The MAI Designation – What Does it Really Mean?
In today’s market with real estate values down 10% to 50% (nationwide) from their peak in 2007, reliable appraisals are more important than ever. Lenders, investors, and businessmen alike all call upon MAI appraisers in seeking the most trusted, reliable valuations. Although most all of us have heard of the MAI designation, what does it really mean – what does it take to be designated? Here are the current requirements:
- Successful completion of 8 to 12 full-day, week-long courses, including exams
- 4,500 hours of appraisal experience
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Good standing as a General Associate Member for a minimum of 12 months
- Successful experience credit review (Appraiser candidate submits log of 3,000-4,500 hrs of work, MAI appraisal screener reviews select assignments and interviews candidate for sufficient knowledge of appraisal theory)
- Completion of a Comprehensive exam (2-day, 16 hour test covering years of appraisal education)
- Completion of a demonstration appraisal report (similar to a thesis) illustrating appraiser’s comprehension of a wide range of appraisal methodology (typically takes several months for initial submission, review, corrections and approval)
Completing all these requirements takes years of hard work. With these requirements, it is easy to see why appraisers with the MAI designation are the most trusted in the industry. And in the current financial environment, where all lending/investment decisions are scrutinized under a microscope, the MAI appraiser will likely be called upon more than ever before.
Pat C. O’Connor, MAI
O’Connor & Associates
O’Connor & Associates currently employs two appraisers with the MAI designation. Five additional appraisers are advanced candidates.