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.


Anonymous said...

Frank, I completely agree. The fees most AMC's pay are already bottom of the barrel. For this year I have decided no new AMC's, and very little work will be done for the few that I will work for. They expect to be put to the front of the list, when my good clients(full fee paying lenders) need that spot reserved for them. Funny thing is, no AMC is going to put me at the front of their list. "faster and cheaper" wins every time. I think I should start telling them "They are not on my Preferred client list"

Anonymous said...

Appraisal Advisor is the same idea that I passed along to David Brauner of Working Real Estate OREP a few months ago. A large number of appraisers have been following his Appraiser Rater blog and attempting to post their comments on AMCs. The problem is that he has a terrible format for doing such (standard WordPress). I recommended to his the script that was needed to convert his site to a rating service but he's never made the change.

Although I am happy that someone is finally creating a rating site for AMCs they are doing no great favor to appraisers by charging for the service. I suppose you can't fault a budding entrepreneur for trying to shake the remaining change from the pockets of appraisers.

Sorry guys but professional rating script costs around $300....that's it. A wordpress add on script for rating costs considerably less than that. If you are an appraiser who pays to rate an AMC you need your head examined.

Send me $500 appraisers for the script and the work and I'll create a professional site that you can use to rate AMCs with no membership fee.

D. Feather
Ex Appraiser
Creator: BankRape.com

Dave Biggers said...

D Feather, you might go visit the AppraisalAdvisor site (www.appraisaladvisor.com). It's been under construction since 2011 and is FAR from a "rating script in a Wordpress site". I've seen lots of rating scripts, and they can't do a fraction of what AppraisalAdvisor does (it's kind of like saying you could build a stock market site using a rating script and WordPress -- yes, people rate things, but that's a tiny fraction of the functionality).

I understand software -- I own a la mode. My son, Matthew, started AppraisalAdvisor. I'm admittedly biased, but all I'm suggesting is that you go look at it and see for yourself. It's not what you think. And, he's got no plans yet to charge a dime for it anyway. If a model can be built where free access is feasible, then he's all in favor of that. But just like appraisers, he does have a right to get paid for his work *somehow*, so long as it's useful and worth it.

Go look at it, and reach your own conclusion based on an in-depth evaluation of it.

Dave Biggers