Response to Appraisal Buzz on how to correct industry

So far the solutions to producing better appraisals has focused on Big Education, getting your Bachelors, and Big Appraisal Education, requiring more qualifying education.  You have given no credence to practical knowledge which counts far more than the others combined!  Your suggestion of eliminating the mentor requirement is misinformed and appears self-serving.  Anyone that has ever had trainees knows that it takes several years before they are competent to go out on their own.  No amount of classroom knowledge is going to prepare them for the different challenges that appraisers are faced with every day.  The main issues that led to the glut of poorly trained unprofessional appraisers during the boom was the fact that there was no limit on the amount of trainees that a certified appraiser could supervise, that the trainee period was ONLY two years, and that there was no enforcement of trainees soliciting their own work.  The result was you were having trainee appraisers being solicited during their qualification classes by unscrupulous certified appraisers who would happily sign off on their work with minimal supervision.  This very low standard of becoming an appraiser, when combined with the very low standard of becoming a loan officer (three day class) resulted in many low quality appraisers teaming with low quality loan officers to produce bad loans.  The “solution” was not to fix the problem but to punish every honest appraiser who had built a lifetime business by spending years and countless hours properly teaching appraising to their employees.  By cutting off the business owner from legitimate, professional relationships, HVCC and Dodd-Frank essentially stole the intellectual property (the trained employee appraiser) from these business owners.  The only way to get more quality appraisers is to restore the incentives for the professional appraiser to train them.  Trainee appraisers do not need Bachelor’s degrees, they simply need to be able to write and reason, and they don’t need hundreds of hours of classroom study.  What they do need is years of experience.  As any experienced supervisor will tell you, the first two years of training is a drain on the business, it is only in the third and fourth year that a business owner finally starts to recoup his investment.  If you want more appraisers you must simply make it a worthwhile investment for the business owner.  This requires the ability of the business owner to command fees that would reasonably compensate him for his risk, as many trainee appraisers will simply wash out after a few months, thereby wasting the owner’s efforts completely.  Trainee should be required to gain at least four years of experience but the education requirements should be greatly reduced.  This would eliminate much of the upfront cost to the trainee while giving the supervising appraiser a small but reasonable incentive to train someone new.  Limit the number of trainees for one supervisor to at most four.  (I can’t imagine how one could properly review and teach more than four trainees at one time.)  Restore the ability of the business owner to more easily affect his sources of revenue.  Some AMC’s do provide a service, but this is a service to the lending industry and should be paid by the lenders if they choose.  I have stuck with this industry for the sole reason that I knew that the HVCC model would fail in exactly the manner that it has, thereby resulting in a supply/demand imbalance that would finally favor the professional appraiser.  Your suggestion of eliminating the only true source of knowledge in the industry is misguided and will put the final nail in the coffin of a once proud profession.