Let me tell you about Valuation Expo.

Three years ago I was new to the Valuation industry. Being a ‘newbie,’ I knew no one and the regulations and topics were all like a foreign language to me. I had no idea when I first started that I would be assisting with one of the best events in the industry, Valuation Expo. I know I may be a little biased, but let me explain why this is the best conference.

1.     Networking

Number one on my list of why Valuation Expo is the best is the networking. Like I mentioned I knew no one. Since then, I have met so many people at each Valuation Expo event who have helped me along the way. Between getting clarification on topics and regs, to just connecting with people and forming friendships, there is no other place this could happen. With a little bit of liquid courage, the opening night reception made it easy to chat and meet new people right off the bat. From there the tradeshow was the perfect way to expand on conversations and learn about different products and programs available to appraisers.

2.     Continuing Education

These days you can get continuing education from a lot of different places. But Valuation Expo brings in some of the best instructors. Most are from large lending companies or directly from the GSEs. These are the top people in the industry talking about what is happening right now in the industry and moulding the future for all of us. Not only are they discussing the topics that are relevant, they are discussing new legislations pending in the industry. This is the chance to ask them directly how these new regulations will affect appraisers and get that first hand knowledge. Where else can you go and get answers directly about what new guidelines appraisers will be facing in the future? Not only that, you also get 14 hours of approved CE, which is the best, because most don’t have to worry about taking additional courses for the year.

3.     Location

Valuation Expo is hosted in cities were traveling is made easy. This year Valuation Expo will begin in Baltimore, MD. I say begin because if you haven’t heard, there are two events this year, so the discussions can continue back to Las Vegas, NV in November. This is to help cut down on travel cost for those who live on the East Coast vs. West Coast. If you have never been to Baltimore it really is a cool city to check out, riddled with historic charm. This year the Baltimore event is in the middle of summer, July 11-13th, which is the perfect time to enjoy all the outside dinning, and area attractions that are in walking distance. After the CE classes are done for the day, its nice to get outside and enjoy some downtime. Right across the host hotel is the Pier Six Pavilion, you may be interested in coming in early or extending your weekend to check out one the concerts scheduled. I’m partial to Baltimore because it’s my home turf, I will say though; after heading out to Vegas a few times it’s a nice little get away. The Las Vegas event is November 10-12th, right before the holidays. (I cannot tell a lie, I’m looking forward to a little me time before the maddening family events that come with holiday season!)

4.     Tradeshow

I know I mentioned the tradeshow and networking earlier, but it really was a game changer for me. The tradeshow was where I made the most connections that really helped me in the industry. I met technology software folks, members from banks, insurance companies, and AMCs all offering great information. There were giveaways, promotional items, discounts and so much more. The space is filled with vendors and exhibitors, everything you could use or need to help you in this industry is right here all in one location. And like someone mention before, you make these connections with a handshake and face-to-face interaction, no cold calling or blind emailing.

Attending Valuation Expo helped me immensely in the industry, maybe some of these keypoints entice you to check it out. If you have been before then you know exactly what I am talking about. But if you are still on the fence about it, I encourage you to check out this video on what others have said from past Valuation Expos events. Registering early gets you the best discount and room block rate so don’t delay and right now there is a 20% discount on any pass, just use the code BUZZ. As always, if you have any questions about Valuation Expo email info@valuationexpo.com.

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About Ashley Hammond

Ashley Hammond
Ashley Hammond oversees the development and production of the distance continuing education program. Ashley holds a Certified Distance Education Instructor (CDEI™) designation from the International Distance Education Certification Center (IDECC). She received her BA in Communication Arts in 2008 and Master’s of Education in 2010 from Salisbury University. In obtaining her M.Ed., she focused on educational practices including; research, learning, and technology.

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33 comments

  1. Avatar

    With your education Ashley you meet the biggest hurdle in becoming a certified appraiser, however would you do the following to become licensed? Would you complete 100+ hours of specific appraisal classes, work under a certified appraiser for the next 2.5 years (CA) for little to no income, take and pass three separate tests, submit to yearly criminal background checks? If after all of that Ashley would you be willing to wait for years to be added to the Veterans Affairs appraisal panel, or be willing to obtain the often required five to ten years worth of experience to become fully employable? If you say yes Ashley you too could gross $275 per appraisal (AMC split), net 50% less ($137.50) and work 12 hours to compile such an income ($11.45 an hour). While making just above minimum wage now (currently $10 but soon to be $15 in CA) but in the near future well below, what would your choice be? If I also said you will have no company offered insurance, no dental plan, no 401K, no stock options, no pension plan, no vacation, no sick pay, no maternity leave, no unemployment pay, higher taxes, etc., what would your decision be? These expos, meetings, conventions, etc., only serve one purpose Ashley, how do the powers that be pay less for an appraisal, while asking more from us.

