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Thursday, March 10, 2011

How We Stand in 2011

The annual business meeting of ISA Members was held in Nashville on February 21, 2011. President Judith Martin reported we are currently self-credentialed but have been accepted as an organizational member by ICE (Institute for Credentialing Excellence). This isn’t a fast or easy process but the outcome will add to our professional reputation and will put us ahead of the trend for stricter credentialing standards in our profession.

Ms. Martin and Treasurer Todd Sigety also reported that we are in sound financial status for the first time in years. The last of our old debt will be retired in the first half of this year. In order to keep our membership and education costs low in relation to other appraisal organizations the staff and board will take our obligation to be good stewards of your dues seriously. Speaking of education, the final editing of the core course manuals is under way. Watch the web site for new manuals to become available for purchase. The publication system we are currently using allows for more frequent updates of small sections of the manual. This will help us keep current as changes to USPAP occur. Updates to the Fine Art and ARC courses are also being completed thanks to the hard work of volunteers from both divisions.

The board had identified the condition of our web site as the priority for this year at our fall meeting where it was chosen as a major budget expense for 2011. The web site was also the primary topic for questions and comments at the business meeting. Bids for revamping the site are currently being accepted at Sentergroup, our management firm. Craig Sondalle said that the goal is an aesthetically pleasing and easy to use site ready before this fall. One point that was brought up was the difficulty we currently experience in the Find An Appraiser search function. Mr. Sigety said that we wouldn’t be able to make large changes in that application due to the limits of our database software. He also pointed out that the ease of internet searches we are accustomed to are usually a virtue of the Google Software that has very expensive licensing costs. Simplification of the instructions for use will be addressed with the web updates.

A major change all of us will start seeing is the shift to a calendar year dues cycle. Right now budgeting is complicated by spurts of money coming in at different times in the year. Your next renewal notice will include instructions for making your payments depending on the time of year you renew. The majority of us will renew in the fall and will be asked to renew for 15 months. I plan to start saving early this year to make my own life easy but for those of you who find that amount hard to pay in September options will be offered. Remember, your listing on Find An Appraiser is tied to your dues expiration date – if your dues aren’t paid on time, the database software automatically removes you from this feature. This is not an action by staff, it is a function of the technology we use.

The second most asked questions involved USPAP classes and qualifications. There are major changes in the requirements that are still under review by TAF. ISA will be offering a 7 hour course as an update for those who have had the 15 hour course. Updates are now required every 2 years because of the speed changes are being made in our industry. Though taking USPAP every 2 years is not considered fun by most of us it is to our advantage to make sure we are following proper procedures. The good news is that the 7 hour update does not include a test. More on the changes on this and other requalification information will be addressed by Leon Castner in his education newsletters.

Here’s to a prosperous 2011 for each of us!

Libby Holloway

Secretary to the Board of Directors

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