• Thu. Dec 1st, 2022

Member Spotlight: John Brenan – HousingWire

This week’s HW+ Member Spotlight features John Brenan, Vice President of Assessment Policy and chief appraiser to clear capital. Brenan has more than four decades of experience in the valuation industry, having previously held leadership positions at The Valuation Foundation and the California State Office of Real Estate Appraisers. At Clear Capital, Brenan oversees the quality of the company’s appraisal and valuation products and implements changes to continually evolve the program.

Below, Brenan answers questions about the housing industry:

Housing Cable: To start, what is your favorite HW+ article of the moment?

John Brenan: “Recruiting the next generation of evaluators” by Stacy Marshall. I’ve listed it as my favorite because it’s something I’m passionate about and think is essential for reviewers to stay relevant.

The capacity of evaluators remains a major concern, and the lack of diversity in the evaluator profession is an issue that has been overlooked for too long. Without significant improvements to attract more people (with a focus on diversity) to pursue a career as an appraiser in a relatively short period of time, I believe the profession will suffer irreparable harm.

Housing Cable: If you had chosen another career path, what would it be?

John Brenan: I would be a mechanical engineer. I’ve always had a fondness for mechanics and developed a love for cars from an early age, based on the four drag racing cars my dad owned. The sights, sounds and smells of quarter mile drag racing were something to behold for a pre-teen boy living in suburban LA, and being part of the pit crew really brought out my love anything mechanical. . If only I could have mastered the slide rule!

Housing Cable: When do you feel successful in your job?

John Brenan: When I can help others accomplish new things. Early in my career, I tended to take charge when something needed to be done because I felt I could just do it more effectively than trying to teach someone else how to do it. make.

I felt good about this approach because I thought it was the shortest path to the desired result. But as I progressed into management roles, I found it much more rewarding to help others “find a key” to unlocking their previously unused skills and abilities. I initially enjoyed this simply because I found it rewarding to help others, but I soon realized that building a strong team around me also allowed me to be much more effective.

Housing Cable: What keeps you up at night and why?

John Brenan: I feel like the lack of diversity in the appraisal profession is one of the things I find most concerning. To some extent, assessor capacity issues can be mitigated by modern assessment products such as desktop and hybrid assessments. However, the lack of women and people of color in the appraisal profession is not only personally troubling, but I believe puts all appraisers at risk.

For example, how can a person of color receive an appraisal of their home that they consider unfair, seeing that 96.5% of the appraisers are white (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), and that they have the impression of being well shaken? How can there be public confidence in a profession that does not resemble the general population it serves?

I don’t believe the appraisal profession is filled with racist practitioners; not at all. However, as someone in the appraisal business for 40 years, I would never have imagined that the President of the United States would publicly express concerns about potentially biased appraisals. The creation of the PAVE working group and the impending release of its findings could very well send shock waves throughout the lending arena. I hope evaluators can be part of the solutions.

housing cable: What is the one thing people don’t pay attention to that you think they should pay attention to?

John Brenan: the Practical applications of real estate appraisal (PAREA), a recently approved alternative route to meeting the experience requirements for obtaining an appraiser license. Since the 1930s, evaluators have largely been trained in the same way — the supervisor/trainee mentorship model.

This model was effective for many years because financial institutions, which usually had large appraisal staff, trained new appraisers. However, as the independent evaluator model became the norm, the burden of training new evaluators fell on the shoulders of the individual evaluator, many of whom were quick to ask, “What encourage you to train someone to compete with me for evaluation work? »

Needless to say, the number of new appraisers entering the business began to drop significantly. Since January 1, 2021, PAREA has been approved as an alternative way of acquiring experience. In short, PAREA uses state-of-the-art technology to provide simulated training for evaluators, just like airline pilots, surgeons, firefighters and many other professions.

The benefits of PAREA include:

  1. New evaluators are recruited at scale, as PAREA is self-paced and there is no limit to the number of participants that can be trained at one time.
  2. A focused focus on women and people of color can positively impact evaluator diversity at a significantly accelerated rate compared to the supervisor/trainee model.

  3. Using today’s technology, new appraisers can be trained on a wide variety of property types and market conditions that may never have existed under the supervisor/trainee model. So if you haven’t heard of PAREA, you better ask someone!

To become a HW+ member, click here.

For more information on HW+ benefits, click here.