While never one for New Year resolutions, I do love this time of year to reflect about where our industry has been; it's current state and what needs to happen to move forward.
Our team at Appraisal Buzz, and I, are really excited to announce the launch of an Appraisal Buzz magazine. Yes, you heard that right. We are going to engineer some backwards technology and publish our first ever print magazine next Spring. We've gone retro with an old fashioned, glossy magazine delivered to your mailbox.
The Great Collateral Underwriter Caper
In the midst of the Mortgage Bankers Association Annual Conference, Fannie Mae announced on October 20th it will make available to sellers its proprietary appraisal review tool, Collateral Underwriter™ (CU). According to the press release, the tool will be available on appraisals submitted to the Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP) and its results will be included in the response from UCDP beginning in early 2015. The release describes the move as "allowing lenders to compare appraisals against Fannie Mae's database of appraisal and market data.
Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs) have a role to play in the brokerage, assignment, and management of real estate appraisals. That has been the case since the 1980's at least. For some of us, beginning in that era, we likely got our start by doing work for such companies. Having worked for my mentor for a couple of years, AMCs were instrumental in my being able to go out on my own, open my own company, and begin to make a decent living in the profession. That, along with the assistance of a great mentor who encouraged me, gave me a fast start in the business.
For anyone who has spent any time around the water cooler at any number of the continuing education classes or conventions of late, it seems the hot topic of discussion has been the out of date forms in use. Many of us may have to take a glance down to the corner of the page to realize the last time the forms were changed was in 2005 and before that it was in 1996. We’re coming up on the 10 year mark so we should all be expecting an overhaul of the forms soon, or at least we hope so...
Last year we started a summer reading list for appraisers with recent books that appeal to appraisers about the industry or business in general. This year we have a brand new batch of books for appraisers to read.
The Allterra Group has always been known for their top notch on-site continuing education. Whether it is the lender sponsored appraiser events, seminars and webinars, or the national conference held every year at Valuation Expo. Now they are expanding their options and making continuing education available in the comfort of your own home or office! We sat down with their Director of Online Education, Ashley Hammond, to discuss Allterra Online and its offerings for appraisers.
Over the past several years, I have had the experience of meeting and conversing with literally thousands of appraisers from every state in the Union as well as from countries across the world. Though I have not kept track of the exact number, I would estimate that my conversations with appraisers is now approaching several thousand. Some meetings are superficial, but others are deep and meaningful. My experience has given me the unintentional consequence of having a somewhat unique perspective on the condition of today's real estate appraiser.
A little over a year ago we spoke with Bruce Unangst, the Executive Director of the Louisiana Real Estate Commission, to talk about oversight of AMCs. We were able to touch base with him again recently to see what has been going on since the adoption of their final AMC rules. Appraisers will definitely be interested in his responses to our questions in this latest interview.