One takeaway that is paramount which they focused on is lack of leadership.
Second takeaway which they missed is lack of focus on public trust by leadership.
It is a faction of AI being torn within. I saw it years and years ago. The proliferation of AMCs has made it worse.
A house divided against itself will fall in a storm.
As they say, you just can't have it both ways. I have dear acquaintances both SRA and MAI, and things were thick 20 years ago. It has only gotten worse I am sure.
The fastest and cheapest was a big nail in the coffin. I don't believe the coffin is nailed shut but the fat lady is sucking on a lemon.
One of my dearest aquaintensces was a female SRA who was the president of an AI chapter. She may have been one of the first female chapter presidents because she definitely gave the MAI's hell, but they respected her. She was an astounding appraiser. She retired her license within the last few years from what I am told. I don't think it was because of health.
I never will forget her telling me "you won't believe what happened". I said ok tell me. She said I am president of the AI chapter.
I think her daughter still does appraisal but not sure she is designated. I could find out.
It is unfortunate what is happening with the AI. I do not know much about the organization structure but they need to raise funds to rebuild the online education program. They must be the #1 online appraisal education provider. It seems like they are focused on in class education, which is okay, but they really need the online program to get appraisers in the door and interacting with the AI. I don't believe that they can stabilize or reverse the declining membership trend until they do that.
There are some legitimate issues raised, but it seems to me that the innuendo leans toward nefarious.
I do agree that more transparency is a good thing. I also believe that the national leadership understands this as well. As with any large organization, things don't move as quickly as most would like.
The recent announcement regarding Chapter accounts, etc., had more to do with streamlining accounting and ensuring non-profit filing status was maintained vs. a "money grab". The so-called fee had to do with an investment advisor for the pooled reserves as well as admin costs. Having said that, even though the chapters retained the checkbook, it is always sensitive issue to move the money!
These changes had been in the works and really wasn't a secret (however, not every detail was shared), but as I said, the process could have been improved by more transparency and the implementation would have been better received and its benefits better understood if handled in a more informative and collective manner with the national, chapter, and membership.
The forecast that the Designations are dying is premature. I get as many calls for from clients (typically, out-of-state lenders or accountants/attorneys) being an SRA as I do for being an MAI. Those fees have more than paid for all my future membership fees I'm likely to ever have. I'm sure some will say I'm basing that on hope rather than reality. It is my reality, and while things can always change, it will take a lot more than a misstep in rolling out an accounting process to do that.
I do take the words of Crawford and Miller at face value. I do not believe they are trying to sabotage or bring down the Appraisal Institute. I would hope that since there has been a number of these podcasts on this theme, that Crawford will invite an AI representative to speak on the subject as well. I've met a few of the AI people from New York; I cannot imagine anyone could muzzle them.
All large organizations I know of, from time to time, have issues which create some internal friction. The AI is been around for a while and has faced challenges before. I'm not being complacent; positive change occurs when members take action. I'm confident the challenges the AI is facing now will result in positive change that will not only benefit the organization but the appraisal profession in general. It is always uncomfortable for any organization when their internal challenges are publicly aired. On the other hand, that uncomfortability can also be an agent of positive change. I believe such will be the case.
For the record, I don't have a problem raising my concerns or fearing retribution from national or stating my concerns openly at the chapter, regional, or national events I attend.
And, I am speaking here as an Appraisal Institute member, not as a representative of the organization.
The original letter sent unannounced was an insult to anyone's intelligence. That was simply a dumb thing. They are withdrawing the letter I understand. I mentioned taking an AI course to an MAI last year at our local appraiser group. He asked who taught it and gave me a curt opinion of the guy, starting with blaming him for withdrawing from TAF sponsorship to avoid getting the boot. Clearly the troops and generals are not using the same battle plan.
All the organizations are too disjointed, out of date and out of touch and most could bring in more members with lower member fees and until appraisers are better compensated they all are doomed to shrink.