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Wave Appraisal Services is revolutionizing the appraisal firm industry by utilizing appraiser apprentices. We are pioneering a new model that reduces turn-times for clients, creates additional capacity for appraisers, and increases quality. Come, ride the wave that is moving the appraisal profession into a new area of growth and opportunities.


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  • 1. Can you elaborate on why the clear majority of AMCs do not want this model used?
    The current model suits AMCs motives to control the appraisal supply. Turn-times have increased due to a shortage of appraisers willing to do lender work. The AMCs have no incentive to decrease those times, and no leverage to do so. From one AMC to the next, there should be little difference in turn-time because they are all using the same appraisers. AMCs have no incentive to reduce appraisal cost, other than to increase their margins. As appraisal costs increase, they simply increase their fees.
  • 2. On multiple occasions, you reference improvement of quality and state a 20% increase in quality. What are you measuring?
    This is based on the overall percentage of revision requests and underwriter conditions of the test group versus all other appraisers.
  • 3. What is the difference between the Observer and the Assistant?
    Our Lean Appraisal Model® utilizes three basic positions. At the top, we have the Certified Real Estate Appraiser (who is also the Supervisory Appraiser), who is credentialed, experienced, and competent. The Appraiser manages the team and the appraisal process. Next, we have the Researcher/Assistant, who assists the appraiser with tasks such as researching the subject property and comparables, calling market participants and other parties to verify information, and performing data entry type functions to speed up the process. Finally, we have the Inspector (Observer as I have used with you in our correspondence), who specializes in documenting the condition of the subject property through detailed notes, photographs, and sketches, and also in viewing the comparables.
  • 4. We would want to see a detailed training plan for the Observer and Assistant and understand what the requirements are before they start to work.
    Inspectors are hired based on their demonstrated background in real estate, home inspection, code enforcement, property maintenance, housing inspection, zoning inspection, or other similar background. Once hired, Inspectors go through the Appraisal Foundation’s approved courses. This entails a 30 hour Appraisal Principles course, a 30 hour Appraisal Procedures course, and the 15 hour Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices course. They must pass all three course exams. Further, the Inspectors are accompanied by an appraiser and receive one-on-one training until the appraiser feels confident in the inspector’s work. Inspectors/Observers do not need to be state registered as an assistant. The Research Assistant (or in Ohio the Registered Appraiser Assistant) takes the same classes as the inspector, as well as passing the exams. They will then be registered with the state which they are practicing and will become a Certified Appraiser within 12 to 18 months. Both the Inspector and the Researcher/Appraiser Assistant are under the direct supervision of the Certified Appraiser, which have successfully completed the required Foundation course on Supervision. There are a couple of scenarios in which we see the Inspector/Observer not needing to be registered at the state level as an Appraiser Apprentice. First, they very well may never want to be an appraiser. Some of the best Inspector/Observers we have seen do not want to become an appraiser. So there is no need to sacrifice quality of the Observer over whether we require them to get caught in the cost of State Requirements that are burdensome and unneeded. Secondly, different states have different requirements before a "Trainee" can observe a property on their own. As example: Mississippi-Always; TN-500 hours; OH,IN,TX, VA, WVA, None. Thus to have a scalable model, Compliant with states, GSE's, Federal regulations and USPAP our Observers are not required to be licensed in the state apprentice program. They are Qualified, Schooled and Trained but Not Registered. This is also why we believe Fannie Mae continues to state that Unlicensed /Certified Appraiser can inspect a property for a Certified or Licensed Appraiser. It is to fly above the snares of some burdensome and irrelevant individual state requirements. We can provide more a more detailed training plan, showing more specifically what those courses cover if you like. Or you may view them at the Appraisal Institute's website.
  • 5. While the turn time results are impressive and we would love to have those turn times, how have you tested or validated the results against the valuation results of completing a traditional appraisal?
    We have three years of data on turn-times in the region, broken down by form type (1004, 1073, 1025, etc), transaction type (Purchase, Equity, etc) and many other ways. When looking at current and historical turn-times, the Lean Model roughly halved the turn-times. We tracked the results over the period of 4 months and over 300 assignments. The test group for this formula was the LEAN APPRAISER TEAM and the control group was ALL TRADITIONAL APPRAISERS. By eliminating appraiser windshield time through utilizing a dedicated Inspector and giving the appraiser the assistance of a Researcher, we have three people doing the work of one. We have nearly tripled the amount of assignments which can be completed by a Certified Residential Appraiser per day, and do them correctly.
  • 6. Does the analysis in the spreadsheet use business days or calendar days if it’s calendar days, is the time savings real or based on order dates/weekends?
    All results are in calendar days. Any benefit/cost of using calendar days is shared by both the test group and the control group. The results are Order Date to Completed Date and Order Time to View Time, Review to Completed and Additional Request to Completion.
  • 7. One of the benefits of this seems to be that it will lower costs to produce the appraisal based on lower cost employees completing key tasks. How will that savings be passed on to the member?
    In the traditional model, appraisers are independent contractors, therefore their fees rise and fall, depending on demand. As we have seen over the past 3 years these appraisal fees have increased by 40%, because the GSE reports and lender requirements are so demanding. In the Lean Appraisal Model®, the Appraiser, Researcher, and Inspector are employees. While it is true that the Researcher and the Inspector’s wages are not as high as the Appraiser, there are also three people receiving wages with our model, instead of just one person receiving a fee. With our model, the emphasis is not on the cost savings, it is on the reduction of waste, the decrease of turn-times, and the increase in quality. We expect that nearly tripling the capacity of our appraisers will result in a decrease in demand among other appraisers in the market. All signs indicate that “traditional” appraisal fees will continue to rise. Our Lean Appraisal Model® should help to stabilize appraisal prices, by creating more capacity in markets where it is employed. Your members will see the immediate cost benefit of more timely closings where per diem, fees to extend rates, and other penalties are avoided. Additionally, your members anxiety will be greatly diminished by receiving the appraisal faster. In the event that there are valuation problems (appraisal doesn’t support contract price, for example), there will be more time to articulate an appeal, work out underwriting concerns, and to contemplate the lending decision.
  • 8. If the Certified Appraiser is ultimately responsible for the quality and accuracy of the appraisal report, what specifically are they doing to insure the quality and accuracy?
    The Appraiser is involved in the hiring process and helps to select the Inspector and Researchers. The Appraiser monitors the progress of the Researcher and the Inspector as they take the appraisal courses. Simultaneously, around these courses, the Researcher and Inspector shadow the Appraiser, getting hands-on experience in all aspects of appraisal. The Appraiser accompanies the Inspector to all inspections until such time that the Appraiser is confident of the Inspector’s ability to work independently. The Appraiser works alongside the Researcher until such time that the Appraiser is confident is the Researcher’s ability to work independently. The Appraiser is involved throughout the appraisal process. The appraiser determines the comparables to use, makes the necessary adjustments, performs the reconciliation, and determines the final opinion of value. Before the appraiser signs off on the report, the appraiser reviews each appraisal form, viewing the photos, inspection notes, maps, aerial and satellite images, reviewing the entries completely to ensure they reflect their professional opinion.
  • 9. I assume there will be a master service agreement or contract that governs the terms of the program. Can you provide us a copy of it?
    There is no need for a master service agreement. If you like the model and accept it, we will authorize CU Appraisal Services to use Wave Appraisal Services and their appraisers who will utilize this model. Wave would become part of your appraiser panel.

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6077 Far Hills Avenue, #187 Centerville, OH 45459




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