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The Appraiser Coach Podcast

Listen while you drive to and from appraisal inspections as Dustin Harris, The Appraiser Coach, gives you helpful tips, tricks, ideas, and principles which will make you a better appraisal business owner. Dustin has been a successful real estate appraiser for many years. As the Appraiser Coach, he has made it his life’s mission to teach other appraisers across the country to also succeed and thrive as real estate appraisal business owners. Join Dustin each week as he keeps you informed with the latest in the appraisal profession, interviews movers and shakers, talks to your peers about what is important to them, and shares with you his secrets to incredible success.

Aug 28, 2016

Michael Simmons is a leader in the appraisal profession.  As Co-founder and Co-President of Axis AMC, he is in a perfect position to see where the industry is headed.  Are we about to see more clients allowing trainees to inspect real estate without the supervisor present?  US Bank is leading the way and it appears Wells Fargo and Quicken may be poised to follow.  This is big news.  

five and a half years ago

Any Colorado Appraisers looking to hire a trainee that is a RE Broker and has completed over 12,000 valuations? I also have a contact that will send 10+ appraisals a month to the company that hires me. I'm also finished with the 75hr course.

Michael Simmons
almost six years ago

I received an email from the Real Estate Appraisal Division Manager W/Arizona's Depart. of Financial Institutions indicating that I had incorrectly included AZ as a state that allowed Trainees to do solo inspections.
I went back and re-listened to the entire interview (which was semi-painful for me) - and I did in fact misspeak. I inadvertently named AZ (when I should have said AR) when reading from a series of State lists and their varying regulations. My apologies to your listeners.
As for Bill Johnson's comments on our staff feedback to his inquiring about inclusion on our panel, Danielle didn't recall any recent such conversation (we don't have a Daniel), but I again extend my offer to reach out to me personally: and I will follow up.

Dave Hohman, ASA
almost six years ago

Doug, I'm on your team. In my area of Central Florida, we are starting to see fees climb a little because of decreased supply. The VA raised the appraisal fee by $25 and the final inspection fee by $50 on Sept 1st. There is a move on in FL to get R & C fees mandated by law like what has been done in VA. Maybe items like these are what has the AMC and the lender crowd concerned. Sounds as if they are wanting another influx of cheep, untrained labor like we had in the 2000's. Of course they will say no. But I don't know what is different today that was present back a few years. For me, managing three of four trainees is not of interest. I have played that game over the years. The work ethic of most of today's 20 & 30 somethings is pretty weak.

I thought the discussion of what an inspection is, was interesting. I was left with the idea that if you don't like what the word means, just change the definition and go on down the road. I don't think a video of home inspection meets the requirements of developing credible appraisal report. However, I guess it depends what is is. Right?

Bill Johnson
almost six years ago

Dan, I absolutely agree with you the number one reason why appraisers don’t take on trainees is because the work doesn’t get sent to a general office anymore (open to inner office transfers), but rather it gets sent to the individual appraiser. Because of this ceiling to income (limited to the owner’s worked hours) and the change in business model via regulations, the entrepreneur type (I want a business that does appraising) has no longer been applying to become an appraiser. Your area of practice Dan does in no way compare to the 6,000 appraisers within a few hundred miles of me (So Cal). Its business as usual in my area with 3 to 5 day promise times and 24 to 48 hour rush assignments ($300 to $400). With housing in the $800,000 range, and net monthly appraiser income less than $5,000, there’s a reason my state is on pace to lose 400 appraises this year.

almost six years ago

I fear that everybody is trying to fit trainees into this current broken system of low fees and disproportionate lender control.

What is happening right now is the beginning of a market correction for fees and requirements. This needs to finish, IMO. Once the fees are high enough and banks start to feel a bit of pain, then these kind of things will become negotiable a bit. So will excess or stupid requirements. Then a working relationship can once again start to exist between lender and appraiser.

We are already seeing this in Colorado. I was able to get a non-trainee lender to start accepting trainee work to get stuff in on time rather than 6 to 8 weeks. I also can typically state my own requirements requirements anymore similar to those of a VA appraisal. I know that not all markets are like this, but they can start to be if supply stays low for a while.

