Best TED Talks for Appraisers

Here is a sample:
Grit: The power of passion and perseverance by Angela Duckworth.
Her rousing treatise on the power of grit and determination. These valuable qualities can help you become your best self in relation to your appraisal career. Coming up with accurate estimates and choosing the right comps to use can be frustrating – but keeping calm and pushing through will mark you as an appraisal professional that folks will seek out for the hardest (and most lucrative) jobs.
My comments: Angela Duckworth is one of my favorite TED speakers. I listen to a lot of podcasts. The TED Radio Hour is one I listen to a lot. It combines several TED talks on the same topic with references on how to listen to the full TED talks. Fascinating!!
“TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) converged, and today covers almost all topics – from science to business to global issues – in more than 100 languages.”

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

For Covid Updates, go to my Covid Science blog at

To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other sections of this long blog post on best places, eliminating appraisers, tech, Corelogic, mortgage origination stats, etc.

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The 10 Best Places of 2018

The most extraordinary locations discovered this year.

Just For Fun!!

Here are a few:
  • Ottoman Bird Palaces. This ornate miniature mansions were built for Istanbul’s feathered residents.
  • Abandoned Eurostar Train. This is what trains will look like after the zombie apocalypse in France.
  • Þrídrangaviti Lighthouse. A lonely beacon, precariously perched atop a remote sliver of rock in Iceland.


Eliminating appraisers

Mortgage borrowers want a process ‘like Amazon’ – speedy and intuitive
Excerpt: Can you identify a technology need that hasn’t had enough attention paid to it yet?
The one problem I’d like to be able to figure out is how to eliminate the appraiser. Whether that means using drones to do the appraisal and finding other ways to be more creative…  (scroll down the page or search for apprais)
Technology Today (From World Wide Relocation magazine)
Excerpt: FAVMs (AVM incorporating forecasting). Initially these valuation models could serve as a stand-in for an in-person appraisal when appraiser shortages, special properties, and tight turn times are in play.
(Tip: It can be hard to read on your screen. I downloaded the entire issue and then searched for appraiser.)
My comments: What I have always thought about eliminating low risk appraisals. As we all know, AVMs are most accurate when appraising larger tracts built in the past 10 years. I made lots of money re-appraising the same tract homes over and over in the past when rates were declining. I liked the money, but felt that the appraisals were often not needed.
What is really needed is experienced, knowledgeable appraisers to value the non-tract homes, such as where I work. Lots of Victorians look similar from the outside, but vary widely on the inside. Finished basements may not have access to the main living area (very common), very old tiny kitchens, etc.
I suppose AVMs could be used for relocation appraisals, but relo appraisers provide a lot more than just a current value: future value based on the current market (listings, pendings, expireds), not just the past sales. Also, recommendations for fix up, etc. Plus 2-3 appraisers are used to get a better value opinion.
As always, it is all about Speed…
No appraiser shortage now, of course, due to the extreme cyclicality of mortgage lending. California licensed appraisers have dropped from about 20,000 to about 10,000.

First Impressions of Clear Capital’s AVM

By Abdur Abdul-Malik
Excerpts: An appraiser should keep an eye on alternatives to the services he/she offers, so I recently downloaded a number of white papers on AVMs from different websites, including Clear Capital’s. I was somewhat surprised that Clear Capital’s white paper freely admitted that an AVM is not as good as an appraisal, but could be a starting point in risk assessment and collateral valuation…
(The author did a test on one of his recent appraisals. The AVM was 4% higher, but the report did not explain much. He includes a copy of the AVM report, redacted.)

My comment: The author regularly posts on an appraiser yahoo email chat list that I subscribe to National Appraisers Forum. He is knowledgable and a former reviewer for Clear Capital.


New in the January 2019 issue of Appraisal Today

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Corelogic moves to accelerate appraisal management company “transformation”

Update from last email newsletter
Excerpt: The company claims that the moves will “improve client satisfaction, reduce appraiser turn times, enhance quality and increase productivity.”
As stated above, the moves comes after years of CoreLogic bolstering its valuations business via acquisitions.
My comment: this Housing Wire article has more info on acquisitions, plans, etc. I have no idea why they are focusing on appraising when fewer appraisals are forecasted.

Don’t ever let your E&O insurance lapse!!

 Excerpt: A few months ago, Appraiser “X” got most of the way through their renewal application but didn’t complete it: they returned their signed and dated renewal application, even arranged financing but there was one outstanding form they needed to sign and send back in order to bind.
My comment: This appraiser got lucky and the problem had a happy ending. Many appraisers are not lucky.

Hybrid Appraisals

By John Brenan, Director of Appraisal Issues, Appraisal Foundation
Excerpt: Some love it, some detest it; nevertheless, change occurs. Over the last 10 years or so, the residential mortgage sector of the appraisal profession has changed significantly. And by most accounts, it appears poised to keep doing so.
Frankly, it has been a challenge for many of us “seasoned” appraisers. For example, the concept of performing an appraisal based on an inspection of the subject property by someone else is heresy to some. It is a strange phenomenon, but even appraisers who regularly perform desktop assignments that include no inspection at all seem to be less comfortable with hybrid assignments involving an inspection by another party (this holds true even if that party might be, for example, a licensed building inspector).
Click here to read the full post, plus lots of appraiser comments!!
My comment: Well written article. I became an appraiser because I wanted to work outside. I was a chemist and did not want to work in labs any more. Too boring and confining. When I saw the job announcement for an “engineering aide” (actually appraiser assistant) at a county assessors office I had to get a book at the library because I had never heard of appraising. I worked on the 1970 Census and loved seeing all the houses, plus checking to see if they had outhouses ;>.

I tried doing desktop appraisals and free “comp checks” a few times, but did not like it. Personally, I have no objections to hybrid appraisals. I just prefer to work in the field. I had always thought that if I became disabled and unable to do physical inspections, this was an excellent backup.

HOW TO USE THE NUMBERS BELOW. Appraisals are ordered after the loan application. These numbers tell you the future for the next few weeks. For more information on how they are compiled, go to 
Note: I publish a graph of this data every month in my paid monthly newsletter, Appraisal Today. For more information or get a FREE sample issue go to or send an email to . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 7AM to noon, Pacific time.
No MBA data this week…. of course ;>
Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, MBA
Appraiser and Publisher Appraisal Today
2033 Clement Ave. Suite 105
Alameda, CA 94501 Phone 510-865-8041
Fax 510-523-1138

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