The Value of the SRA Designation


By Woody R. Fincham, SRA, AI-RRS

As co-chair of the Appraisal Institute’s Residential Appraiser Project Team, I’m often asked why residential appraisers should pursue AI’s SRA designation. Does it really help generate assignments, I’m asked?

I can tell you emphatically that there is great value in the SRA designation. Here’s just one story of how it’s helped my career.

The Client’s Project

Earlier this year I was asked to participate in a privately funded study regarding “green” home certifications and their effect on home values. The client, Pearl, offers home certifications.

Sandra K. Adomatis, SRA, asked Donald S. Boucher, Sr., SRA, and me to assist her with data collection and analysis for the project. The team was rounded out with a local peer reviewer, Betsy K. Hughes, SRA.

Why Were We Chosen?

Professional qualifications and networking are both key elements in staying relevant … and often in getting hired.

Don, Betsy and I were first and foremost SRA designated appraisers actively practicing. That was the prerequisite to even get considered for the team. It got our feet in the proverbial door.

Being active in volunteering with the Appraisal Institute and continuing to work on professional development through AI also kept all of us rotating in similar professional orbits. We regularly see each other at various events.

How the SRA Designation Helps

This is just one example of how my SRA designation has opened a door for me. Hiring managers, whether seeking appraisers for employment or for individual fee assignments, know what it takes to receive the SRA designation.

On three separate occasions, my SRA designation has earned me a position because the hiring manager thought it was a bonus. I get many assignments a year because the client wants someone with that designation. I get referrals every year from MAI-designated colleagues as well.

I’ve heard many non-designated appraisers question whether receiving the SRA designation would help them professionally. For appraisers who want to work in non-lending spaces, I know from experience that it does wonders.

And I work for several lenders who give my designation consideration over other non-designated appraisers that they work with. This is especially true with complex assignments.

‘Clients Are Willing to Pay for It’

Being included on the green home certification study is an example of something that I often say to classes or at conferences when discussing the importance of the SRA designation:

“You are not aware of the work out there that is being offered only to SRA designees. Certain clients want this level of professionalism and are willing to pay for it. It is not only financially rewarding work, it is often intellectually interesting work that requires the skill set receiving my SRA helped to develop.”


Woody FinchamWoody R. Fincham, SRA, AI-RRS, is co-chair of the Appraisal Institute’s Residential Appraiser Project Team. A residential specialist based in Charlottesville, Virginia, he is vice-president with the national residential and commercial firm Valucentric, LLC. Follow him on Twitter @CvilleValue