Oklahoma City appraisers have enthusiastically endorsed decisions by
the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers and the Society of
Real Estate Appraisers to merge into a new organization called the
The merger would make the Appraisal Institute the largest
appraisal organization in the United States, effective Jan. 1, 1991.
Approval of the merger was completed by a vote of 76 percent of
members of the American Institute, taken Sunday in Chicago. The
Society previously approved the unification in January.
Representatives of Oklahoma chapters of both organizations plan
to meet in Stroud today to begin working out plans for an orderly
merger within Oklahoma, said Michael A. Cramer, president of Cramer
and Associates. 4200 Perimeter Center Dr. Cramer also is president
of the Oklahoma City Chapter of the Society of Real Estate
Appraisers, and vice president of the local chapter of American
Institute of Real Estate Appraisers.
"I feel good about the merger," he said.
"In preparing for the merger, the National Institute of Real
Estate Appraisers voted to leave the National Association of
Realtors two months ago," he noted. "The goal was to have the
largest, most prestigious appraisal organization in the country."
The American Institute, formed in 1932, has about 22,000
members and the Society, formed in 1935 has 17,732 members. They
are the two oldest of the nine national real estate appraisal
organizations, Cramer said.
Local chapters have been given three years to complete their
mergers, but Cramer said he anticipates Oklahoma chapters of the two
organizations could have their realignment completed within a year.
He speculated it would result in two chapters, one in Oklahoma City
and one in Tulsa.
Cramer said the Society has three chapters:
- Oklahoma City, with 101 members.
- Tulsa, 75 members, David C. Roberson, president,
- Texhoma chapter of north Texas and southwest Oklahoma, 28
members, Charles W. Singleton, Lawton, president.
The American Institute has only one chapter in Oklahoma with 170
members. Its president is C. Dwain Bearden, owner of Bearden
Appraisal Service Inc., 1601 Greenbriar Place in Oklahoma City.
"I am thrilled to death with the merger," he said. "We have been
working toward this for 25 years.
"We have been fragmented. We have had dual efforts across the
nation and here in Oklahoma in training and certification. There
was confusion in the public about what designation should I look to
for an appraiser.
"I belong to both groups," he said. "It is simple economics to
me. I now have one set of dues to pay and half as many meetings to
"I think Jan. 1 we will have two chapters in Oklahoma - Tulsa
and Oklahoma City - and they will function as the Appraisal Instute
Bearden said a survey of members of both organizations nearing
completion showed a majority favoring the two-chapter system for the
By a toss of a coin Tuesday, it was determined that the first
president of the merged national Appraisal Institute will be the
president-elect of the Society of Real Estate Appraisers, Bearden
The new Appraisal Institute will award the certification
designations of MAI or SRA, but will continue to recognize the
qualifications of individuals holding RM, SRPA and SREA designations,
previously awarded by both merging groups.
The consolidation of the two appraisal organizations is also
being viewed with approval by members of other appraisal
"I think it is a good move and one of several consolidations
that will come in the future," said Lonnie J. Stephens, president of
the Oklahoma City Chapter of American Society of Appraisers. "I
think we will end up with three major organizations. …