I have known Andy Arledge for 4 or 5 years now. He is the creative force behind Appraiser Genie. The genie is a tool that he sells to a appraisers that assists with data importation, analysis and report writing. I have spent enough time with Andy to know that he is a man of integrity and one that loves the valuation profession. He lives in Abilene, TX. I hope that you enjoy getting to know Andy Arledge.
VN: How long have you been in the profession?
AA: I started out in 1981 when I got my real estate salesman license, was a broker for 10 years and now an appraiser for 14 years. I’ve owned a brokerage firm, the largest property management company within 150 miles, developed real estate, built new construction and owned many rentals. I have a wide range of real estate experience.
VN: What is your favorite thing about the profession?
AA: I enjoy meeting people, solving the problem of the appraisal. Complex assignments intrigue me.
VN: Who are your mentors and idols within the profession?
AA: That’s hard to say, there are a lot of good appraisers that have joined the ranks of AMC’s. I enjoy listening to the boots on the ground appraiser who’s still in the field tackling the actual problems of the industry. I respect Mark Skapinetz for leading the charge of trying to get appraisers to come together as one voice.
VN: What are some of your passions inside the profession?
AA: My current passion is writing software that perform analytics on large datasets from MLS exports. I like helping the boots on the ground appraiser perform a more analytical approach to appraising by using tools that greatly increase their productivity, rather than just being a form filler guessing at adjustments or just pulling them out of thin air. The appraiser of the future must have support for their adjustments/analysis.
VN: What are some passions of yours outside of the profession?
AA: I love flying small planes and getting back to nature in the mountains, hunting and fishing.
VN: Where do you see the profession in
AA: 3 years?
Having now lived through 2 real estate downturns, I see the current market as overheated and I expect another real estate correction in the next 2 years. If the correction is large enough, the profession might gain credibility again if the appraiser’s stick together and become a cohesive voice. Our industry is so fragmented, we don’t have a good voice to get Congress’ ear when new laws are implemented. The big banks could care less what we think, so it’s our job to band together and get the lawmakers to listen to the appraiser’s experience. I believe the desktop push that is currently being pursued by the GSE’s will run it’s course and prove to not be reliable enough to be a good lending tool.
I see more and more automation in the appraisal process due to technology advancements. By automation I mean the more mundane clerical processes will be automated to allow the appraiser more time to do the actual research and analyzing their professional expertise requires to build a credible report. The appraiser that engages technology into his business should prosper.
Artificial intelligence is advancing so rapidly, it’s difficult to project this far in the future. What we know as advanced technology today will be antiquated within 10 years. 10 years ago, cell phones weren’t taking photos and didn’t have the power to load mobile inspection apps. I still see the appraiser as an integral part of the loan making process, since the appraiser is the only one bringing common sense to the loan process, provided the appraisers become a unified voice with representation in Congress with the decision makers.
VN: What is one thing about your personal business that you are most proud?
AA: Taking a private appraisal practice and using that experience that experience to develop Appraiser Genie from an idea into a national presence is what I am most proud of. It’s been 4 years of hard work, but with our new version coming out very soon, Genie will be the most advanced software supporting the appraiser in today’s market.
VN: If you could change one thing about your business model what would it be?
AA: I would’ve developed more private work earlier, where I didn’t do as much AMC work.
VN: What are some present goals for you and what you do are doing in the valuation space?
AA: I’m planning on continuing development of Appraiser Genie where it becomes more the norm for appraisers.
VN: If you could change one thing in valuation, what would it be?
AA: I’d say it was time to move back to a more lender/appraiser relationship, recent studies have shown this to be more effective and less costly than the current model.
VN: What advice would you give someone just getting in the profession?
AA: For the past 10 years, I’ve advise anyone who called me NOT to get into this profession. With the recent rise in fees and the advancement in technology, I would advise a trainee to gain as much technology experience as possible. Technology will drive the future of the industry.
VN: This last one is for you to discuss or talk about whatever you would like.
AA: I would strongly encourage every appraiser to join their state coalition or a national association. Appraisers are so independent, it’s like herding cats, none of them will go in the same direction at once. It’s no wonder we are the whipping boys of the industry. Until we band together as one voice, the appraiser profession will continue to be at the bottom of the food chain. With one voice we will be heard, and our profession will continue long into the future.
There you have it folks. A little insight into another professional in our field. I have to echo Andy’s sentiment on the profession. Get involved.