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[Commercial Grade] All for only $15

Commercial Grade is a regular post by John Cicero, MAI who provides commentary on issues affecting real estate appraisers, with specific focus on commercial valuation. This week he laments how low the appraisal profession has gone, and even worse, he confirmed it through spam.

Disclosure: John is a partner of mine in our commercial real estate valuation concern Miller Cicero, LLC [1] and he is one of the smartest guys I know. …Jonathan Miller



Like most people my Inbox gets jammed with spam on a daily basis. The other day, however, I got the ultimate in junk mail: a solicitation by a firm to punch data into your residential appraisal forms, all for the bargain fee of $15 per file. The services provided:

The fees:
– SFR $15.00 PER FILE
– CONDOS $15.00 PER FILE
– 2-4 UNITS $25.00 PER FILE
– REO $20.00 PER FILE
– DRIVE BY APPRAISAL $10.00

I am all for free enterprise, and if there is a need for someone to run your mapping program and punch in your comps for $15 then, who knows, the next McDonald’s may be born. But my initial reaction was to shake my head sadly and think how low the profession has sunk since I entered 23 years ago.

While we’re all striving to incorporate new technologies to make our appraisals more efficient, I just don’t know if subcontracting your drive-by for ten bucks is the answer.