Ever since the residential appraisal threshold increase passed in November 2019, luxury homes are becoming a safe haven for appraisers. Not only are these homes typically above the new threshold ($400,000), but they are more complex to appraise, making automation difficult, if not nearly impossible.
As a result of this increased need for expertise that only humans can provide, McKissock created a one-of-a-kind certification program to help appraisers develop their skills in the luxury home niche while differentiating themselves from their competition.
We sat down with Michael Manley, the founder and CEO of Michael Manley Appraisals LLC, who was the first to complete the Luxury Home Appraiser accreditation, to learn more about why he decided to enroll and what he got from the courses.
Q: First of all, can you give us just a little bit of a background about yourself?
A: I’ve been appraising for 33 years. I’ve been a full-time residential appraiser the entire time. I have an IFA and CRP designation. I’m sort of a typical “mom and pop” shop. It’s one appraiser and then I have a trainee and a full-time assistant.
Q: Did you have any experience appraising luxury homes prior to taking this course?
A: Years ago, I had a luxury home client for about 10 years and then they went to an AMC model so I lost that client. Since then I’ve done piecemeal sort of luxury home appraising here and there for my existing clients, but didn’t do it on a regular basis anymore. I’ve always wanted to build up that bank of business again.
Q: How did you hear about this luxury home appraiser accreditation?
A: I have the McKissock Unlimited Learning Membership, so I have access to everything in McKissock. When I heard about the accreditation, I thought that was a neat idea and I could use those courses towards my upcoming continuing education. So it was kind of a no brainer for me. It’s something I’ve been wanting to get back into for a long time and I thought this would be a great way that I can differentiate myself from my competition, expand my skill set, and challenge myself a little bit.
Q: How was your experience taking the course?
A: It was a great course. I thought it was very practical with real-world examples. I loved the fact that it was designed and taught by both a luxury home builder and a luxury home appraiser. So you have both of those perspectives. I thought that was unique. I haven’t taken a course like that before. And again I think just the real-world examples, it was really practical. It’s information that you can take and use right away in your appraisals.
Q: Is there a market for luxury homes where you are located?
A: There is a niche for a luxury home appraiser in this market. Ten years ago I was doing quite a bit of that business and so there’s no question there’s a need in this market. My long-term goal is to establish myself as one of the top, if not the top, luxury home appraisers in my market.
Q: To whom would you recommend this luxury home appraiser accreditation?
A: Frankly this course would help any appraiser even if you’re not planning on expanding into the luxury home market. It just enhances your skill set and you can use the skills you learn with these luxury home appraisals in all of your appraisal business. So I think anybody would benefit from taking these courses and I think particularly anyone who wants to stand out amongst your competition, anyone that’s interested in expanding your bank of business and diversifying your business, which is something we need to do in this day and age. We need to diversify our client base, expand our skill set, and branch out and try some new things.