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    President's Message Jun 20, 2024

    President's Message, June 2024

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    June 2024 President's Message

    It has been another busy month at the Appraisal Institute. This message will focus on a question being asked by many residential appraisers. “What is the Appraisal Institute doing for residential appraisers?”

    As an SRA designated appraiser and 2024 President, I understand why the question is being asked. You are valued members of this organization and are in a very challenging time in your career. This organization’s mission is to empower valuation professionals through community, credentialing, education, body of knowledge and ethical standards.

    Community – We have 65 chapters and 10 regions. The chapters and regions offer in-person meetings and events that provide a community of colleagues and users of our services. Many chapters are experiencing weak attendance at these meetings and events. How can we boost the residential and commercial attendance at these meetings where relationships and networking can be most valuable to us? I invite you to share with me how to make this happen. We need to know how to improve community involvement.

    Credentialing – The designations we offer are highly regarded around the world. However, since licensing came into play the focus in the lender world is more on the license than the designations. The number of new designated members annually must increase. There are several ways we can accomplish this. First and foremost, we must make a strong case for the value proposition of hiring an AI designated appraiser. AI is working on developing a strong value proposition campaign. We must be the strongest advocates for our designations. Share with non-designated appraisers how the designation has helped your career. Be unafraid to clearly and strongly tell a potential client why they should hire an AI designated appraiser.

    Education – AI is known to offer the gold standard of education. We are in the process of revamping our education development and delivery to bring hot topic education to the market faster. Our education is higher quality than that of many of our competitors. Our pricing is higher than the “for profit” vendors in some cases but so is the quality of our education. Are you taking advantage of AI education? How can we encourage you to take advantage of AI education?

    Trending Topics Thursdays – Residential Free Resources for the New Report Form Residential appraisers have heard that the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (URAR) and Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) are coming, and it’s clear from the government-sponsored entities (GSEs)’ timeline that the adoption of the URAR and UAD will require some level of training and adjustment for appraisers.

    The new set of uniform appraisal data fields will include green and energy features. Most MLSs do not have populated fields to accommodate appraisers in finding homes with these features. This session will explore free data sources to identify these homes and ways to support market reaction in your locale while also previewing GSE and the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) expectations.

    Panelists will discuss:

    • Utilizing resources such as HERS, HES, and NRI
    • GSE uses of the energy and green features
    • GSE expectations about market reaction support for specific features
    • The VA's expectations around use of the URAR and UAD
    • What appraisers will be expected to know about new UAD fields and how they can learn it

    Register Here

    Body of Knowledge – The Appraisal Institute is known for its body of knowledge. We have the brightest minds providing solutions and a think tank to address the most complex real estate challenges. Where would you find this knowledge without AI? The Lum Library is a wonderful resource that is available to you. Eric Goodman, our librarian, is always ready to assist in researching a topic. Did you know the Lum Library has a special section for residential properties? Eric has been adding new search features and articles almost daily. If you can’t find what you need, call or email Eric. Email the Lum Library.

    Ethics and Standards – AI set standards long before FIRREA and state laws and regulations required USPAP compliance. Belonging to a community of appraisers with high ethical standards benefits us all. Bad actors should not be tolerated and we have a peer review process. If you have not reviewed our Code of Professional Ethics and Standards of Professional Practice lately, you can find them on the website. If you have a USPAP question, Stephen Wagner, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, is available to provide answers. Email Professional Practices.

    Legislative Advocacy – Scott Dibiasio and Brian Rodgers work tirelessly on our behalf with much of their time spent on residential matters. Scott provided the following:.

    “We continue to advocate for the separation of the appraiser fee from the AMC fee on the Loan Disclosure and Closing Statement. AI believes that it should be fully transparent as to who is being paid what in a transaction. The hope is that consumers will see that not all the fee that they pay to their lender is making its way to the person providing the service and they will hopefully begin to ask questions. However, not all appraisers want consumers to know what they are being paid. There are some states that require the appraiser to disclose their fee in the appraisal report.”

    Our Washington DC staff is working on our behalf to promote legislative efforts in support of regulatory standards for Property Data Collectors (PDCs). The Portal for Appraisal Licensing Act of 2023 (PAL Act) is still on the radar with talks of markups in House/Senate prior to July 4th. If you have relationships with a legislator, please provide Scott and Brian with their names. Email Government Relations & Advocacy.

