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We welcome Sara Oates as the newly appointed Chair of the Board and Stephanie Robinson and Lisa Sprinkle as two new public members of the Board.  For more information about our new Board members, please review the appointment announcement on the TALCB website. These new members will be hitting the ground running as we gear up for the strategic planning process and November meetings. We also say a fond farewell and thank you to departing Board members, Chair Jamie Wickliffe, Alex Sostre, and Joyce Yannuzzi. We appreciate their diligence and guidance, especially over the last year during the sunset review process. 

October brings comment opportunities and new exposure drafts from the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) and the Appraisal Qualifications Board (AQB). The ASB has published a concept paper and seeks public comments on whether to include standards for evaluations in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). At its recent meeting on September 6th, the Board heard and considered comments from license holders, interested stakeholders, and members of the public on appraiser performance of evaluations. The Board issued a Position Statement on Appraiser Performance of Evaluations that is available on the TALCB website. I have also been invited to participate in a state regulator panel regarding evaluations at the upcoming ASB meeting in Washington D.C. on October 17, 2019. The AQB has also issued new exposure drafts regarding the criteria for supervisory appraisers and Practical Applications of Real Estate Appraisal (PAREA). The Board has previously submitted comments to the AQB on these issues and plans to do so again. The ASB concept paper and both of the AQB exposure drafts are available online. We invite our license holders and members of the public to review these documents and submit your own comments to the ASB and AQB. We will continue to monitor and carefully analyze these developments to allow the Board to provide comments and insights on these proposals and regular updates to stakeholders.

The Chair of the Board, the Commissioner, the Director of Standards and Enforcement Services and I will attend the 2019 Fall Conference of the Association of Appraiser Regulatory Officials later this month to hear more from the ASB, the AQB, and the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC), our federal oversight agency. We will meet and hear from other state regulators and stakeholders to share best practices and gain insight into new developments across the appraisal industry. The state of Texas and TALCB are viewed as leaders in appraiser regulation, and we appreciate the opportunity to see what’s next and look forward to meeting new challenges in this changing industry.

We continue to make strides toward improving our customer service, and we hope you have experienced these improvements. TALCB now has a separate phone line to handle TALCB calls, and hold times for Board calls have dropped significantly over the past few months. We have added the application tracker to the TALCB website for Board license applications. After outsourcing commercial experience audits to contract review appraisers, we are beginning to see movement in the processing dates for these audits. The Board approved contracts for eight additional review appraisers, and we expect continued improvement as we work diligently to clear the backlog of certified general appraiser experience audits.

Regarding appraisal management companies (AMCs), the Board has published the 2019 Appraiser and AMC Fee Survey results on the TALCB website. The Board has conducted a fee survey every other year since 2012 as a service to our license holders and members of the public. The Board will also consider the proposed AMC Registry rule for adoption in November. This rule establishes procedures for collecting required information and annual registry fees from AMCs to pass along to the ASC.

Our Commissioner Douglas Oldmixon has also announced that he will retire in March of 2020. Our sister agency the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) and the Board have formed a joint search committee to find a new TREC Executive Director / TALCB Commissioner. The job posting is available on the TALCB website, and the committee continues to accept applications. If you know of any qualified individuals who may be interested, please direct them to the TALCB website. As we begin our strategic planning process for the next five years, TALCB will be sending out a survey to license holders and members of the public later this month. We invite and welcome your input and responses to this survey on the work that we do and how we can improve and provide better services to license holders and consumer protection to Texans, who require appraisal services, as we carry out and fulfill our agency’s mission.