What Goes On Behind The Scenes…

Blast AMCs Emails Do Not Meet the Spirit of The LawThis year it appears many AMCs have turned to blast requests of fee and turn time. We get them constantly and simply delete them.

Last week we received a blast email from an AMC that sends out blast requests for bids. We have never worked with Appraisal Nation before and don’t know how we ended up on their panel.

In their rush shopping for the cheapest and fastest appraisers, they forgot to BCC the appraisers they blasted. It appears that this AMC is not only incapable of maintaining quality control and assuring competency for specific assignments but by disclosing appraisers’ email addresses they established their inability to process confidential information.

While we simply deleted the blast email, some responded. We thought the following responses are worth sharing.

One appraiser replied:

please do not send me blast emails for soliciting orders. My credentials and expertise are for hire but when you send out blast emails you do not give respect to my credentials or those that are also receiving the email. I would be happy to work with you but please seek me out because you want a quality report, not the cheapest that you can find. You are technically not meeting your mandate to hire the most competent appraiser when you select off of the basis of just the fee.

And another stated:

I do not typically accept AMC assignments, and I never participate in these blast requests for bids. Even if there are appraisers willing to participate in this process, it does not meet the spirit of the law. It should specifically undercut your client’s confidence in their need for your services at all if you are not actually doing the primary job of the AMC, which is to ensure that all the rules and regulations are correctly followed and there are no possible compliance violations. At the very least, this blast email implies that you are selecting appraisers based on fee and turn-time, which is a direct violation of appraisal independence requirements set out in Dodd-Frank. Add to that, you are violating the privacy of all the appraisers whose e-mails you have disclosed on this list. Any reader would likely make the assumption that some or many of the people on this list participate in bidding for appraisals, which obviously may shape or change their opinions about their peers. Opinions amongst appraisers shape many aspects of our businesses, including whether or not we feel comfortable providing referrals for appraisals or new clients. This, of course, translates directly into business and money. I only ever did one appraisal for Appraisal Nation as a favor to a desperate buyer who had nowhere to live while you were apparently trying to find somebody to do it cheaper. I have personally requested that you remove me from your appraiser panel multiple times over the last two years, and yet I still get these requests on a regular basis. Now I find myself on a broadcast list showing all the e-mail addresses, implying to everyone who receives it that I play these games. This is completely unacceptable. You may do what you like with your own reputation, but you may not damage ours with such Privacy Act violations.



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16 Responses

  1. Avatar Ralph says:

    That is a great response!  It’s like the old adage, if you think it’s expensive to hire a professional,  hire amateur!

  2. Avatar Chris says:

    I hope all sue them for a breach of confidentiality !!!

    • An impossible lawsuit. I don’t like the fact they did this, but it’s not illegal. Just very bad manners and incredibly unprofessional. All of their clients should be aware that companies like this are hardly reliable agents, and that they (lenders) will still be left holding the bag for any USPAP/Dodd Frank or any other regulatory violations their agents commit on their behalf.

  3. Avatar Advocate says:

    If every appraiser stood up to bad practices, we would not have nearly a many issues. Those appraisers that compete in the race to the bottom really should think about how they sell themselves short. We are professionals, and should be treated as such. The old saying act  how you want to be treated is so true. 

  4. Avatar Jason says:

    Excellent responses!

  5. Avatar Koma says:

    Hey it’s not limited to AMC’s. We had a local lender do the same exact thing when it came to emailing their panel of appraisers for a request on a fee for a complex assignment. I’m guessing they never heard of Bcc because you could see every Tom, Dick and Sally that was on the list of appraisers contacted. Another instance the same lender sent me the Letter of Engagement for an appraisal I did not accept and it showed me why I lost the job, that appraiser accepted a 1004 for $325. Not too bright if you ask me! BTW C&R fee for the area is $500. 

  6. Avatar Carl says:

    Didn’t the VP of Appraisal Nation come out recently claiming they weren’t affected by the “so-called” appraiser shortage because they use AVMs and that their revenue had grown by some 400% in 2017?

    Well if you wonder how, that’s how they did it:
    1- shop for the cheapest appraiser, or if none will offer $250 or less
    2-  pocket full appraisal fees for AVMs

    • Mark Skapinetz on Facebook Mark Skapinetz on Facebook says:

      Yes he did. They say after they sent out an order to over 200 Colorado Appraisers. Lol.

      • So, does this Appraisal “Nation” get honorably mentioned in the Cloud Rogues Gallery, or just on the Laughingstock List?

      • Baggins Baggins says:

        I’m in Colorado. The amc simply could not and still can not compete with terms others were paying. For a time standard rate 650 to 850+, VA moved to 700 or 750 permanent, and turn times were out 3 months. Nobody had time to deal with infinite fee quotes and question mark can you take this order time wasting pointlessly micro managed orders and phone calls, when others assign direct with fair terms up front. The amc’s made themselves unavailable, refusing to compete in the open marketplace they proclaimed themselves to be specialists at navigating and managing the process of sourcing appraisal labor. We’d all routinely delete about 100 fee quote requests a day, and would still book out 3 months on direct standard fee orders instead. It was like a brief return to 15 years ago where distribution was ran with class rather than brute force. Sourcing appraisers is not some mythical special proprietary action these management companies make it out to be. All you need to do in order to source appraisers is be a qualified individual to make critical decisions regarding valuation specialty process and who should get what assignment, being able to compete for that labor service. As many distributors had neither qualified people or competitive terms, they were unable to source appraisers. Just like if I tried to get a realty agent on a single point, I may be calling for a very very long time. The very act of broadcasting an assignment is an outright presentation the terms are so non competitive, there is no point in sending the order to just one appraiser.

  7. Shawn Vanderhart on Facebook Shawn Vanderhart on Facebook says:

    I never Answer those stupid emails ! These company’s only care about cheap and fast no matter the assignment complexity. They could care less on the quality! It’s ridiculous

  8. Baggins Baggins says:

    We can’t build our business around question marks. Amc’s and lenders share appraisers lists and build panels quickly through public and private information resources. They’re like telemarketers in their process to ‘solicit orders’ and the process involving ‘managing the orders’ is not much different, it’s click and go telecom, just add water. These increasingly younger limited experience entry level job telecom persons don’t have the basic tenets of industry specific ethics or professionalism down and they’re seated in positions of power over seasoned appraisers. Judging ‘professionalism’ by how well an appraiser behaves towards the clients interests, like them in their advocacy based employment based positions. 1-800-appraiser, where we make the complex problem of requiring specialty skills to make quality decisions, easy. The appraisers who turn back reports in 48 hours at our predetermined fees are definitely the best of them, and that’s who we prefer. ‘Advanced assignment platforms’ are illusionary this way, it’s not for appraisers, it’s for lenders. This is what happens when you let non real estate personal guide the order distribution of the professional valuation industry. The blind leading the stupid. Strangely, appraisers still believe the hype and many are subscribing to even more destructive technical practices rather than less.

  9. Avatar John Pratt says:

    Look at the bigger picture. If an AMC can’t keep the list of appraisers and their email addresses confidential and secure do you really want to give them a copy of your W-9 with your name, address, social security # or taxpayer ID #, your bank account infor for direct deposits of your fees or your Credit Card # to charge your account for their portal or technology fees. If you think any AMC can keep your personal info secure just think of the major companies and government agencies that have been hacked.


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What Goes On Behind The Scenes…

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