History of Appraisal Institute

The Appraisal Institute was established when the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers (AIREA) and the Society of Real Estate Appraisers (Society) unified in January 1991. AIREA and the Society, founded in 1932 and 1935, respectively, were created to help standardize the appraisal process by promoting professional education and upholding high ethical standards.

With 75 years of history, the Appraisal Institute continues to serve as the foremost organization for real property valuation professionals. Through its designation programs, public affairs outreach efforts, peer review process education and publishing endeavors, the Appraisal Institute maintains its leadership position within the real estate industry and continues to be a major contributor in the American – and now the global – real estate profession.


1932 – AIREA is formed in Cincinnati by 120 leading real estate appraisers from
throughout the country as an affiliate of the National Association of Realtors.

The Appraisal Journal launched in October (called The Journal of the Appraisal Institute).

In November, the Metro New Jersey Chapter becomes the first chartered chapter of the Appraisal Institute.

1935 – The U.S. Building and Loan League resolves to sponsor a society dedicated
to establishing appraisal guidelines and standards. As a result, the Society is

The first SRA designation is conferred upon those who have achieved education
and experience requirements.

1945 – Candidate program leading to the MAI designation is introduced, although
AIREA’s MAI designation dates back to the 1930s.

1961 – The Society opens a Washington, D.C., office to establish a voice among the
leaders of Congress and the federal government.

1969 – The Society initiates the Young Advisory Council (YAC), a series of roundtable
discussions on topics of interest to appraisers and analysts. This concept continues today as the Leadership Development and Advisory Council (LDAC).

1981 – The first translated edition of The Appraisal of Real Estate is published in German. Since then, 14 additional international editions of this essential text have been published.

1987 – AIREA and the Society are founding sponsors of The Appraisal Foundation,
which is established to work with government to create a self-regulatory system.

1989 – Savings and Loan reform legislation becomes a top congressional priority; appraisal reform is attached to this legislation.
The Federal Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 passes. Title XI directs the establishment of state appraisal certification/licensing by July 1, 1991, for federally related transactions.

1991 – AIREA and the Society formally merge, resulting in the creation of the Appraisal Institute

1992 – The Y. T. and Louise Lee Lum Library is established in memory of Y. T. Lum (1903-1977) real estate appraiser, writer, and lecturer from Hawaii and designated member, and his wife, Louise Lee Lum (1909-1963).

1994 – A coalition including the Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Appraisal Institute, formulate standards for electronic data interchange (EDI). Era sees the acceptance of automated valuation models (AVMs) and appraisal management companies (AMCs).

1996 – First issue of Valuation Insights & Perspectives introduced.

2000 – Appraiser News Online (ANO) is introduced. The Appraisal Institute’s Internet-based newsletter provides Candidates, Practicing Affiliates, Affiliates and real estate professionals with news updates and features.

The Appraisal Institute brings appraisal courses to Korea and Turkey. Since then, educational programs have been developed with Germany, Japan and Mexico as well as China, Egypt, Cyrus and Vietnam.

2001 – Fifty years after its first printing, the Appraisal Institute publishes the twelfth edition of The Appraisal of Real Estate.

The Appraisal Institute moves its headquarters to present location at 550 Van Buren St. in Chicago.

2003 – First Appraisal Summit in held in Washington, D.C. Appraisal Institute Candidates, Practicing Affiliates and Affiliates meet with appraisal policy makers to discuss critical industry issues.

First MAI designations are conferred upon Korean appraisers who completed the designation program in their home country.

2004 – National Visibility Campaign is launched to communicate the value of selecting Appraisal Institute Practicing Affiliates and Affiliates, increase client awareness of Appraisal Institute Candidates, Practicing Affiliates and Affiliates, and influence and contribute to the financial success of Appraisal Institute appraisers.

2007 – Celebrating its 75th anniversary, the Appraisal Institute continues to serve its Candidates, Practicing Affiliates and Affiliates and the public as the leading organization for professional real estate appraisers and analysis.