Matrix Blog

Public Speaking

Bad Actors: AMC Appraisal Perspective Through Rhetorical Misdirection

October 20, 2014 | 4:45 pm | Public |

I was invited to speak at the Great Lakes Chapter of the Appraisal Institute last week and met a lot of great appraisers who cover the state of Michigan.

Summit2014Brochure

I spoke about the housing market and the misinterpretation of residential housing metrics, inspired by this article and the following infographic from the Detroit Free Press.

Inkster +106.4% !!!!! a largely distressed market with what I was told only has a handful of rock bottom sales ie $10K in 2009 becomes to $30k in 2014 – a perfect example. Hot? Hardly.

dfp-real-estate-hot-spots-2014-MAP

As much as I think I held their attention for the entire hour allotted, my presentation fell short of getting audience adrenaline pumping like the Jordan Petkovsky, the Chief Appraiser of a TSI Appraisal, a large national AMC and affiliated with Quicken Loans. I still wonder how beneficial this public relations could be by talking to the industry like a politician – as if residential appraisers were clueless to the “incredible benefit” that AMCs provide our industry.

Here are a few of the questions (paraphrased) posed to an audience comprised of heavily experienced residential and commercial appraisers:

Q: “I realize there is friction between AMCs and appraisers. What has to happen to solve this problem?”
A: Someone in audience: “Someone has to die” followed by a burst of laughter from the entire room.

Q: “We spend millions on powerful analytics. Wouldn’t it be great for appraisers to get their hands on this technology?” (repeated 2 more times slowly for effect).”
A: Someone answered: “You have to spend millions on technology because the appraisal quality is so poor you need to analyze the markets yourself.”

Q: “How do we attract new appraisers into the business?”
A: My answer “Until appraisers are fairly compensated when banks are made to be financially incentivized to require credible reports, nothing will change.”

Q: “How do you think banks feel about the reliability of appraisals today? They don’t feel the values are reliable.”
A: My answer “Because AMCs pay ±half the market rate, they can only mostly attract form-fillers (aka “corner-cutters”). They don’t represent the good appraisers in the appraisal industry.”

Q: “We focus a tremendous amount of effort on regulatory compliance on behalf of banks and boy are they demanding! We even have a full time position that handles the compliance issues.”
A: My comment – that’s a recurring mantra from the AMC industry as a scare tactic to keep banks from returning to in-house appraisal departments. Prior to 2006 boom and bust cycle and the explosion of mortgage brokers with an inherent conflict of interest as orderers of appraisals, the profession was pretty good at providing reliable value estimates. The unusually large demands by regulators (if this is really true and I have serious doubts) is because the AMC appraisal quality is generally poor. If bank appraisal quality was excellent, I don’t believe there would be a lot of regulatory inquiries besides periodic audits.

What I found troubling with his presentation – and I have to give him credit for walking into the lion’s den – is how the conversation was framed in such an AMC-centric, self-absorbed way. I keep hearing this story pushed by the AMC industry: The destruction of the modern appraisal industry was the fault of a few “bad actors” during the boom that used appraisal trainees to crank out their reports. That’s incredibly out of context and a few “bad actors” isn’t the only reason HVCC was created – which was clearly inferred.

Back during the boom, banks closed their in-house appraisal centers because they came to view them as “cost centers” since risk was eliminated through financial engineering – plus mortgage brokers accounted for 2/3 of the mortgage volume. Mortgage brokers only got paid when the loan closed, so guess what kind of appraisers were selected? Those who were more likely to hit the number – they were usually not selected on the basis of quality unless the bank mandated their use. Banks were forced to expand their reliance on AMCs after the financial crisis because the majority of their relationships with appraisers had been removed during the bubble – the mortgage brokerage industry imploded and banks weren’t interested in re-opening appraisal departments because they don’t generate short term revenue.

The speaker spent a lot of time talking like a politician – “we all have to work together to solve this problem” “appraisers have to invest in technology.” When asked whether his firm had an “AVM”, he responded almost too quickly with “No” and then added “but you should see our analytics!”

The residential appraisers in the audience were largely seething after the presentation based on the conversations I heard or joined with afterwords.

It’s really sad that appraisers don’t have a real voice in our future. We’ve never had the money to sway policy creation and we can’t prevent the re-write of history.

But we’re clearly not the “bad actor.”

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[Speaking] 2014 RAC / TRN Conference in Frisco/Dallas Texas

March 9, 2014 | 11:16 pm | Public |

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I just returned from an incredibly helpful and fun annual appraisal conference in Texas. I was asked to make a presentation and ended up joining their board of directors. I’ve been a member of RAC (Relocation Appraisers & Consultants) for about 20 years and even though the organization started out with a primary emphasis on relocation appraisals in the early 1990s, RAC is so much more than that. Most of the members provide expertise in complex residential with a lot of work in litigation support. The quality of the residential appraisers in this organization is the best in the country – bar none. Most of the mainstream US appraisal trade groups emphasize or have a majority concentration of commercial appraisals and RAC fills the void.

