Andy McCloskey, MAI
Great Lakes Chapter
Option: Defense of Reports
Which option did you choose (Traditional Demo, E-demo, Defense of Reports, Capstone Program) and why?
Defense of Reports. For a variety of reasons, the other options were imperfect fits. For example, the Traditional Demo reflects a process that is completely disconnected from regular appraisal practice and forces the appraiser to write a report that is unlike anything they would ever write in the normal course of business. That being said, for members that typically deal with less complex assignments or summary report formats, the Traditional Demo could be a worthwhile endeavor.
How did the Appraisal Institute help you on your journey to designated membership?
It is apparent they listened to Associate members who, like me, had no interest in the Capstone program and saw little opportunity for professional growth in completing the Traditional Demo. The Defense of Reports option is perfect for members who regularly prepare complex reports and are able to verbally walk a reviewer through the report process.
Due to my feelings toward the Traditional Demo, for many years I held just short of designated membership. Once offered, I knew the Defense of Reports option was a perfect fit. After report delivery, appraisers are often called upon to defend their methodology and/or judgment. To that end, the Defense of Reports option mirrors everyday practice and provides the interview panel with strong evidence of the candidate’s overall competency. In contrast, the Traditional Demo reflects a process that is completely disconnected from regular appraisal practice.
What was the biggest obstacle you faced during the process and how did you overcome it?
For a number of years, the biggest obstacle was a lack of options that provided an opportunity for professional growth. The obstacle was cleared via the Defense of Reports option.
What surprised you the most about the membership process?
Specific to the Defense of Reports option, I was surprised at how well organized it was for an initial offering. From the staff in Chicago to the MAIs on the interview panel, there were no unplanned hiccups.
What is the biggest benefit of becoming designated?
Client development. While it has been a mere few months since becoming designated, I was recently invited to join the approved appraisers list for multiple lenders. Without a doubt, these opportunities would not have been available if I had not become a Designated member.
What advice do you have for Associate members working towards designated membership?
Choose the demo process that is the best fit for you and go with it. Further, seek an appraiser mentor who truly is interested in assisting with your professional development. This does not necessarily have to be your employer or someone else in your firm.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do different, knowing what you know now?
Honestly, I would do things the same. While I would have preferred to have become designated years ago, given my poor perception of the Traditional Demo, I would definitely wait to become eligible for the Defense of Reports option.