Tips for Mobilizing an Appraisal Business

With 2015 just around the corner and mobile technology becoming more prevalent in the workplace every day, now would be a good time for appraisers to mobilize their businesses.

In fact, the U.S. Small Business Administration says advances in technology are made each day that provide additional opportunities and challenges for small business owners seeking to mobilize their companies.


Market for mobility

One of the primary areas where small business owners, such as appraisers, can benefit from mobilization is marketing. Whether it’s making a website mobile friendly, communicating with potential clients via text message or engaging in social media, having a mobile marketing presence is a key to success in today’s marketplace. In fact, a recent survey found that 80 percent of small business owners are leveraging mobile technology for work. [Read more…]

AI Seeks Proposals for 2015 Annual Meeting Educational Sessions


AI Seeks Proposals for 2015 Annual Meeting Educational Sessions

The Appraisal Institute is seeking proposals by December 31 for panel sessions and presentations for its 2015 Annual Meeting. AI Connect is looking for highly skilled speakers who can address issues and topics of interest to the valuation profession. All panels/presentations will be assigned to one or more of the following tracks:

  • Commercial
  • Residential
  • General
  • Institutional Client
  • Attorney Client

Learn more about submitting a presentation. [Read more…]

Tips for Appraising Gifted Real Estate

According to the annual report from Giving USA Foundation and the Indiana University Lilly Family School, charitable giving in the U.S. rose to an all-time record in 2013 to more than $335 billion.

A recent article in Valuation magazine, Gifting for Good, addressed the opportunities that exist for appraisers in the growing area of donating real estate and also shared some strategies for securing assignments and avoiding potential pitfalls.

1. Beware of IRS regulationshousemade_of_cash

How is fair market value determined relative to gifted real estate? Where do comps fit in? What about unusual market conditions? IRS Publication 561 answers these, and other key questions for appraisers and is a must-read prior to accepting any related assignment. [Read more…]

How Appraisers Can Help Consumers Buy a Manufactured Home

Manufactured housing is one of the fastest-growing housing markets in the U.S., and, according to the Manufactured Housing Institute, more than one in 10 single-family housing starts was a manufactured home in 2013.

Interested homebuyers should enlist the help of a qualified real estate appraiser to consider the advantages of purchasing a manufactured home over a traditional build and determine if taking the prefab route is worth the investment in the long run.

Are manufactured homes cost-efficient?FEMA Orders Mobile Homes For Katrina Victims
Depending on the region of the country, construction cost-per-square-foot for a new manufactured home averages 25 to 30 percent less than costs for a comparable site-built home. (As appraisers know well, cost does not necessarily equal value.)

But what about appreciation? Just like a traditional build, there’s no guarantee that the value of a manufactured home will always appreciate — that’s dependent on outside economic factors and varies by region. However, independent appraisal studies confirm that simplybuying a manufactured home won’t hurt resale value or reduce resale prospects compared to a site-built home. [Read more…]

AI Tells Bank Regulators To Address Evaluation, Competency Issues


AI Tells Bank Regulators To Address Evaluation, Competency Issues

The Appraisal Institute and the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers urged federal bank regulatory agencies in a September 2 letter to re-evaluate policies related to appraisal exemptions established under Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act regulations.

AI and ASFMRA urged the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve to align their regulations with Dodd-Frank requirements, which allow financial institutions to use professional designations and other competency tests when hiring appraisers.

The organizations also asked the agencies to resist any calls for increasing loan appraisal thresholds ($250,000 for residential, $1 million for commercial), citing appraisals as a “gold standard” in real estate risk assessment. The organizations further asked that the agencies review their regulations in light of recent changes to appraisal standards, such as the Scope of Work rule that provides more client flexibility.

Read the joint AI, ASFMRA letter. [Read more…]

5 Tips to Stay in Business

Anyone who has started a business knows that it takes planning, money, motivation and passion. While getting a company off the ground is both exciting and challenging, it also takes a great deal of effort to keep the doors open.

A recent article in Valuation magazine, 9 Signs Your Business Has Stopped Growing, addressed what issues might indicate that a company is sliding. But just because there’s been a slowdown doesn’t necessarily mean the troubles are irreversible.

