2017, A Time for Change. Change for the Good!
Real Change is on the Horizon!
It is always the same; out with the old, in with the new. New Year resolutions typically last a few weeks and then we are back to the same routine. Sound familiar?
Well, 2016 saw some improvements in the appraisal profession, but real change is on the horizon. VaCAP’s new year resolution is all about change. Change for the good! 2017 will be a year in which Virginia appraisers continue to move forward in a positive direction.
Over the next few months, pay attention to our communications. Some exciting opportunities are in the works for education, socializing, networking and more. We can’t reveal details at the this time as we are still finalizing them, but rest assured, we will share our excitement very soon.
In the mean time, here is a free educational opportunity you have right now: Attend the live webinar sponsored by the Network of State Appraiser Organizations on January 18th @ 2:00 This webinar is a Question and Answer session with Jim Parks, Executive Director of The Appraisal Subcommittee and David Bunton with the The Appraisal Foundation. Preregistration is required. See the PDF flyer below.
New Year Reminders:
- Make sure your profile is up to date with your clients. If the client allows you to input your fees, make sure they are accurate and reflect your worth.. Analyze your cost of performing each appraisal against your desired profit margin. Will your current fees reach your goals?
- Do some preventative maintenance on your electronic devices used in the field. Change the batteries and clean the lens on your camera and measuring devices. Update the mapping software in your GPS.
- Update your website and on line social media accounts. A fresh look may attract new clients
- Make sure your professional resume is up to date.
- Evaluate and adjust your marketing plans. Will they help reach your goals?
- Clean up your files, both paper and electronic.
Something to think about…
Do you use a client or AMC mobile app? Are these “tools” in your best interest? Are they professional? Are they secure? Are they in compliance with USPAP’s confidentiality requirements? Does the client or AMC blast out orders via these apps with “a first to respond gets the order?” Are you quick enough to catch an order? Are the fees with this client customary and reasonable? Not only is it OK, but it is your right to say……. “No, I will not work under these conditions.”
It is your business. You have the right to decide how you conduct business. You also have the right to charge any fee you desire. Don’t let any client or AMC take that away from you.
VaCAP would like to remind each appraiser to be mindful of their business. Pay attention to your receivables and don’t let any one client or AMC owe you more than you can afford to write off if they suddenly go under leaving you unpaid.
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Question. With the Veterans Affairs resetting fees in many parts of the country, and your organization tying C&R fees to this government fee schedule, have you on a state level raised ($$) your interpretation of what is C&R? Did the VA raise fees in your state, or any specific counties? From what I see, the state of Virginia (VA schedule) is still based on an effective date of August 1, 2014 ($450). Is your organization pushing the VA to update fees in your state (2.5 years old)?
Good questions. First, VaCAP did not associate the VA Fee Schedule with C& R Fees. The Virginia Real Estate Appraiser Board made that decision. VaCAP was supportive. What transpired is very simple. They looked at numerous surveys that were completed by other states and compared them to the VA Fee Schedule for that state. In all cases, the fees were very similar. To save time and money, the Virginia Real Estate Appraiser Board adopted the VA Fee Schedule as a third party / Government Fee Schedule that could be used as a presumption of compliance. One of the benefits of using the VA Fee Schedule is the fact that it is updated periodically and no further expense or action would be needed by the Virginia Real Estate Appraiser Board. The Veterans Administration has sent out a survey concerning fees in the area, however, the results have not been released as of yet. We will see what they come back with. Just like everything else in our industry, C&R Fees are constantly evolving.
This is the year of the interconnected device hacking though, and several major ddos attacks to sites like drudge have shown how this is actually happening and how it’s possible. Anything from a baby monitor to your wifi fridge and washer may be pinging without your knowledge. If you don’t know all about that, it’s best to keep it wired and keep it safe, select non wireless non integrated items if possible. Personally I would suggest not just updating social media, but cancelling most of them if possible for you. Social media has turned into a control and informational tool for criminals both corporate and low level corner robbers alike. “I will not let my digital identity exist under totalitarian conditions.” LOL. Anyways, it was a great 2016 and 2017 is probably going to be even better. There are good assignment companies out there whom; A; pay guaranteed minimums regardless of volume & B; Do not treat appraisers like day laborers, and instead assign orders directly. It’s your business, run it how you want to, don’t posture as an employee. Get in the drivers seat if you have not done so already. Assignment companies of several forms are losing lender confidence left and right in states like Colorado, Texas, and Oregon, just to name a few. Seek direct assignment lenders with guaranteed minimum fees better than the majority of the amc’s, accept no substitutes. Thank me later.