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Designations?

Discussion in 'Appraisal Education' started by Bilderberg, Feb 23, 2011.

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  1. Bilderberg

    Bilderberg New Member

    0
    Jul 24, 2007
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    Hi all. My question is, what is the real value of a designation, and which are the best to pursue?

    I understand if the intent is to be an AMC appraiser, a designation will probably not result in any more work. Aside from this, are there designations that are essentially required to tap into different client bases? I would like to continue pursuing CG, but nobody seems interested in taking on an apprentice in the current climate. Understandable. I dont want a residential trainee either.

    I am thinking about SRA. Also possibly ERC so that I can start doing relo work (very long lead time on getting this one).

    I also understand that these are essentially money making scams for the companies which issue the designation. Like a degree mill. But if this has become the state of the industry, and it is a requirement to rise out of the AMC cesspool, I may be willing to play the game.

    On a side note, does anyone do equipment, business or FFE appraising? (or other non real estate appraising). I feel that residential appraising is either a dying industry, or there are just too many RE appraisers. These other fields may be a way for me to diversify before RE appraising is totally dead.
     
  2. Calvin the Airedale

    Calvin the Airedale Elite Member
    Gold Supporting Member

    0
    Aug 17, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Ohio
    MAI or ASA for CG work. SRA or IFA for residential work. ARA for rural and farm work. MRICS for international work. ASA for business valuation, machinery & equipment, personal property, fine arts, et cetera.

    The professional societies which offer these letters continually operate at or near break even. It isn't fair to characterize them as money making scams. Also, none of the designations are issued lightly or without great effort on one's part.

    The MAI is the most difficult to obtain and probably provides the highest return in potential earnings on the time and money invested .
     
  3. Pat Butler

    Pat Butler Senior Member

    12
    Jan 17, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Illinois
    ERC isn't a designation. The ERC does have the CRP designation that is worthwhile if you are going to do a lot of relo work, but very difficult to obtain. There are only 6 of us appraisers in my entire state with the CRP.

    MAI for commercial.

    My opinion on residential after answering tens of thousands of phone calls from prospective clients during the last 25 years is that less than 10 have ever asked what designation I had. Useless.
     
  4. David Wimpelberg

    David Wimpelberg Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    129
    Mar 30, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    New York
    Ditto.

    In my experience, attorneys most definitely ask for the MAI designation, regardless of property type, and in particular for assignments that may involve litigation. I've lost out on numerous assignments over the years because I didn't have a MAI designation.
     
  5. Denis DeSaix

    Denis DeSaix Elite Member

    315
    May 16, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    California
    I was told by a bank that their attorneys would not use me for certain situations because I did not have an SRA designation.
     
  6. Pat Butler

    Pat Butler Senior Member

    12
    Jan 17, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Illinois
    I primarily do relo and litigation work. It's extremely rare for an atty to ask about designations. Getting confirmed as an 'expert' is based more upon experience other than perhaps one question about designations.
     
  7. Michigan CG

    Michigan CG Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    451
    Nov 1, 2006
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Michigan
    It might be beneficial to educate potential clients about the benefits of a designation. Only 3% of appraisers have the MAI and slightly more have the SRA.
     
  8. David Wimpelberg

    David Wimpelberg Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    129
    Mar 30, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    New York
    In the last case I had to testify in the opposing attorney made a huge deal out of the fact that I didn't have a MAI and his appraiser did. This appraiser was hired simply because of his qualifications, a part of which was his MAI.
     
  9. Bilderberg

    Bilderberg New Member

    0
    Jul 24, 2007
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    I have been an "expert witness" in one bankruptcy proceeding. It involved 2 court appearances. The only reason I was asked to be there was because I had done an REO appraisal on a property owned by the bankruptee. I was on the banks side of the aisle, not the bankruptee, and my appraisal was not in question. I was there for backup and support for the banks lawyers.

    how does one become an expert witness, if one has no expertise in being a witness? you cant be an expert at something you have only done 1 time, but you have to start somewhere.

    I am interested in doing more of this work. How do you become "qualified" as an expert witness? Does this come from a court jurisdiction, and is there an actual qualification document or designation that comes from the court? Is a qualification from one court good in all courts? Obviously I was not qualified by the court I attended, but it didnt stop me from being there.

    Oh by the way, do all lawyers suck at paying as much as they did in my case? I gave them very reduced rates due to my lack of experience in court, and they still tried to stiff me.
     
  10. fritzvogel

    fritzvogel Senior Member

    1
    Dec 16, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    New York
    Tried to stick you for part of the fee, sounds familiar. To make sure you get your fee is to notify the judge in the case with a nice letter and a copy of the report and invoice. If the case has not yet settled, the judge could hold it over the head of the offending attorney to pay it.
    There is no "expert witness" designation or "official" designation from the courts.
    The MAI, SRA thing is an important issue depending upon your market. In Daves case he in a high end location, the hamptons, it would require some designation to have the upper hand in a case. In my market I can't remember the last $ 1,000,000. home I did in 5-6 years and there are less than 10 MAI or 15 SRA desingnees that I know of, so It would not be required to be considered an expert in my market. Good courses to take but as another poster said, in more than 10 years I have only been asked 3 times if I had a designation.
     
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