the C&R fee base. What I will continue to criticize are two major items that are undeniable:

      1. He is routinely outsourcing work to a foreign land that is work Americans could, and should be doing.

      2. He is communicating information that is and should remain confidential. The fact that an owner of 12345 Happly Lane has applied for a loan is itself personal information of a non public nature. The floor plan of the owners is personal information of a non public nature. The interior photographs are personal information of a non public nature. The interior condition of the property is personal information of a non public nature. Whether an owners taxes are paid or not is personal (albeit public) information. Whether an owners is in violation of any codes or public policies is debatable. Some will see it as a privacy violation (with some legitimacy) and others will see it as in the public interest (also with some legitimacy). Of course it brings up 4th Amendment issues.

      IF Mr. Meyer’s entire presentation eliminated the overseas outsourcing of appraisal report writing I’d say his modernized online version of Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich concepts are excellent and well worth the money the course costs. 

      Even Mr. Meyer recognized in his presentation that the outsourcing issue is one subject to a LOT of disagreement from appraisers.

      So, is he and his process a ‘scam’? No. Because I can see value in the 1 1/2 hour free webinar equal (in my mind) to the total cost of his VA Academy I have to retract the scam part of my posted article ( and do so now). I’d have written a separate new article but didn’t think that part should wait.

      Just had a thought…I wonder how many of these defensive posts are his virtual assistants posts?

      15

      2
      • Tammy H says:

        Absolutely NONE of the posts defending Roy have been from VAs. They have ALL been from experienced appraisers who believe your original post was completely out-of-line.

        3

        5
        • Baggins Baggins says:

          Share your data with the scammers of the world, in unaccountable international settings, please do not share mine. People may not understand that these companies also routinely turn around and sell this proprietary data, copy what should be proprietary design and concept work, and may even do this in a sanctioned legal setting in those countries. No problem with VR and whatever for non lending action, the moment that approach is used with what should be proprietary data in lending it becomes a problem. The culture of corruption in other countries exceeds any possible benefits in many settings. I like Ford better, because he’s here, in the United States of America, and nowhere else. What’s next, you guys going to bring the TPP to the appraisal profession? It seems many of you already have. If you love the people from other countries so much, move there and don’t forget to write. Around these parts we put America First.

          The scammers gaming India’s overcrowded job market

          8

          2
          • Nevermind says:

            And I’m guessing you think there’s still such a thing as an American Made car. Time to mature into the New World my friend.

            2

            3
            • Baggins Baggins says:

              Take your global stage nonsense somewhere else. I for one still seek to source American made products as frequently as possible and I am a contentious consumer. Just because so many other people have betrayed the memory and legacy of this country does not mean I am going to. Outsourcing sell outs, a shameful crowd. This is about so much more than money and income. A pathetic bunch of apologists frequented this board. MAGA.

              4

              3
      • David Fife says:

        I do most of my work for three AMCs. None of the AMC’s do the initial quality control review in the US. None of them. Their VA’s go through the interior photographs and make sure that the labeling is consistent and makes sense with other data point in the report. When you wrote, “He is communicating information that is and should remain confidential.” To lay the blame at the feet of appraisers is a little bit misguided in my opinion. This horse is out of the barn and has been for years. Why don’t you scold the mortgage industry? I have a tip for the appraisal industry. They don’t care about us as appraisers and they care even less what we think. I agree with your sentiment that this is not a good thing for society at large, however, we as real estate appraisers are a small leaf floating in a mighty river. We didn’t create this river, we just work in it. The question is how do we as small business owners navigate this process in the best possible way. The mortgage industry does whatever it wants and does not ask, nor is it interested in the perspective of the appraisers.

        I use VA’s to do the more mundane tasks of the appraisal process. Do you really feel like its the best use of your time to draw a virtual yellow line around the subject parcel on a plat map, with a virtual yellow pen, download the map and save it to your work file, then import it into your report? Or list the AMC fee and your fee?, etc… you get the idea… You are an experienced valuation analyst. You should be analyzing on behalf of your client not mundane typographic work. That’s why the mortgage industry/AMC’s engage your services.

