MReport September 2018

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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30 | TH E M R EP O RT FEATURE York City. The three organizations will be launching their Appraiser Pipeline Initiative pilot in Q 4 2018 and Q1 2019 via a series of "Entre- preneurship Centers" to be hosted in Baltimore and Philadelphia. Kirk Willison, SVP, Government and Industry Relations, Altisource, told MReport, "We hope that our part - nership will spark other players in the mortgage industry to under- take their own diversity-increasing initiatives. Step by step, we can help transform our industry into one that looks more like the cus- tomers we will be serving in the coming decades. That makes both cultural and business sense. " "The Appraiser Pipeline Diversity Initiative not only will create opportunity for people in underserved communities to se - cure stable, family-sustaining jobs, it will enhance and strengthen the entire industry by promoting diversity," NUL President and CEO Marc H. Morial said. "We're grateful for our partnership with Fannie Mae and proud that they recognize our Entrepreneurship Centers as the ideal setting for this new program. We're looking forward to a productive partner - ship and a dynamic new genera- tion of appraisal professionals." In addition to informational workshops providing ground-level introductions to the profession and beginner resource packets, the Entrepreneurship Centers will also provide educational resourc - es, skill-development workshops (including actual time spent in the field), and guidance from Fannie Mae staff appraisers. "The industry is not un- like many careers in financial services," Brown said. "If you are not intentional and proactive about expanding recruitment and outreach to include diverse seg- ments, it's not a natural outcome. Additionally, many underserved communities are not aware of career opportunities in residential appraisals, so awareness is key. You can't be what you can't see— visibility is important." And there are plenty of areas where the potential for education is abundant. It's not just Fannie Mae that's been working to solve this problem. Brown told MReport that industry leaders have been working to revise the entry requirements to the appraisal profession so they adequately reflect current market needs. This approach involves modifying education and experi - ence requirements; proactively increasing education and outreach to diverse, talented candidates; and providing resources to help interested candidates figure out the best way to begin building their careers as appraisers. In February 2018, the Appraiser Qualifications Board voted to reduce the education requirements for becoming an appraiser, drop - ping the need for a college degree— previously, candidates needed at least 30 semester credit hours or an associate degree. The training requirements were also scaled back, dropping from 2,000 hours in 12 or more months down to 1,000 hours in six or more months. Brown emphasized that the appraisal profession offers plenty of elements that could appeal to younger workers, single mothers, or others in need of sustainable careers with flexible scheduling. It's the sort of job that lends itself to setting your schedule, so long as the appraiser in question continues to get the job done and meet their commitments. The profession also exposes appraisers to all manner of emerging technologies. The appraisal profession also both demands and strengthens skills that lend themselves to mul - tiple possible career paths, letting potential appraisers polish their analytical skills and customer service chops, as well as honing organizational, problem-solving, and time-management skill sets. According to December 2017 research by Tom Seidenstein and Sarah Shahdad, Market Insights Researchers for Fannie Mae's Economic and Strategic Research Group, an estimated one-fifth of American adults have provided a service through the so-called "gig economy." In this modern and evolving landscape, the appraisal field could be a valid and viable option that many have simply not considered. When asked what she hopes the new Appraiser Pipeline Initiative Pilot will accomplish, Brown told MReport, "We hope to raise awareness of career op - portunities in the industry and provide a roadmap for individu- als to pursue the profession by leveraging the League's business model and brand and equipping the Entrepreneur Centers with the tools and resources needed to con - duct outreach and education." DAVID WHARTON, Online Editor at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received his B.A. in English and minored in Journalism. Wharton has over 15 years of experience in journalism and previously worked at Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm, as Associate Content Editor, focusing on producing media content related to tax and accounting principles and government rules and regulations for accounting professionals. Wharton has an extensive and diversified portfolio of freelance material, with published contributions in both online and print media publications. Wharton and his family currently reside in Arlington, Texas. He can be reached at David. "We hope that our partnership, designed to increase the number of minorities and women participating in the appraisal industry, will spark other players in other sectors of the mortgage industry to undertake their own diversity- increasing initiatives." —Kirk Willison, SVP, Government and Industry Relations, Altisource "The industry is not unlike many careers in financial services. If you are not intentional and proactive about expanding recruitment and outreach to include diverse segments, it's not a natural outcome." —Charmaine Brown, Director of External Outreach and Engagement in the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, Fannie Mae

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