MReport April 2019

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 37 of 69

34 | TH E M R EP O RT FEATURE W hen I started appraising in 1987, there were few women in the field. Anytime I attended an industry meeting or a continuing education course, I was usually either the only woman in the room or one of only a couple. Over the past 30-plus years, how- ever, that has definitely changed— but probably not enough. Over 45 percent of the more than 100 appraisers on my staff are female, but that proportion is not the norm in the appraisal profession overall. According to Appraisal Institute statistics, female appraisers make up about 25 percent of total appraisers na- tionwide. While women represent a majority of real estate agents in the U.S., according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), they remain the minority in the appraisal profession. There's no simple reason why the ratio of male to female ap- praisers is so skewed, but the fact remains that the appraisal profession has traditionally been a male-dominated field. There is certainly more our industry can do to encourage women to enter the profession—and several compelling reasons why it should get behind the idea. A Graying Profession W hile the greater mortgage industry could use more female appraisers, it's also true it simply needs more appraisers— period. According to Appraisal Institute statistics, the number of residential appraisers in the U.S. has declined for years. While there are a number of reasons for this attrition, at the very top of the list is age. The average resi- dential appraiser is a man in his late 50s, while the percentage of appraisers under the age of 35 is just 10 percent. As older apprais- ers retire, there are simply not enough new appraisers entering the profession to replace them. One of the reasons our young folks are not entering the appraisal profession is because it's a largely unknown career choice for them. Let's face it: most kids don't grow up with the dream of becoming a real estate appraiser, and most people don't even know real estate appraisers exist until they purchase their first home. So, who does become an ap- praiser? Often, it's people like me, who grew up in the appraisal business. For many others, it is a second or even third career that comes after working as real estate agents or mortgage professionals. Most people don't have that aware- ness about the field, so it often goes unnoticed as a career option. Not attracting new apprais- ers into the profession has real consequences and will ultimately result in an appraiser shortage. Rural markets across the country are already experiencing this, and it has resulted in delays and increased costs for consum- ers purchasing and refinancing homes. If we allow this trend to continue, this will expand beyond rural areas and into suburban and even urban markets. As such, it's critical to take a closer look at the obstacles to an appraisal career. High Barriers to Entry T he requirements to become a credentialed appraiser can be particularly difficult to overcome, especially for working adults. Minimum requirements are set at a federal level by the Appraisal Foundation's Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB), but individual states can set even higher requirements to become licensed or certified, and many do. Until recently, in order to become a certified appraiser one had to have a four-year college degree, work in an intern- ship role for 2,000 hours over a 24-month period of time, and satisfy hundreds of hours of spe- cific qualifying and continuing education prior to even sitting for the rigorous exam one must pass to become certified. While most appraisers make good income, appraiser trainees typically do not. Particularly for women, many of whom are also raising children, the time, financial investment, and low income of a trainee are serious impediments to entry into the profession. Fortunately, this situation is starting to change. In May of 2018, the AQB revised its criteria for new appraisers, and many states are beginning to adopt those rules. The revised criteria provide alternatives to a college degree and propose fewer required in- ternship hours. Course providers are also in the process of design- Seeking a Better Balance The appraisal industry has made great strides toward gender equity, but more work remains to be done. Here's why bringing more women into the appraisal field can help counter some of the challenges facing the industry. By Laurie Egan

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of TheMReport - MReport April 2019