AI Current Path is a Serious Issue for ALL Appraisers

Real Estate Appraisal Industry Crying Out for Leadership & AI Inaction

Time for the AI to cooperate with real estate appraisal state coalitions…?

Is it finally time for the AI to cooperate with other respected professional peer organizations and state coalitions? Please read the following article by Jonathan Miller, titled “Sadly, The Appraisal Institute is now working against its local chapters“, to see what AI insiders views are about the relevance of the AI’s current path.

While my intent is not to take cheap potshots at the AI, I do find it odd that the same organization that repeatedly testifies in public that it represents the interests of all appraisers in America even above its own interests is seen by its own members as not representing them or even keeping them informed.

This is a serious issue for ALL appraisers. Why should the Financial Services Sub Committee give any credence to the Appraisal Institute’s paid lobbyist when its own members are complaining that they are not consulted with on critically important decisions? Who exactly DOES the AI represent when they appear before public bodies?

The SRA members (appear to) have been all but abandoned. They needed help when Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) first reared its ugly head but got nothing aside from lip service. Since that time, all AI efforts that I have seen at several TAF /AQB / APB meetings have been geared toward lobbying for alternative standards to benefit a very small segment of their MAI membership (CA AB624 & TAF Meeting Redondo Beach, 2015). Typically those MAI’s that own or manage large national AMCs. Their intent based on public testimony is clearly to be able to provide abbreviated low cost – high volume desk top appraisals for portfolio investor transactions.

There has been a drive toward international appraisal standards and developing international AI membership. On the surface, both commendable goals, but it is the specific motivation and intent that is problematic.

Real Estate Appraisal has been conflated with Business Valuation (BV) as if some kind of equivalence exists, or should exist. This is why we saw the term valuator being promoted over ‘appraiser’.

Although both disciplines have approaches called by the same names (Income, Market and Cost) the application of the techniques within those approaches is so disparate as to be no more similar than daytime and nighttime. Both are portions of “a day” but that’s where the similarity stops. Any real estate appraiser that used the same routine practices that are acceptable in BV would lose their license. What is acceptable for BV by tradition and practice among certified public accountants and business valuators simply does not apply to individual real estate appraisals.

Recently news media reported that the total value of real estate in America was around 17 to 19 trillion dollars, and that Wall Street’s total investment value was a similar amount. Not every single piece of real estate in America is valued each year so it doesn’t take much imagination to see the desirability of being able to appraise assets that ARE appraised each year! Particularly if those assets could be appraised while the ‘valuator’ is sitting on their own “asset” at their desk inside their office.

Price Waterhouse & Merger Stats subscriptions will no doubt jump .

I truly hope those MAIs that still practice traditional real estate appraisal in accordance with the high standards the Institute used to be famous for will rise up and direct their leadership to reconsider their apparent direction. Similarly I hope the SRA and Associate Members in the residential side of the profession start demanding fair treatment and attention to the issues important to them.

Lobbying for C&R fees would be a nice start.

Michael Ford
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Image credit flickr - Ryan Steele
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

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7 Responses

  1. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    Two thumbs up (the Appraisal Institutes ass).

  2. Avatar bill johnson says:

    I love how the AI indicates they in essence speak for the common appraiser while 3 out of 4 are not members (75%). Of the 25% who are members, who’s to say that a percentage of those members (say 50%) on any given topic may have a different opinion, thought, or idea. In my example, you may only have 12.5% of all licensed appraisers who share the thoughts of the AI. The AI is a C6, Q6 scrapper that should be made subject to repairs or alterations.

    • Bill there is NO way they have 25% of American appraisers. That 20,000 member we keep hearing include their members in all 60 countries they claim!

      Just guessing, I doubt they have 8,000 American Members total. At best 10% vs 25%. We already know from AI members own posts there is rampant dissatisfaction and decline in members renewing.

      I personally doubt they have 1% of appraisers in America that they truly speak for and even less whose interests they look out for.

      Q6/C6 is generous. I think its an imminent health and safety hazard to the community and requires a red tag.

  3. Baggins Baggins says:

    When I first started, I printed out the whole deal, the track towards AI membership. A decade later, why would I even bother? They advocate for maximum efficiency and mass appraisal. Meanwhile I’m firmly tied to one deal at a time, the manual time consuming developmental methods. Who’s benefiting from the lobbyists efforts? I can’t call this one either way until I get statistical data regarding how many AI members supported these efforts. To learn they are probably not even asking or responding to majority member input is not an appealing data point to consider. Your vote is in your wallet, always has been. People whom pay to any group, should have a very firm understanding of that groups interests and ethic before sending them money. Stopping activity which you disagree with is as easy as being a conscientious consumer. I never sought AI membership because it would never have been beneficial to my personal position. That premise appears to still be true to this day.

    • But………. AI says they speak for ALL appraisers, how can this not be so????

      Surely we can all blindly put our faith in them can’t we?

      IF you are a non AI appraiser with no recollection of asking them to speak for you, chances are you have Alzheimer’s and wouldn’t have known what to say for yourself anyway.

  4. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    This year’s Valuation Expo in Vegas must have driven the Appraisal Buzzard (Joan Trice) into bankruptcy!  The poor woman’s finally resorted to INTERVIEWING HERSELF!

    Her opening quote:

    “I know you all look forward to the annual event of me interviewing myself. I, however, dread it. It is a difficult balance between the roles of hard-hitting journalist and pugnacious interviewee. Let me give you some tips on how to do this just in case you enjoy an occasional conversation with yourself. Find a comfortable spot and settle in. No distractions. And dive right in and ask yourself the challenging questions. So here it goes”

    Yes appraisers this is the type of person that was chosen to represent YOU at the recent subcommittee hearing on housing and insurance in Washington D.C.

    Once upon a time talking to yourself was a sure sign of mental illness. Today it appears to be the fast track to success and credibility within this wacky industry.

  5. Avatar Barney says:

    The National Association of Independent fee appraisers. Drop microphone, nuff said !


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AI Current Path is a Serious Issue for ALL Appraisers

by Michael Ford time to read: 2 min