        Unless I used VA’s to “outsource” work, I’d be living at near poverty levels. It was either change my business model or find a new line of work. The standard fee for an appraisal has dropped over the past 25 years in my market $375 down to $290, but the data requirements have gone up by about 500%. I also am prepared for a new line of work when the mortgage industry figures out that Carbon-based, humanoid appraisers are no longer needed. That day is coming, btw… The mortgage industry is going to do what the mortgage industry is going to do, USPAP be damned. They don’t care about us, USPAP or our profession. We are an expense in their eyes and delay to the process and they are actively trying to outsource us ASAP. IF they kill the goose laying the golden egg, they’ll get another bailout. You should attack Fed policy and fractional reserve lending. But to go after Roy Meyer or Dustin Harris is picking a fight with someone who actually will listen to you.

        I outwork my VA’s any day of the week, everyday of the week. To say the VA’s work in a sweatshop, ought to see how I live and work! There is no shortage of VA opportunity in India and the Philippines. If they had better options, they’d take them. There are no victims here. If you don’t like the industry, leave it. If the VA has a better opportunity, they’ll take it.

        1

        2
  22. OK, lets all take a breath. I just had a pleasant phone call with Roy Meyers. While we still disagree in certain limited areas, we both see a goal of future improved personal and professional relationship as being worthy. We share several of the same personal friends and respected colleagues that have spoken to each of us about the other. That’s reason enough to stop pouring gas on the flames for me. 

    10

    0
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war.

      7

      1
    • Kudos, Mike. I am glad you and Roy were able to talk. Talking ‘face to face’ is always so much better than exchanging jabs over the internet. Happy to hear this!

      5

      0
    • Mike, Excellent to hear you had a chance to talk and you see some benefits that Roy has promoted and taught. There are many things that I learned from Roy and very few have anything to do with doing an appraisal. Mostly what I learned relates to administrative productivity and marketing tactics that have helped my business grow and allowed me to work fewer hours.

      5

      0
      • Baggins Baggins says:

        And Greg, has that resulted in you hiring more or less American workers?

        2

        1
      • Greg in that area I think his approach is excellent. The 1 1/2 hour free webinar had enough information that I COULD increase my own efficiency significantly if I chose to do so. Areas in which outsourcing overseas (for anything including marketing) would not be required.

        While I’d never have paid in advance for the webinar I will admit in hindsight that it would have been worth the entire cost of his VA Academy ($297 or $299?). He and I will continue to disagree re all aspects of foreign outsourcing but I accept that appraisal outsourcing is a very small aspect of his overall presentation and is not required to make his system ‘work’. Appraisers COULD use U.S. based trainees as Virtual Assistants…as one I know, does.

        4

        0
  23. Ralph says:

    So Dustin produces USPAP compliment reports, his clients are happy, he earns a good living, he gets attacked for it?  Is this America or N Korea? Can I have some whine to go with that cheese!  

    5

    1
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Have you bothered to read before posting? I suppose you’d choose the imported wine and cheese. Not me, I would have bought American.

      4

      1
      • Ralph says:

        Baggins of course I did not read this whole thread! I’m too busy being busy, I did the cliff notes version and saw appraisers attacking their peers which looks like sour grapes. This whole data entry discussion is silly, since USPAP allows and it doesn’t have to be disclosed. Now go create some value!

        1

        2
    • Bill Johnson says:

      USPAP compliant or not, if Dustin and his model can single handily do the work of 4 appraisers (he does 4 times the work of a typical appraiser) then lets eliminate 60,000 appraiser jobs so the remaining 20,000 can do all the work. Lets split the wages from those 60,000 former appraisers so that 4 (?) lessor quailed office staff can be employed. Lets have this single appraiser sign off on 3 to 8 reports a day where at times he or she spends as little as 30 minutes on the actual appraisal before signing it. Legal or not, USPAP compliant or not, if this is the path our industry takes, in my opinion it will only speed up the demise of our profession.

      Seek the truth.

      4

      1
      • Ralph says:

        Oh That makes sense now Bill!!! I get it!! Thanks for the clarification. the next time my doctor sees me for 5 minutes, I’m gonna demand a full hour! How dare he use a nurse, a secretary, and a lab for the blood work! He should be doing it all himself!!!! That way he can see less patients and make less $$!!!

        1

        1
        • Bill Johnson says:

          If I’m having the most important surgery of my life, or buying what is the biggest purchase of my life (a house), I would want more than 5 minutes with my doctor, and would want the appraiser to spend more than 30 minutes of actual time on the report. To take your analogy a little further Ralph, what if the doctor or hospital outsourced the work to non-licensed staff located in 3rd world countries? What if this staff, personally narrowed down the results, and in part gave a diagnosis to the doctor? If the doctor is simply reviewing what other non-licensed staff has done, then I and most have a problem with that. I stand by what I said.

