George K. Demopulos is president and chief valuations officer at Lincoln Appraisal and Settlement Services. Demopulos
holds the MRICS, RA, SRA and AI-RRS designations and is
a certified residential appraiser in five New England states.
He has more than 23 years of experience in all aspects of
appraising. Visit lincolnappraisal.com for more information.
Reach Demopulos at email@example.com.
Christina Improta is an appraisal-management specialist
at Lincoln Appraisal and Settlement Services. Improta
entered the real estate appraisal industry in 1999 as a client-service representative in New Jersey, working for Ebert
Appraisal. In October 2004, she joined Lincoln Appraisal’s
team and now assists the company’s appraiser partners on a
daily basis. Reach Improta at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Trick to Reducing Risk
A trusted appraisal management partner can alleviate property-valuation fears
By George K. Demopulos and Christina Improta
What is an appraisal management company (AMC)? Simply put it is a business that oversees a network of certified, licensed appraisers and is
focused on fulfilling real estate appraisal assignments
on behalf of mortgage lenders, as well as other entities.
That’s the official definition. An AMC is much more than
that, however. An AMC must be a trusted, strategic
partner that demonstrates excellence in managing a
high-quality appraiser panel while providing superior
That’s not all. AMCs also must remain compliant
with all aspects of federal, state and banking-agency
guidelines to help reduce lender risk. A quality AMC,
then, adds an important level of protection for the
appraisal process and for mortgage originators.
Performing a buffer role
In the wake of the financial crisis some 10 years ago,
regulations were adopted that required a firewall to
be in place between the loan-production staff and
those selecting appraisers and ordering appraisals.
AMCs have existed for decades, but for the first time,
as a result of the new industry environment, their role
of acting as a buffer between lender and appraiser
became a recognized, valuable and regulated part of
the mortgage process.
Unprecedented regulation, coupled with intense
competition, has made the business of mortgage
lending a challenge. The nation’s leading lending
institutions, mortgage originators, investment banks,
mortgage-insurance and mortgage-servicing companies realize that in order to reduce risk, they must
exceed compliance standards.
The best way to accomplish this is to work with
an AMC that is committed to providing the best in
appraisal-management services and the highest-quality customer service. That starts by partnering
with the best appraisers.
Recruiting the best
A fully licensed AMC must embrace all federal and
state laws, agency policies and client requirements
related to consumer protection and appraiser inde-
pendence. Additionally, an experienced AMC must
value the important and vital contribution of their
appraiser partners. It is imperative for AMCs and
their clients to view this as a partnership and not as a
AMCs must consistently recruit and attract appraisers
from around the country in order to maintain a comprehensive nationwide appraiser network for their
clients. This begins by partnering with appraisers who
are the most educated, experienced and dedicated
to appraisal quality and superior customer service.
The best AMCs select appraiser partners who can
meet the following guidelines:
n Demonstrate an extensive understanding of
the appraisal process and the most current standards, and are geographically competent to complete all assignments;
n Perform all appraisals in compliance with
the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal