2015 National Nominating Committee Public Questionnaire

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1 2015 National Nominating Committee Public Questionnaire 1. Why do you want to serve as President of the Appraisal Institute and what experience, AI and otherwise, makes you uniquely qualified to serve in this capacity? My desire to serve AI is rooted in my heritage. My father was one of few appraisers to hold an MAI, SREA and ASA designation at the same time. As such, I was introduced to all three organizations at a young age. The MAI designation was highly regarded, and I set my sights on becoming an MAI. This goal was further supported by my college professors whom sang the praises of the MAI designation. My reason for wanting to serve is my passion for AI and a goal toward concentration on education, training and programs that will assist in making a clear and defined separation from all other appraisal organizations. Some of the areas I have served include; Chapter president Chapter Education chair Vice chair of faculty Education committee Ethics committee As an instructor Trainer for new instructors Assisted with edits for The Appraisal of Real Estate Assisted with multiple course walk-throughs Author of three seminars Attended Young Advisory council Member of General Council Member of the 717 Project Various committees Experience review committee My major skill set is looking to future goals that should begin implementation today. While I worry about tomorrow, I focus on three, five and ten years from tomorrow. As an example, when I previously ran for VP of AI, I responded in my questionnaire that we should have a review certification and that I had brought this to committee five years prior and was turned down. About ten years after, this came to being. I suggested seminars for MAI s that would take the best of our upper level courses. This would be a two or three day seminar with solely the high points. This was turned down. Five to ten years after it was implemented. Lee H. Waronker, MAI, SRA Response to AI 2016 Questionnaire Page 1

2 My approach is a need to look at AI as a business and look to the future. Many of my ideas have been garnered from talking to other appraisers, students and users of appraisers. Simply asking the customer what they want or need, what is missing, what can AI do to help? My ability to look past the present and into the future I believe makes me uniquely qualified. Additionally I pride myself in fiscal responsibility. As an example, for the past 20 years I have had a government contract with a yearly budget. Not once in the 20 years was the budget been maxed out and in most years the billings were under 75% of the budget.this was accomplished by creating efficiencies, use of technology and with a concentration in reducing waste. 2. What changes would you make at the Appraisal Institute to better serve the needs of the membership? This seems to be a yearly recurring question for the potential VP, which in itself is concerning. The implication is that we are not serving the needs of our membership. There are areas that need attention and ways we can serve our members better. Here are a few suggestions; a. At the end every year when annual dues are invoiced I hear grousing from members as to the amount of dues being paid. In business there are many contracts we have with vendors to provide services. Yearly, many of us review the dollars being spent and the services provided by those contracts. We appraise the value of that service being provided based on the dollars being spent. If the service does not match the dollars we cancel it, or look elsewhere for a replacement. We need our members to look at the dues invoice at year end and conclude what they are receiving is worth more than the dollars being spent. This can be done! b. Create an application for the phone/ipad/etc. that makes referring MAI s and SRA s quick and easy. When a member gets a request for a referral the member could use the app to forward recommendations to the caller. Further, an MAI could have a set list of SRA s in his/her community that he/she recommends and that list can be sent instantaneously. And, vice-versa. c. Go further to create a program whereby a candidate seeking the MAI or SRA designation receives a Master Degree and/or a Bachelor Degree at the same time while completing the designation requirements. d. Investigate having an AI educational center for classes, library, meetings, and course walk-throughs, similar to the one in South Korea where we taught. In past years AI held courses throughout the country at college campuses. There was an esprit de corps at these locations where attendees and instructors interacted with one another. For the participants this created a sense of being part a larger organization. I fondly remember Jim Mason demonstrating a new calculator, an HP12C, at a course location. Mr. Mason invited all of the students Lee H. Waronker, MAI, SRA Response to AI 2016 Questionnaire Page 2

3 at the site attending the various courses to participate. This experience made me feel like part of a cutting edge within a professional organization. We need more of this type experience. e. Create our own Argus type program to be made available to members and taught in our coursework. This could be provided to banks for their use and they could then take our training courses. f. Require members to, in each appraisal report, put in a one page insert that promotes AI, what is required to achieve our designations and also provides AI contact information. 3. What opportunities do you believe exist for the Appraisal Institute to attract well-educated, young professionals? We need to stress the quality of our education. The ability to obtain a Masters Degree simultaneously with our course work could attract well-educated, young professionals. Also, we have to change our collective mindset. We do not work in shops we work for firms. We are not tradespeople we are professionals. In order to attract (young) professionals there is a need that they have a clear perception that AI is a professional organization. 4. What would you do to expand the brand of the Appraisal Institute on an international basis? I was privileged and proud to be one of the first of two instructors to teach in South Korea, along with former AI president Gary Taylor. I taught multiple courses and assisted the first group of students with preparing for the comprehensive exam. I am a proponent of continued expansion of the AI brand nationally. Key to expanding is earning the respect of real estate professionals both locally and internationally. One key to expanding the brand is the continued quality of our education and publications. We are the leading appraisal organization. I believe we have been resting on our laurels. It is time for a resurgence and a push forward to further the separation of AI from other Appraisal organizations. A true professional wants to be the best in his/her profession. Making it clear we are the best has attracted other countries and this effort needs to continue at an even stronger pace. 5 (A) What client groups or users of appraisal services present the greatest opportunities for Appraisal Institute Members? Clearly the major source of business for appraisers are lenders, government and attorneys. The opportunities are there, however we need to promote ourselves to capture a higher percentage of the market. This was one of the major reasons I advocated review appraiser certifications so the reviewers would be trained by AI Lee H. Waronker, MAI, SRA Response to AI 2016 Questionnaire Page 3