          Seek the truth.

          5

          1
          • Ralph says:

            Because Bill gets to decide how much time is warranted to produce a credible result in areas with ample data! Why not worry about yourself instead of bashing someone successful, seems you have too much time in your hands.

            1

            2
  24. Brad Bassi says:

    Thanks Mr. Ford. Whew glad to hear that you actually took that step. We won’t all agree, but a civil discussion is much better than this thread. Glad you spoke with him. take good care 

    5

    0
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      The core issue brought forth in this thread remains and the point is not relinquished. Outsourcing foreign labor which distorts market pricing of the product in a closed system where such behavior distorts consumer pricing and reduces populace count among American industry workers is a problem. In the absence of the profit incentive this discounting activity facilitated through outsourcing creates for distributors, far fewer people would actually care about saving those dollars and would choose more responsible careful and costly service providers instead. God damn, the nightmare which is improperly co mingled appraiser fees carries on.

      5

      1
    • Brad Its one of those things I’d probably have done differently with 20/20 hindsight. He and I are still far apart on outsourcing BUT I’m pretty impressed with the rest of his model. Also, both he and I share a number of common friends that we both respect who vouched for us both to each other.

      2

      0
      • Baggins Baggins says:

        How you guys feel about each other is inconsequential. The consumer is being harmed with unethical billing practices and this needs to stop. End of story.

        3

        1
  25. I believe that these things I’m reading might be a consequence of those fighting to the bottom for low AMC fees by increasing their efficiencies and cutting costs. There is simply an excess of labor competing for a shrinking pie and this is a matter of survival for some. The GSEs are doing the right thing by taking matters into their own hands with PIWs, automation and AI. In many cases the automated values will be more credible and reliable than those done by high volume licensed appraisers. An electron is much faster and cheaper even than a VA in Asia typing as fast as they can 24-7, importing data, making adjustments, writing reports and preparing exhibits on behalf of others. One day automation seems to be your friend, then the next it can become your enemy when the alternative method and process is faster and cheaper than what you’re doing. If I were employed at FNMA or FHLMC in the collateral valuation division, I would prefer automated appraisals over those done by appraisers “doing” 3-6 per day, from the perspective of accuracy and credibility. Plus faster and cheaper. These are my unbiased opinions of the facts as I know them and all are entitled to agree. Brad Bassi too.

    5

    1
    • Craig I could not disagree more. My average fee is over $1,000 (not counting C&I). Most others I know from here also are at norms for their area (well above AMC norms).

      It’s ironic you cite an excess of labor at the very time AMCs and some GSEs are promoting the meme of an appraiser shortage. Maybe you are on to something comparatively. In 1986 when I started and we had 4 to 8 week delays before we even scheduled inspections there were less than 7,500 appraisers in my state. By 1991 (I think that was first license count), we went up to a high of 25,000 and are now somewhere around 12,000 I believe. I remember base fees of $300 to $325 then and ownes/LOs that offered as much as $500 if the appraiser would work a weekend and slip them in. (I never did but I was naive back then).

      What evidence can you cite for your “many cases the automated values will be more credible and reliable than those done by high volume appraisers”? We have hugely divergent AVM results right here in this blog and have NEVER ONCE found one with credible results across any kind of spectrum. NOT ONE.

      I get you point about comparative reliability but even there I respectfully think you are incorrect. A 3 to 6 a day appraisal result is at least as good as an appraiser assisted AVM or so called enhanced comp check. The argument is whether it is also USPAP compliant. At least the property has been inspected by someone. According to certifications the comparables have also been inspected at least from the street. Personally I don’t believe in the processes that produce that volume of finished appraisals, but I have had opportunities to check results. Usually my critique will be on overall report quality absent serious disagreement on concluded value (not always – like any report bathes, some are just plain bad).

      But concur we all have varied opinions to which each is entitled to agree, disagree or a little of each.

      7

      1
  26. Baggins Baggins says:

    Not surprisingly, the topics and issues of advocacy in billing remain unanswered. Surprising, no. Disconcerting, yes. It’s important that people understand what a bert and ernie show fraud outsourcing has become in the appraisal industry. Their inability or refusal to answer simple questions about ethics in billing is more than telling.

    3

    1
  27. Sar Casim says:

    Wow……ye appraisers are a fractured bunch. Surprised y’all haven’t been divided and conquered yet.

    0

    0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

xml sitemap
AGA

When is Enough, Enough?

by Michael Ford time to read: 3 min
96