Seminars
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Having fun filming a video with clients
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[Pre-Nor'easter Keynote] Long Island Housing Market: Transitioning from “Recovery” to “Recovered”

February 12, 2014 | 12:17 pm | fedny | Public |

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A while back, I was invited by the Long Island Chapter of the Appraisal Institute to keynote for their winter dinner/seminar tonight in Westbury, Long Island:

LI Housing Market: Transitioning from “Recovery” to “Recovered”

It’ll be great to catch up with my friends and colleagues and I always love to talk appraisalspeak for extended periods of time.

The presentation will cover (2 CE credits):

Long Island Market Reports, Key Trends, Drivers of the Current Residential Market, Fiscal Cliff, Pent-Up Demand, Record Low Inventory, Mortgage Rates, Federal Reserve, Transitioning to a Sustainable Long Term Housing Market Recovery

In a question and answer period, discussion will include Snapshot of the Long Island Housing market, including 4Q 2013 market research results in Long Island, Hamptons and the North Fork; Affordability, What is driving Sales Activity?; The relationship between Sales and Prices – Why is inventory low?; Spike in Mortgage Rates; Federal Reserve taper miscommunication; Why are Housing Prices Rising?; Long Island and Manhattan real estate economy, Credit Issues, Lending, Market Trends, Impacts, and Challenges in Year 2014.

The latest Nor’easter is supposed to start at about 2AM so it looks like we’ll get this done just under the wire!

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[Public Speaking] Miami Condo Market Symposium 10-29-13

October 27, 2013 | 9:32 pm | delogo | Public |

I’m headed to Miami this week to speak at the Urban Land Institute’s Miami Condo Market Symposium: Embracing Boom & Bust Cycles. Based on the speaker list, it promises to be an informative event.


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Speaking 3-14-13 REBNY – A Year of Recovery and Product Scarcity

March 14, 2013 | 3:10 pm | Public |

Should be fun.

They tell me it is sold out and there is a waiting list, but just in case

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[Public Speaking] GreenPearlEvent’s REMarTech

April 26, 2010 | 8:56 am | Public |


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I’ll be a speaker on Day 2: Thursday Morning April 29, 2010 at 8:40 AM on the Master Bloggers and Microbloggers panel.

It’s a great panel of people I know and respect.

The entire conference, which starts on Wednesday, is full of great resources and accomplished professionals. Ryan Slack, the founder of GreenPearl, is focused on providing content that people can actually apply to their everyday work experience.

You can register here.



[Public Speaking] VU2010 Moving Forward: The State of the New York Real Estate Market

April 26, 2010 | 8:44 am | nytlogo | Public |

Tomorrow morning, I get to be the keynote speaker for this event – a brief presentation. Vivian Marino of the New York Times and her distinguished panel gets to do the heavy lifting. Online registration is here.



[Public Speaking] New York Law School March 17, 2010

March 15, 2010 | 3:29 pm | Public |

Wednesday Morning March 17, 2010 8:15am breakfast forum:
The Future of Residential Real Estate in NYC


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Future speaking events



[92Y Tribeca] The New World of New York City Rentals with Curbed.com

July 27, 2009 | 10:57 pm | curbed | Public |

I’m really looking forward to this one.

Lockhart Steele, blogfather of Curbed invited both me and CEO Dottie Herman of Prudential Douglas Elliman to talk rental market at the 92Y Tribeca this Thursday.

The New World of New York City Rentals with Curbed.com [92Y Tribeca]

I hope you can join us.


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[Public] Tonight’s Observer Living Real Estate/Tomorrow AM Bloomberg Surveillance

May 14, 2009 | 3:05 pm | delogo | Public |

Fun tonight!

I hear that 1,000+ people are registered to attend the Observer Living event (although I think the room where we are speaking is half that size).

8:00 PM – Panel #3: State of the Residential Market
Moderated by: Tom Acitelli, Location Editor, The New York Observer

Featuring:

  • Ivanka Trump, EVP, The Trump Organization;
  • Dottie Herman, President/CEO Prudential Douglas Elliman;
  • Pam Liebman, CEO/President, Corcoran;
  • Jonathan Miller, CEO/President, Miller Samuel

Topics:

  • Pricing: The $1.8 Million Question
  • Refinancing
  • New Condos vs. Condos vs. Co-ops
  • State o’ Things: Misconceptions and Perceptions
  • Where to Buy in New York

Tomorrow morning at 7am on Bloomberg Radio am 1130 – I’ll be the first guest on Bloomberg Surveillence with Tom Keane and Ken Prewitt to kick off a show on the housing market. I listen to the show via podcast nearly every day – always interesting.


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