4 and hopefully would look to MAIs and SRAs to provide appraisal services. While seeking out sources sounds like a good idea, the return on investment of capturing a higher percentage of the existing client base would bring greater rewards. This can be done by making AI the unequivocal premiere appraisal organization through education, peer review and providing our membership with additional tools. (B) How does the Appraisal Institute enhance and promote it s designations for these users of appraisal services? Refer to item 2(f) above. Further, we promote ourselves by having AI provide information and data to the public. Make ourselves accessible, noticed and educate the public. Provide courses and seminars to attract the users of appraisals. The more they spend time in our courses, the more apt they are to look towards our designated appraisers when seeking appraisal services. There is no secret that state certification of appraisers resulted in less demand for AI designated appraisers. AI needs to stress the benefits of using designated appraisers. It is our task to educate and prepare the best appraisers. 6. What would you do to support SRA members and residential candidates for designation? I strongly believe that AI did not provide necessary support for SRAs at the time of certification. A savings of $100 for an appraisal can cost thousands, even millions. We need to promote the designation by educating the public and potential clients that fast and cheap does not result in quality. That quality can be found in SRA appraisers. Establishing a mobile or online app that can be easily used by MAI s to refer SRA s (and vice versa) would be a start. Stress the importance in hiring SRA s as opposed to non-designated appraisers. Would be interesting if there were a study done that shows the amount of fraudulent appraisals and the percentage that were designated versus non-designated. 7. How would you improve Appraisal Institute communication efforts on behalf of its members? Most of us have multiple addresses and receive an abundance of s daily. We should consider the manner in which s or announcements are distributed. Members can opt in or out of various messaging. As an example, a member may choose only to receive s regarding USPAP changes, or new courses/seminars. Possibly create an on line location that can easily be accessed and announcements are separated by category. This limits the time needed to search throughout the website. Make it simple and they will use it. Lee H. Waronker, MAI, SRA Response to AI 2016 Questionnaire Page 4

5 8. What would you do to better assist chapters with legislative initiatives in their states? Any assistance of local initiatives should also be ones that benefit us nationally. We can assist by providing lobbying efforts, sending the AI president to speak to committees, publication of the efforts on our website and campaigns indicating the support of national. That said, the more AI strengthens itself, the more relevant we are. How strong would it be to go in front of a legislative committee and say we are the only real estate appraisal organization that has our own education campus/center, we are the only one that provides a path to our appraisers to receive Masters Degrees in real estate and our text The Appraisal of Real Estate is the undisputed authority on real estate appraising. You are telling these people that we are the best, that we deserve their respect and we are the leaders in our profession. Part of assisting local chapter initiatives is for AI to be a clear frontrunner so their way is paved when lobbying on the state level. 9. How would you expand or enhance current Appraisal Institute initiatives to better educate the public Following are some of the methods, of which some were mentioned above; Be brave and be bold. Take steps to separate who we are from the rest Create a centrally located educational center. How compelling would it be to tell someone that if they want to see what we are all about then visit our educational center. Require designated members to place a one page sheet in every appraisal that details the requirements of our designations. When a potential client calls and you provide a fee quote this is an item that can be included in your package. The more the public sees the designations, the better for all members Provide general data to our potential client base, of relevance, in the form of a quarterly survey that is ed or published on line Stronger effort to create appraisers that have the proper training and experience. The more professional and educated each and every designated appraiser is promotes our brand. Provide courses/seminars geared to our client base. Consider creating our own cash flow program that can be provided for free to lenders and users of appraisers. Then train them on the use of that program. Stress to our members to refer only AI designated members and provide an app to assist on making this process easy. These are just a sampling of what can be done. Lee H. Waronker, MAI, SRA Response to AI 2016 Questionnaire Page 5

6 In conclusion, my philosophy is quality over quantity. A strengthened focus on education, peer review, use of technology and professionalism. A strengthened AI will attract appraisers and will attract users of appraisals. I am a firm believer that improving ourselves will pay dividends to our members, our future members and to the public we serve. After quality, quantity will follow. I share some of my favorite quotes which provide insight to my philosophy. Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. Progress always involves risk. You can t steal second base and keep your foot on first Education costs money. But then so does ignorance ### Lee H. Waronker, MAI, SRA Response to AI 2016 Questionnaire Page 6

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