Sounding Bored is my semi-regular column on the state of the appraisal profession. This week I launch into the lending universe.

SPAM is a fact of life and accounts for more the 50% of all email on the Internet these days. I rely on email pretty heavily (400 real emails per day). So thats more than 400 SPAM messages per day. Much of this gets filtered and I have accepted it as a way of life.

The one email SPAMMER that I can’t seem to filter is Lending Universe. They are an appraisal directory that offers a free listings and premium memberships that provide more opportunities to reach out to clients.

A number of years ago, I went to the site and logged in and registered for my free membership. I had a lot of problems with things working with the registration process – it was buggy – but I was able to communicate with them via email. I couldn’t properly select my territory so I gave up and never went back.

I immediately noticed an up tick in SPAM from them. I naively requested to be removed from their list (the person I dealt with originally) and they said they would take care of it. This is usually a BAD idea because you simply validate your email address to the SPAMMERS but since I had dealt with someone, I took a chance.

Yet SPAM keeps coming. I get 2-3 SPAM messages from Lending Universe that is not caught in my filters. Who knows how many slip by. Not a big deal relative to my total amount, but annoying nevertheless for its duration. I have seen appraisers request feedback from other appraisers in blogs and message boards asking if LU are worth subscribing to and paying for a premium.

The opportunity is ripe now for appraiser SPAMMERS as appraisal business slows and appraisers are looking for new ways to keep the volume up.

Here’s a recent email from Lending Universe:

Get more appraisal requests by registering on LendingUniverse.com’s high-traffic appraiser directory.

We have been in business for over 6 years, generating and selling mortgage leads to brokers and lenders. As a result, we have over 14,000 registered on our site. We promote our Appraiser Directory to our registered members as well as on regular internet search engines, giving Appraisers valuable exposure to clients who will give them repeat business.

Free memberships and premium memberships are now available at: http://www.lendinguniverse.com/appraisers.asp

This offer has been extended until July 30th, so act now!

· Lending Universe Inc. · 5002 Strohm Ave. Toluca Lake CA, 91601 US · 818-766-7977 · appraisers@lendinguniverse.biz

This email is directed to appraisal professionals only. This email is sent in compliance with strict anti-abuse and in accordance with federal law S.877 (CAN-SPAM Act of 2003). Further transmissions to you by the sender may be stopped at NO COST to you. If you would like to be removed from this list, please write, “remove” in the subject line and return.

Don’t you just love their removal message? You can request to be removed at NO COST to you!

On their web site, they are linked to the Better Business Bureau and are rated “A” with no real complaints. The owner reportedly has a valid California salesperson license. This company remains a mystery to me.

  • First, if this firm was truly in business to help appraisers generate business, then why would they SPAM the real estate community to such excessive levels?
  • Second, if I was registered intitially, then why would I get so many emails?
  • Third, what reputable lender would send their business through a business that sends high volumes of SPAM as part (I assume) of their business plan?
  • Conclusion They are appear to be more of a SPAM vehicle than an appraisal directory. I know if someone sends me several unwanted emails every day for years, I would NEVER consider doing business with them. They seem to want to get you to sign up for their premium membership.

If anyone has any experience with Lending Universe, please clue me in. Its been nothing but aggravation.


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