The Beginning of a New Life

Principles are tremendously important tools we can use in our lives to affect change. A principle is an eternal truth. It can be applied across all circumstances, all times, all places, and it is still true. I try to share principles with those I work and interact with each day, including you. These principles aren’t just my opinion. They are truths that I’ve discovered through careful study of other successful people (and by successful I don’t just mean wealthy), and through applying them to my life and work.

It wasn’t too long ago that I found myself in a similar position to many of you. I was working 60, 70, even 80-hour weeks, and still living paycheck to paycheck. I realized that I wasn’t happy. I enjoyed appraising, but I knew something needed to change if I wanted to keep doing it. That’s when we got rid of our T.V. and I started studying. I studied the founding fathers; I studied people before them and people after them – Carneigie, Firestone, and many others. I wanted to know not just what helped them make money, but what helped them find success in relationships, in personal fulfilment.

I came out of my study with a list of 12 principles of prosperity. Since my initial study, my list has changed a little bit. However, these principles don’t change. Instead, I discover them and make new connections. My understanding is constantly growing. In 3 years from the time I started my study, my life had completely changed. I was working 40 hours a week or less, and my income had grown exponentially. More importantly, I now feel better about myself and my life, and my relationships have improved dramatically. You, too, can experience this change, as you learn and apply the principles of prosperity.

For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 

16 thoughts on “The Beginning of a New Life”

  1. By putting AMC’s on a pedestal and teaching others to form a business around such evil, you long ago put profits before principles. Although you were a wolf in sheep’s clothing, I can appreciate you coming out as a wolf and being a W2 employee for an AMC want (True Footage). On a side note, do you still teach that rounding to the nearest 6 inch’s is good appraisal practice? Asking for a friend.

    Seek the truth as many in this business like to wear costumes and pretend to be something they are not.

    Seek the truth.

    1. Bill we have polar oposite opinions of AMC’s. I love working with AMC’s as they do 2 things that I always hated prior to 2008. They collect the check and field all the phone calls from the lender and borrower. Those 2 things are worth thier weight in gold to me and free me up to do the things I enjoy which is actually appraising real estate. I am actually make a lot more per appraisal than I was before the mortgage lending takeover of the AMC so it has also resulted in higher fees for me. I started only working with AMC’s in 2010 and it has been easier, less of a headache, made more money, and the thing I like most is they judge me on my performance only and not things that are outside my control like if I played golf with them last weekend or went to thier daughters wedding like it was in the old days. I was taught the rounding to the nearest half foot many years ago by a appraisal guru named Larry Disney and I was measuring to the nearest tenth and argued that my method was more accurate. So we did a test sample of 5 properties and measured each way and suprisingly what we found was when we closed the sketch the total gla of both sketchs was almost always within a few sqaure feet. So I used that method for many years before ANSI and never had 1 issue as Larry was the president of the appraisers board for 20 years. Of course, with the ANSI requirement we all know we know have to measure to the tenth and the half foot method is now obsolete, but it was a acceptable and accurate method before ANSI.

      1. Perhaps not on this site, but you are in the minority relating to loving AMC’s. Big picture, if an AMC is taking care of you in your area, chances are they are screwing over other appraisers in 9 out of 10 markets.

        Brainwashing complete and star status has been unlocked.

        Seek the truth.

    2. Bill, about 25 years ago, I did a little study to determine for myself what to round to when measuring homes, since there were no standards presented by any of the appraisal regulatory bodies at the time. I had stumbled upon ANSI and wanted to use it, but had some concerns. I determined that measuring to the nearest six inches varied only about 1-2% from measuring to 0.1 foot for the typical homes in my area. Since the local tax assessors and agents normally rounded to the nearest foot, I could be more precise than they were, but not vary too much from the comps. I did incorporate into my practice the ANSI standards for measuring sloped ceilings.

      My main concern about ANSI still remains: measuring to the siding edge. I usually measure to the edge of the foundation, except for cantilevers. I often see homes where new layers of siding are installed over the old siding; it is my opinion that the GLA should not change in that instance. Measuring to the edge of the new siding increases the GLA by 2-5%, a larger difference than rounding to six inches!

      As I am not a customer of Dustin, I can’t say for sure what he is currently teaching. But for me, I use ANSI when I have to, and round to six inches otherwise. The local assessors and agents have not changed their measuring methodology yet… and likely won’t.

      The truth is out there!

      1. For the long term sake of that new construction home owner, lets hope the roofer didn’t just cut his boards to the nearest 6 inch’s and call it good enough. Rounding to the nearest 6 inches is code word for I want to cut corners (to within 6 inch’s of course) in the appraisal report, and put profits before principles.

        Good luck Jeff.

        Seek the truth.

        1. Bill,

          I’m not sure how rounding to the nearest six inches for the living area of a home truly “cuts corners.” In my opinion, cutting corners would be not measuring the home at all, but just using the tax assessor or MLS data. It doesn’t save me any time to round; as I stated, it is more precise than rounding to the nearest foot, and within what I deem a reasonable tolerance for accuracy, especially considering that the comps are typically not measured that accurately. And, as you seem to forget, there were no requirements for measuring to within 0.1 feet until Fannie Mae adopted the ANSI standard last year. (At the same time, FNMA is trying to eliminate the appraiser from the inspection process, but that is a totally different topic.)

          Your analogy about new construction is disingenuous. When I measure that new construction home and discover it is 2′ smaller than it was supposed to be, do you think the homeowner truly cares that it is really only 1.9′ smaller?

