‘Voice of the Appraiser’ Results and Crude Comments by Me

Landy Insurance’s most recent Valuation Review has their findings of freshly gathered surveys completed by real estate appraisers across the country.  The findings were both predictable and astounding at the same time.  A special thanks to my friend, Ramir Rodriguez of Treasure Valley Factors for first bringing this to my attention.  It really tells us a lot about the current appraisal industry and why we are often our own worst enemies.  You can read the Landy’s results here and then my comments will follow below:


 Now, a few words from The Appraiser Coach on the fallout:

  •  It is no surprise that many (if not most) appraisers are currently unhappy in this profession.
  • Some AMC fees seem to be rising while others are not.  Sounds like we all ought to re-evaluate our current client list, fire a few, and hire a few more.  There are some very good AMCs out there (I know, I work for them) and some very bad ones (I know, I fired them).  By the way, my fees have increased since HVCC and Customary and Reasonable.
  • 75% of respondents report their average appraisal fee of over $300.  Given the technology we have now that we did not have a few years ago, I think we all got an hourly raise. 
  • Most fee appraisers are doing 1004s as their main staple.  There is other work out there, folks.
  • 25% are doing less than 10 appraisals a month?  Tell me this is not your only job.
  • 3% are not using a computer to do appraisal reports?  Am I reading that right or did they just misunderstand the question?  What are they using?  A typewriter?  Stone and a chisel?
  • Less than 7% of appraisers can have an appraisal turned in 24 hours.  I routinely turn my reports in 24 hours after inspection and my quality is higher today than it was when I was taking more time?  Why?  Technology, personnel and the systems to put it all together.  You do not have to do things like your daddy did them anymore.
  • Not so surprising to me (because I am now considered to be the expert in the niche of Mobile Appraising), a huge majority of appraisers are still not using a mobile device to gather data in the field.  Either they have not seen my numerous webinars teaching them the how and the why of Mobile Appraising or they don’t see the point in being faster and increasing accuracy at the same time.  I’m just saying.  Bryan, I love you man, but it really does.   
  • One thing that was not included that I would have liked to see is the age of the respondents.
  • Probably the most telling statistic to me in the whole study was that only 42% of appraisers consider themselves to be a “Business Owner.”  Most prefer the title of “Independent fee appraiser,” “President,” “Senior Appraiser,” etc. to the most important role you have… that of OWNER!  Is it any wonder why we struggle?  Most appraisers see themselves as a technician rather than an entrepreneur.  There is a big difference and it is reflected on how we do business. 




Dustin Harris is a multi-business owner, but he has found most of his success as a self-employed, residential real estate appraiser. He has been appraising for nearly two decades. He is the owner and President of Appraisal Precision and Consulting Group, Inc., and is a popular author, speaker and consultant. He owns and operates The Appraiser Coach (www.theappraisercoach.com) where he personally advises and mentors other appraisers helping them to also run successful appraisal companies and increase their net worth.  He is also the Founder and President of Your Appraisal Office (www.yourappraisaloffice.com) which implements some of the systems he has developed to help lower costs and free up time for real estate business owners.   He and his wife reside in Idaho with their four children.


9 thoughts on “‘Voice of the Appraiser’ Results and Crude Comments by Me”

  1. Hey Dustin!
    Great comments! I was rolling on the floor. Who doesn’t use a computer?! That is crazy!

    I totally agree with using mobile applications. I just haven’t started using them yet! hahaha.

    After trying out sketching on my tiny little iPhone though, I am SOLD! I really can’t wait to give it a try! I might even get a pad at some point, but I really love to keep everything from GPS, my camera and email on my phone. So using software for sketching and importing data during the inspection from my iphone will be wonderful and incredibly time saving in the long run.

    Thanks again and it was great meeting you at the Valuation Expo. Take care!


    1. Bryan:

      I knew I could persuade you. 🙂 Thanks for the great feedback. It really is the way to go for speed and accuracy.

      I also enjoyed getting to know you and Roy at the Expo. You guys are doing some incredible things for appraisers. Everyone ought to check out The Appraisers Club if they want to grow their business!


  2. Dustin: Good analysis. Keep your message alive, and many thanks for the excellent presentation at the Appraisal Summit & Expo. That was for the excellent practical summary for the tech presentations.

    George E. Harrison, MAA

  3. Dustin,
    Maybe most appraisers don’t see themselves as business owners because they are doing all the work themselves (like me). I see myself not as owning a business, but as owning a job.
    Scott Wachter

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