Vice President and Appraisal Manager of Residential Property at Rabobank
Allterra Group, LLC, a national real estate appraisal continuing education provider, has joined forces with Rabobank and Union Bank® to provide several seven (7) hour continuing education courses across the West Coast. Last week we sat down with Ken DeFeo to speak about Union Bank’s involvement. This week we were excited to speak with Robert Melfe about Rabobank’s involvement in these conferences as well.
Buzz: Robert, thank you for taking the time to speak with us about the upcoming events. Will you tell us a little bit about your history in the industry?
Robert: I graduated from California State University of Fresno (1986), with a Real Estate Finance and Urban Land Economics degree. While attending Fresno State, an appraiser (guest speaker) came to one of my appraisal classes and made the offer to the students to allow anyone to go out with him for a day to see what an appraiser does. I was the only student that took him up on it. I was hooked. Prior to graduation, I applied with several independent appraisers and a couple large firms. I was offered two positions, one from a large firm, and one from an independent firm. I chose to go with the small firm.
After several years with the independent firm, I was offered a position with Home Savings of America. I spent about a year with them before starting my own independent office. I was an independent appraiser for the next 24 years, employing 7 appraisers. For the past 2 years I have been in my current position with Rabobank as the Residential Appraisal Manager, overseeing our fee panel appraisers and staff reviewers.
Buzz: What should someone who has never heard of Rabobank know about your company?
Robert: They should already know that we are one of the largest agricultural lenders in the world, but what they might not know is that we are also a very large residential and commercial lender.
Buzz: What is the purpose of these events and why was Rabobank interested in participating?
Robert: Years ago, my good friend Dawn Molitor-Gennrich used to do this type of thing when she was running the Union Bank appraisal department and I always appreciated it. With the introduction of AMCs, the communication between the lenders and appraisers is no longer existent. This gives us the opportunity to meet our residential panel appraisers in addition to meeting top notch appraisers throughout our coverage areas. It will also allow us to communicate changes in guidelines and requirements both the lender and appraisers should be adhering.
Buzz: What can appraisers who attend expect to take away from this event?
Robert: They will better understand what Rabobank is expecting from their panel appraisers in addition to how new regulations affect them. As a fee appraiser, I always had a hard time understanding why the lenders would insist on certain requirements and/or guidelines until I saw it from the bank's side of the fence. This event will bridge the gap in communication between the lender and the appraiser.
Buzz: How long are these events and what is included in the registration?
Robert: The event will be from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Attendees will receive 7 hours of CE. Lunch and Morning Coffee will be included with the registration. It is also a great opportunity to meet some of our appraisers in person before adding them to our panel.
Buzz: Where will these events be held and why were these locations chosen?
Robert: Rabobank will be taking part in 3 locations: San Jose, Thousand Oaks, and Sacramento. These locations were chosen in order to meet our existing panel appraisers and other qualified appraisers within the surrounding communities.
Buzz: Who will be attending and presenting on behalf of Rabobank?
Robert: I will personally be presenting on behalf of Rabobank. Also in attendance at each of the locations will be at least one Rabobank review appraiser.
Buzz: Why is direct lender engagement of appraisers important to Rabobank?
Robert: For me, nothing is more frustrating when receiving an appraisal order and the contact person and/or job manager knows absolutely NOTHING about an appraisal. In my private practice, Union Bank was one of my first and longest clients. I always appreciated having an appraiser on the other end of the phone if additional instruction and/or help was needed. In coming to Rabobank, I wanted to replicate the direct engagement format, which thankfully, was already in place when I came aboard. Each of our staff reviewers have over 20 years of experience and are able to help our panel appraisers if any issues arise or if further instructions are needed. We deal with many complex properties and having another appraiser to discuss the problem and/or solution is priceless.
Buzz: If someone cannot make the event, is there any other way to apply for the Rabobank appraiser panel?
Robert: As of this date, we are waiting for each event to add new appraisers to our panel. Our intention is to meet new applicants at each of these events.
Buzz: Thanks Robert, this looks like a great opportunity for appraisers in these areas to get to meet some executives from your bank. Appraisers who would like additional information or would like to register for one of these events please go to www.appraiserevents.com or contact Karen Connolly at Karen@allterragroup.com or 513-490-0226