Gordon_John_colorPresident’s Message

by John Gordon, MAI, AI-GRS

Exciting Times!

This is an exciting period for real estate appraisers. Nationally, the Appraisal Institute is developing new education courses, lobbying against an increase in the de minimus, and working to enable the use of alternate valuation standards. At the state level, legislators will soon be asked to consider establishing a statute of limitations on appraiser litigation and tighter controls over appraisal management companies. With representation at both AI National and the Appraisers Coalition of Washington, our Chapter is well positioned to influence the progress of our profession.

On Wednesday, April 20, these and other issues will be brought into sharp focus when we are joined by Scott Robinson, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, the national President of the Appraisal Institute. President Robinson will be the featured speaker at our Chapter dinner that evening, and also will participate in the Candidate Forum. This will be a great opportunity to hear about the Institute and the profession from someone intimately involved in drafting and implementing AI policies.

To accommodate what we hope will be a great turnout, this event will take place at the Washington Athletic Club at 6th Avenue and Union Street in Downtown Seattle. The Candidate Forum will run from 5 PM to 6 PM. It will be followed by a no-host social hour and dinner. In addition to the President’s address, we will be awarding several designations and touching on a complex appraisal issue in another edition of Food for Thought.

The April dinner is billed as “Treat Your Associates”. Discounted meal prices are available for sponsored guests, which could include associates, trainees, and any other interested parties. In addition, members who attend the dinner and who live and work outside of King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties will be eligible for a $20 travel credit. Parking will be free for this event.

The Candidate Forum is open to candidates, affiliates, and designated members, and is presented free of charge. The social hour is open as well (although you pay for your own drinks). You can sign up for the dinner on to the Chapter website www.ai-seattle.org. If you have prepaid for dinners this year, just email your choice of entrée to the Chapter office.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Treat Your Associates” Dinner Meeting April 20

scott-robinson-2016-webpageJoin us for this annual dinner meeting to be held at the Washington Athletic Club. Discounted rates are available for Candidates for Designation and Practicing Affiliates. A discounted rate is also available for “Sponsored Guests”. If you are an Appraisal Institute member and have friends or colleagues interested in the profession or the Appraisal Institute, invite them to this great event and they can attend at the special rate – don’t miss this opportunity!

Enjoy a delicious dinner with speaker Scott Robinson, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, President of the Appraisal Institute. Spend time with fellow appraisers, celebrate recent designees, and don’t forget the Candidate Meeting prior to the dinner from 5-6pm. ALL are invited to attend – you don’t have to be a Candidate!

Click here for full information and to register.

Food for Thought: EB-5

During 2016, we are introducing a new feature at our Chapter dinner meetings. “Food for Thought” is an opportunity to learn about a complex issue involving valuation and public policy. Here is the handout from our dinner in January:

Food for Thought EB-5

The Immigrant Investor Program was established by Congress in 1990 to encourage foreign investment in the U.S. Also known as EB-5 (Employment-Based Immigration, 5th Preference), the program awards conditional permanent residency to foreign nationals who invest in projects that create domestic employment. The capital investment requirement for each investor is $1,000,000, or $500,000 if the project is located within a depressed area. For each such investment, the project must generate ten permanent jobs. Most EB-5 investors anticipate a return of 1% to 2% on their capital contribution.

Advocates of the program point to a strong record of success in attracting capital, particularly from Chinese investors. In recent years, demand has exceeded the statutory ceiling of 10,000 EB-5 visas. Foreign investment has supported lodging, office, and industrial development throughout the region.

Detractors question several aspects of the program. Through gerrymandering of census tracts, parts of Downtown Seattle and Downtown Portland have been defined as “depressed”, reducing the individual capital requirement. The definition of job creation has been relaxed to allow the inclusion of construction jobs, indirect employment, and relocation. Finally, the very low return requirements of EB-5 investors may lead to the development of projects that would not otherwise be considered financially feasible.

Congress recently considered potential revisions to the EB-5 program, such as raising the minimum capital requirement, focusing on permanent job creation, and narrowing the definition of a depressed area. Following intense lobbying by the investment community, the program was extended in its present form through September 2016.

1. How might the development of projects funded through the EB-5 program affect market performance?
2. How should the program define economically depressed areas? By county? By city? By neighborhood?
3. How should the program define a new permanent job?
4. Given the demonstrated high demand from EB-5 investors, should Congress expand the number of visas? Should the minimum capital requirement be increased?
5. Does the value of a proposed EB-5 project include an intangible component relating to the award of permanent residency? If so, how might that component be segregated?
6. In general, should our immigration laws give wealthy investors preference over refugees fleeing crime, poverty, or war?

