Fannie Mae’s VP of Single-Family Credit Risk Collateral Management Jacob Williamson discusses the appraisal industry, its evolution, and technological advancements in a new blog post. 
“You probably didn't hear from an appraiser on career day at school — I know I didn't. There seems to be limited awareness of the career opportunities available in the residential appraisal field, and regulatory changes in the wake of the housing crisis a decade ago have contributed to a lack of incentives for entry. At the same time, increasing digitization of the mortgage industry to make it more efficient is creating a sense of urgency for the traditional appraisal process to evolve,” Williamson said.
Williamson said 49% of appraisers are between the ages of 51 and 65, and an additional 13% are 66 or older. The issue, he adds, is that 7% of the appraisers have been working in the industry for two years or less, while 52% have been in the industry for more than 20 years.
The Appraiser Qualifications Board of the Appraisal Foundation adopted changes in 2018 that state regulatory board have implemented. These changes include education and experience requirements that were modified to remove barriers that have deterred qualified candidates from entering the profession.
Among the issues Williamson discusses is the evolution of technology, and how that impacts appraisers moving forward. He added that many appraisers are tasked with determining the value of a property based on a combination of data.
“This gives appraisers the option to analyze the data from their desks without having to visit each property. For those who do want to be in the field, instead of relying on the traditional clipboard and tape measure, appraisers now use tablets, laser measuring devices, and even 3-D scans to collect property information,” Williamson said.
Williamson said this evolution presents “intriguing new opportunities” for appraisers to work in a variety of ways.
“Appraisers can run their own business or work for a company – there is no single career path. This flexibility promotes a healthy work-life balance: Appraisers are often able to pivot working hours around family priorities, taking care of business at the most convenient and productive times of the day,” he said.