In a bid to remedy the chronic shortage of residential appraisers in Canada, Nationwide Appraisal Service has aggressively stepped up recruiting efforts.
The appraiser shortage has been barefaced since January 1, when lenders started heavily relying on their reports, but with the majority of appraisers nearing retirement, appraisal management companies have been active on post-secondary campuses and at job fairs trying to forestall a looming crisis.
“Our company has worked very hard in refreshing that network in working with the two largest designation companies, which are AIC [Appraisal Institute of Canada] and CNAREA [Canadian National Association of Real Estate Appraisers], in order to inform the general public about this position’s availability, about the lack of appraisers in the industry, to encourage new candidates to enter the market,” said Rudy Naraine, senior national manager at NAS.
“One of the things we’re doing on the education side is internships and co-ops programs with the major appraisal educational programs through Seneca, or (University of) Guelph, or Ryerson or UBC. We have a big presence at job fairs and recruitment events, as well as working with the three major appraisal organizations, which are AIC, CNAREA and OEAQ [Ordre des évaluateurs agrees]. We keep them very informed of the supply and demand.”
Keith Lancastle, CEO of AIC, says that his organization is succeeding in their efforts to attract new recruits to the profession.
“Over the past several years, the AIC has been very active in promoting a career in valuation. As a result, our membership has grown and the numbers of new candidate members have been increasing,” he told Mortgagebrokernews.ca. “In 2017, we had one of the of larger number of new candidates in memory—so we believe our efforts are generating results.”
Appraisal management companies have been accused of exerting downward pressure on appraisers’ fees, causing many to either abandon the profession or avoid it altogether. In a moment of self-awareness, NAS concedes it bears some responsibility.
“Unfortunately we bear some fault in this,” said Chris Schulz, senior manager of appraiser development at NAS. “When AMCs came on the scene, we ate into the pockets of the appraisers. Appraisers’ per-job-salary has gone down, so what’s happening is a lot of the older-time guys are not wanting to take on new candidates, who will essentially be their competition. And after years and years and years of this happening, these older guys are getting to the point where it’s almost time for them to retire, but there’s no new generational blood to replace them, and we’re starting to see the effects of this now.”
According to Naraine, the average age of Canadian appraisers is 58.
Schulz claims that, even with diminished fees, appraisers can make upwards of six figures because, through organizations like NAS, they have access to greater volume.
“Appraiser is a well-paid profession,” he said. “A good, hardworking appraiser makes six figures. To suggest that’s not well paid, there are many people who would disagree with that. Those appraisers that used to get paid $300-400 a job, they had to go out and prospect those jobs themselves. They’d have to be on the phone talking to brokers all the time. But when they sign up with an AMC like us, the work order just comes straight to their email with no effort on their part. So where they might have spent more hours prospecting before, now they can spend more time appraising.”