Why Not the Appraiser? Guess Who’s Watching!

Social Media Spies & the Appraiser- Guess Who's Watching!

No Time to Spare & Social Media Spies!

Business has been crazy!

We are hearing from appraisers how swamped they are; 2-3 week backlogs, working late and report writing at 4:30 AM.

We are also hearing how tired and stressed they are. AMC and lender demands, updates, scope creep, and revision requests, are all taking a toll. An appraiser posted on Facebook she “broke down in tears” last Friday because she did not know how it was all going to get done.

Life is too short to allow this… Take control of your time and your schedule. Spend some time doing something for YOU! Enjoy some time with your family and friends. Stay healthy, don’t let the stress get the best of you. There is not one AMC, lender or client that is worth getting sick over!

Why not turn off the computer, phone and email?

The banks and lenders are taking a long Labor Day weekend, why not the appraiser? Why not turn off the computer, email and phone at 6:00 Friday September 2nd and leave them off until 8:00 Tuesday September 6th? You’ve earned the break!

Guess who’s watching!

A few weeks ago, VaCAP reminded everyone to be careful what you post on social media. We specifically stated, “Think it through, before you post”. Our point was you never know who is looking at your post. See the original post here.

We will not name names, point fingers or even give clues here, but a well-known appraisal social outlet has reached out to VaCAP concerning our reminder. VaCAP received notification that over the past few weeks, they have received subscriptions from 4 AMCs, 3 State Government Agencies, and 3 banks. One of the banks is a well-known national bank.

VaCAP encourages each professional appraiser that utilizes social media to: Think it Through Before You Post.

VaCAP Board
VaCAP Board

VaCAP Board

Coalition of individual appraisers working together to unite, promote and protect the collective interests of all appraisal professionals in Virginia; to promote needed changes in laws, rules, regulations, policies and standards affecting all appraisers in Virginia; to observe and report the actions of regulatory, legislative, oversight, and standards-setting entities of the Commonwealth.

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18 Responses

  1. Avatar mee says:

    Just turn them down, especially AMC’s, it is liberating!

  2. Avatar Carl says:

    I’ve been vacationing in Hawaii these past several days. We all need to slow down a bit, take a step back and breeeeeeaaaaath….

  3. Avatar Chris says:

    Never POST anything !

    Your Certification is on the line !

    • Avatar GAPeach says:

      So much for freedom of speech!

    • Baggins - Tried and True Baggins - Tried and True says:

      Fail. Speaking to power is exactly what DOES protect our liberties.

      If you have liberty at your back, justice prevails so use your voice and use it loudly. The government serves us, we do not serve them. If they want to show up here, they’re just citizens really, so more power to them. Where are these supposed powerful interests? I’m not reading any messages, corrections, or guidance points from them currently.

      We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

      I’ve heard of a few appraisers having breakdowns, fizzling out, and the stress is a substantial factor. They can’t even answer their phones. This business certainly is not for everyone. If appraisers cannot speak to power, they have failed to provide an adequate check to the balance. I wish lenders would think laws through before they post them! Luckily nobody will link my posts to a facebook page. Never had it, never will. Yes, if you have associated ‘social media’ accounts, they can troll you on a moments notice. I’ll continue to remain mystified why people volunteer to have essential liberties like privacy removed for the sake of digital convenience. For workload, I’m not stopping.  There will be plenty of down time for the next decade. I’m in 3 years non stop, probably will go another 2 more before this relents. I don’t even need to work like this, and it’s a certain fact that these plush times will be the end of many appraisers. They’ll live on credit, and will have too many debt commitments to sustain them when the volume lightens up. They’ll compete and starve themselves out. I’ll be chilling in my upcoming shed and greenhouse. If in doubt, go 15 or 10 year. If in doubt, only buy at 80% of your prequalified amount. If in doubt, work overtime and devote the entirety of your income to debt pay. It’s only o.k. to lighten up, when you are no longer in debt. Eyes on the prize.

      Chris, you’re funny. If certification was on the line for blogging, this blog site would not exist.

      • Outstanding points Baggs!

        Whether at the top levels of government, or some much lower administrative bureaucrat these people need to be reminded frequently that THEY (government) work for us and they cannot hide behind bureaucratize-double speak to justify their abuses.

        Right now, many (if not most) states are acting on complaints against appraisers with a presumption of guilt that flies in the face of contrary factual data. With declining appraiser numbers, these state elitists are reaching more and more to ever increasing fines against appraisers to backfill their budgetary losses. Forget to dot an “I” or cross a “t” at the certified level and the fine is $5,000 to $10,000 now as opposed to a cautionary reminder or even letter of reprimand if more serious.

        This abuse goes on because appraisers allow it to.

        Look at Oregon’s recent (former regulator) admission that eleven other state’s regulators confirmed their incorrect belief that delivery of appraisals past due dates was a USPAP violation! If not for the fact that many appraisers had already been coerced into signing consent decrees to avoid more serious threatened forms of punishment, this would be ironically funny.

        But many appraisers WERE coerced into signing consent agreements admitting to wrongful violations of USPAP when they had never done anything wrong under the law! If not for those that finally spoke up loudly, the abuse would still be going on!

