The secret to a happy life is to find what you love to do and get someone to pay you to do it, says Mark Smeltzer, MAI, SRA, AI-RRS, Director of Operations for DITIO, a premium real estate valuation firm in Pittsburgh, PA. “And that’s what I do.”
With recent MAI and AI-RRS (Appraisal Institute Residential Review Specialist) designations--and 39 years experience in both teaching appraisers and performing appraisals and review work--Mark is one of two AI appraisal professionals in Greater Pittsburgh who holds both MAI designation and AQB (Appraisal Qualifications Board) Certified USPAP Instructor.
And the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. His daughter Alison (also with DITIO) is the youngest AI member in the Pittsburgh Chapter with the SRA designation. “[Alison] is taking this to a new level, and I’m very proud that she’s chosen this profession and has taken it to the level she’s taken in such a short period of time.” Alison’s niche is “unusual residences” and she specializes in bank loan modification programs.
“At the rate she’s going, Alison is going to go a lot further than I have,” says her dad.
Add to DITIO’s staff William Eckert, SRA, who recently joined the firm after a 40 year stint in appraisal review, most recently with PNC Bank performing national and international bank review work. Mark calls William Eckert a “ringer” that with his vast experience further enables DITIO to provide the region with premier bank review service.
“Everyone says they do bank review work, but with us it’s certainly one of our specialties,” he says.
DITIO performs both residential and commercial appraisals and appraisal review services.
Mark spends about 25 weeks a year teaching for the Appraisal Institute “from Portland, Maine to California and from Alaska to Florida.” He’s been a National Instructor for AI since 2004 and loves to “communicate with people coming into my field and sharing my knowledge with them.” The balance of his time is spent “doing and reviewing” appraisals and serving as DITIO’s quality control manager and in-office trainer.
DITIO’s growth can be attributed to “more customer service, less lip service and better products through innovation and not imitation,” says Ronan Jones, DITIO president. “And we really know how to service the banking industry. That pretty much sums up what makes us unique in our market.”
Mark and Alison were recently awarded their designation certificates at the Annual Installation Banquet hosted by the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Chapter of the Appraisal Institute at Montour Country Club in Moon Township. The Appraisal Institute is a global professional association of real estate appraisers, with nearly 19,000 professionals in 60 countries throughout the world.
Mark and the DITIO staff can be reached at (888) 696-9689.