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Monday, March 26, 2012

Technology and Appraisals: Growing with the changes

As the local community and housing markets begin to stabilize and improve from the recent housing crisis, it is an opportune time to reflect on other critical events in the history of our profession.  Starting with the Great Depression, men and women in our industry banded together to create professional organizations that helped focus the members, the public and/or legislators on the importance of our work. 

Both the Savings & Loan Crisis of the 1980’s and the current housing crisis resulted in federal and state legislation which changed and strengthened our industries.   Federal initiatives such as FIRREA (Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989) and Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act helped define procedures and standards designed to enhance the integrity of the system.  

Throughout the last 100 years, basic principles of real estate appraising have changed very little but the data assimilation has changed dramatically. During the majority of the 20th century appraisers relied heavily upon sales information gleaned from county records and the infamous MIBOR Comparable Books.  Technology allows appraisers to assimilate data for analysis in an efficient manner.  The ability to utilize technology to research and analyze large amounts of data provides today’s appraiser with opportunities few appraisers in the past could have dreamed of or ever experienced.

Technology will play an increasingly important role in the future of appraising.  Databases and on-line resources will provide more efficiency in the collection and analysis of data.  Having the skills to formulate and analyze the data sources and devices will differentiate the average from the good appraiser. 

Licensee legislation, member representation, and pertinent educational programs helped both the REALTORS® and appraiser groups play instrumental roles in the restoration of public faith in our professions.  But the new technology, the recent housing crisis, and the subsequent regulations have resulted in many appraisers leaving the profession.  The resulting shortage potential will lead clients to appraisers who will be more adept, sophisticated, and detail-oriented in their research and report writing. 
MIBOR has long recognized that communication and cooperation between  REALTORS®  and appraisers is an important key to the local success of our real estate industry.  Appraiser participation on the BLC® Listing Service committees and MIBOR’s Board of Directors ensures such cooperation in the coming years.  The future will certainly bring more change and I’m confident MIBOR will be at the forefront of any change which benefits all members.

Jason A. Tillema, SRA
Tillema & Associates

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