After two years of considerable toil, I earned it – the most highly respected credentials in the commercial appraisal business, the MAI designation. And I thought Ranger School was tough. No barbed wire at the Appraisal Institute but if you think there’s no obstacle course, think again! Having set my course in 1990 to obtain my designation, I became sidetracked in the late ’90’s or early 2000’s. After moving to Kentucky in 2010, I realized the need for national credibility and that’s just what the MAI designation provides. Assuming you already have a general certification from the state (a task in itself) those willing to take on this challenge will be required to attend five advanced courses.
The courses last from a few days to a week. To get an idea what they’re like, try taking a sip from a fire hose. Loads and loads of data assaults your brain daily as you hope it sticks for the test at the end. Once you’ve taken each class and passed you must submit 4,500 hours of work experience for evaluation. Simply logging all that data took me an entire day.
One of the more arduous tasks is writing a demonstration of knowledge appraisal report. This is an exhaustive appraisal report of a sample property to demonstrate that you know and understand proper appraisal methodology. From start to finish, including revisions and regrading, passing the demonstration appraisal report alone took me a year, much of that waiting to be graded but much of it spent writing an appraisal report that would withstand the scrutiny of some pretty tough graders.
Finally, the comprehensive exam, consisting of four modules, 1) General Priniciples; 2) The Income Approach; 3) The Cost Approach; and 4) The Sales Comparison Approach. Now I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I’m not the dullest either. And I can vouch for the fact that these tests are HARD! Don’t be disappointed in yourself if it takes you a time or two to pass any one of these tests. I can assure you, you are not alone!
In either case, I got word yesterday that I had jumped the final hurdle. So I have submitted my final application for the very prestigious MAI designation. I’m hoping to hear back from them today but that’s a mere formality. I’ve completed all the necessary steps and am just rejoicing that I can finally relax a bit. Anyhow, I just wanted to share the good news!