Time Saving Tips for Applying to AMCs
Not every appraiser works with AMCs and not every appraiser who works with AMCs does so efficiently and profitably. Do you hate wasting time signing up to AMCs that never send you work? Following this process will help you avoid signing up to a list of companies that currently are not registered in your state and most likely won’t have work in your area in the near future.
I have recently started using a new method when applying to new appraisal management companies (AMCs). This is how you can avoid the hassle of signing up to hundreds of AMCs that do not have work in your area.
The challenge is finding the AMCs that are registered to do business in your state and that are good companies to work with. There are lists of AMCs, usually given away free, that don’t offer any guidance on the quality of the AMC or how to sign up. Other lists are more like guides, like the one I author and market : 2019 AMC Directory, which does provide contact information forms for each AMC, sign up links and that lists them according to how good they are to work with; not all the AMCs are listed, just the good ones. But no AMC guide currently tracks which states each AMC listed is licensed in. You must verify an AMC is licensed to do business in your state because you can be held responsible for doing business with an unlicensed AMC. So here’s what I do.
Step 1: Get Your State List – Your first step is to find the AMCs licensed in your state. You can do this by visiting your state appraiser licensing agency or searching Google for: registered appraisal management companies, followed by the name of your licensing agency name or domain name of your licensing agency. If you can’t find one online, you should be able to contact your state appraiser licensing agency to find out how you can obtain a list. For instance, in California I would search : registered appraisal management company orea.gov. I have attached a list to the registrar offices at the bottom of this post.
Once you download the list, you will find that most include only a company name and phone number with no additional information provided for each AMC. You can use this list alone to find and sign up for AMCs registered in your state but it will be a time consuming process. Just finding the website and confirming how to apply can be hard, and then you never really know if they are a professional company with available work.
Step 2: Get a good AMC Directory – The AMC Resource Guide that you hopefully have purchased is one that includes links and inside tips on how to sign up quickly for the AMCs that have work, pay fairly and are professional. It is available in both printed and electronic versions. The printed version is good if you like to work with a book in your hands and it has spaces available to record your usernames and passwords. For this process we will need the electronic version (PDF) of the directory, which is included free when you buy the print version.
Step 3: Cross Reference – When you have both the state list of registered AMCs and a comprehensive AMC Guide, you then cross reference each AMC licensed in your state to see which are worth signing up for.
Step 4: Register Online – You will definitely want to sign up to any of the companies that are listed in the top 46 of the AMC Guide because these AMCs are proven to send work and pay good fees, in most areas.
If they don’t make the “top 46,” I still suggest you sign up to them because it does not mean they are not good to work with. It means we just have not been able to confirm how much work they have. Some of these companies not in the first 46 are listed in the Guide because I have received a good recommendation on them from other appraisers, who like working with them, and if I have generally heard good things about them overall from appraisers in my network. Most of these companies listed have direct links to their sign up forms.
You can also research any company in your state list that is not in the AMC Guide to see if they might be a good company to work for. These might be a new AMC or a company of appraisers who have registered as an AMC to try and do fee splits. Here how to do your own research.
Researching Companies Not in this AMC Guide
To research an AMC that is not rated by the Guide, search for their company in Google. If they don’t have a website or they are difficult to find, move on to the next. If you find their website, make sure they have phone numbers listed and a professional website. Their about-us page should be complete and give more information on their services. Finally, make sure they have an online application. If there is no online application, move on to the next. If everything checks out ok, then you can apply online or give them a call to find out if they have work in your area. I have picked up a numerous new clients this way.
So get your state list of registered AMCs and your AMC Guide, and cross reference to see which AMCs are good to work for, and start signing up to the AMCs that actually do business in your area.