What Is My Incentive?
As an appraiser, I have to ask (seriously) why should I care if the profession has a shortage of skilled appraisers?
Logic dictates that If there is a shortage, then I will remain busy. Even if waivers (another ruse to eliminate appraisal work) increase, I’ll be busier with fewer appraisers. Especially with so many of them “trained” under PAVE or PAREA programs.
If there is an adequate supply of appraisers, then users of appraisals will continue to seek cheaper alternatives from them arguing there is a glut and everyone has to now settle for less. What is my incentive?
MISMO has clearly stated that its objective is ultimately the complete elimination of human appraisers in the mortgage process.
Given the above I would STILL take on trainees. I like to teach. I can even earn more money by taking on trainees, IF I can also set the conditions under which I accept them. For me, I would be raining future sources of business referrals rather than future competitors. No trainee is going to be capable of ‘stealing’ my market niche from me for several decades. I have over 35 years of experience. UNLESS low fees or willingness to perform hybrids becomes the new GSE norm.
The states have said we need to take a supervisors course in order to have a trainee who wants to be given credit for experience. Some states even dictate how many hours they will “allow” a trainee to claim for each type of assignment (based on property type, as opposed to actual assignment time necessitated by its specific complexity).
Taking on a trainee whereby MY work samples and work files become fodder for prosecutorial-minded state regulators to review work that they would not otherwise have, is another disincentive. Why would I bother taking on the added risk of an inconvenient process? Where is my incentive again?
The only thing the now obsolete TAF and states are leaving for me to decide anymore is whether I take on a trainee or not. Today, I choose not too. Not for trainee credit anyway.
I also have a conscience. When people ask me if this is a good profession to get into, my honest answer is: “No. It used to be, but it is not anymore.” If you have the professionally unnecessary, but regulatory required degree for certification, then become a lawyer instead.
We used to be able to earn respect for the quality of our work. That no longer exists outside of our peers. Our clients certainly have no respect for us. They go to great lengths to circumvent customary and reasonable fee laws (Dodd-Frank is such a law). The president of the United States also said initially that our profession had historic systemic racism in it. Then he clarified the statement to suggest individual appraisers are currently guilty of racism. The irony is that a guy in elected federal “service” for 47 years is just now noticing systemic racism in a fully federally regulated system that he helped create!
He is joined by Maxine Waters in that claim who herself cites as ‘proof’, that HUD has joined in settlements for such allegations. I’ve seen those letters. They state “There is insufficient evidence to proceed with the claim against you (the accused appraiser) so we are dropping our case.”
As a separate issue, they (HUD Investigators) then point out that the accusers have indicated a willingness to settle the claims for reimbursement of the appraisal fees. What appraiser would not elect to do so faced with an alternative of fighting the federal government at a cost of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars?
What is my incentive in reducing a perceived or falsely claimed future shortage again? So again, would someone explain to me why I should care IF there is a shortage of appraisers? The market for residential appraisals has once again dried up. It is more than the usual annual disruption. Today we no longer have any shortage. We have AMCs claiming if we don’t take the lowest imaginable fee offered, that they can easily find someone who will accept it. What is my incentive in reducing a perceived or falsely claimed future shortage again?
I also do not do bifurcated hybrids or so-called desktop appraisals with interior floor plans required. (It ceases to be a desktop appraisal then folks). Also, I am not accepting responsibility for some third-party low bidder property measurement service, or the accuracy of someone’s latest snake oil software ‘measuring’ systems.
If such systems and services are so reliable, then users have no need to make ME accountable for their results, do they?
The sheer time-killing idiocy of current AI-generated revisions or observations makes me less inclined to take on trainees.
Instead, I’ve opted to discontinue doing almost all GSE appraisal assignments. I can make more, with less interference and associated risk from non GSE clients.
Instead of training new appraisers, perhaps we should focus more on abandoning GSE work before MISMO and the GSEs get their wish and fully automate the system with no regard to what happens to us or our many years of training and expertise.
For my part I see great potential in appraising for all of the inevitable lawsuits that will result from automated valuation incompetency.