    • Avatar
      Retired Appraiser

      I suspect that her silence gives you an indication of her answer Bill. Promoting trade shows on each coast, selling regression analysis software, and doing the clearbox gig have proven to be far more lucrative for Joan Trice; hence she quit appraising long long ago to pursue a better life for herself.

      • Avatar

        Don’t forget Retired I believe she used data (appraisal fees) from clearbox and supplied it to Flagstar who then gave it to its AMC imortgage in the state of LA. This resulted in a $200 fee for a 1004 FHA assignment where the AMC was fined $10,000 for not paying reasonable fees. The truth is out there.

        • Appraisal Buzz

          Bill Johnson and Retired Appraiser, The Appraisal Buzz is a publication for appraisal professionals and we welcome open discussion in a professional manner. If you refuse to act like a professional and continue to abuse our authors we will have to ban you from our site.

          • Avatar

            My apologies to Ashley if she was offended. The Appraisal Buzz has reported on national meetings where the focus has been in part “why are there so few appraisers entering the field”? As part of this discussion, it was brought up that the education requirement (bachelors degree in my state) is a reason why many do not pursue appraising as a career. It was simply my observation that the author met the first requirement, thus a simple question was asked of her. I understand the errors of my way and will not ask authors of Appraisal Buzz to become appraisers as this is rude and possibly nonprofessional. Thank you.

          • Avatar

            Bill, I am saddened by your lack of enthusiasm for the profession. I am fortunate to get to meet hundreds of professions each year at Expo who are excited about their future. Maybe it is time to retire if it no longer brings you joy.

          • Avatar

            Joan, do not confuse my passion to expose the truth as a lack of enthusiasm for this profession. If you are meeting hundreds who are excited about the future, there are thousands who have voiced their concern by leaving this trade. As much as I would like to further explain my position in 10,000 words today, I will resist the urge now, but continue the fight one person, one company, one article, one podcast, one state, and one country at a time. Thanks.

          • Avatar

            Bill, I am not suggesting that appraisal land is perfect. I write all the time about issues that I think are important to appraisers.

            But I also survey them on an annual basis. And they just aren’t nearly as gloom and doom as you might think. I spoke to a couple of appraisers just last week and unsolicited each told me they had the coolest job in the world.

          • Avatar

            Joan, I don’t know if I should laugh or cry based on you
            statements. Did the couple of appraisers you spoke to read the transcripts concerning Washington Mutual and eAppraiseIt? Do they know appraisers testified “that they were removed from the “proven appraiser list” despite years of experience because they weren’t valuing properties to WaMu’s satisfaction? Do
            they know this crooked company is now part of CoreLogic who is trying to monopolize the industry with their purchase of Landsafe, RELS, and FNC, Inc. (Appraisalport)? Do they understand that the toxic companies who created this
            mess have been rewarded with what was 10% of the market, to a now 75% share? Did they contribute to or read the thousands of comments as it relates to the petitions of 2009 (HVCC)? Do they understand that portions of Dodd Frank (customary
            and reasonable fees) were overridden by a panel of 12 with a direct connection to the banking industry (Treasury Dept.)? Do they understand the flaws within the collateral underwriter, but are okay with giving them the power to in essence blacklist you from getting work (required reviews)? Have they monitored the
            proceedings in the state of VA where a real attempt has been made to reign in scope creep and appraiser compensation? In regards to the survey you speak of Joan, was this data in part used by Flagstar or imortgage to establish a $200 fee for a 1004 FHA assignment? Joan, the truth is out there if you seek it?

          • Avatar

            The first place to start would be to get your facts straight.

          • Avatar

            Joan, I welcome an open debate and appreciate the conversation, but please bring to light the errors you refer to. I look forward to your detailed response. Thanks.

          • Avatar

            I am only going to address what is specific to me , first hand. You really need to read the 500 pages of transcripts of the LA case to understand and even then not all the facts are presented there. There is no data in Clearbox that supports a $200 fee.

          • Avatar

            I can bring no first hand knowledge to the case you speak of, however I will assume both parties presented their side of the story and that truth won. As it relates to your survey via Clearbox, as it is not a true independent study nor government supported, little to no weight should be given. Again, thank you for the conversation, but with my previous response, are there other points that you find unjust?

          • Avatar

            Bill, Just a quick read of the Dodd Frank law would prove you wrong. A fee survey is not supposed to be government survey. It calls for an independent, private sector survey. As of this moment I am not aware of any others that meet that criteria but I am sure in due time there will be. It is subscribed to by a few FFIEC agencies so they hopefully find it meaningful.

