Appraisal Institute launches online program for aspiring veteran, minority appraisers

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, has launched a new program to increase the ranks of veteran and minority appraisers.

The trade group received a $500,000 “Pathway to Success” grant from the Appraisal Foundation to assist with the development of the “Practical Applications of Real Estate Appraisal” program.

The Pathway to Success conditional grant is designed to open up the appraisal profession to a new generation of appraisers and stipulates that participant priority be given to veterans, minorities and those in designated rural areas, AI said this week.

After receiving approval from the Appraiser Qualifications Board in May, AI PAREA initially welcomed select participants who had completed their Qualifying Education and reside in a state which has fully accepted PAREA in lieu of the traditional supervisor/trainee model during the pilot program phase. In all, 42 states partially or fully accept PAREA.

AI PAREA, an online program AI says it’s sunk more than $2 million into, is an alternative pathway for aspiring appraisers to gain their required experience hours to become a licensed or certified appraiser, using a standardized approach. Historically, the only option for an appraiser to complete their experience hours was through a supervisor/trainee model that requires the aspiring appraiser to find their own supervisor, the trade group said.

With the AI PAREA program, participants can appraise properties virtually with one-on-one guidance from a mentor to become credentialed.

AI said it has committed more than $2 million toward AI PAREA.

“The AI PAREA program will create tremendous opportunities for aspiring appraisers to meet the experience requirements and open a pathway to entering this respected and rewarding profession,” said Appraisal Institute President Craig Steinley.

The Appraisal Institute has been criticized for a lack of diversity in its ranks and acknowledged a need to modernize. According to the group’s own statistics, 78% of U.S. appraisers say they are male, 1.3% identify as Black and 4.3% as Hispanic. More than 70% of appraisers are over the age of 50.

The trade group recently welcomed Cindy Chance, formerly of the Urban Land Institute, as CEO.

The trade group’s prior CEO, Jim Amorin, announced his resignation in November and his five-year term ended in February. Chief Financial Officer Beata Swacha served as acting CEO from December 2022 until Chance took over this week.