    The Government Relations Committee (GRC) that works alongside our DC staff provides local information on areas where valuation is affected.

    Public Engagement – As a residential appraiser and President, I am often asked to speak about various residential topics. Being an ambassador for AI and its members is one of the biggest honors one could have. Every speaking engagement gives me the opportunity to promote the AI brand and the value of using designated members. Being at the table where valuation issues are addressed is crucial to the future of our profession. Rules, laws, and standards are often being set by people that do not understand what appraisers do in valuation. My April message talked about some of the events I have attended and/or spoken on behalf of AI. Below are a few more events that I’ve attended this past month.

    NAR 2024 Valuation Summit – Recently I attended the Summit in Washington D.C. NAR’s Valuation Committee is chaired by Beth Graham, SRA, with Maureen Sweeney, SRA, AI-RRS serving as Vice Chair. The topics were relevant to the residential appraisers’ challenges. Speakers included representatives of HUD, FHFA, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae who discussed reconsideration of value, artificial intelligence, appraiser independence, and appraisal modernization. The concerns from the residential appraisers in the room, several being AI designated members, were addressed by the speakers. This event was by invitation only and it was an honor for AI to be invited. The Appraisal Institute seeks collaboration with our sister organizations, and we appreciate our relationship with the National Association of Realtors.

    Agency Presentation – Last week I did a virtual presentation to HUD and USDA representatives on green appraisals. The green and energy-efficient topic is growing and presenting new learning opportunities for all. This is a great opportunity for residential appraisers to add a new book of business by becoming knowledgeable of green and energy features. The Appraisal Institute has a registry on its website for those residential and commercial appraisers completing the Valuation of Sustainable Green Buildings Professional Development Program Please take advantage of this program to allow you to capture this book of business.

    VA Advisory Group – I am on the Cleland Dole Section 203 Advisory Group that is providing input on energy efficiency and green features for consideration in updating the VA policy. Follow the Cleland Dole Section 203 link for information on the content. Tina Mindemann, SRA, AI-RRS is also serving with this group. Residential appraisers should be ready to address the new energy and green fields. The AI Appraiser Registry is a benefit that we need to populate so that our members are positioned to accept these assignments. Are you on the registry?

    What I Value Series – AI has started producing and including on the front page of its website a series of short video clips that tells what we do. The first one had Maureen B. Sweeney, SRA, AI-RRS talking about residential valuation. The most recent one has Adam M. Bogorad, MAI talking about aspects of commercial valuation. These videos are professionally produced and are a great way to showcase what we do. Won’t you share them on your social media?

    Appraiser Centric – Cindy’s weekly messages address the issues appraisers are facing. If you have a topic you’d like for her to address or you’d like to provide information on a topic she has already addressed, feel free to reach out to her. Email Cindy Chance, CEO.

    National Committees – We invite you to serve on a national committee, and we’d love to have you show your interest by going to the Leadership Resource Registry to identify the committees that are of interest to you. If you’ve never served on a national committee, won’t you give it a try? Numerous members have served on committees for more than half their career and we welcome many of them back and thank them for their service. We are seeking those members who have not yet served on a national committee; new voices and perspectives can only be helpful to the work of each committee. President Elect Paula Konikoff will be making committee appointments this fall and they are then subject to Board approval in November. Please let Paula know you are interested by showing your interest on that registry.

    Residential Way Forward – Don’t be discouraged; there is hope for the appraiser who stays abreast of education that sharpens your skillset. Charge what you are worth and let the users of our services see the difference in quality work at a higher fee versus lesser or poor-quality work at a low fee. Look for opportunities to expand your book of business. Get involved and network to grow your sphere of influence. You’ll be surprised what a difference involvement in the appraiser community can make.

    We are a membership organization with a diverse group of valuation professionals. Being involved in the organization at your local chapter, region and/or the national level is important to growing the AI brand and your name/company. If you want solutions to the challenges we face, we need your involvement. Together we are better, and we can overcome the challenges! Let me hear from you!

    Your voice can and should assist the Board in making decisions and making our governance more responsive to the membership, major changes in the real estate industry and the markets for appraisers’ professional skills and services. I'm looking forward to hosting a webinar this summer on our governance structure and other important topics of interest to you, our members -- stay tuned!

    Your friend,
    Sandra K. Adomatis signature
    Sandy Adomatis, SRA