I would strongly caution too many people to to mess with this yet and let the free market take this over. The higher fees of this summer need to stick and possibly even get higher and then the market will adapt.

Dan Weber
almost six years ago

Once your trainee get's your license and they know all your clients and fee structure---what's to keep them from leaving and starting their own company??? NOTHING. That's why my last 4 trainees left. There's no economics in it. Once they get a license the AMC's and lenders generally require the licensee to sign up as an individual on their web portal. Then the check comes directly to your newly minted appraiser (who suddenly has to cut the owner a check for their %). And that's the beginning of the end. Since HVCC we've not been allowed (as shops) to be the gatekeeper and accept appraisals (as a shop) and farm them out to employee Appraisers. Since that happened, we've not been able to keep new appraisers---they just go out on their own once the checks come directly to them. THAT's the reason no one wants to hire new trainees.

And frankly , it takes 2 years of a trainee being joined at the hip (on all facets) to really know what the heck they're doing. Not 25 or 50 inspections---not even close. But lenders and AMC's like your guest keep advocating for watering down the profession with trainees (for what---to flood us with new bodies who will work for less???) to who will know just enough to do the job and with no idea of everything else they don't know (which all of us with 10+ years experience realize later when we realize how terrible we were as Appraiser's the 1st 5 years of our careers).

Do we need more Appraisers? Probably. Do we need an army of trainees doing a lousy job out there? Not with my name on the appraisal. Also---think of this---not only when you hire a trainee are you eventually hiring your competition, you're also basically cutting your fees. The shortage has been VERY good for Appraisers (although somehow you and your host seem to think it's some kind of travesty). I'm currently ONLY doing RUSH appraisals in my local market and am averaging $1,300 and Up per appraisal (at 8-10 a week do the math)---due to the shortage. That's 3 times what we used to get paid. 5 times what we got paid during the housing crash days (when there was an huge oversupply of Appraisers). So FINALLY, we get to make some $$ due to the shortage and your first instinct is let's hire trainees and build the next oversupply of Appraisers so our fees can crash again???

That's Crazy. Rates will go up. The refi boom of underwater homeowners will finally end. And fees will drop, turn times will go back to normal. We don't need a huge influx of trainees. We need to make hay while the sun shines.

Dan Weber, IFA

Bill Johnson
almost six years ago

In calling your office Michael, why did Daniel say that your panel is full for the entire state of CA? So much for a shortage of appraisers when you withhold the opportunity to join for a portion of the 10,900 appraisers licensed in the state.

Bill Johnson
almost six years ago

Since HVCC in 2009, I think its hard to support Michael Simmons and the company he keeps in saying some companies are leading the way by invoking such standards 7 years later. Does Michael realize appraisers are licensed on a state level, and that regardless of what some lender or AMC from 25 states a way says, personal supervision of trainees is state specific? If via AMC involvement the typical gross fee before business expenses on a national level by volume is in the $300 range and $150 net (10 hours per assignment = $15 per hour), how does Michael suggest trainees get paid? Does Michael recognize some cities and some entire states (CA) are either at or heading toward a minimum wage of $15 per hour? If the fully licensed appraiser nets $15 per hour (100% of the fee at times), tell me how a business will have the flexibility to bring on staff? Seek the truth.

Craig Morley
almost six years ago

Dustin, I we have found financial success in using Trainees. We hire them initially as assistances an pay an hourly wage of $12/Hr. In many states the appraiser can get partial credit for the portions of the appraisal that they participate in. I have the trainee assistant do portions of the appraisal, but not necessarily inspect every property. The scope of work associated with the 1004 form is what creates the problem with residential appraisals. While some changes in allowing the signing of the appraisal may help, there is a lot of work that allows for a broad range of services that do not always require the appraiser to make an complete interior and exterior inspection.

I have not found the trainee process as being too difficult. We have three trainees currently and don't find the process too difficult.

sarah mcnutt
almost six years ago

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