Local associations, regardless of their size, can increase membership, membership value, professionalism and competence by encouraging reviewers not only to join the association but also to serve in some way at the local level. And for that you have to offer them something.
My association's evaluation committee started in 2013 when we asked ourselves: “Do we want to be the association that only incurs the costs of the appraisers' business, or do we want to be the association that is an integral part of the local appraisers business? "
Appraisers are an important part of our real estate ecosystem, and we wanted not just to involve them, but to create an environment in which they can be strong allies both legally and in membership formation.
Here are a few examples of how our little club has made advances in membership rating.
Give them their own space
First, set up an evaluation committee. I know the last thing a board wants is a different committee, but this one is worth it for a number of reasons. For example, if you have an MLS, this committee can provide key input and collaboration on a variety of topics. Create a liaison lead position where a reviewer sits on your MLS committee reporting to reviewers and vice versa. If you don't have an MLS, this is still a committee you want to support as part of your club.
Next, we created a local chapter for the Ohio Coalition of Appraisal Professionals to meet the needs of appraisers in our area and to provide an easy funnel of members for our evaluation committee. In Ohio, as in many states, there is a state assessment organization. Check to see if your state has a state assessment organization.
Nondues income with evaluation education
Evaluation forums for general membership have fundamentally changed our association. Members love to hear the expertise of reviewers. With the help of the NAR brochure, the Residential Appraisal Process – FAQs for Realtors (available as a free download in the REALTOR® Store) and the contributions of realtors, brokers and lenders, our forums put all pieces of the real estate transaction puzzle together for new and experienced members.
We also provide regular training for assessors through our committee that develops the classes and in most cases secures the instructors. Upon approval by the state regulatory agency, the class will be promoted to all reviewer members and reviewer MLS attendees. We charge a minimal fee which is still a good source of income. Some classes were also suitable for real estate education and have opened the classes to even more members. If they are not CE Certified for Real Estate Agents, they can attend for informational purposes only. This was well received by all members.
Scholarships for reviewers REALTORS®
If your state association has appraisal or property appraisal committees or forums, a scholarship to attend these meetings is an amazing opportunity that they may or may not otherwise know about, and adds more value to their membership and participation.
Depending on your region, appraisers can be part of several associations or MLS, as is the case with our association. I asked her to describe the difference between being in an association with an active, thriving evaluation committee and an association that doesn't have one. The answer: "I feel part of the process, of the bigger picture. With the other associations, I think that being a reviewer is just a job and the cost of doing business."
Our active appraisers in my association have created a better understanding of how all REALTOR® appraisers and agents work together to achieve the same goal: successful real estate transactions.