        So, PROTECT yourselves by ALWAYS fighting back against abuse of power from ‘regulators’ that have been allowed to run amok unchecked.

        This includes the folks at TAF and their Boards. Good people generally, they have been lead astray and think they need to change core standards and principles every two years. Enough is enough! If these experts haven’t gotten USPAP right in 25 years, they never will! Do we REALLY need a revision to tell us what an appraisal ‘report’ is?

        Tell them at the next TAF/AQB meeting in DC to STOP changing USPAP every two years! Limit it to five or ten year periods, and even then only if overwhelmingly required.

  4. Retired Appriaser Retired Appriaser says:

    Has anyone read The Coach’s latest advice to appraiser wannabes? Today’s top story on AppraisalBuzz.com

    This dude has no problem destroying the lives of innocent and naive people. Post the article on AppraisersBlogs and see how quickly the comments reach 100+

    • Baggins - Tried and True Baggins - Tried and True says:

      Nope, I go to this site first every time now for appraisal news. Or I’ll catch a silly AI blurb article. Beyond that, drudge report all day every day.

    • Avatar Bill Johnson says:

      I have read the blog Retired and as always have waged what appears to be a single handed effort to bring some truth to his comments. As it relates to AppraisalBuzz.com, some months back I had a lengthy back and forth with Joan Trice via the comment section. Our disagreements were discussed as it related to the topic of the day, and although we disagreed, it was an opportunity to peek behind the curtains as seen from the other side. Some weeks later, I was blocked from the site and many of my past comments (including our back and forth), were erased from history. Although it may be just me, I believe AppraisalBuzz has since blocked the ability to comment on most articles. Seek the truth.

      • Baggins Baggins says:

        Nothing discredits more than censorship of free speech. Heard those stories before, and dealt with that before with some other sites, can’t really remember which. You remember sites without censorship or pre approval of messages though, which is why Appraisersblogs is the current reigning champion for appraisal blogging. It’s like this; Allow open reader posts or do not allow open reader posts. There is no in between and censorship is an obvious sign the content of articles does not hold up to the peer standard. We are a society of civil debate and republic democracy. That means no individuals rights can be diminished because the majority rule may sway in a different direction. We all have a voice, and censorship is just like leveling penalties to people who use their free speech, and both of those actions are just plainly unAmerican. As they say; follow the money. Most quote unquote appraiser blogs are no more than tools for reputation and business building. Product placement sites, through and through, not real news or industry advocacy if they’re allowing censorship of voices, or have to moderate dissenting views. The only reason for censorship is flaming, cursing, threatening, etc. Antagonism might also be considered grounds for blocking, if the person is purposefully trolling and such. Have you seen that free PBS move “the persuaders”? It’s free online and is a very illuminating movie regarding integrated product placement and advertising messages. Some of those sites are ‘all clutter’.

      • Avatar Wayne says:

        Bill….I wanted to tell you that on several occasions when I have responded to your posts I have been giving you a hard time. I love giving you and Mike a ration, I respect both of you and enjoy playing around. I really enjoy reading your comments. I respect Mike…he goes above and beyond the call of duty for this profession. He makes some very good points. I wish that more of our group would take his advice. I also enjoy jerking the chain for Baggins and Retired Appraiser. Why the hell not? It is just fun! I WELCOME THEIR kind responses! LOL

    • I just read it. I’d have responded there but don’t like the format in AppraisalBuzz. In order to respond to an article I have to send an email? Don’t be ridiculous! Additionally, Im not a fan of the Alterra Group or the business models they have promoted.

      I AM a fan of Dustin Harris’. I don’t always agree with him but I believe him when he says he loves this business still. He is also a creative and progressive (I HATE that work!) professional in his technological outlook. I believe him to be an ethical and honest appraiser based on respected mutual acquaintances high regard and respect for him.

      Having said that; most of his suggestions to the new appraiser wannabe were impractical in todays world.

      1. I cannot morally ‘hire’ someone to work as a trainee and not pay them! MY standards do not permit that. I will not pay an appraiser less than what should be a $25.00 minimum per hour once they are up to speed (less than three months).

      2. Not paying trainees would create legal problems and likely future lawsuits for the employing appraiser, and violate most states labor laws.

      3. I’m not the least bit afraid my trainee will become my competitor. I have a near thirty year head start on them in terms of experience. Its the one positive aspect of having a trainee. If I do my job as a mentor right they WILL go out on their own in a few years (or less), and become a new source of additional work for me that is too complex for them to handle. If I am afraid to ‘compete’ with a near novice them the problem is with ME, not the trainee. Former trainees account for 10% to 25% of my above average fees ($1,000 or more) and the advantage is they have already broken the sticker shock to the client before I ever talk to them!