1. Be in it to win it

Appraisers can take several key steps to help ensure their business thrives including analyzing competition, staying focused and preparing to make sacrifices. Running a successful business takes more than just a good idea and solid professional skills.


2. Follow the law

In addition to managing the day-to-day operations, appraisers and other business owners also need to be aware of importantlegal issues such as protecting personal assets and putting agreements in writing. Being aware of potential legal pitfalls, no matter how small they might seem, can help keep business owners out of trouble. [Read more…]

AI Board of Directors Adopts Standards of Valuation Practice


AI Annual Meeting Highlighted by Speakers, Awards

The 2014 Appraisal Institute Annual Meeting drew nearly 500 attendees to Austin, Texas, August 4-6. The event featured four engaging general session speakers, more than 50 different education sessions and up to 90 hours of AI continuing education credit points and up to 14 hours of state continuing education credit, in addition to exhibits, awards and networking events.

The slate of speakers included former astronaut Eugene A. “Gene” Cernan, the last man on the moon; Mark G. Dotzour, Ph.D., chief economist and director of research at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University; Brian Olasov, managing director of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP; and Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Todd Staples.

Eight appraisers were honored during an awards dinner August 6. Peter D. Bowes, MAI, of Denver and Reaves C. Lukens Jr., MAI, SRA, of Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, were honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Michael G. Miller, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, of Richmond, Virginia, and Charles J. Lentz, MAI, of Orlando, Florida, were named the recipients of the Outstanding Service Award. President’s Award recipients were Craig M. Harrington, SRA, AI-RRS, of Chaska, Minnesota; Paula K. Konikoff, JD, MAI, AI-GRS, of New York; Richard L. Borges II, MAI, SRA, AI-RRS, of Seymour, Indiana; and Leslie P. Sellers, MAI, SRA, of Clinton, Tennessee. Read more about the award winners. [Read more…]

Save the Date for the 2015 Appraisal Institute Annual Meeting!

AIconnectlogoMake sure to save the date for the Appraisal Institute’s 2015 Annual Meeting that will be held July 27-29 in Dallas, Texas!

The Appraisal Institute Annual Meeting is a first-class event that attracts valuation and real estate professionals from across the country and around the world.

Come to the Appraisal Institute’s biggest event of the year and:

  • Network with your peers and other professionals.
  • Earn state CE credit hours and CE credit points.
  • Choose from dozens of exceptional education sessions,
  • See exhibits of cutting-edge valuation products and services.
  • Attend the annual Appraisal Institute awards dinner.
  • Engage in fun activities throughout the Dallas area.

Is That All for the Mall?

While some news reports have indicated that America’s shopping malls are on the decline, recent studies show that the vacancy rate for regional malls has decreased.nowleasing

Glimcher Realty reported same-center net operating income growth of 4.3 percent and re-leasing spreads of 17 percent and that retailers continue to line up for space in the company’s malls, despite media reports about the property type’s declining fortunes. According to the Cassidy Turley Retail forecast for 2014, vacancy rates at U.S. shopping malls stood at 4.2 percent at the end of the third quarter of 2013, which is the lowest vacancy rate since the onset of the Great Recession.

The International Council of Shopping Centers reports that retail real estate investment trusts are once again developing new projects, and retail center developer Regency Centers had seven projects valued at some $223.3 million in development during the second quarter of 2014.

[Read more…]

Appraisal Institute Honors 8 National Award Winners

Attendees of the Appraisal Institute Annual Meeting’s closing general session on August 6 at 1:30 p.m. CDT (Salon A/B of the Governor’s Ballroom on the fourth floor) were enlightened byDotzour-Olasov
Mark G. Dotzour, Ph.D., chief economist and director of research, the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, who addressed, “The Economic Outlook for Real Estate Investors and Decision Makers” and Brian Olasov, managing director, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, talked about “A $19 Trillion Education: Are We Smarter Now than in 2008?”

Dotzour told the audience that people who appraise retail spaces are being impacted because new mall construction is down and “dead malls” with high vacancy rates has increased significantly. Olasov said in some ways, the Appraisal Institute being on the ground gives the organization intelligence people in Washington, DC, may not see. He added, “The Appraisal Institute should think more globally about big systemic issues and that would be a great value add and take the burden off individual appraisers.” [Read more…]