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Why be a member of a professional organization

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Restrain

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
All right. I admit it. This is a rant. Quick summary. I hold the SRA designation from before the Institute/SREA merger. Paid my dues, attended classes, attended membership meetings. Current chapter president states that a priority is to maintain membership as there has been a loss of 40% of the SRAs and 70% of the Associate Members. Now the Lending Community (Fannie Mae, et al) want to eliminate appraisals on 90% of the residential loans and all the AI and the Appraisal Foundation wants to do is tweak USPAP (charge us for more classes) and make it harder to become an appraiser (more useless class hours). They refuse to get up off the floor and complain to Fannie Mae or Congress even though we are beginning to see a repeat of the 80's. So why support them any more? Is it just my cynicism or do other designated members feel this way? How about it you AI, NAIFA, ASA members? What do you think?
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
I used to belong to NAIFA. I have entertained joining AI. I am member of NAR-Appraisal Section. The NAIFA did get off the floor and blew some say, $5 million on a lawyer to lobby congress to no avail. AI also spent considerable cash joisting the windmills turned by ABA money.

About the time I am ready to join AI, they come up with a policy of capitulation while talking out the other side of their mouth about doing something about lender pressure.

Only a scandal is going to do anything about lender pressure. When the banker/mortgage folks HAVE to keep quite because they are in the same boat as lying CEOs...ie a major bank crisis..and you can bet many small fry appraisers will then be accused of being THE PROBLEM, not the solution.

NAR is cheap and doesn't pretend to do any of those things. Its a social club and maybe thats all we need in light of the lack of effectiveness anyway

Ter
 

Red Blumenstock

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
I too, was an SRA before the merger and was also an RM. In hindsight, I am sorry I voted for the merger. It is interesting to note that someone (I forget who) questioned why a PhD, DDS, MD, JD, MA, BA, BS, etc all pay once for their earned designations, but MAI and SRA members must pay forever (currently to the tune of approximately $750 to $1,000 per year). I assume the same is true of the other appraisal organizations, but for a lesser price. I understand from where that concern is coming.

In my opinion, the emergence of the FIRREA and USPAP, which were intended to upgrade the profession have succeeded in diminishing the value of the various designations.

I am semi-retired (only teaching and Forensic Review Work) and am not subject to all the problems any more, but do understand your frustration. Can anything be done about it? Probably not.

Red Blumenstock
 

Neil (Texas)

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Texas
I still hold membership in NAIFA. We have a very active local chapter (Dallas) with monthly luncheons and guest speakers on a variety of subjects. These meetings are often preceded with short-course offerings that are well attended. Our chapter membership is growing and we have a mentoring program for candidates seeking designation. Lots of discussion, networking, advice, and referrals. I consider these people more than colleagues, they are friends who are always willing to share and assist. We belong to FACT, an effective lobbying group on the state level. Wayne Mayo, one of our members, chairs the state appraisal licensing-certification board and he keeps us well informed. Guess we are fortunate to have members that do more than just show up for a meal.

Am I always happy with the policies and internal politics of our national organization? NO. But I figureI can accomplish more for our profession by standing inside the tent.

If any of you out there are in our area, I invite you to be my guest. We meet at 11:30am at the Old Mill Inn at Dallas' Fair Park, the first Wednesday of each month. More information can be found at our chapter website:
http://dallasnaifa.com

Hope to see you there.

Neil Schaeffer, IFAS
Terrell, Texas
 

Paul Ness MAI

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
I have said this many time before on this forum. I take the opposite opinion of many who are dropping the residential designation, for reasons similar to the old stock market axiom – buy when everyone else is selling and sell when everyone else is buying.

The handwriting is on the wall regarding residential appraising as we have known it for the past 20+ years. The impact of technology and the changing face of mortgage lending can not be denied. If you plan on staying in residential appraising, future prosperity will require creative product options, expanding your market beyond financing appraisals, and even delving into areas skirting commercial work like development feasibility studies and subdivision valuation (with a general certification). I work with a number of residential appraisers in my capacity as a review appraiser, and those that remain steadily busy are those that are designated and have a more diversified client base. That is a fact. IMHO, in order to stand out above the rest and expand into these areas, a designation will prove its worth in the long term.

As someone else said in this thread, I don’t agree with everything my organization has done. Recent example - I am opposed to AI joining this etherial "umbrella organization" as are those in my chapter, and we have encouraged everyone to communicate this back up the corporate chain of command. I’d rather be in the tent trying to make a difference than be outside the tent wasting my time complaining. I have served as my chapter’s vice-president and president, have spoken and written many times with my regional representatives and our executive director, and continue to serve on our chapter’s board and admissions committee. I think I was also recently hoodwinked into serving as education chair for next year. You can’t change things without getting involved.

I think you have three options for long-term success, (1) maintain your designation and market it to diversified clients, (2) move into commercial appraising, or (3) get out of the business. The choice is a personal one and depends on where you are in your career. If I was starting out, I’d skip residential and go into commercial. If I was within five years of retiring, I think I’d retire now. In reality, I’m still somewhere in the middle and would never dream of giving up my designation. Personally, it means more to me than my bachelor’s degree in finance because I think I worked harder for it.

