As the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, the Appraisal Institute remains devoted to advocating on your behalf. AI is joining other organizations in sending a letter to the incoming Biden administration concerning commercial real estate issues. Learn more about that, and other timely updates, from the past month.
AI Co-signs Letter to President-Elect Biden on Commercial Real Estate Issues
The Appraisal Institute joined the American Hotel & Lodging Association, American Land Title Association, American Resort Development Association, American Seniors Housing Association, Building Owners and Managers Association International, International Council of Shopping Centers, NAIOP, Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Nareit, National Association of REALTORS®, National Apartment Association, National Multifamily Housing Council and The Real Estate Roundtable in writing a letter to President-Elect Joseph Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, on Dec. 16. This letter addresses several real estate industry concerns and recommendations that would provide much needed relief from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
AI Encourages Appraisal Quality
“Absent quality, we will be irrelevant.” I am asking each AI professional to improve your appraisal quality in 2021. Don’t settle for easy and cheap continuing education. I certainly expect my physician to be up to date with the latest medical practices. Why should appraisers expect less of themselves? We owe it to ourselves, the profession and our clients to provide the absolute best quality each and every time. Challenge yourself and take the best education available in an area you haven’t brushed up on in a while. The future of the profession rests on your performance.
USPS Seeking Quality Regional Appraisal Firms
Given the extensive number of firms comprised of AI professionals, the Postal Service’s chief appraiser has asked the Appraisal Institute to get the word out about potential appraisal opportunities nationwide.
The United States Postal Service will, for the first time, greatly expand its outreach to several appraisal firms across the entire U.S. and territories. According to USPS’s Chief Appraiser Rita Spence, MAI, USPS is looking to officially expand its appraisal base, to include not just well-known national firms, but several local/regional firms that perform good and consistent work.
For appraisal firms potentially interested in getting on the official list, USPS’s chief appraiser indicates it will be a two-tier process. The first tier is just for interested firms to let the chief appraiser know via email only. Specifically, if you’re a firm with at least 1-2 MAI’s on staff and presently cover more than one state, firms are invited to submit the firm’s name, address, email, phone, primary contact person and indicate which U.S. states you cover. Please email Ms. Spence at Rita.E.Spence@usps.gov. Do not send any copies of work product during the “identifying firms” first tier process. Sending reports or parts of reports will only overload the system.
Responding to the first tier will help USPS identify the multiple firms it will be contacting for its formal national appraisal solicitation, which is the second tier. The second tier process will request that firms supply additional information, specific examples of work product, respond to specific questions and to submit bids for the two major formats used at USPS – i.e., market rent appraisals and full property appraisal reports. A platform will be set up to handle the second tier requested documents.
What might be useful for U.S. firms to know:
- USPS, with over 30,000 properties, is the third largest owner or lessor/ lessee of real estate.
- Along with some yearly buying, selling and trading realty that requires a range of appraisal services, USPS reports a constant stream of new and renewal leases that generate mainly market rent appraisals.
- The chief appraiser is the only MAI, and the only appraiser, internal to USPS. USPS relies entirely on the service of outside appraisal firms and appraisers and has set up an effective system to ensure quality reports.
Firms interested in getting on USPS’s official list to bid on appraisal assignments should submit basic information (as identified in the first tier comments above) by Jan. 4.
AI to Host Joint Unconscious Bias Virtual Session
The Appraisal Institute, the American Society of Appraisers, the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and the Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Appraisers will present a free virtual session, “Unconscious Bias Virtual Session for the Appraisal Profession,” on Wed, Jan. 13, 2021 at 1 p.m.- 2:30 p.m. CDT.
Attendees of this session will heighten their understanding of unconscious preferences and biases, learn to recognize unconscious biases that may negatively impact decision-making and effective interactions with colleagues, customers and stakeholders. This session will also explore practical examples and help attendees learn how to mitigate our unconscious biases.
Bias, in whatever form it takes, is the enemy of the valuation profession, and I strongly encourage you to attend this session!
Other News Around the Appraisal Institute
And here’s some other important news from the Appraisal Institute:
- We were proud to partner with The Appraisal Foundation for a virtual symposium, “Promoting Trust for Fair and Affordable Housing,” on Dec. 9-10. If you missed it, or would like to view it again, I encourage you to watch the recorded sessions on AI’s YouTube channel. http://ow.ly/TJ3O50CPgUY
- The Appraisal Institute hopes that 2021 will be a year of renewed opportunities, and in that spirit, invites you to save the date for its Annual Conference, Aug. 9-10, at the JW Marriott in Orlando! This terrific event will offer a chance to connect and reconnect, to learn and grow, to share solutions to common challenges and celebrate our collective success in a safe and fun environment. Stay tuned for more details!
- The Appraisal Institute Education and Relief Foundation is pleased to offer a variety of scholarships for AI professionals pursuing their designations or state certifications. Jan. 1 is the next deadline. Get the details: aierf.org.
- The Appraisal Institute continues to expand its social media activities. Be sure to follow AI on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and its blog, Opinions of Value.
With this being my last monthly message as president, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to the Executive Committee, the national Board of Directors, national committee members and other volunteers, region and chapter leaders around the country, and national and chapter staff for their remarkable commitment to this organization during the past intense year. This year has certainly been interesting, and all of you, AI’s dedicated professionals, play a vital role in making AI such an amazing professional organization! The essence of the Appraisal Institute is the intellectual integrity of its professionals. Thank you so much for all your hard work.
I look forward to continuing to serve you in 2021 as the immediate past president. Please keep in mind that any of the officers are always prepared to speak to your chapter on where we’ve been and where we are headed. We are on the cusp of some really great things. Please contact Joan Barngrover if you’d like us to attend an event at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you and yours a happy and safe holiday season and a prosperous New Year!
Have a safe month!