Monday, October 2, 2023 | The Latest Buzz for the Appraisal Industry

An Interview with the New AI President – Jefferson Sherman

Rodman Schley
Jefferson Sherman, President of Appraisal Institute

On January 1st, 2020, Jefferson Sherman began his term as the new president of the Appraisal Institute. With over 45 years of experience as a real estate professional, we believe Jefferson Sherman will be a great leader for this upcoming year. We sat down with Jefferson to discuss the Appraisal Institute and what we can expect from their association and members under his leadership this coming year.

Buzz: Can you tell us about your background in the appraisal industry?

Jefferson: I’ve been a real estate professional for 45 years. I’m proud to have served nationally on the Appraisal Institute Board of Directors, Finance Committee, Nominating Committee, Education Committee, International Relations Committee, and Strategic Planning Committee.

I’ve also served in Appraisal Institute chapter roles, including twice as president in Ohio, and have worked on two successful chapter merger teams. I’ve taught courses for the Appraisal Institute since 1992 in 10 states and in Saudi Arabia and Mexico. I’m currently principal of Sherman Valuation & Review, LLC, in Willoughby Hills, Ohio. My practice focuses on eminent domain valuation and review, as well as other matters involving litigation.

I think it’s interesting to note that I began my career working for Terry Oetzel, MAI, who was the 1988 president of AI’s predecessor organization, the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers.

Buzz: What are your responsibilities as president of the Appraisal Institute?

Jefferson: I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve as president of an organization that has led the real estate valuation profession for nearly 90 years. I’m excited to serve with other leaders of the Appraisal Institute this year – especially the policymaking Board of Directors. I will collaborate with leaders of other real estate organizations here in the United States and around the world. In addition to chairing the Board and the Executive Committee in 2020, I’ll work with Appraisal Institute volunteers – those serving on national committees and as chapter leaders – and staff to help our organization achieve its goals for the year.

Buzz: Are there any big changes this year for AI?

Jefferson: The overall trend toward alternatives to appraisals continues to be an overarching concern for appraisers. This includes increased appraisal threshold levels, appraisal waivers, hybrid appraisals, AVMs, and other challenges. A second concern is the shrinking number of appraisers and the lack of new appraisers entering the profession, in addition to a lack of diversity among appraisers. Finally, a third is the onerous amount of regulatory burdens that appraisers face in simply trying to make a living.

In response to these important issues, the Appraisal Institute will maintain its role as the primary advocate for appraisers with state and federal legislative and regulatory bodies and other policymakers. In that role, we’ll certainly continue seeking to streamline excessive regulatory burdens that threaten to overwhelm appraisers and constrain their ability to conduct their business. Specifically, we support the establishment of a national portal for appraiser licensing, which would streamline time and expense for appraisers, without infringing on state’s rights.

Finally, we are nearing completion of two internal projects which were massive undertakings. Because we now will have more resources at our disposal, we will refocus them on finding ways to bring more value to our membership experience, both to existing members and to potential new members as well.

Buzz: What direction do you see the Appraisal Institute taking under your leadership?

Jefferson: In general, the Appraisal Institute will seek in 2020 to expand its leadership of the valuation profession and to enhance its reputation among stakeholders. More specifically, we’ll focus on continuing to be highly effective in our advocacy on behalf of all appraisers. We’ll also seek to increase diversity and inclusion in our organization and throughout the profession. We’ll ensure we continue to expand our world-renowned body of knowledge, including publishing the 15th edition of the world’s most recognized valuation textbook, “The Appraisal of Real Estate.” All of these activities provide us a platform that we will use to help us expand “the tent.” We also will find new ways to increase the value and appeal of an Appraisal Institute membership.

Buzz: Why should appraisers connect with the Appraisal Institute?

Jefferson: The Appraisal Institute helps build professional careers. There are thousands and thousands of examples of our members and their successful careers. We know that starting with a firm foundation of excellence in education allows for success in whatever path an appraiser chooses. We’re constantly expanding our offerings to ensure that we’re meeting market demands and providing high-quality content on the most current, relevant topics. The Appraisal Institute’s body of knowledge provides appraisers the information they need to succeed in their careers.

I think it’s important to note our governmental advocacy efforts as a primary benefit. We also have a robust hotline/helpline to assist our members with touchy and difficult situations that they encounter. Our chapters offer opportunities to make and maintain long-lasting relationships.

Buzz: Is there anything that we missed that our readers should know about regarding the Appraisal Institute?

Jefferson: The Appraisal Institute last year was extremely active in bolstering its reputation and its role as the valuation profession’s leader, and we plan to carry on that effort this year. We will continue to collaborate with Freddie Mac in developing and offering seminars on manufactured housing and rural housing. We are also partnering with Fannie Mae in their Appraiser Diversity Pipeline Initiative, where we are co-leads together with Altisource and the National Urban League. Internally, we have established a Women’s Initiative Committee, whose mission is to foster the growth of women in our profession. Finally, although it is a separate entity, the Appraisal Institute Education and Relief Foundation is robust in providing scholarships for education and to assist appraisers who experience a natural disaster or other event that impacts their practice.

Thank you, Jefferson, for this information. We look forward to seeing what Appraisal Institute will do this year.

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