Appraisals and Valuations

Cindy Chance named CEO of The Appraisal Institute

CFO Beata Swacha had been acting CEO since December 2022

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, appointed Cindy Chance as chief executive officer, the trade organization announced

Prior to joining the Appraisal Institute, Chance worked at the Urban Land Institute as an executive vice president for the learning and product councils. At ULI, she created and grew the group’s online education efforts. Her teams designed and delivered ULI’s signature educational programs, including Product Councils, UrbanPlan, University Connections, Awards, and ULI Learning.

In a prepared statement, Chance said she was inspired by the Appraisal Institute’s heritage, integrity and professionalism and knows precisely what she wishes to accomplish with her new job. 

“My mission is clear: to ensure that the best of the Appraisal Institute is reinforced and expanded, to lead us to seize new opportunities for the profession and for professional appraisal to be better understood and appreciated by the real estate industry and the communities our professionals serve.”

Prior to joining ULI, Chance held different key positions in higher education ranging from classroom teaching to strategic innovation, and leadership roles.

The Appraisal Institute has been criticized for a lack of diversity in its ranks and acknowledged a need to modernize. According to the group’s own statistics, 78% of U.S. appraisers say they are male, 1.3% identify as Black and 4.3% as Hispanic. More than 70% of appraisers are over the age of 50.

The trade group’s prior CEO, Jim Amorin, announced his resignation in November and his five-year term ended in February. Chief Financial Officer Beata Swacha served as acting CEO from December 2022 until Chance took over this week.

The appraisal industry is under scrutiny from various federal agencies and the government-sponsored enterprises over claims of racial bias. Those agencies and GSEs are also pushing more use of automated valuation models (AVMs).

In June, federal regulators called for two changes to rules governing the use of AVMs: one that would require lenders to establish quality control standards for the creation of AVMs; and one which would add guidance regarding how and when appraisals can be challenged by banks and customers.

Fannie Mae earlier this year also declared that appraisals would no longer be the default option for property valuations.

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