RSDS Appraisal Diversity: Charting a Way Forward


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RSDS Appraisal Diversity: Charting a Way Forward
by Isaac Peck, Publisher

A relatively new appraisal firm that has experienced meteoric growth over the last few years is RSDS Appraisal Diversity. Since starting in 2021, the firm is now operating in 40 cities, has over 100 appraisers, has graduated over 35 trainees, and has another 40 active trainees.

What is the vision behind such a rapidly growing appraisal firm, and why is diversity such an important part of their ethos?

To better understand RSDS’s mission and what sets them apart, Working RE sat down with Dr. Randy Flowers, the Vice President of Operations at RSDS. Flowers has a Doctorate in Education and was previously working as an Assistant Dean for Baker University before he was hired as one of RSDS’s first employees and tasked with assembling RSDS’ team and designing the educational framework that would become a core tenant of RSDS’s appraiser trainee program.

“Yes” to Trainees
The genesis of RSDS was the barrier to entry into the appraisal industry, Flowers explains. “RSDS strives to integrate trainees into the appraisal profession. Over the last 30 years, there has been a decline in appraisers coming into the industry. Those individuals entering the profession typically have been family members or friends of appraisers, creating a lack of diversity in the profession. Our vision at RSDS is to recruit the next generation of appraisers. Not only are we looking to recruit the next generation of appraisers, but we’re also looking to build a diverse company with people from various backgrounds. We want to see more appraisers of color, more women represented, and increase the number of military veterans active in the profession,” says Flowers.

With a mind towards recruiting and training trainees, Flowers says RSDS has graduated 35 trainees over the last two and a half years and expects to graduate another 30 to 40 trainees in 2023. “The majority of the company now consists of people who are currently underrepresented in the appraiser profession: appraisers of color, women, and military veterans. If I had to pick one word to describe our teammates, it would be passionate. In many cases, these individuals had been trying to get into the industry for two to three years and had hundreds of people tell them ‘No.’ RSDS is that ‘Yes’ for them,” Flowers says.

Sharing some of the stories of RSDS’s new appraisers, Flowers beams with satisfaction. “One kid took his last dollar and bought a flight to Arizona to interview with RSDS. He got hired on the spot and is now a Certified appraiser making six figures, and is able to go back and help his family. He’s now having a generational effect due to his career progression. We have a certified trainer who was going through personal difficulties, was a stay-at-home mom, and completing two appraisals a week. After she joined RSDS, she can now completely take care of her family. She’s financially successful and now has graduated four Certified appraisers under her,” Flowers shares.

Training Model
Flowers joined RSDS with a background in higher education, and part of RSDS’s mission was to create a professional educational environment for their trainees. “We’ve built our own education program and we have our own learning management software. Our trainers have an average of over 15 years of experience and each trains one to three trainees. We’ve built out an entire training program that outlines day-by-day what a trainee should be learning. It builds off of previous knowledge gathered. They have to learn a lot before going out into the field. They have to be with the company for no less than 90 days and have completed a minimum of 50 appraisals before they can be considered to inspect alone. All of this occurs in an office environment, which facilitates shared learning and a sense of community,” Flowers says.

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Commitment to Service
One of the lodestars of RSDS’s success is its commitment to servicing its clients promptly and professionally. “We’ve been obsessed with customer service since the first day of opening. When the market was on fire, and you could get endless order volume, we would only accept work we could turn around in five business days. While some appraisers load up their queue and pride themselves on being booked six to eight weeks out, we actively turned down work if we couldn’t deliver it to the client in five business days.” says Flowers.

RSDS’s clients respond to its service-focused model too. Flowers says the firm is currently sitting at 90 percent utilization as a company, and they continue to turn all appraisals around in five business days.