      4. If you want me to train you demonstrate commitment first! Take at least two of three courses BEFORE you ask me to train you: USPAP, & Basic Appraisal Practices and at least an introduction to appraising income property… even if it is only 1 to 4 unit rentals. Buy the Henry S. Harrison books on how to fill out a UAD and non UAD sfr, condo and 2 to 4 unit appraisal report. Consider them training wheels for your career. THEN buy the current version of “The Appraisal of Real Estate” from the Appraisal Institute. You don’t have to take AI courses to work for me but you better have their text as a reference tool. I’d also suggest their Dictionary of R. E. Appraisal. That’s about a $200 to $300 book cost commitment BEFORE you ask me to mentor.

      5. Demonstrate to me that you and your family have the ability to support yourselves for at least a year with only intermittent, part time work from me. I do NOT mind if you work for one of my competitors while working for me as long as it is one that also teaches ethical and proper practice. Understand my turn times are a priority.

      6. Lastly, be prepared to put up with a sometimes curt, opinionated, curmudgeon who will occasionally resent the time it takes to train you… but one that will always have your back if you are serious about your career.

      7. Show me real quick that you can learn to accurately measure a house AND manually calculate its total living area.

  5. Avatar Joe says:

    Way to go, Carl! I’m going to Europe for 2 weeks right after Labor Day myself. Some clients I’ve spoken with this week had a panic in their voice when I told them I’m not available until September 19th! Ha! Felt good 🙂

    • Baggins - be careful what you wish for Baggins - be careful what you wish for says:

      Colorado – 4wks to 3 months out time, depending on clients ability to source appraisers. Even the commercial and brokerage appraiser guys are actually doing ML residential work again.

    • Avatar Koma says:

      Better watch out Joe your clients might go somewhere else…wait they have nowhere else to go..lol

    • Avatar Koma says:

      Better watch out Joe your clients might go somewhere else…wait they have nowhere else to go..lol On my way out the door for a week of vacation too! TTFN

  6. You can BET it wasn’t appraisal buzz! IF it is *Appraisersblogs then it is an accolade to be celebrated by all of us because it is OUR views gaining interest and attention. Proof that we are not just spinning our wheels.

    Forget the politics and censorship of blogs. I simply won’t post to a site where I have to separately email them and then wait for their next unknown issue to see (1) IF they published the views at all; and (2) What my peers responses are.

    *I didn’t think anyone still hosted their sites via Prodigy anymore! Should we let them know its the 21st century? Explain what html is? Let the know speed is no longer measured in baud rates? Let them know a free society requires open, unfettered honest communication?

    ASSUME you are being monitored! I don’t mind for myself because if I cant support something or back it up I wont say it; but anyone else concerned just sign your initials or use a pen name.

    If State Agencies start following posts that is a GOOD thing. In fact it is an excellent thing since it also lets them know that THEY are also being watched and monitored. I KNOW at least one federal agency monitors us here. Their representative called a day after we posted and discussed issues related to it before.

    Just another reason to Join the American Guild of Appraisers .

    We promote and advocate for generally accepted sound, ethically, and legally compliant appraisal practices in all instances. No exceptions! We also defend appraisers where & when regulatory abuse becomes apparent.

    Put the political and organizational power of 13.5+- MILLION taxpaying and consumer union members, retirees and their families behind you now. Join Now. contact Jan Bellas at (301) 440-2100 or at http://www.appraisersguild.org .

    PS our last discussion re NAR HAS reached the President of NAR’s attention. To his credit he called me twice to respond to our concerns. There is going to be follow up and I’m extremely confident NAR will work constructively with us all to iron out problem areas with honesty and integrity.

    Anyone that shares that his legal team of advisors (figuratively) go crazy when he picks up a phone and talks candidly with his members but who still does it anyway, is alright in my book!

    The conversation deserves much more space and time than I have right now. I’m also going to more thoroughly explain how appraisers can become designated Realtors(R) even if you are not brokers! I encourage all qualified appraisers to also obtain NAR’s GAA and RAA designations. It’s part of rebuilding necessary bridges to those who  also play a big part of our profession.

  7. Avatar Wayne says:

    Hey gang…Monday was my first day back in the appraisal rat race since the cruise. Yes, the cruise was a lot of fun! Once I returned I found out that an appraiser buddy of mine had passed away. His name is G.A. McLaughlin and he was a certified general appraiser and real estate broker. He was my friend and the friend to many others in this profession. He was one of the good guys, and I will miss him! G.A was only a few months older than me. For a while now I have thought about all of the AMC crap and other things wrong with our industry. With G.A. gone, that leaves Texas with another county without an appraiser. There are less than 75,000 appraisers for the U.S. and possessions. Of this 75,000 appraisers only 31% are doing residential work. You do the math and explain to me how some parasite AMC can dictate anything to you?

    Just my opinion but I believe that we have way too many appraisal organizations existing for such a few people. All of these groups require dues and do absolutely nothing for the membership. Then we have the Coach, The Expo crap, news letters, etc. NAR has about 1.1 million members and that is the only major organization. We have 75,000 folks with about two dozen or more groups charging fees for membership. They offer worthless designations that the general public does not acknowledge or respect. Why send your money to this type of group? Spend it on a cruise with me (or a dividend paying stock for retirement). Just my two cents…do as you please!


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Why Not the Appraiser? Guess Who’s Watching!

by VaCAP Board time to read: 1 min