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Prophetic Observation

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Ken B

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Back in the early 90's, I attended my first formal appraisal course. The course was offered at Virginia Commonwealth University and it was taught by this gentleman. He had the following to say about the profession back in 1985. If you read nothing else which follows, read the very last few sentences. In light of threads where trainees are looking for the cheapest educational alternatives, where Certified Appraisers are asking first-year trainee-level questions, and where trainees appear to be appraisal business owners with Certified Appraisers partners who seem to be rubber-stamping other trainee reports, Dr. Boykins observations ring so very, very true.

"The issue of education is important to today’s appraiser, but it will become crucial to appraisers 20 years from now. It is quite probable that much of the appraiser’s business in future years will have been taken over by other professions or that the form of this business will have changed substantially. The failure of the real estate appraisal field to become a profession over the past 20 years results from squabbling among appraisal organizations, the inability to change appraisal services to meet client needs, and the incoherent effort to articulate an educational curriculum either within universities or among the disjointed and feuding appraisal groups. The future of appraising left unaltered seems bleak. Appraisals in the single-family residential market may soon be done by means of computers, complemented with a field inspection by nearly anyone who has a basic knowledge of construction. Income property appraisals may succumb to the institutionalized, lengthy, unresponsive art form of today. The opportunity to provide market, feasibility, and highest and best use studies probably will be increasingly dominated by non-appraisers."

"Education for future real estate appraisers is a complex issue. There are certain immediate educational needs that probably are best administered by the appraisal organizations. The weakness in this is that relatively few appraisers will take advantage of these opportunities. Long-range needs will require a cooperative effort between national appraisal groups and universities. The four weak links in developing a comprehensive university curriculum for future real estate analysts are the lack of clarity in the services appraiser-analysts should provide their clients, a continuing narrow view of the field of real estate appraising, the questionable legitimacy of real estate appraising in higher education as a separate field of study, and the extremely wide range of expertise among real estate appraisers - from grossly incompetent persons to highly respected appraiser-analysts. State licensing laws sometimes are regarded as the answer to upgrading the appraisal field. There is little reason for optimism about this prospect since the tendency is to treat licensing merely as a business tax, designed to give credence to mediocrity by way of standards set at the lowest level, with virtually anyone capable of reading, writing, or passing a rudimentary examination becoming eligible for licensing."


* James H. Boykin, MAI, PhD
* July 1985, Appraisal Journal
 
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George Hatch

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California
* James H. Boykin, MAI, PhD
* July 1985, Appraisal Journal
I daresay a lot of the people in his peer group had/have the same opinions.
 

Don Clark

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Jan 17, 2002
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Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Virginia
Dr. Boykins also served as the first Educational Member of the Virginia Real Estate Appraisal Board.
 

Oregon Doug

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Oregon
Prophetic indeed!

I don't recall licensing being discussed in '85, the first serious discussion I remember came in '87 - '89 - the issue was not whether, but how. (That's how title XI came about.) "...standards set at the lowest level,.." It's hard to imagine how standards could be any lower (I argued for a four year degree as a minimum at the time but obviously that was shouted down.)

I recall testing some of the early computer models - boy, were they a joke!

Oregon Doug
 

Chris Colston

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Jul 24, 2003
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Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
I don't recall licensing being discussed in '85, the first serious discussion I remember came in '87 - '89

Discussions were quiet and skeptical. By 1988 and 1989 I was already studying for the first round of tests that were going to be given in Maryland in 1990. I was one of the first to take the exam in Maryland way back when. The entire firm, I worked for (38 appraisers in the firm) all took the first test on the very first day given and we all passed! I have no idea where any of those people are today.
 
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