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Class Valuation Rolls Out Proprietary Staff Appraiser Pod Program

Class Valuation has rolled out its Staff Appraiser Pod Program to improve efficiencies and bolster training practices while strengthening appraiser independence. The pod program’s model builds on the existing supervisor and trainee requirement by pairing one supervisor with up to three trainees in a “pod” to teach skills and impart best practices while sharing workloads.

Each pod is based on the supervisor’s geographic area of competency and assigned to ensure there is ample appraisal volume to support it. The trainees, in turn, assist in the supervisor’s market where they receive instruction on how to apply the principles, procedures, and methodologies they have learned in their qualifying education classes, and properly complete appraisal reports with the requisite supporting data. Supervisors work with trainees through the entire process which, depending upon the state, could take 12 to 16 months. Upon obtaining a Certified Residential Appraiser credential, Class Valuation will work with the newly credentialed appraiser to provide continued employment opportunities and support as a staff appraiser.

The approach is considered revolutionary because it frees trainees from searching for a qualified supervisor that will pay them for their contribution. Rather, they are paired with a seasoned appraiser that mentors them while appraisal orders are supplied to the pod. At the same time, Class Valuation compensates the trainees at higher rates than the industry standard, with the objective of making the Pod Program a more appealing career opportunity for appraiser-trainees. The approach, by its very design, is intended to help grow the appraiser network more rapidly to help prevent capacity challenges like those that occurred in 2021. It also aims to remove some of the field’s historic barriers to entry and is working toward making the appraiser industry as diverse as the communities it serves.

The pod model is beneficial for supervisors, too, in that they don’t have to be in the field if they prefer not to be. The trainees can be sent to conduct the inspections, once inspection competency has been obtained, with the supervisor’s guidance.

Class Valuation maintains a national footprint with high volumes of appraisal orders throughout all 50 states. The pod supervisor and trainee will be provided volume commensurate with their competencies – which will scale as those competencies grow. Supervisors and trainees will not be required to solicit their own client base, and Class Valuation will support the pod with processing and delivery of the appraisal to the client.

Chad Stanius, Senior Vice President of Staff Appraisers for Class Valuation, believes demographics are such that the shortage of appraisers will not improve any time soon. “We, at Class Valuation, saw the need to do something to help the industry. We realized that by training appraisers in a new and exciting way – by placing trainees in pods and teaching them how to efficiently use the industry-leading  technology that Class Valuation offers – supervisors would be able to take on more volume while the trainees receive professional, comprehensive instruction. We think this approach will have a positive impact on the market,” he said.

The firm has integrated its revolutionary, best-in-class Digital Appraisal and 3D-scanning technology into the learning process, which helps trainees come up to speed faster and offers them better support in the field when conducting inspections. Incorporating high tech into the program also helps make the career opportunity more appealing to new, younger generations entering the work force.

Class Valuation is committed to its core value of caring for and respecting its employees. As such, it offers a very competitive, salaried compensation package to both trainees and supervisors, including a retirement savings program and health benefits.

“I think a lot of appraisers feel like they’re out on an island, oftentimes doing their own thing — especially the independent fee panel appraisers. They don’t have a connection to a company that cares about them. Class Valuation offers that connection – and treats its employees like family members,” added Stanius.