Future Of Appraising Survey Results



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Future of Appraising Survey Results- 3,500+ Weigh In So Far
By David Brauner, Publisher

WRE is a place for you to be heard…and to listen to your colleagues all across the country. Given our nationwide circulation, we are one of the few places where this can happen. What follows is just such a report: the OREP/WRE Future of Appraisers Survey.

Below please find the results of the survey so far. It will remain open for your input and comments until after the spring print edition of Working RE mails in May 2016.

Over 3,500 appraisers have participated to date and we hope you find it important enough to weigh in, if you haven’t yet. At the bottom of this story you will find a link to the several hundred comments posted to the survey so far. They are diverse, as you might expect, but when taken together they paint a rather complete picture of the state of the industry. I’ve included a few comments here to illustrate each question’s survey results.

If you haven’t participated in this short, six-question survey, we encourage you to do so. As always, thanks for reading.

1. Do you agree that veteran appraisers “in good standing” should be given some path for Certification without a 4 year College Degree? (Y/N)

“Regulated to death. Experience doesn’t matter in this profession – only license level now.”


These results are not much of a surprise: 82% said “Yes” and 18% “No” – that veteran appraisers without a degree should have a path to Certification. In a recent WRE interview, The Appraisal Foundation (TAF) says they are working on solutions now. That is good news.

2. Do you agree with the Appraisal Foundation’s requirement that new appraisers entering the profession must hold a 4-year College Degree to become Certified? (Y/N)

“Appraising is an apprentice-able occupation; a skilled trade which is customarily learned in a practical way through a structured systematic program of on-the-job supervised work experience… A college degree probably has nothing to do with a career as an appraiser unless the degree is specifically in Real Estate Appraising.”



Surprisingly, 61% disagree with the college degree requirement (39% agree). Those who believe the majority of appraisers are behind this idea should take note.

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3. Please check all boxes that apply: what are your reasons for not mentoring an appraiser trainee?

“The trainee program is very intimidating for both parties, in time, expense and because of the limited income. My trainee has been very discouraged at times and keeps asking why she is doing this, when she could use her degree and immediately get a good salaried job.”




These results back up what most appraisers will tell you: that mentoring does not make financial sense given today’s low fees and the inability to fully utilize trainees. Why? Because of lender/AMC rules and state laws prohibiting trainees from working unsupervised. 58% answered “not financially possible” as the biggest reason for not taking on trainees, but not far behind is “Liability” (47%) and surprisingly, “not enough work”


4. In your experience, with proper training, is a trainee capable of properly inspecting and measuring a property without their supervisory appraiser present at the property? (Y/N/not sure)

“Question #4 is the most STUPID question ever! Anybody is capable of properly inspecting and measuring a property with proper training. DUH!”



Yes, I laughed at the above comment too.  But I also clearly remember appraisers warning of an impending real estate collapse years ahead of anyone else and no one listening.  If the answer is so obvious- that of course trainees are capable of inspecting properties given proper training and testing, then, DUH, maybe it’s time for lenders, AMCs, the FHA and certain states to listen.  Appraisers are the experts, after all. On this issue 76% say “Yes,” trainees can do the job given proper training.


5. Is there a shortage of appraisers in your area? (Y/N/Not sure)

“The myth of an appraiser shortage is being promulgated by the appraisal management companies. The shortage is of appraisers who will accept the AMCs ‘low-fee-fast-turn-time’ assignments.”


The quote above is the conventional wisdom of the day: that there is no shortage of appraisers- only a shortage of appraisers willing to work for low fees. However, 22% say “Yes” there is a shortage where they live and this may indicate that this is more than an isolated issue.


6. You plan to leave/retire from the appraisal profession in the next: (5, 10, 15, 20+ years)

I plan on appraising for the next 20 to 30 years but I fear the profession might go away with the small numbers of new trainees in my state. These requirements, while having good intentions, will be the nail in the coffin of appraising as we know it. I always thought it would be the banks getting rid of us, instead, it will be those who are supposed to have the best interest of this profession in mind who will have done what banks could not do; kill this industry.”


The appraiser quoted above is in the minority, at least with respect to how long he intends to remain in the profession, and here lies the most startling results of this survey:  60% of appraisers say they are retiring in the next ten years; 34% in the next five years.

Click to read the comments. 

Take Survey Now
Let your voice be heard! Share your opinion on the college degree requirement, trainee experience requirements, and more with Working RE’s short, six-question Future of Appraisers Survey.


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> Don Martin Leukemia Support Fund: Help a fellow appraiser struggling with leukemia. Don Martin has been an appraiser for over 30 years and now faces financial difficulties after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Donate here.

