I am truly excited about this announcement. We have been guilty of "the cobbler’s children need new shoes". At Allterra Group we support multiple websites—Appraisal Buzz, Valuation Expo, Collateral Risk Network and soon Allterra Online. Each of our lines of business has been well branded yet our corporate site was admittedly neglected. All of that has changed as of today.
Customary & Reasonable fees were all the buzz back in 2010. Then the conversations subsided. Appraisers had a whirlwind of refinance activity to distract them for a while. When interest rates ticked up, volume plummeted. Now every dollar counts more than ever. The sting is especially painful when volume has dropped precipitously and fees were cut simultaneously. That spells double trouble.
With the signing of the Financial Regulatory Reform Bill on July 21, 2010, also known as Dodd Frank, there were significant changes that affected the appraisal community.
I have delayed my usual beginning of the year prognostication for a number of reasons. I spend a lot of time speaking to individual appraisers as well as clients of appraisers -- both lenders and AMCs. There are indeed some common threads and of course there are the looming regulatory hairballs that affect us all. I also wanted to review the responses to the Appraisal Buzz National Appraiser Survey to which, by the way, it isn't too late to respond.
2013 Year End Wrap Up
I love this time of year. Of course what is not to like about the holidays? But it is nice to take a look back over the past year and reflect on accomplishments while simultaneously keeping an eye towards the future. I suppose if you aren’t careful, that means you would have each eye going in a different direction.
Wow, I am just recovering from my trip to Las Vegas to present at our Third Party Oversight Summit, along with Tony Pistilli at Axios, Peter Christensen of LIA Liability Insurance Administrators and Helge Hukari of Clear Capital. In spite of some crazy weather we had a packed house and actually oversold this event. Based upon our strong registrations and positive feedback we will be organizing a whole series on compliance next year. I wanted to take some time to let everyone know what was discussed at this event.
I read with interest an article in American Banker a week ago written by Clifford Rossi. The article can be found HERE. I spoke to Dr. Rossi briefly last week to inquire of his background. We had a fascinating, albeit brief conversation with a promise to meet up in person in Washington DC in a few weeks.
For all sorts of reasons, appraisers have fewer and fewer direct relationships with their lender clients. This is one of the reasons Allterra Group is so excited to announce their upcoming Appraiser Events. We have partnered with Union Bank and Rabobank to offer recruiting and training events for appraisers on the west coast. This is a tremendous opportunity for appraisers to get to meet and greet Ken DeFeo, Vice President, Residential Appraiser Manager at Union Bank and Robert Melfe, Vice President, Appraisal Manager at Rabobank.
I make this statement often enough it must be true… "U.S. residential real estate is the largest asset class in the world yet we know little about it." Think about that for a minute. Not only is it ginormous in the global financial sense, yet it is the single largest asset of most U.S. households. Then consider all of the derivative mortgage products and investment vehicles. Has your head exploded yet?
Paradise Lost? Maybe not. I recall distinctly when Dodd Frank was enacted and was I ecstatic to see the "customary and reasonable" fee insertion into the law. I said it then and it bears repeating, "it is a call to quality". Well, the last few years have caused me to eat a little crow. Eckkk. Partly, I don't like to be wrong. The other disappointment was that I worked hard to get it in the law. And lastly, it is just the right thing to do to repair some of the misaligned incentives in the appraisal process.
Valuation Expo is in the books for 2013. We were happy to have had exceedingly strong attendance this year. Our Collateral Risk Network meeting on Tuesday was the largest ever. We received a lot of positive reviews about the networking on the tradeshow floor and our continuing education format. We also had a 7 hr. national USPAP class presented by our platinum sponsor, ACI.