Fee and bank appraisers both play the same game but on separate teams. There’s lots of refs, OCC, FDIC, USPAP, FIRREA, Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines, and on and on.

Our valuation industry has been using the same playbook for a long time and it shows.

It shows up in lots of places. Review resistant fee appraisers, lost fee panel relationships, overwhelmed appraisal departments, spotty report quality, declining number of appraisers and eroding public relevancy.

The trend is exacerbated by the lack of consistent technology investment and office culture effort by both teams.

Appraisers, the TSA of the future

If PAVE ultimately is successful in federalizing appraising, we may become the TSA of valuation. Scripted methodologies analogous with, “take out your laptops, put your shoes and belts in the plastic bin.”

Maybe we should go back to the future and rejoin the NAR team. Drafting powerful players and coaches from their team would be better than our current playbook. Let’s not be relegated to the sidelines, or worse, benched.

Big get bigger, small go away

A possible solution to long-term relevancy of our valuation industry is consolidation. Business consolidation is a combination of several business units or companies into a single, larger organization. The goal is to obtain operational efficiency, eliminate competition, and get access to new markets.

This trend has already been playing out. I recently lost another young appraiser that I was supervising to a national firm. The supervisor model is fantastic but not if the talent walks out the door even when you try to do all the right things. Coming up to speed in commercial appraising takes a long time even with a motivated mentor.

Appraising 3.0

Appraisal firms need to rebrand themselves at least from an internal mindset perspective. I cringe when firm owners say they have an “appraisal shop” or worse yet, if they mention the word “shingle.”

Appraiser 1.0 was the 1930’s to 1970’s. Appraiser 2.0 was the 1980’s to today.

“Fee Appraiser 3.0 should be a tech company that happens to offer appraisal services.”

Bank appraisers desperately want their fee appraisers to consistently provide solid reports in a timely fashion and lose the defensive review attitude. They want a collaborative attitude, not arm’s crossed.

“Appraisal Department 3.0 should accelerate technology implementation to crush their SLAs.”  

Collaborative Attitude

A collaborative attitude would be a win including for the longevity relevancy of our valuation industry.

Fee and bank appraisers both face the same challenges. Both are siloed, internally between their staff and externally between each other. Coming together to create new initiatives will move the needle for all appraisers. It will be a culture shift to change. It will be hard. It will be slow. It will fail on occasion. But we need to try.

There’s two sides to every wall

Some commercial fee appraisers have no idea the stress bank appraisers are under. Some bank appraisers don’t realize the burnout of some of their fee appraisers.

Appraising 3.0 for commercial fee appraisers is to eliminate the established assumption that the older  appraisers won’t adopt new technology like DataComp Suite. The resistance is real. But as the business owner, that’s unacceptable in 2022.

Appraising 3.0 For appraisal departments also includes siloed staff and challenges finding new talent like reviewers. Without appraisal automation with platforms like YouConnect, attracting younger talent will result in the last draft pick.

We can do better. A lot better.

What are your solutions to appraiser relevancy?