The Board met on Friday May 5th for its regular quarterly meeting with 100% of members in attendance. In addition to hearing updates on customer service, license processing, exam administration, complaint investigation and enforcement, and financial performance matters, other administrative business was also accomplished, including an update on the long-term facilities master plan, appointment of investment officers and the annual report of appraiser demographics in Texas. We heard the news that the third Texas Residential Appraisal Fee Survey commissioned to be conducted by the Hobby Center at the University of Houston and reviewed by the Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University was completed and is posted to the Board’s website. The survey provides data that appraisers and AMCs can use to document a claim that a “customary and reasonable fee” was paid.
We also heard a report on a recent series of communications with the Foundation Appraiser Coalition of Texas (FACT), a cooperative body of appraiser professional groups. Topics covered included getting more feedback from mentors on complaint analyses, misconceptions regarding excessive delays with audit reviews, and the extent of complaints against supervisory appraisers arising from review of trainee work files. Both TALCB and FACT expressed gratitude for the openness of the exchange and pledged continued cooperation. A detailed report can be read at page 93 of the posted meeting materials.
In this legislative season, the Board had a very modest agenda of rules to consider as it awaits the outcome of policy decisions made by our Texas lawmakers. On that front, the Governor just signed into law SB 1516 which amends the Appraisal Management Company (AMC) Registration Act (Ch 1104) to comply with federal requirements. No major impacts are expected from this update to the law. Sincere thanks to FACT for assisting the Board by advising on the drafting and testifying in support of the bill.
During the meeting, the Commissioner explained the first draft of the agency’s budget as reviewed by our TALCB Budget Committee. Our staff’s level of attention to detail is impressive; and the continued growth in the number of real estate license holders has created both some great challenges and also opportunities. Three consecutive years of increases in applicants for sales agent licensure puts pressure on overall resources to provide the high level of service that the public and our license holders expect and deserve. Technology has helped quite a bit, but the agency also needs to add new staff to maintain high standards. This will happen on the TREC side, but it impacts TALCB as well. The Board has lowered fees over the past few years and does not anticipate any adjustment this year. Also, reserves built up over several years allow us to explore options for more permanent office arrangements in the future.
Summer is rapidly approaching and the seasonal high of the home selling season will soon be on us. The Board hopes that your valuation work will be plentiful and rewarding as you continue to exercise your chosen profession in a manner that serves Texans well.