About the Author
David Brauner is the Senior Insurance Broker for OREP.org and Publisher of Working RE magazine. He has been involved in providing E&O coverage for appraisers for over 20 years. OREP is a leading provider of appraiser E&O insurance. All OREP Insureds enjoy unrivaled professional support, including free state board complaint consulting, free webinars, guaranteed delivery of Working RE Magazine, Continuing Education coursework at cost, and discounts on background checks, office supplies, cell phone bills, rental cars, and more. Shop OREP Today!

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Comments (9)

  1. That would make sense that it takes some proper training and supervision for someone to get into being an appraiser. If someone is not trained properly, how might they know what is more valuable than something else? Having proper training is good some everything can be accurate and efficient.

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  2. In 1996, a mortgage originator who generated $50,000,000 in loans per year told me that his national bank/mortgage company was searching for ways to eliminate the residential appraisal industry as a result of the saving and loan failures in California and Texas. He stated that this would be accomplished with computer generated appraisals using tax records and by using home inspectors to obtain the subject’s resale home square footage and using plans and specs for new home square footage. Mortgage companies are already using zip codes and tax data to computer generate appraisals for equity lines even though zip codes rarely delineate actual neighborhoods and tax records are usually unreliable, at least in Georgia. Equity lines are being based on a borrower’s credit rating; consequently, accurate neighborhood boundaries and reliable comparable sale data is basically immaterial to the bank. Eventually, bank lobbyists will convince politicians that computer generated appraisals combined with slightly higher interest rates are a sufficient safeguard as long as the property has been thoroughly inspected by an ASHI certified professional. In my opinion, becoming a certified appraiser is a futile endeavor because real world appraisals will only be needed for unique properties which computers are unable to “appraise”.

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  3. I believe the response to the last question should be considered instructive to the Chicken Little crowd. 2/3 of respondents expect to go 10 or more years, and 40% expect to go 15 or more years. If we consider the point that a large percentage of residential appraisal assignments can be performed by appraisers with 5 years or less experience then the future need for veteran appraisers to perform the more complicated assignments can be easily met by that 40%. That’s particularly so in light of the fact that in 15 years that 40% will all have at least that much more experience.

    Reports of our professions impending demise have been greatly exaggerated.

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  4. It seems the poll takers agree there is no upward path in the job of analyzing residential markets for the secondary mortgage clients, apparently there is simply insufficient demand for it.

    Unfortunately, the issue of appraiser education is measured almost entirely in terms of how much it improves income. Education is not intended to make you income, it is intended to teach you how to think, analyze and communicate. If your clients don’t demand that from you, then, as I was once told, get different clients. If you don’t demand it from yourself, then….

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    • I love this comment! Education IS intended to teach you to thin, analyze and communicate. Bares repeating until it sinks in.

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  5. If you own an AMC , you want an abundant supply of appraisers.
    Why? Because AMC’s auction -off their work. If you are an auctioneer, you want a large audience. The more bidders for appraisal work drives the fees down. Fees are now at a decent level to the chagrin of AMCs. It all depends on who is taking the poll as to whether there is a shortage of appraisers. If fees climb, guys who left will come back to it and resign from Walmart.

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  6. by Jason R. Haskell

    4 years to get a degree, 2 and 1/2 years for apprentice hours and then EVERY client I have spoken to requires an additional 3 or 5 years of further experience after becoming licensed/certified before they will put my assistant on their panel. That’s 9.5 to 11.5 total years before my assistant can do his own work….that is nuts.

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    • I agree with you. The people in this profession are greedy. They monopolized their industry to only benefit them and their families who want to become an appraiser. There is no way you can tell me someone will spend 9.5 years just to become an appraiser. I have been trying to become an appraiser for quite some time… In this case I will mention this appraiser’s name [REMOVED FOR PRIVACY]. I simply called him for training hours. His exact words “I can even speak to you, because you have no experience in what I do.” He went on to say “I get all my business from several banks in the Dallas, TX DFW area and I do extremely well”. During our conversation he also mentioned and I quote “Get more experience before you call me”

      That phone call right there deterred me from ever wanting to get into this profession. Not to mention this guy is a joke!

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  7. by Frank T Bencivengo, CCIM

    I have been a certified general appraiser for over 20 years and have a master’s degree. I can honestly say that my degree was of no help in becoming a competent appraiser. If a degree is going to be required then it should be relevant to the profession. Then again, with the current fee structure and the control the AMC’s have over the fees, who would go through the trouble of obtaining a degree to become an appraiser. It’s not a very sound career tract. The courses I took through the CCIM and Appraisal institute were so much more valuable and should be enough of education needed to become certified.

    - Reply

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