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Organize?

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Don Fiore

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Sep 7, 2005
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Certified Residential Appraiser
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Illinois
I dunno...maybe it's my labor union background talking. But in my view, appraisers should, as a group, be better organized. It would certainly help relieve the fee undercutting, turn time pressures, and similar crap that often makes this business so aggravating.

I've tossed this thought around in the on several occasions past and have been a little surprised at the typical response from other appraisers...which ranges from utter non-comprehension to just plain indifference.

Just wondering what the feeling on it is around here.
 

xmtpedprl

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Of course we should be, starting with fees.

However, every time stuff like this comes up that nasty word "collusion" appears. Ridiculous. Lawyers don't seem too concerned, and they're more or less in the $200.00 per hour range. We should easily be at $500.00, after all, WE produce legal documents, too.

As for representation, we should have that, but don't.

Oh, who shall save us?

;^)

Dave...
 

xmtpedprl

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Oh, and Don? If you're the husband of Rene, I took my report writing class from her over at good ol' Triton. She'd remember me, too, as I was the guy who started a big argument in class over whether or not that bad boy power plant in Braidwood ought to have an 'External Obsolescence' value or not on the cost approach.

I was adamant that it did not, she was adamant that it did. It was a blast, and to this day I think I won at the very least on a split decision, if not a TKO!

;^)

She was really great, please tell her I said hello.

Dave...
 

Lawrence R.

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Mar 27, 2007
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
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South Carolina
Oh boy, here I go.

I don't know whether your idea will gain any traction here or not. It would seem to me that a large minority of this forum is committed to the chaos and dissociation model currently in place.

Others have a laissez faire(sp?) attitude.

Most want to do something, once everyone else already has.

I tired to befreind a forum member who was at least trying to do something, and though his ideas weren't that great, he and everybody that tried to help got a pretty decent dose of disdain, and a meager helping of better ideas.

Come ye, slingers of arrows!!

PS, I salute you for trying to make a positive difference. If your ambitions ever exceed the borders of Illinois, please don't hesitate to contact me.
 
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leelansford

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Mar 29, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
...in my view, appraisers should, as a group, be better organized...

Organize in concerted effort...against what or whom?

Part of the problem...and no small problem...is that MANY appraisers benefit from the present system (at least as far as their relationship with MBs who they rely upon for business).

I'm listening...what are you suggesting?
 

Don Fiore

Thread Starter
Junior Member
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Certified Residential Appraiser
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Illinois
Thanks for all the responses...they're better than the blank stares I've gotten in the past when I approached this admittedly vague concept.

But first, yes, I am Rene's husband...and I teach at Triton, too, by the way, though we ended up cancelling this semester's Principles & Procedures courses because only two or three people signed up. Up until now, I usually had 15 to 25 people in the classes. Everyone's been scared off, I presume, because of the general presumption that big buck days of the real estate markets and all associated professions are done and gone.

Anyway, for clarification...the general idea is not organizing "against" anyone. It amounts to a consensus that simply lays out some basic platforms.

The easiest way for me to elaborate is in reference to my own experience in the trades. Years ago, I was in industrial refrigeration and a member of IUOE Local 399. My father was a Plumber in Local 130. If you were in Cook County or certainly in the City of Chicago and needed an engineer, plumber, or electrician the base rate was Union scale. That was the minimum rate you had to pay, no matter who you hired. There was absolutely no way around it because no self-respecting tradesman (or woman) would accept work for any less. I mentioned those trades in particular, because each of them (unlike, say, carpenters) required a state license. The unions were solidly ensconced in the city and if you were state-licensed (whether electrician, plumber, engineer, etc) and you wanted to work in Chicago, you pretty much had to join the union (which, in my opinion, was not a bad thing).

Now there were always people who claimed to be plumbers, electricians or engineers and who were willing to work for less...they were termed "scabs", they didn't belong to a union and often didn't have a state license either. They could get away with this out in the collar counties, but never in Chicago...at least not in broad daylight.

In a sort of watered down version, imagine if every (or most) appraisers in Illinois laid out a similar platform. Clients could pick and chose whoever they wanted, but the absolute minimum fee would be, say, $350 or whatever for a 1004 (variations depending on complexity of assignment, etc, if you could negotiate a higher fee, great...but never less than that base amount). And no matter who the client called or where they shopped around, that was the bottom fee.

Of course, that would require near unanimous and solid consensus on our part...something I recognize is probably impossible to attain. There will always be someone willing (understandably) to accept a lower fee if it means paying his or her grocery bills when business is slow.

But I still believe that the possibility, distant as it seems, is worth keeping alive at least through discussions.
 

xmtpedprl

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Florida
Don,

I don't know if folks have been scared away so much by the bad news as they have by the new licensing requirements, but I could be off on that.

After all, who wants to be a *degreed* professional making, oh, $225.00 for the compilation of a 5 year, legally binding, Brian Weaver punishable, lawyer 'litigationable' (is that a word?), document?

Seems to me people would take a pass. At least if they had half a brain.

So, again, it boils down to fees, which are reflected in how we, as professionals, value ourselves.

I hated having to lower my fees from $350.00 to (for most clients) $300.00 recently. I swallowed that like it was poison, but I did it, because we were getting those bad vibes from even good clients. These clients were being 'tempted by the fruit of another' with really ridiculously low fees. $225.00 or less.

To me this is the equivalent of a, well, I just can't say on this forum, but write me privately, I have a way of summing my feelings up on this type of person.

So, it's all fees. We're foolishly low, I'd say 100% low, given what we do combined with the responsibility of it all. However, we can't go talking about 'unions,' either. I hate the very thought of that, as well.

Listen, it can only come from inside, with an understanding of value, of worth (ironically so, as well, given what we do!), and until it does we're going to be under pressure by really unscrupulous people cleverly disguised as professional real estate appraisers.

Dave...
 

Tudor

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Aug 15, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
At the last Arizona Board of Appraisal meeting a company was reprimanded for advertising discounts on appraisals for deals that did not close. They did not go into great detail but did say that company agreed to stop that type of advertising.

I don't think that type of behaviour was helpfull in keeping fees high.
 

xmtpedprl

Senior Member
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Florida
Oh, a shot across the bow. Man, it never ends on this site.

Listen, we;'re honest people. When I sense that an owner is getting hosed by a sleazy firm, I tend to do the right thing, morally. And that is MY decision. May not be yours, but I have a conscience.

As for my advertisements? I speak their language, and that's IT. I swim with the sharks in hopes that every so often I can tame a few, and I do. End of story. I do not operate unethically, I'm just a guy looking to get by and that in a VERY tough market, as you well know.

And, for the record, we dumped that ad. Same as I modified my web site. And only because, like on this site, too many under-active people whined about it until Arizona was forced to do something about it. Like that was really an issue they f3elt a need to address given the current climate of this industry.

Don't bring it up again, please, these things go nowhere.

Dave...
 

xm4yb7

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Apr 28, 2006
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Florida
Unless your company was reprimanded by the Arizona Board, he was not talking about you.
 
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