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An Appraiser’s Perspective on RPR®

December 11 2013

rpr gregoireWe've been collecting stories about real estate professionals' use of RPR®. In October, we gave you an agent's perspective. Today, we're bringing you another side of the story: an appraiser's take on the technology.

Francois "Frank" Gregoire is a REALTOR®, broker, and full-time real estate appraiser. As a member of RPR's® Appraiser Task Force from the very beginning, Frank has had a unique opportunity to observe and shape the growth of the tool. His insights can aid agents and appraisers in growing their business.

Busy Agent Summary

We understand that you're busy, so we're going to provide a quick summary here. In one minute or less, these are the things you can take away from Frank's success with RPR®:

  • Take advantage of free resources available to you as a member of the National Association of REALTORS®.
  • Use RPR® to help gain a better understanding of an area that's new to you. Whether you're relocating to a new city or expanding outside the boundaries of your usual geographical area to help a client, RPR® can provide valuable insights.
  • RPR® reports can help facilitate communication between agents and appraisers.
  • Adjust the RVM® to ensure that it is accurate.
  • Use RPR maps to overlay heat maps, flood zones, neighborhood boundaries and more.

There are plenty more tips for success - read on for the full story. We also recommend getting better acquainted with RPR® in our product directory.

A Different Perspective

Frank may have a background as a broker, but he is working full-time as an appraiser. As such, he has a unique perspective. He uses RPR® primarily as a source of information about residential properties he's appraising.

His current work included the examination of appraisal reviews for litigation. "One of the cases I'm working on now involves market areas in four different states. I'm a Florida appraiser, so I don't have much background on these other markets, like California. I use RPR® to help me develop a thorough understanding, not just of these new geographical areas, but of what happened in the past."

Using RPR®, Franks says he can get basic information about the property or neighborhood and gain historical insights about past sales, comparable sales, and transactions. "RPR® provides me with a one-stop location for virtually all the information I need," he says.

Facilitating Communication

RPR® reports can facilitate communication between appraisers and agents. It gives us a better way to discuss market conditions and property values. Ultimately, this can improve credibility of appraisal reports. In fact, Frank recommends that agents use RPR® to prepare reports that they can provide to appraisers before the appraisal.

Values and Reports You Can Trust

Frank is an appraiser, so he's the perfect person to ask about the accuracy of home values and reports generated by RPR®.

"Because I'm an appraiser," Frank explains, "I don't let the values generated by anyone or anything else influence me. I look at everything with a completely fresh set of eyes. However, real estate agents can count on the RVM® from RPR® to be quite accurate, as long as they do their part to ensure the accuracy."

What Frank is referring to is the ability for agents to adjust the RVM® by adding or correcting property information. This was an important point referenced in our last article about RPR® and a theme we hear time and again. Frank says, "It can also assist agents in pricing discussions if they show their clients how they adjusted the RVM®. It helps sellers understand why the agent is recommending a listing price and buyers understand why you're recommending an offer."

Frank finds the neighborhood reports especially useful. "They provide a very good snapshot of what is happening in a neighborhood," he says. "The most useful part is the heat maps. With a heat map, you can draw your own neighborhood boundaries, so you can graphically demonstrate what's happening in that market area."

Key Benefits of RPR®

Frank articulates several key benefits of RPR®:

1) RPR® is a member benefit of the National Association of REALTORS®. Frank says, "Appraisers pay a lot of money for data. I personally spend thousands of dollars subscribing to several different services, in addition to the MLS. It's nice to have something very useful that's included in my dues."

2) "The leadership teams at RPR® and at NAR have expressed a willingness and desire to develop tools and features that are useful to appraisers, as well as real estate agents and brokers," Frank says.

3) RPR® is not static; it is constantly evolving in a positive direction. Frank explains, "RPR® is extremely responsive to input from members and users. If I share feedback with them and say some feature or functionality would be helpful, they often get started developing it."

4) Frank continues, "Eventually, on the appraisal side, RPR® will evolve to permit appraisers to be more productive when it comes to automatically populating forms software with neighborhood data, comparable sales, and market conditions. We're not there yet, but I'm excited about the possibilities."

About Francois Gregoire

rpr gregoire smallFrank is a second generation REALTOR®, real estate broker and Appraiser. He has been involved in Real Estate Appraisal since 1977 and is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® Appraisal Section and a Designated (IFA) member of the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers.

In addition to providing Appraisal, Appraisal Review, and Expert Witness services for private and government clients, Frank is often quoted as a source for nationally syndicated real estate columnists and appears as a speaker on appraisal, mortgage, real estate and regulatory topics. Frank has authored continuing education courses for Florida real estate and appraiser licensees. Articles and studies authored by Francois Gregoire have been published in the REALTOR® Magazine, LIVE Valuation and the Journal of Property Economics.

In June 2012, Frank appeared as a witness before the Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services. His testimony was related to Federal Appraisal Oversight.

In 2000, Frank was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board, the regulatory agency for Florida Real Estate Appraisers. The Governor appointed him to a second term in March 2004. He served as Chairman of the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007 and Vice Chairman in 2001, 2003 and 2005. Frank continues to serve the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board as an expert witness, consultant, and member of the Board's Probable Cause Panel.