          Another thought on the ANSI standard, and potential problems with it, and related to your new construction premise: most floor plans for new construction typically provide measurements to the edge of the foundation. Let’s say one home will be brick veneer, so it’s siding edge is the same as the edge of the foundation. Another home built to the exact same floor plan, but with vinyl siding, will have slightly more GLA when measured to ANSI standards than the brick home. Does that make any sense?

          I adequately explained above my thought process, and reservations about the ANSI standard, but you just want to beat a drum instead of actually engage in any real discussion.

    3. Thank you Bill, I learned some new things from your post. You do not like AMCs which are evil. Dustin has no principles. Dustin teaches evil. Dustin works for TrueFootage. TrueFootage is a AMC? Wait that’s a lie. Seek the truth. Dustin is a W2 employee. Dustin has measured to the nearest 6 inch in the past. Fascinating!! First time I have heard any of this. Wow. Thank you for the truth. Cannot wait for new brilliant revelations from you in Dustin’s next blog.

      1. Yes, AMC’s are evil, “Evil = profound immorality and wickedness”, and those that actively promote, and or make money off their greed are guilty by association. Yes, per a past podcast and in his own words Dustin is a W2 employee for True Footage (find it and go listen to it). Yes, Dustin sold his appraisal business. Yes, prior to the sale Dustin has said he had not been a fulltime appraiser since the iPhone 4 (2010). With a nearly 50 state presence, it would seem Dustin’s employer is an AMC wannabe. Yes, Dustin has promoted rounding to the nearest 6 inch’s.

        Your very much welcome for the truth.

        Seek the truth Kevin, and or continue to put your head in the sand.

        Hope you feel better soon.

        1. Fascinating Bill, for the hundredth time. Wow. I can’t wait for Dustin’s next blog to read these magnificent words again.

          1. Unfortunately Kevin, with Dustin attracting new blood by the day, week, or month, constant reminders of don’t drink the Kool-Aid are a necessity.

            Seek the truth.

  2. Shirleyann Colonna

    I am curious how anyone can say they make more money working for an AMC than for Lenders directly. Many banks have their own inhouse appraisal departments as well as Builders, and I can guarantee you that the fees from these entities are ALWAYS HIGHER than the AMCs. In fact, I have worked directly for a Builder for years and they just recently switch to an AMC; the fees are at least $150 less, and they charge an “upload fee,” or whatever the heck they want to call it. So, yeah, AMCs Suck!

    1. Jamie D appears to be a shill for Dustin in the hope to keep the propaganda sold here alive. Meaning, for a fee, Dustin will train you in the ways of changing your business model to include AMC work by volume. Considering Dustin has not been a full time appraiser since 2010, sold his appraisal business last year, and is now a W2 employee for an AMC wannabe (True Footage), its a classic do as as say and not as I do message.

      Seek the truth.

      1. The problem is “seek the truth” all amc’s are not the equal and I said earlier i love it because they judge you by performance only. I am not talking about the bid on every job low ball fee amc’s I am talking about ones that pay $500-$750 an appraisal because of lender minimiums. I do have direct lender clients also, but I only do mortgage lending appraisals. Dustin has not been a fool time appraiser since 2010 is like saying Elon Musk does not run Tesla. Sure he does not run the day to day operations, but he is running the show. Dustin says he sold his appraisal business to focus more on coaching that has been a big success. I can see why because the greatest things we do in our lives involves helping others and if you have a heart to give you will be greatly rewarded with satisfaction. I can say that working with Dustin got me laser focused on my business and no matter who you are working for that is the most important part of your professional life and hopefully soon I will not be a full time appraiser and will be able to delegate an even bigger part of my business so I can work less, make more, and spend more time with my family and that is what I am working for my wife and kids security. You have ot do it for others I believe that is one of the keys to unlocking greatness in yourself. Is there is Mrs. Johnson?

        1. Let me quote Shirleyann Colonna who committed above. AMC’s Suck! Congratulations on working in a small pocket area where it seems AMC’s are paying fees TODAY (not 2021 / early 2022) similar to or higher than what the VA pays. On a side note, I would love for you to post who your AMC clients are (paying $500 to $750), and to have someone in my area of San Diego post what that same AMC is paying. I would bet a Coke that the fees are 50% less all while having a cost of living that is 30% higher.

          Seek the truth.

          1. The largest mortgage lender in the country which all happens to be the largest mortgage lender in my state and my local market pays about $500 minimium and up to $750 per complex appraisal. Maybe you have heard of Rocket Mortgage and I have been told they are paying good fees nationwide. They use many different AMC’s but the fees are really good compared to the $300 to $350 fees set by the AMC. As I said in past posts I love AMC’s because they are great at collecting the payment and always pay me for all work completed in a timely manner and I do not have go to there office with a huge stack of overdue invoices and beg for payment. In 2005 I could not complete a report for being on the phone 15 hours a day from and unproductive calls and they pretty much took care of that issue also and never 1 time have they requested I do anything unethical or illegal and I can not say that for the mortgage lenders from 2000-2005. The order came over with the value they needed and if you could not hit it they would not pay and find somebody that would. It is my personal opinion that the appraisers today are in much better shape with the AMC (collecting payment, fielding calls from lender and borrower, making sure the client does not ask for a predetermined value, and they judge you based on performance) than the toxic enviroment before they became relevant. I guess it just depends on how you look at it the glass can be half full or half empty.

  3. Wow, got rid of the T.V. That’s cool. I would love to do that. I personally don’t watch a ton of TV, but would be interested if my life would be better without it. I’m afraid that in the age of the cell phone, that T.V. would easily get replace by a phone.

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