PeopleValues Talk Generates Interest

by Aaron DeCollibus

Matt and Lori Swanson of Guardian Roofing and Jorve Roofing, companies with over 100 employees in the Puget Sound area, spoke at the January meeting extolling the efficacy of PeopleValues, a human resources-focused personnel evaluation service they have come to use when considering prospective employee candidates for any position in either company.

After the dinner meeting ended, the Swansons were approached by several appraisal business owners with questions about the PeopleValues system.

Developed by Seattle’s Grant Robinson, the PeopleValues system assists business owners in evaluating potential new employees by assessing inherent behavioral traits and mindset, and comparing the resulting profile with profiles of existing top producers in similar positions within a company. Robinson’s system can also provide individualized coaching programs enabling performance enhancement for existing staff.

Although the evening’s presentation was not about appraisal technique, specific property type, economic trends, or another appraisal-related topic, determining favorable or unfavorable appraising aptitude before hiring and training a new appraiser can prove invaluable, helping insure success, and precluding disappointment. In their enthusiasm for the service, the Swansons, who use PeopleValues religiously but do not own the company, were possibly more effective in selling the merits of PeopleValues personnel evaluations than would have been the owner, Grant Robinson.

“The best testimony to our evaluation’s ability to ably assist the personnel selection process is the subsequent loyalty of business owners like the Swansons,” explained Robinson after hearing about the Swanson’s favorable Appraisal Institute reception. “What we do obviously works.”

Congratulations to These Recently Designated Chapter Members!

Help us in extending congratulations to a number of Seattle Chapter members who received their designations at the January dinner meeting!

BodkinRob Bodkin, SRA

Rob Bodkin Began appraising residential properties in the Puget Sound area in 1993, working with his father in a small family appraisal business. Over the years Rob has been an independent fee appraiser as well as on staff with Pacific Thrift and Loan from 1995 to 1997 and US Bank 2007 to 2016. He is excited to be back in the world of independent fee appraising, providing appraisal and consulting services to various users of said services. As a certified residential appraiser, Rob has appraised a wide variety of properties from modest manufactured homes, floating homes on Lake Union, a custom townhome in the downtown retail core and a $15 Million dollar Lake Washington estate. He currently covers northern King, Snohomish, Island and Skagit counties. Rob was awarded the SRA designation from the Appraisal Institute in 2015.

Rob is a Bellevue native and a veteran of the US Navy, spending four years as an aircrewman flying in mine sweeping helicopters. Living in Mukilteo with his wife Nancy, Rob enjoys mountaineering, fly fishing and local theater when not appraising.

Bryan John Bryan, MAI

John Bryan got his start appraising in 2002 at PGP Valuation, Inc. and is currently working at Broadview Appraisal in North Seattle. Mr. Bryan suffers from the “curse of the generalist” and appraises a wide range of property types across numerous Western and Central Washington markets. He calls Seattle home along with his lovely wife Susan and beautiful daughters Maya and Josie.




KopchoMark J. Kopcho, SRA

Mark began his career in Real Estate Appraisal in 1990. He trained at Condominium Appraisal Services and Elliott Bay Appraisals and eventually formed Sterling Appraisal Group with Tom Weaver. Even at the beginning of his career, he realized the need for quality education and took his first appraisal class from the Society of Real Estate Appraisers. Becoming a designated appraiser was always a goal of his. When Mark is not appraising he spends time with his family, going to his kids school events, and sometimes skiing or golfing.



WeaverTom Weaver, SRA

Tom was born in California, moved to Bellevue in 1971 and graduated from Interlake High School 1980. He worked on an oil exploration ship in Alaska and California for a couple of years. Then he attended the University of Washington and graduated in 1988 with a major in accounting. He started appraising in 1990 in Seattle and earned his residential certification in 1992. He worked with CTX mortgage and Bank of America before opening his own office in 1995. In 2005 joined forces with Mark Kopcho and started Sterling Appraisal Group. He focuses on King and Pierce counties, but has done properties in Lewis, Mason, Grays Harbor, Kitsap, Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom. He prefers valuing rural and acreage properties. He has one daughter who graduated from Washington State University in 2008. Fun facts about Tom include he has raced cars in both Spanaway and Monroe, climbed Mount Rainier and Kilimanjaro, did a Safari in the Serengeti, traveled to England, France and Italy, floated
down the Grand Canyon, skydived in Las Vegas, played in the world series of poker tournament, and currently play in a men’s ice hockey league.

Residential Roundtable – February 10, 2016

by Jodi Standaert

On February 10 a group of 17 appraisers met for the first Residential Roundtable of 2016. Topics of discussion included information sources for valuation of homes served by solar panels, appraiser trainees, ACOW updates, and the various ways we interpret and report market conditions.

