Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Florida Appraisal Council and RPR

The Florida REALTORS® 2013 Mid-Winter Meetings are going on in Orlando, Florida from January 23 - 27. Governance meetings for all the Florida REALTORS® committees and councils are part of the meetings at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld®. The resort is located at 6677 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32821.

Committee and Council meetings are open to all REALTORS® that register for the conference. There is no charge to register. All registration is handled onsite at the hotel. There is something for everyone during these meetings. Among the most interesting, IMHO, are the Public Policy related meetings one Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Of course, the Florida Appraisal Council meeting on Friday, January 25th is a must. It will be in the Cobia Room from 1:00 until 2:30.

Part of the agenda for the Florida Appraisal Council is an update on the development of the Appraiser Tools for REALTORS Property Resource (RPR). Access to the database of every single parcel of real estate in the United States is already available to every REALTOR member in the country. RPR is working on a set of online tools, tailored to our profession, and focused on automating some of the more tedious form filling functions.

Here is what RPR CEO Dale Ross had to say in his Q4 2012 update to the RPR Board of Directors:

Appraiser Tools Development
The balance of the fourth quarter has been spent on building out the Appraiser Tools for beta testing in the early 2013. The Appraiser features leverage and extend the comparables analysis technology framework released prior to the Orlando meetings, additional functionality has been added in each area of the interface to support the more complex search and comparison needs of the Appraiser user.
As the team turned its attention to the development of these features, we reviewed our plan with RPR’s Appraiser Task Force and provided the group with a list of key questions. In return, we received some very specific, actionable, and incredibly thoughtful input from the group that became central to how we defined our approach. The core concept of RPR Appraiser Tools is to build upon our strengths as a database and analysis engine, by fulfilling an Appraiser’s need for fully-matched data that reconciles public and private sources (such as MLS) in a format which supports the user’s field and observational work, while reserving the derivation of conclusions to the unique skills, training, and experience of the Appraiser user. 
There's still time for Florida REALTOR Appraisers to make the trip, attend the meeting, and get the update on RPR, along with all the other information. It would be great to see you there.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A New Year - Pay Attention to Business

November, December, and the first part of January have been extremely busy. Although I was able to fire off a Christmas post, the New Year's post never made it. There has been plenty of appraisal related news, but it's been important for me to produce some appraisal related work, and generate some appraisal related income over the past few months. The checks finally started arriving in today's mail, and there is much to talk about. 

Back in 2009, when Taylor, Bean & Whitaker bit the dust, their affiliated appraisal management company, Security One Valuation Services, LLC stiffed thousands of appraisers. Later that year, Larry Holzer folded his latest disposable appraisal management company, Global Appraisal Solutions, leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid appraisal fees. That did not stop him from creating another AMC to sucker in a new group of appraisers.

In mid 2012 appraisers took it on the chin with the failure of AppraiserlLoft. Who knows how many were left holding the bag in that case. 

In late 2012, appraisers from around country heard that ES Appraisal/Evaluation Solutions filed for bankruptcy. A website set up for creditor appraisers shows a tally of over $1.2 million in unpaid appraisal and BPO fees. Now, the word on the street is National Real Estate Information Services (NREIS) will be closing their doors next month.

Appraiser Active is on a quest to improve the profession, but we appraisers are also involved in running a BUSINESS. Please remember when you become part of a "vendor" panel for an AMC, you are extending them credit. Many AMCs are making a big deal of insisting on background checks of appraisers joining their panel. It might be time to do some background checking on the folks you extend credit to.

Just about a month ago I heard from Kim Drago. She was promoting an new site for appraisers, AppraisalAdvisor. The concept sounds interesting. For those of you involved with AMCs, it might be worth a look.  We are not in a position to endorse these folks, but their LinkedIN page has a bunch of great advice and New Years' Resolutions.