            What proactive steps have you taken to ensure that C&R is respected? I built a company with the mission to ensure that honest, competent appraisers are engaged at a fair fee. I love my job.

          • Avatar

            Joan, in part the Dodd Frank law states “Lenders and their agents shall compensate fee appraisers at a rate that is customary and reasonable for appraisal services performed in the market area of the property being appraised. Evidence for such fees may be established by objective third-party information, such as government agency fee schedules, academic studies, and independent private sector surveys. Fee studies shall exclude assignments ordered by known appraisal management companies.” If we are six years post Dodd Frank and I’m just now breaking the news to you that the law states “government agency fee schedules (Dare we say Veteran Affair fees), then I would question the foundation of your company and your mission. If you say you are “unaware of others” meaning independent private sector surveys, then what steps have you taken to observe the victories being won on a state level? How do you think the state of LA was able to establish state law regarding customary and reasonable fees? They worked within the law and had Southeastern Louisiana University perform an academic study dating backing to 2013. Several other states have or are currently doing the same. In more recent news, the state of VA used government agency fee schedules (VA fees) to establish customary and reasonable fees in there state ($450). Joan, I too love my profession (not a job), and often when I hear the other side, it simply motivates me to double down on my effort to spread the truth.

          • Avatar

            Bill,
            Exactly. Three methods…1) Govt Fee Schedules. There is only the VA. 2) Academic studies. LA and 5 other states have done these. 3) Independent private sector fee surveys. To date Clearbox is it.

            I recommend to clients they use all three methods. The more data they have the better off they are.

          • Avatar

            Joan, I’m not a lawyer and don’t play one on TV, but I would question Clearbox as meeting the requirements of an
            independent private sector entity. In part, the dictionary defines independent as “not affiliated with a larger controlling unit”. As an outsider, Clearbox seems to be affiliated with many different units (AMC’s, etc.) to be considered truly independent? Has your survey been vetted and approved as the standard to meet by any state? Have any lenders or AMC’s used your survey to successfully defend their pay practices? Until such time as your survey becomes approved, in my opinion, recommending it to clients may to them increase your relevance, but possibly expose them in the future to fines. To me it seems simple, if the state of LA goes by an academic study, case closed, that’s the fee. If the state of VA has used government fee schedules in setting the floor for appraisal fees (VA fees), than that’s the only game in town.

          • Avatar

            No, each state does not approve 500 AMCs fee schedules or anyone’s methods. We have lender clients who have established their fee schedules by using Clearbox and their bank regulator approved of their methodology. There is no such thing as the right fee any more than there is such thing as the right value. It is usually expressed as a range.

            Any state regulator who establishes a set fee is going to find themselves sideways with anti trust. That is why the more data you have the better off you are.

            Clearbox has a tool that allows clients to use all 3 methods. And I seriously doubt our clients, all looking at the same data, arrive at the same schedule. It is vitally important that AMCs and Lenders have the right policy and follow their policy.

          • Avatar

            I understand that some lender clients and bank regulators have approved your methodology and may have used your fees, but to my point, this does not mean your survey will hold up when compared to the requirements via Dodd Frank. Would or could an AMC fighting a claim in the state of LA be able to use your survey as support for their payment structure? Will the review board give equal weight to your survey as compared to the academic study I previously mentioned? Until such time as others (states, review boards, federal government, etc.), give your surveys accredited support, I believe each client who gives them any weight, will open themselves up future fines when push comes to shove. On a side note, with the state of VA in part establishing scope of work requirements to that of a VA report (no cost approach, no requirement to use any active or pending listings, no more than 3 closed sales required, etc.), how has your survey established value a la carte for these additional add-ons that are not technically required, but are typical today?

          • Avatar

            Bill,

            My fee survey has already held up to scrutiny by federal bank regulators. There is no instance with any regulator where Clearbox has been challenged.

          • Avatar

            Let me put it a different way Joan. The state of VA has approved the use of the VA schedule to establish customary and reasonable fees ($450), however a lender/AMC chooses to pay $350 (estimate) as this is the amount reflected in your Clearbox survey. Although I don’t doubt federal bank regulators have reviewed your survey, will the state of VA give any weight if the lenders use this as a defense? My bet would be no, thus is my reasoning to call the lenders foolish to give weight while it remains untested and unproven.

          • Avatar

            Bill, the federal law already states that the VA schedule is an acceptable means to establish C£R. It also says private sector surveys are and academic studies.

            Please stop stating that Clearbox has an established fee. There are over 3000 counties in the US? Each county and each product show a mean, median and mode. You haven’t seen that product.

            The VIrginia statement doesn’t really say anything new or that conflicts with the federal law.

