MReport April 2019

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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36 | TH E M R EP O RT FEATURE ing simulated training environ- ments and leveraging virtual real- ity technology, which can reduce the amount of on-the-job training an appraiser candidate needs. For an industry that is strug- gling with getting more people to join the field, these are positive developments. However, there is still more that could be done to attract new appraisers, especially women, and it begins with dem- onstrating why an appraisal career is worth considering. Appealing to Women T he best way to increase participation in the ap- praisal industry is by building awareness and conveying the benefits of appraising as a career, especially among women. Many people choose to become appraisers because of the flex- ibility of the job. For the most part, you set your own schedule, which makes it a great career for moms—or dads—who are raising children. If you have to pick up your kids from school at 3 p.m. and get them to soccer practice, you can. It's also an industry that pays well compared to other fields, whether one chooses to work independently or join the staff of an appraisal company. Technology is also making the job infinitely easier and more effi- cient, whether you are a man or a woman. When I started out, you couldn't look up property records or real estate sales information on the internet. I drove around with a multiple listing book in the back of my car and looked up public records data on microfiche— sometimes having to drive to the county assessor's office in order to do so. Today, there is far more access to the data appraisers need to produce credible assignment results. Technology is also creating appraisal products and services that can be performed more quickly and efficiently compared to traditional appraisals. That is opening up new avenues of busi- ness for appraisers. There are enough women working in the appraisal industry that it is no longer an anomaly. Women today are serving at all levels of the industry, including in the C-suites of large appraisal companies. Many even own their own staff appraiser firms. By the time I served as the President of the National Association of Appraisers, my gender was basi- cally a non-factor—no one ques- tioned my credentials or expertise. Women are still in the minority, but the appraisal industry is no longer a man's world. According to NAR, 63 percent of all Realtors are women. Clearly, there is no shortage of female housing experts, only a shortage of female appraisers. However, there are things we can and should do to change this. Raising Awareness Is Key C ompared to when I started in the business, there are far more women in our ranks. However, our profession could do a much a better job of recruiting women and making people aware of the appraisal field, especially at an earlier age. One way to do this is by participating in job fairs and "career days" on college campuses to make students aware of the possibilities of an appraisal career. Appraisal companies should also do a better job at recruiting and training women to become ap- praisers and promoting expe- rienced female appraisers into leadership roles. I'm fortunate to work at a company that values di- versity and that not only actively hires female appraisers but also promotes them into management and leadership positions, and I've seen the positive results from this. Multiple corporate studies that have found that the more diverse an organization is, the better it tends to perform. I believe it's true. We have a diverse pool of staff appraisers, including women and people from many ethnic backgrounds. As a group, our appraisers statistically outperform industry averages when it comes to turn-time and on-time perfor- mance. In fact, I recently had the opportunity to compare our team to a nationwide appraiser panel made up of independent contrac- tors and discovered that our turn times, on average, were an entire day shorter. If our industry is successful at attracting and recruiting more women into its ranks, it will go a long way toward solving the imminent appraiser short- age while also giving women a fulfilling career with enormous growth potential. That's a win for everybody. LAURIE EGAN is VP and General Manager at The William Fall Group, a national provider of residential and commercial appraisal services. A 30-year veteran of the appraisal profession, Egan oversees more than 100 staff residential appraisers nationwide. She is a Certified Residential Appraiser in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho and serves as the immediate past president of the National Association of Appraisers. She can be reached at Not attracting new appraisers 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 consumers purchasing and refinancing homes

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