I've been getting email advertisements lately for a website that "allows" you to register as a "Reverse Mortgage Appraiser". While I applaud the guy for creating a business, I cannot for the life of me figure out why anyone would pay $150 to "register" (for one county, $50 for additional counties) for this. I'm not sure if the marketing point is to sucker in appraisers who think that you need some special education or license to do reverse mortgages, or that a lender who wants to do one will think that instead of calling their usual appraiser they need to find a "specialist" and so will just do a web search for one.
Anyone that is FHA approved can do reverse mortgages, and it is fairly easy to find lenders/brokers who are doing them. Personally I would rather pay a temp $150 to make phone calls and send emails for a day to every potential lender in my area.
Oh, they have a "Code of Ethics". Unfortunately I don't see anything different in there that I don't do now with all of my clients, regardless of age. And how do they enforce this? Is there a follow up call from RMA to the homeowner to make sure the appraiser was courteous?
Don't get me wrong, I think it is a fine idea to make some extra money by creating a website and a database. I wish them the best, and hope that they are successful. However, this one is no different than every other site that wants you to pay a fee to register before they have even sent you an order, and won't guarantee any business. If they were smart (and actually had the volume) they would display how many orders they processed (total and monthly) and break that down by state and county. That way I could look at Travis County, TX and see that the five appraisers that are registered have received a total of (x) orders so far this year. If I saw that they had split 200 orders so far, that would incent me to sign up.
My bigger problem with this is that it is yet another AMC. Maybe they do give you a full split and make their money on the county registration and possibly some advertising, and if so I applaud them for it. Maybe I should start an AMC called "Travis County Appraisers" and charge appraisers to sign up for it, then market it as "THE place to go to find appraisers in Travis County!"
When I first got into this business I spent $100 for a "premium listing" with some web site directory, and never saw an order from them. And they had the balls to call me back next year to renew! Since then, my question to them has always been the same: Can I pay you from the proceeds of my first order?" They have never taken this deal, and I doubt they ever will.