Their commitment to service also extends to communication with the client. “We update the status of orders every day by 9 a.m. local time, and our clients never have to call us. They always know what’s going on. In April, we did nearly 3,000 appraisals and only received 17 phone calls for the entire month, and delivered 99% on time. Our clients are the best in the industry, and we work closely with each other to develop a business partnership. We meet clients consistently to review performance and explore new areas of growth. Conversely, we don’t work with clients who call 20 appraisers for a bid and only care about who will accept the lowest fee. One analogy that we use is airlines. Think about two airlines: one is Delta and the other is Spirit; they have very different models. If you want a first-class experience, pay for it, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. Or you have the other option, enough said. RSDS is delivering that First-Class experience in the appraisal space, on every assignment, every day,” says Flowers.

As demonstrated by the firm’s name—RSDS Appraisal Diversity—diversity is a key part of the company’s philosophy. “Diversity is important to us, not only diversity in representation but diversity in thought. We want to have a team of appraisers that look like the neighborhoods they’re entering—that resemble the cultures and beliefs of the people they serve. We believe that is critical,” Flowers says.

According to Flowers, the lack of diversity in the appraiser profession needs to be addressed. “One of the biggest issues being discussed currently is appraisal bias. It is time to catch up with the times and build a labor force that matches our world. Many people are promoting diversity but aren’t doing anything to change it truly. We are going into women’s colleges and historically Black colleges and universities. We’re sponsoring diversity events, going into these communities of color, educating them about the appraisal profession, and providing an opportunity to come into the profession,” reports Flowers.

The drive for diversity of appraisers also extends to bringing younger people into the industry. “Right now, we are educating college students a lot about the appraisal industry, and long-term, we’d like to start outreach to high schools. We need to start educating the younger generation on the appraisal profession. Many kids think about being a doctor or lawyer, why not an appraiser?” Flowers questions.

Looking Ahead
Flowers believes that part of what needs to change in the mortgage industry is a wider acceptance of trainees. Some states prohibit an appraiser trainee from inspecting a property alone, and many lenders currently have rules against even having a trainee involved in the appraisal! This hurts the appraisal profession overall, Flowers argues. “We meet with state regulators regularly and advocate for trainees. We are always educating our potential clients too. It is detrimental to the learning experience if clients don’t even allow trainees to be on orders. Trainees are allowed by Fannie Mae and encouraged. Fannie Mae completed a survey analyzing appraisal reports and determined that when a trainee is involved in an assignment, quality improves. If you don’t allow trainees to do work, how are you educating the future generation?” Flowers points out.

To connect with Dr. Flowers, email him at

About the Author
Isaac Peck is the Publisher of Working RE magazine and the President of OREP, a leading provider of E&O insurance for real estate professionals. OREP serves over 10,000 appraisers with comprehensive E&O coverage, competitive rates, and 14 hours of free CE for OREP Members (CE not approved in IL, MN, GA). Visit to learn more. Reach Isaac at or (888) 347-5273. CA License #4116465.

Working RE Magazine

OREP Insurance Services, LLC. Calif. License #0K99465

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Comments (2)

  1. RSDS sounds like it has been subsidized by government $. How can all these trainees and employees be compensated with the low flow of orders. My son in law went through a 2 year training program during 2021-2022 with my small 1 man business. I’ve been an appraiser for over 30 years. He passed the very difficult exam on his first attempt and has become a certified residential appraiser only to find out there is no business for him to make a living for his family. He has a college degree. It was very expensive and challenging for both of us to get him through this process. He is lucky to get 1 order every 2 weeks. How can RSDS diversity appraisal support all these trainees. How can they possibly be trained properly. How can they be compensated. We’re they hired just because they are not a white male. My business will not survive because there is no help for small appraisal firms like mine because of companies like this that are based on likely a “free government lunch”. What happened to hard work pays off and you benefit from it no matter what gender or color of your skin is. The appraisal classes I’ve been to over the past 10+ years have always had plenty of diversity. Women, African Americans, Asians, Latinos, Eastern Europeans…..White men have never dominated any class I’ve ever been to. Personally I believe this is all a bunch of crap. It’s a shame nobody is willing to be completely honest and say this. It’s typicalGovernment BS

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