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Class Valuation Removes Appraiser Trainee Roadblocks With The Pod Program

Katie Jensen
Mar 03, 2022
appraiser

This approach is designed to help grow the appraiser network more rapidly and prevent capacity challenges like those that occurred in 2021.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • The pod model builds on the existing supervisor and trainee requirements by pairing one supervisor with up to three trainees in a pod to teach skills and impart best practices while sharing workloads. 
  • Each pod is based on the supervisor’s geographic area of competency and assigned to ensure there is plenty of appraisal volume to support it.
  • The trainees assist in the supervisor’s market where they receive instruction on how to apply the principles, procedures, and methodologies they’ve learned.
  • Class Valuation also says it compensates the trainees at higher rates than the industry standard to make the pod program more appealing career-opportunity for appraiser-trainees.

Appraisal management company, Class Valuation, announced the roll-out of its Staff Appraiser Pod Program to solve a major roadblock for appraisers in training while strengthening appraiser independence. The pod model builds on the existing supervisor and trainee requirements by pairing one supervisor with up to three trainees in a pod to teach skills and impart best practices while sharing workloads. 

In the pod model, each pod is based on the supervisor’s geographic area of competency and assigned to ensure there is plenty of appraisal volume to support it. The trainees, in turn, assist in the supervisor’s market where they receive instruction on how to apply the principles, procedures, and methodologies they’ve learned in their qualifying education classes, and properly complete appraisal reports. 

Supervisors will work with trainees throughout the entire process, which could take up to 12 to 16 months, depending on the state. Upon obtaining a certified residential appraiser credential, Class Valuation will work with the newly credentialed appraisers to provide continued employment opportunities and support as a staff appraiser. 

Typically, appraisers are responsible for finding their own supervisor and/or mentor to help them complete their certification. In addition to the certification and licensing requirements appraisers must go through, they also need to practice their skills with a supervisor to guide them with on-site visits. Yet, there is nothing to incentivize these trainers to mentor appraisers seeking certification; they don’t want to train their future competitors or dedicate extra time to mentoring with little to no compensation for it. Many appraisers in the field are reaching retirement age anyway, and don’t feel the need to train the younger generation.

In this new approach, trainees are free from searching for a qualified appraiser that will pay them for their contribution. Rather, they are paired with a seasoned appraiser that mentors them while appraisal orders are supplied to the pod. Class Valuation also says it compensates the trainees at higher rates than the industry standard to make the pod program more appealing career-opportunity for appraiser-trainees. 

This approach is designed to help grow the appraiser network more rapidly and prevent capacity challenges like those that occurred in 2021. Additionally, it aims to remove some of the field’s historic barriers to entry — including high start-up cost and long training hours — and is working to make the appraiser industry as diverse as the communities they serve. 

Supervisors also benefit from the model in that they don’t have to be in the field if they prefer to retire. Trainees can be sent to conduct the inspections, once inspection competency has been obtained with the supervisor’s guidance.

Class Valuation carries a high volume of appraisal orders from all 50 states. The pod supervisor and trainee will be provided volume commensurate with their competencies, which will scale as those competencies grow. Supervisors and trainees will no longer be required to solicit their own client base and Class Valuation will support the pod with processing and delivery of the appraisal to the client. 

“We, at Class Valuation, saw the need to do something to help the industry,” Chad Stanius, senior vice president of staff appraisers for Class Valuation, said. Stanius believes demographics suggest the shortage of appraisers will not improve anytime soon. 

“We realized that by training appraisers in a new and exciting way – by placing trainees in pods and teaching them how to efficiently use the industry-leading  technology that Class Valuation offers – supervisors would be able to take on more volume while the trainees receive professional, comprehensive instruction. We think this approach will have a positive impact on the market,” he said.

The firm has also implemented its digital appraisal and 3D scanning technology into the learning process, which helps trainees come up to speed faster and offers them better support in the field when conducting inspections. Incorporating more high tech into the field can help make the career opportunity more appealing to the younger generation entering the workforce. 

Class Valuation also offers a competitive salaried compensation package to both trainees and supervisors, including a retirement savings program and health benefits. 

“I think a lot of appraisers feel like they're out on an island, oftentimes doing their own thing — especially the independent fee panel appraisers. They don't have a connection to a company that cares about them. Class Valuation offers that connection — and treats its employees like family members,” Stanius added.

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