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Old 03-18-2005, 01:28 PM
Dulce Isler Dulce Isler is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Metuchen, NJ
State: New Jersey
Professional Status: Appraiser Trainee
Posts: 13

Can anyone tell me their opinions on whether an trainee should go for their MAI certification? Im hearing one side how MAIs are the way to go, that this is where the money is in years to come, and on the other side how the way that licensing works now it is just as good as being an MAI.

Any opinions that you may have I would love to hear about this issue as I would like to make an educated decision.

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Old 03-18-2005, 03:59 PM
Tim Hicks (Texas)'s Avatar
Tim Hicks (Texas) Tim Hicks (Texas) is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Crowley
State: Texas
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 11,949

MAI is a designation earned from the Appraisal Institute. A license or certification is something you obtain from your state. The MAI designation is the best thing to have if you are doing commercial appraisals. The SRA designation is offered by the Appraisal Institute for residential appraisers. Some appraisers hold both designations.

Right now, a state license is all most residential lenders require. Nobody knows if that will change in the future.
Please don't log on here and ask for our blessings unless you are prepared to accept the truth.
Old 03-18-2005, 04:30 PM
Restrain Restrain is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Port Charlotte, FL
State: Florida
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 10,543

If you are going to be a big fish in a little pond, go for the MAI. It's costly, but it's the only designation that really returns its value.

If you want to join an organization, do general purpose appraising in a rural or semi-rural area, then find out what organization is active in your area and see if you like it. Otherwise, most people don't look at designations anymore.
Old 03-22-2005, 01:48 PM
Paul Ness MAI's Avatar
Paul Ness MAI Paul Ness MAI is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
State: Pennsylvania
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 796

I would certainly encourage you to get it. Find someone in your local Appraisal Institute chapter and go to a meeting as a guest. Go to and do a chapter search or a search for members in your area.
Old 03-22-2005, 07:55 PM
Ramon Tate's Avatar
Ramon Tate Ramon Tate is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Hernando, MS
State: Mississippi
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 145

Originally posted by Paul Ness MAI@Mar 22 2005, 01:48 PM
I would certainly encourage you to get it....
Despite the cost, which is substantial, I considered it in the recent past. At one point I even made a phone call to an AI coordinator to check on the use of my eminent domain appraisal work for the experience requirements. I was a bit surprised with the uncertainty that greeted my question. The person I spoke with was described to me as THE person on the experience issue. I wasn't sure if it was because no one uses those type appraisals for credit or if there was some type of stigma attached to eminent domain work which I'm not aware of. Is there? One of our people had his RM designation prior to licensing and I never heard him mention anything about problems along those lines. He did say that the designation process could be "quite political", but that was over 10 years ago.

I've testified in court opposite several MAI's over the years. Although we were in court because we disagreed over value, I can say that there are those that were very professional, two in particular I have great professional respect for. But there have also been those that well... Paul, you'd cringe if you read their testimony in the trial transcripts. I know every organization is going to contain some bad apples. The ones I encountered have not destroyed my interest or the general desirability of the MAI designation. But, in the context of the substantial cost and effort necessary to obtain it, they did dull the shine a bit. It wasn't so much what they did as what AI did not do. And I'm not talking about an isolated event, I'm talking about a pattern of repeated conduct over a period years. If I'm going to invest the money and time, and subject myself to the stresses of trying to keep another plate spinning, I need to have confidence that the AI will be respectful of my investment in the designation by publicly chastising those designees who engage in outrageous conduct under the MAI banner.

Is the AI willing to institute its own disciplinary action even if the person has not been disciplined by a State appraisal board? This is not a straw man question. I've observed such a situation for several years and am wondering if it's discussed at the AI.
Old 03-22-2005, 10:09 PM
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Carnivore Carnivore is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Queen City
State: North Carolina
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 12,769


If I could turn the clock back I would and I would go for all the marbles.

If your young or fairly young then by all means do this if you plan on making the appraisal profession a career.
Old 04-19-2005, 10:26 AM
Bryan Reynolds Bryan Reynolds is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Kentucky
State: Kentucky
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 82


I was just wondering. What is young or fairly young?

Just wanna know where I fall.

Old 04-19-2005, 12:28 PM
JTip's Avatar
JTip JTip is online now
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Central PA-Altoona-State College
State: Pennsylvania
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 4,046

At one time someone (I think it was my mentor) told me a lady he knew spent $100,000 to get the MAI designation.

On occasion we get reports done by a MAI appraiser and learn some new wording or explinations from them.
I are serious appraiser, this is serious thread.
Old 04-19-2005, 02:12 PM
Rick Davis Rick Davis is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
State: Indiana
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 2

As a review appraiser for a large national bank, I would recommend not wasting the money for an AI designation. A licensed appraiser can push value, but so can an MAI.

If you are really pushing for general certification, I would recommend pursuing your CPA and/or getting an MBA in Finance/Real Estate.
Old 04-19-2005, 03:24 PM
Jim Onderisin Jim Onderisin is offline
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Du Page County, Illinois
State: Illinois
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 2,847

Say Rick, I'll bite. I've got an MBA in finance. What'll it get me?
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