Jerry Walsh mentioned that PVValue.com is a good resource for valuing Solar PV. Vince Healy also brought up the fact that what use to be considered green is now required code in many instances.

Penny Crowe the current Chair of ACOW gave us a report on topics being discussed and requiring action by ACOW. For now, fingerprinting is off the books with the state. This is primarily due to the logistics. The next ACOW Summit is set for August 18-19 at the Red Lion in Wenatchee.

The remaining conversation revolved around developing an effective method to properly interpret and report market conditions trends. What’s enough data and what do you do when you are in an area with too little data. How far do you expand your parameters? When have you stepped out of the bounds of truly comparable properties?

The next roundtable is planned for May. Please join us and add to the conversation.

Commercial Candidate Assembly

by Ian Curry, MAI

The first Commercial Candidate Assembly of 2016 was held at the Lodge Bar and Grill in downtown Seattle on Thursday February 18th. We had a great turnout with folks from Kidder Mathews, CBRE, Colliers, Cushman & Wakefield, and O’Conner Consulting Group all in attendance.

The theme of the gathering was the Capstone Program. Several Candidates are taking the program this year and several past Capstone participants were on hand to discuss their experience and answer any outstanding questions not covered by the course materials or program presentation. Whether taking the Capstone or writing a traditional demonstration report, this can be a stressful and time consuming experience. It is always helpful to hear from those who can share what they’ve learned in terms of time management, organizing and balancing work and life expectations while trying to write the best report of their life. The Seattle Chapter is full of great people that can share and offer their guidance through some of these experiences and it was great to see everyone out.

Look for future events throughout the course of the year.

The North Sound Residential Roundtable

by Olen E. Miller, SRA, AI-RRS, North Sound Branch Chair

The North Sound chapter residential roundtable premier held last month at the Chuckanut Brewery in Bellingham was by all accounts a smashing success. Although the turnout was a bit smaller than I had hoped for, appraisers from as far away as Everett and Mukilteo battled heavy rain and traffic to attend (thanks Briana, Rob, Linda and Allan).

The roundtable discussion covered a myriad of relevant topics of interest such as: how do you derive GLA adjustments, defining effective age, zoning compliance issues and how to address entrepreneurial profit in the cost approach. All in all participates thought the Q&A session was informative, helpful and lively and are looking forward to the next event. Thanks to all that attended and I look forward to seeing you at the next roundtable in June!

Be Sure To Check Out Our Employment Page!

Looking for a job? Looking to post a job? Visit the Seattle Chapter’s employment page!
Jobs are posted as received and there are new opportunities all the time! Employers, if you’re looking to post a position, email aisea@qwestoffice.net with the description and information on how to apply.

Interested in Becoming an AI Instructor?

The Appraisal Institute will hold its Instructor Qualifying Conference (IQC) September 30 – October 16 in Chicago for potential instructors (must be Designated or PhD). More details to come, registration to open this spring. Those interested and wishing to be notified as it develops, please contact Tony Mendoza in the education department at tmendoza@appraisalinstitute.org.

Board of Directors Approves 45-Day Notice Item

The Appraisal Institute Board of Directors voted during its February 18-19 meeting in Chicago to approve the agenda’s only 45-day notice item, which included proposed amendments to Regulation No. 2 regarding a residential comprehensive exam. The Board voted to require individuals who become residential candidates on January 1, 2018, or later to pass a residential comprehensive examination. This residential comprehensive examination requirement had applied to individuals who became residential candidates on January 1, 2016, or later. The 45-day notice was shared with Appraisal Institute professionals on January 4.

Learn about the Board of Directors’ other actions at the meeting.

AI Releases Mobile App for Lum Library

The Appraisal Institute announced Feb. 3 that its Y.T. and Louise Lee Lum Library’s online catalog is available through the universal app called, “Library Link.” The app operates on both iOS and Android mobile devices. The “Library Link” app provides basic search capability of the Lum Library’s online catalog, and allows documents to be opened and read.

Download the app from iTunes or Google Play. Find instructions on using the app on the Lum Library’s homepage under the “Instructions” option.

Please contact the library with any questions, 312-335-4490.

Capstone 2016 Offerings

Registration for 2016 Capstone offerings is open. If you’re planning to take the Capstone this year, make your arrangements soon – offerings are selling out.

*Programs sold out

Demonstration of Knowledge Applications

General Candidates who wish to submit a Demonstration of Knowledge application can now do so via the AI website, as all applications for the Demo option are online at: http://www.appraisalinstitute.org/demomai/

AI Education Trust Scholarship Opportunities

The Appraisal Institute Education Trust offers options to Candidates for Designation to assist them in completing their education deadlines.

