An Appraiser’s Story
by Bryan Knowlton
I have been an appraiser a little over 10 years now. When I was getting started I did everything I could to get work. I had been an Internet marketing specialist making a good living online but when the dot com bubble burst, so did 90 percent of my clients. I never saw it coming, just like when the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) passed, I never saw it coming or expected what it would do to the industry and my business. But that is another story.
For as long as appraisal management companies (AMCs) have been around, they have never had a good reputation. They have always been known to offer lower than competitive rates, require unrealistic turn-times and often require multiple revision requests from unqualified reviewers. There was only a handful of them around and appraisers were warned against “working for the devil.”
Many appraisers were completely caught off guard when the HVCC passed and all work suddenly flowed from AMCs. Those without a good portfolio of clients seeking a variety of appraisal products were left without any work and without any income.
About six months prior to HVCC passing, I had the bright idea of moving out of California, where most of my estate work was coming from, and to open up a location serving the Phoenix area. I would manage my fully licensed appraisers from there and move into a huge house I had as a rental on about five acres. This was from money from my Internet marketing days. I was ready to slow down and spend more time with my family. When HVCC passed and I wasn’t signed up with any AMCs, the only estate work and FHA clients available were being serviced by my partner in California.
Door to Door
I spent a few months going door to door, literally, to every company that did FHA loans in Maricopa County (a very large area in Arizona) and visited lawyers, attorneys and bail bondsmen trying to get work. I picked up work here and there. One of my appraiser friends was doing BPOs out in California. I wasn’t willing to work for peanuts and wasn’t sure of the legality of providing BPOs, so I started contacting those companies asking if they needed complete appraisals. Long story short, I made a million phone calls, called all the mortgage companies and primary lenders and asked who was servicing their appraisal needs. Once I started getting a steady flow of work I started calling other appraisers across the country and we regularly exchanged information on which AMCs to work for and which to avoid.
Within six months I was getting a fair amount of work but driving too much back and forth across Maricopa County. So I sold my place in Arizona. Luckily my place in California never sold and all the AMCs I worked for in Arizona moved me over to service San Diego County. I continued to seek out AMCs and exchanging information with fellow appraisers. After a year of doing this I had more work than I could handle and was making the most I have ever made as a real estate appraiser!
After giving copies of my AMC Directory to appraisers that I knew (including those working within my service area), one said I should sell it online. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it myself. I came across numerous directories online during my search but I had heard so many bad things about them that I never purchased one, so I didn’t think anyone would buy mine. I decided if it could help out other appraisers and if I could guarantee appraisers would never feel ripped off I would do it. It was a great decision because it made me realize how I could use my Internet marketing skills to get the word out to appraisers that were in the same position I was once in.
Maximizing AMC Orders and Income
I realize there are many appraisers still struggling and I always try to help where I can. I believe this Webinar, Maximizing AMC Orders and Income, will help you grow business. I also believe the AMC Directory is the very best investment any appraiser can make if they are looking for appraisal management company work. I keep the list updated and keep the top 40 referrals on the list filled with those companies that send me the most work. Fees vary from location to location, of course, and one company might have ‘gone bad’ since my last update but I do update quarterly when needed.
So, if you are in a bad situation that you need to get out of, if you have no appraisal work or you just need a few orders a month to support your retirement or semi-retirement, this Directory and Webinar will definitely help you out when working with the appraisal management companies. I really stand by this product and I guarantee it will increase your business if you follow the instructions. I have sold hundreds of copies each year since 2008 and have never had anyone ask for their money back!