PS - Hi Red!
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Getting (and maintaining) a designation is a long, hard, expensive, and time consuming process. Anybody who has one deserves credit. However, the current state of affairs in our industry is not necessarily the fault of any particuliar appraisal organization. The problem centers on the overall lack of membership, which has always been the problem (even in pre-FIRREA days). Without large numbers there is no clout. When the NAR lobby speaks, people people listen - when appraisal organizations lobby, nobody cares. Do the math - add up all the "anti-appraisal" people and their organizations, and stack them up againist members of appraisal organizations. Even if all the appraisers in the entire country joined one appraisal organization, they still couldn't overcome the other lobby groups.


The other part of the problem is the mind-set of appraisers in general.
Somebody once said, organizing appraisers is the equivalent of herding cats. This has always been true. With the advent of licensing, thousands
of new people jumped into the business and didn't see the need for a
designation, which was fueled in part by the elitist attitude of many that did have designations. I remember losing tens of thousands of dollars worth of business because I didn't have an MAI designation ( 70's & 80's).
The MAI's simply had a better PR campaign than the rest. Today, there
is still a lack of cooperation between these organizations.

I keep my designation (IFA) simply because like Paul Ness said, it's better to be inside the tent, than outside complaining. There's at least some voice to be heard by membership in an organization. I don't buy the arguement about the cost. How many appraisals does it take to cover the dues ?

One last note (with all due respect ) - commercial appraisers are next
on the list of elimination, especially with all the computer models and hype out there.

I'm bailing at age 59.5 which is less than 5 years from now, I'm tired of fighting winds mills !
 

Dan/Fla

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
I to would like to find an effective organization, but am not going to waste the money joining a social club.

True I would love to that appraisals would be required on any loan were these Banks or mortgage companies are making loans with other peoples money.

Ex. last month I was involved with a sale of a house, on acres. Before we listed it had a survey done back in Feb this year. Though I told listing agent I have not appraised it, I felt I did have an idea what it was worth, but asked her to subjest a price, she came up with a price $5,000 more than I was thinkin so I agreed. Another agent sold it in 15 days full asking price. Bank doing the loan called me and asked if I ever appraised it, told her no that the asking price came from listing agent. Bank told borrower since an appraiser was involved with sale it was ok by underwriter that no appraisal was required, just a new survey, by same surveyor would be required. So I had to pay for the new survey $300. What organization do surveyors belong to that the one we need.

What I see is what happen to S & Ls, is going to happen again with all these no appraisals needed or these AVMs. Customer showed me one of those last week where his home was valued between $125,000 to $150,000. I looked at my data had 32 sales within subdivision which closed in past 12 months, the highest was $98,000 and it was 200 foot bigger subject and also had an inground pool.
 

DAVID ANDREWS

Freshman Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2002
I tend to agree with Paul Ness, MAI. I held the ASA designation for a number of years but gave it up and quit paying dues a few years back because I could not see that any appraisal fees were being generated by that designation. I hated to give it up because it was hard work to obtain. I was a member of the SREA back before the merger. I held, still do, both the SRPA and SRA designations. I voted against the merger because I anticipated receiving secondary citizen type treatment from the AI. I was correct. I am very disappointed in the AI and if at the beginning stages of an appraisal career, I would never affiliate with the AI or any other organization. However, I am at 59.5 years and I worked too hard for the SRPA and SRA to give them up now. I will continue to pay my dues and complain until I can attain retired status in the AI. Full retirement is not too far away, and I am looking forward to it because I am tired of being regulated by incompetents.

David M. Andrews, SRPA, SRA
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
A common thread above is the fee.....and I am unsure why appraisal society fees are so high. Our state bar does not charge what NAIFA, ASA, AFMRA, or AI does. CPAs don't pay that much. Geologists don't. Engineers, Architects, etc. Not one professional organization charges as much or averages less income. Why? Surely you don't think there are more architects or geologists than appraisers do you? My AAPG membership is $110 a year - certification is $75 more. My state Geologist registration is $30. The state appraisal board charges me $200 ($175 in OK); NAIFA was twice that & w/ designation even more. Plus entry fees large enough to choke a cow.

When I bellyached about NAIFA sending me tons of literature for cont. ed classes with first class stamps, I was berated as a turncoat who did not realize how "special" NAIFA was...yeah,yeah. Postage was the second largest expense in the organization.

At least the Appraisal Institute can turn out a textbook with a real binder and halfway proofread.

Yes, niche appraising is the future. Residential appraising is a sunset industry. I fail to see how a commercial database can be created that would accurately estimate commercial property.

In my region, AVMs have made little inroads because of the fee. My bro. recently attended a AVM pep talk where they proposed to do a database for NW Arkansas and charge $425 per house for it....OK...local fees are $300-325. Why spend $100 more for an inferior product?
TER
 
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