Sounding Bored is my semi-regular column on the state of the appraisal profession. This week I received an opportunity to spend $5 per report to have someone else fill out our reports.

Well, I am not considering outsourcing in our appraisal practice but the state of our profession has fallen to such a low, that the use of this service by some appraisers would not have an adverse impact on the quality provided (in other words, it can’t get any worse). The inference here, or at least the way I take it is, that appraising is simply picking 3 similar sales, and then sending them to India to insert them in the form.

Wouldn’t the appraiser have to insert the sales into the form anyway to understand how each sale compares to the subject?

Here’s the email I got today:

Hello Mr. Miller,

How are you & how is appraisal business doing.

My name is Sandeep, from New Delhi, India.
I got your contact from Google search.

This is in regards to the data entry support in respect to following:-

1) Appraisal Report Data Entry -Filling out subject & comps data using your Field Inspection Data & MLS Listings pulled.
2) Entering your orders into systems as etrac & Xsite.
3) Helping you promoting your business by maintaining Lenders Database & emailing lenders on regular basis.
4) Any other specific data assistance.

You can contact at [email protected] anytime for more information on above. I would love to answer any queries. Your time with this matter is much appreciated.

Looking forward to talk to you,
[email protected]
(The Support is available for an expense as low as $50 a month)

In other words, this type of service is really for “form-fillers” to boost efficiency and has nothing to do those few souls who actually perform an appraisal. The forms that are filled out must be so generic that they provide no useful information to base lending decisions on collateral. But then again, not many wholesale lenders have cared about the report content to date except for the “number” and how fast the report is turned around. What difference will outsourcing make to that caliber of client?

Hint: None.

Tags: ,

5 Responses to “[Sounding Bored] Outsourcing Competence Out”

  1. Jim MacCrate says:

    This is one that I received. The American Bar Association must love this one.

    An India firm will research all American laws and litigation cases at very low fees. Obviously, the savings should be passed on to the U. S. clients in the U.S. without any markup by the American law firms that retain these firms to do their research for them.

    This would be good for the American consumer and ethically proper to do so.


  2. Jonathan J. Miller says:

    Do you really think the savings will get passed along?

  3. Chip Wagner says:

    Sandeep contacted me too. Twice in the past 6 months now.

  4. Jamie Pitts says:

    Amen! It’s hard to blame the appraiser for the state of appraisals because an appraiser can’t make a living doing appraisals anymore. I never get calls for appraisals that could be done by a “form-filler” anymore. Once upon a time, the easy ones averaged out the difficult ones. Now, most of my appraisal orders come from long-time clients that need a second appraisal after the first one, the quick, cheap one done by someone else, didn’t pass the automated underwriting or was so poorly documented that it was turned down altogether. Everything I see is complex, and requires a real appraisal, because they order their simple ones from the appraiser equivalant of an ATM. I really don’t want to live through another real-estate-value-related recession like 1987-1992, but I think it’s coming.

  5. C Gallagher says:

    It is coming alright…I dont want to go through it again either. In this area appraisal firms hire people to do the research, the inspection, the form filling, photo downloading, sketch, mapping and comments, they even have a person to apply the digital signature. None of the “employees” are trained, certified or licensed and the only person that is at risk is the certified appraiser (who never sees the property or the report). They discount fees, superrush reports (under 24 hours), do lookups, push values, lie about square footage and laugh all the way to the bank.

    It has become a casino environment here… how long can they get away with it? The answer is over a decade. Now they have people using photograpic software to change reports. Loan officers (trainees) that send out the “comp” check to six appraisers and whom ever says they can see the highest value… gets the request for appraisal…they say things in voice mails, emails and on the phone like ” I need ten more grand on my report”, cant you just add six grand here? “Come on baby, put some love on this one for me”… I will send you all my work… and will tell everyone here how “good” you are…

    Well… I am sick to death of the nagging… “did you get my request?” Did you set the appt?” “Did you inspect it?” Did it look ok? “What do you think it will come in at” “When will I get it” All of these are separate calls… multiply this by 30 Loan officers and you can see that I spend a big portion of the day answering stupid calls.

    I dont know about all of you but.. would like to hear your opinions of the following: From respectable to BS… Our opinion was respected, now we have Barbi (former receptionist) underwriting/reviewing our work. This person has no appraisal experience, doesnt read the report, takes up way too much of our time and is eroding the profession from the lender side.

    Competition. I wont train one more appaiser.. I have heard all the stories of appraisers that train the person to just do certain parts of the report so when they go out on their own, they will fail, or fire them before the two years are up. (that one is very popular her in Texas) The trainee promises to learn and work for the two years (sucking every free second you have with stupid repetitive questions) dropping the ball and dont really care about the quality of their work all for the trade off of working for two additional years for the supervisor once certified, then the second they get the certification, …………….gone and use some lame excuse designed to appease their conscience. The entire profession has become so corrupted and filled with incompetence that it is just about “used car salesman” level. We, as a group need to get together and make changes so we can run out the scammers, cons, liars and cheats. We need to stick together and fight the pressure, black lists, or manipulations that are changing the profession. We must stand up and take back the control, list the bad mortgage companies, bad LOs, bad appraisers and after twenty years raise our fees!!!! Surveys cost $400-500, processors get six to a thousand per file, the LO gets at least $1000-1,500 per loan, and since it is our behinds on the line for all of this, we as a group need to get together and stop doing warehouse work for 50% sharing our fees to get nagged, and start charging a professional fee. We could go to jail for an error (intended or not… hmmmm).. I am looking at getting out… I know many ethical appraisers that have shut the doors and refuse to do a 24 hr turn around, wont get values and are not getting any work.. We need help… HELPPPPPP!