Upcoming scholarship deadlines:

April 1
* Appraisal Institute Education Trust AI Course Scholarship
* Appraisal Institute Education Trust Minorities and Women AI Course Scholarship

July 1
* Appraisal Institute Education Trust AI Course Scholarship
* Appraisal Institute Education Trust Minorities and Women AI Course Scholarship
* Appraisal Institute Education Trust Candidate for Designation Scholarship
+ Note: While the other scholarships only pay for one course, this scholarship pays for ALL advanced level education needed for Candidacy. Candidates are eligible to receive one scholarship per calendar year.

Please note: It is recommended that, prior to submitting a scholarship application, applicants attend a minimum of two Appraisal Institute chapter meetings annually.

The Appraisal Institute Education Trust also offers college scholarships!
AIET offers scholarship opportunities to undergraduate and graduate college students studying the real estate industry. Applicants do not have to be affiliated with the Appraisal Institute but must have a major concentration in real estate.

The deadline for the college scholarships is April 15.
* AIET Undergraduate Scholarship
* AIET Graduate Scholarship
* AIET Minorities and Women Education Scholarship

Learn more about AIET Scholarship options – Click here or email educationtrust@appraisalinstitute.org.

Agencies Alert Banks to Rising CRE Lending Risks

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on December 18 issued a statement to reinforce prudent risk-management practices related to commercial real estate lending.

Appraisal Institute professionals should pay close attention to the statement, as Designated members, given their training and resources, are in a special position to assist regulated financial institutions. AI recommends that appraisers doing work for regulated financial institutions pay special attention to market analysis and include appropriate disclaimers in appraisal reports. In addition, the Appraisal Institute encourages appraisers to review AI’s “Guide Note 12: Analyzing Market Trends” and to take the Advanced Concepts and Case Studies course.

AI Opens Process for 2017 Committee Service

The Appraisal Institute welcomes AI professionals interested in serving on a national committee in 2017 to complete the Leadership Resource Registry no later than September 2, 2016.

In order to be considered for national committees, AI professionals must express their interests in the Registry (AI log-in and password required).

Even if your name was submitted last year in the Registry and there are no changes to your preferences, you will need to log back into the Registry and enter your information. If your preferences are the same as 2016, you may need to check a box to have your interests moved into the 2017 Registry. You also may change or express new interests.

AI Accepting Nominations for Two Annual Awards

The Appraisal Institute is accepting nominations for the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Outstanding Service Award. Nominations for both annual awards are due May 27. The announcement and award presentations will take place at the Appraisal Institute’s 2016 Annual Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, July 25-27.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to the individual who best demonstrates high ethical standards; contributes to the Appraisal Institute at the chapter, regional, national and/or international level(s); provides service to his or her community; and contributes to the appraisal profession. A minimum 20 years of service is recommended to be eligible for this award.

The Outstanding Service Award is presented to an individual who has contributed ideas, service hours and dedication to ensure that a specific program or effort is implemented at either the chapter, regional, national and/or international level(s). This Designated member must be instrumental to the success of the program or effort, which also must be far enough along to measure and provide proof of success. Additionally, the program or effort must be beneficial to chapters, regions, national and international Designated members, Candidates for Designation, Affiliates, Practicing Affiliates and/or the profession.

Save the Date for the 10th Annual Fall Conference!

Join us October 18, 2016 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle for our 10th Annual Fall Real Estate Conference. Choose 4 from multiple sessions covering residential, commercial, legal, and other topics, enjoy tasty meals and a post-conference networking reception. Keep an eye out as more information becomes available.

Registration will open this summer. Early registration, group, and government group rates available.

If you or your company are interested in sponsoring this great event, please contact Jim Walker at (206) 605-3405.

Global Cities in an Era of Change Symposium

Stanford University, The Counselors of Real Estate, and RICS have partnered to present the Symposium, Global Cities in an Era of Change, March 30 – April 1 in Palo Alto, California.

This conference on the Stanford campus is a rare opportunity to imagine and visualize the future. Technology and demographics are disrupting and transforming social structures and the economic landscape. You will have the opportunity to meet and talk with the speakers and get better acquainted with the many real estate professionals who will be in attendance an intimate environment .

For more information please visit the website: www.globalcitiesstanford2016.org

Upcoming Events

SupervisoryAppraiser/Trainee Appraiser Course
March 28 – Seattle

Residential Development & Apartment Outlook – Pierce Co.
March 30 – Tacoma

7-hr USPAP Update
April 22 – Bellevue

7-hr USPAP Update
April 27 – Tacoma

Marshall & Swift Cost Approach: Commercial
June 2 – Seattle

Marshall & Swift Cost Approach: Residential
June 3 – Shoreline


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