- Feb 16, 2003
- Professional Status
- Certified Residential Appraiser
I think it is important to take advantage of the time remaining under the current system. I have no intention of trying to support my family on $50 inspection reports. Why would anyone want to attempt such a thing? For that kind of money, it is better to find a gig with benefits and vacation time. We still have some time left to work on Plan B. I am starting to believe we are in the "end game" as far as lending work goes. I think it is possible that 50% or more of current working appraisers could be forced out or to part time status, perhaps even within the next 2-3 years. I don't think the worst case scenario is guaranteed, but I think the probability is high enough to warrant at least getting a back up plan in place.Here is the thing. Ten years ago I finally figured out the conundrum. Back in the day I used to get $350.00 a pop for non-complex assignments and didn't have any stips, complaints or problems. My reports were highly documented, literate and well-supported like a flowing river running through the neighborhood description, trends, cost approach (always whether I was asked or not, couldn't complete a report if I didn't because I relied on it). Then I saw the scope creep but no change in fees. Then in 2008 or whenever it was the **** hit the fan. Couldn't get work, reos were the rage, unbelievable volume. So what did I do. I contacted one of the broker big shots in the area that was getting more foreclosures to put on market than he new what to do with. I told him that I could complete his bpos like nobody's business and I was heads over heels the favorite with the asset managers because I knew what I was doing compared with typical real estate agents. Two weeks into it the broker was my slave. We made a deal that I would get 30% of the listing fee, yes 30%. It was heaven for me pushing the bpos out, easy peasey. I tripled my income I was used to in six months and that lasted for two years. Then it stopped. I went back to the mortgage market and some private attorney stuff and my income plunged again. To me this stuff you guys are talking about is old news. Take Bert for example, who I admire greatly for his technological prowess. I used statistics to a great degree but not to the extent he's talking about. The databases that are being created are humongous, hell they go back 30 years or better. No human is going to be able to compete with this because we can't process 1000 transactions in five minutes within a 5% error rate. It would take me a month to do that, provided I had the database. I honestly don't see the future in the business because once the proper software programs are written the lenders will start using them to the exclusion of appraisers, and yes the reports will be supportable and will be definitive. We will become inspectors only to counter fraud (you know kitchen and bathrooms stripped, blah, blah). You'll get $50 to do the inspection. The attorney stuff will last a little longer as will some of the commercial stuff but the need for volume and speed due to the velocity of money is going to bury this profession and everybody in it. I hate to see you guys going over the same stuff over and over. Time to be proactive, tell the AMCs to go sit on it and start looking at the opportunities out there, they are all around everywhere but you have to get out of the trench to see where they are!