Amazon and AMCs
You may, or may not, have heard about Amazon’s attitude towards employees – expected to be available 24×7, including holidays, significant health and family problems, etc. I don’t know if this is a bad way to run a company, but they do pay well and it is not bureaucratic. Demanding a lot of employees is not unusual for a tech company also. I do know that many other companies expect their employees to be available on weekends and evenings for emails.
But, I keep hearing from fee appraisers working for AMCs that they are expected to be available 24×7, including holidays. Phones and emails are sent at all times of the day. A quick response is expected. Cell phones ring on weekends and all times of the day and night. Appraisers have difficulty shutting off their phones and/or refuse to buy another phone for personal calls so they can shut off their only cell phone.
But… AMCs don’t pay well and have increasing Scope Creep, as compared with other clients. Why do appraisers put up with this treatment? Low self-esteem (no one else will give them work) or fear of having no business (common with self employed people)?

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  1. I am in Texas too. I have fired the majority of AMC’s as they are just too ridiculous to deal – low fees, unreasonable turn times, unwarranted revision requests, etc. Work in my area has been very steady and I turn down anything that is not a reasonable fee and not in my immediate area to keep driving times down. I also routinely ask for fee increases and for the most part get them. When they say no, I did not want to deal with them anyway. After 20 years in business I have learned to set my iPhone to do not disturb at 9pm to 7am. The reason behind this is that I routinely get AMC calls after 8pm and receive numerous emails after midnight. I do not answer my phone on the weekends – always let it go to voicemail. I frequently say “no” and “sorry I could not help, that is outside of my coverage area”. Has not slowed the requests down any yet.

  2. Its easy for me to say “no”, but then again I’m not in a state where AMCs drive business. Based on my experience (25 yrs) in Texas, AMCs are usually happy to get a top-tier appraiser willing to do anything for them. I’ve lost track of how many AMCs I’ve refused to deal with. However, I have attended CE classes in other states (Nevada primarily) and heard the horror stories of appraisers who live in parts of the country dominated by AMCs. “No” works for me, but I don’t know what I would do if I lived elsewhere. Advice? Move to Texas…but bring your own water!

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