Quality training is crucial when it comes to bringing up the next generation of appraisers. The S.T.A.R.T. program (Standards to Assure Responsible Training) is an appraisal training technique developed initially in 2011. It aims to 1) ensure integrity and credibility, and 2) provide a system that is financially feasible for both the employer and the appraisal trainee. The S.T.A.R.T program lays out ten fundamental principles to train by know as the “10 Rs.” When taking on a trainee, be sure to abide by the following “10 Rs” for effective appraisal training.
As the supervising appraiser, you take on full responsibility for the trainee’s valuation reports by signing and certifying that the reports comply with USPAP.
The information presented in an appraisal report must be accurate and dependable to provide a valid appraisal and to ensure that they are correctly and properly collecting pertinent and factual data for analysis.
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You are responsible for making sure the trainee knows the various sources to gather data—and that the data collected is reliable. You should expose the trainee to any sources of research that would be considered by peers in the marketplace—including cost manuals, multiple listing services, public records, and internet study.
The appraisal trainee must learn to reason independently and to formulate reasonable conclusions based on the analysis of the information gathered. As the supervisor, you need to directly guide the trainee and transition them to an independent reasoning process.
To create a meaningful and positive learning environment, both parties in the appraisal training process (supervisor and trainee) require mutual respect. If the trainee has questions about the appraisal process or if there are differences in the presentation of information, this should not be considered as “disrespect.” Rather, you should encourage the trainee’s questions as a constructive thought process in the analysis of valuation—and as a tool to help you “re-think” old habits and consider innovative thinking.
As a supervisor, you have the unique opportunity to form a lasting relationship with your trainee as a mentor and friend. There should be a professional trust and understanding between you and your trainee regarding the education that is taking place.
The trainee should learn the basic routine of the appraisal process. There should be a consistent pattern of data gathering, analysis, and report writing. This routine enables predictability for both parties and an expectation of results.
7. Report Writing
You are responsible for reviewing and critiquing appraisal reports for accuracy, ease of reading and understanding, purpose, and ensuring that all addenda are both relevant and pertinent. As the supervising appraiser, you are responsible for ensuring that factual data is reliable and that analysis is both supported and documented. Make sure all necessary certification and limiting conditions are up-to-date and applicable to the assignment.
Your competence as a supervisor is directly reflective of the appraisal industry as a whole. If you are lackadaisical in your appraisal training responsibilities, you could potentially discredit appraisers in general. A good, conscientious supervisor helps produce a competent, ethical professional and also creates a positive image of the profession as a whole.
A well-rounded trainee is one that has many different experiences and is rigorously supervised. You should expose your trainee to as many different property types, report formats, value ranges, etc., as possible—with the understanding that each time a new or unique assignment is introduced, you are responsible for instructing and educating the trainee to ensure competency. This helps to create a well-rounded appraiser and ensure reliability and validity to the client.
As the supervising appraiser, you have the final responsibility to bring the trainee appraiser to a professional level. This will enable them (the trainee) to demonstrate competency independently. You must be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a trainee throughout the appraisal training process and assist them in self-reconciliation of future educational needs and career paths within the industry.
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Article written by Tony Pistilli. Tony has over 25 years of real estate appraising and lending experience. He has previously worked at large national banks, mortgage companies, HUD and as a self-employed fee appraiser. He has provided compliance and regulatory assessments to financial institutions, regulatory agencies and appraisal management companies. Tony is a member of several appraisal industry organizations and was a subject matter expert for the Appraisal Foundation in the area of declining markets. Tony previously served as vice-chair of the Minnesota Real Estate Appraiser Board. Tony is an AQB certified USPAP instructor and holds a certified residential appraisers license.