          • Avatar

            I understand that you have stated “There is no instance with any regulator where Clearbox has been challenged” but I believe you are sidestepping the issue. Only time will tell, but future court cases will establish IF YOUR survey is truly objective.

          • Avatar

            Bill,

            The data in Clearbox comes from appraisers! You are missing the point. Lenders and AMCs need to have sound policy. And then they can use those 3 methods are other methods that are consistent with the law.

          • Avatar

            Joan, I get the point. You have been the judge and jury and you have said your survey meets the requirements as outlined by Dodd Frank, but I would challenge that your survey is truly objective. Your association with other known power players in the industry (AMC’s) should be enough to bring doubt if put to a panel of your peers. Court cases will come where your opinion of a qualifying survey will be tested. Good luck.

          • Avatar

            Bill,

            No I don’t think you do get it. The survey is merely a collection of responses from appraisers. There are 30,000 unique responses. Are you suggesting these appraisers are not independent ? Bill, have you completed the fee survey?

            Generally the problem lies in the policy. I have written a number of articles on this topic. It isn’t rocket science to determine C&R.

          • Avatar

            Joan, if it’s not rocket science to determine C&R appraisal fees then how has your survey tackled the reasonable aspect of that question?
            Are you assuming because an appraiser says the customary fee is $375, that it also means it is reasonable? If appraisers in my state need a 4 year degree, 2.5 years of apprenticeship training and often 5 years of post licensing experience to become fully employable, is a fee of $350 reasonable to the time commitment being asked of us? Is a fee of $350 reasonable as compared to other careers that demand 10+ years of expense and sacrifice? If your survey reflects similar customary fees for two different areas, but yet the cost of living (COL) between the locations varies by 80%, is it possible that one area may reflect reasonable pay while the other doesn’t?
            How does your one time a year survey address the at times weekly or monthly developments/changes within the industry? If the state of VA last month enacted strict interoperation as it relates to the required scope of work and the pay for such work, how does your dated survey address this current issue? If the state of Virginia has said the SOW is to be that of a VA assignment, does your survey account for and separate a la carte the varies additional requirements that have become typical of today? Since no active or pending sales are required and lenders must pay more for these extras now, what results do your survey reflect? What is the cost to that lender who wants a cost approach in the report, as they now must pay extra? To those lenders who demand upfront more than 3 closed sales as part of their guidelines, again what does your survey say each additional comp pays?
            Joan, I do not have to hold conferences in riot town MD to discuss and determine why other posted articles are showing a reduced number of trainees. If lenders demand good work, but want to pay what the average indicates in your survey, the supply of appraisers will go down. If lenders do not solve the puzzle to the reasonable side of the pay issue and continue to pay only what me be average, expensive (COL) states like CA will continue to lose one licensed appraiser per day.
            Joan, in my opinion you have aligned yourself with the power players in this industry ($$$) (hint it’s not the grunt appraiser), but yet you want to appear to also be on our side. I’m on the side of reality and truth and will continue to call BS when I see it. Thanks, I have work to do.

          • Avatar

            Bill, you are all over the place. Appraisers enter their fee. Seems to me you are insulting appraisers when you suggest they cannot enter a fee that they feel is both customary and reasonable.

            The mission of Clearbox is to connect honest, competent appraisers with clients, at a fair fee. I am going to stick with that.

          • Avatar

            Joan, when you in essence say something is easy to determine (C&R) “not rocket science” do not say I’m all over the place when I expose the glaring holes within your only game in town private sector survey. Does your survey specifically strip back all of the additional items (15 page engagement letters) that have been added year after year by lenders and AMC’s since HVCC (2009)? Are you truly wanting a fee based on what should be a minimum USPAP compliant report? Joan, your alliance is glaring and I understand lenders wanting to establish fees with all of the extras they SHOULD be paying for. Thank you for the dialogue, but after fighting the fight for 7 years, it’s more clear than every my work is not done. Good bye.

          • Avatar
            Retired Appraiser

            In what manner did I abuse your author? I stated what obviously a matter of public record. Your owner quit the appraisal business years ago because it’s a non paying profession…as did I. Am I abusing myself now?

  2. Avatar

    I love these. I go every time it is in Vegas. Are you going to do the USPAP this year?

    • Appraisal Buzz

      Gus as of right now we do not have USPAP on the agenda but we have 14 hours of new content and continuing education at each show. We hope to see you in Baltimore or Las Vegas this year!

  3. Avatar

    Hop on the bus Gus, as in if you are going to these things your career is near the end. The only networking done today is when new AMC’s send out blast e-mails for new recruits. Why travel when I can take continuing education classes locally. I live in San Diego, why would I want to travel to riot town MD. The only thing being traded in this profession is more time from me, and more pay to the AMC’s.

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