As I think about the 6,000 appraisers in the state of Texas, I find myself hopeful that you all have been able to stay safe and persevere through these last 12 months. I am cautiously optimistic that we are heading into the final phase of this challenging time and that brighter days are ahead. I look forward to the day that I can come to your part of the state, meet you all in person and hear from you directly.
Welcome to the Board
In February, at our first quarterly board meeting of 2021, we welcomed a new public member to the Board, Paola Escalante-Castillo of Weslaco, a Vice President for Frost Bank. Ms. Escalante-Castillo replaces Tony Pena of Lubbock, who graciously served on the Board from 2016 to 2021. This meeting also brought back a familiar face, Mark McAnally, replacing Buster Renfrow as the Ex Officio Member. I want to thank our outgoing members for their willingness to serve the people of Texas, especially in the last year during these unique times. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with you.
Reducing Barriers To Entry
Effective January 1, 2021, the AQB adopted the Practical Applications of Real Estate Appraisal (PAREA). While we haven't all settled on how we will pronounce this new acronym, we are busy exploring how these new minimum criteria, which provide another pathway for aspiring residential appraisers to fulfill their experience requirement, will be adopted in the state of Texas. We welcome your input on these new criteria that provides experience through online and virtual reality technologies.
Decreasing Regulatory Burden
I am pleased to report that since the Board implemented a new procedure in June 2020 to no longer automatically require work files to be submitted with experience audits, residential experience audits are now taking 35 days on average and commercial experience audits are down to 25 days on average.
At the February board meeting, the Board adopted a rule concerning bad faith complaints. After working with the Appraisal Subcommittee on crafting a rule that complies with the ASC's Policy Statements but also treats license holders fairly by giving us the tools to dismiss complaints that are made in bad faith, for the purpose of harassment, to gain a competitive or economic advantage, or lacks sufficient basis in fact or evidence. While the adoption of this rule is a step in the right direction, I desire to continue to explore this topic as it relates to appraisal independence and the burden bad faith complaints have on Board resources.
The Board also adopted a rule that expands the Peer Investigative Committees' scope to give license holders the ability to be heard by their peers before disciplinary actions are taken that could affect their livelihood.
We Forge Ahead
We shall continue to explore ways to serve better our license holders and the people of the great state of Texas. Our next Board meeting is on Friday, May 14, and we welcome your input and participation as we forge ahead in serving this profession that we all hold so dear