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2 Job Possibilities

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HelenTestin

Sophomore Member
Joined
May 10, 2003
Happy Mothers Day!

I am glad I found this forum. Right now, I am trying to decided in which direction to go with my appraisal career. Well, it really has not started yet, but I have two offers to get it going.

Offer #1 is from a good friend I graduated from College wth 12 years ago. 50/50 split fee. She is a 1 person business, but has done well over the years as far as I can tell. She is Cert Res and was first licenced in 1996. She says that having me on, and eventually trained, will help her be able to expand her business.

Offer #2 is from a another person I took my classes with. Th deal is, we exchanged #'s and made a deal that if something cool came up, we would call eachother. At any rate, he landed a spot in a 14 person Appraisal Company. Looks like they have a ton of volume. Split fee would be about 40%, but I suspect more work orders.

Ok, all that being said, I think both are more than good possibilities. I feel both have their possibilities. Option #1 would seem safer if business slows down. She could keep me on part time as I continue to accumulate hours. Option #2 seems like more money might be possible, but when things slow down, last one in, first one out, will probably go into effect.

So, my question to everyone here, the Yoda's of Appraisal, deals with your experiences in starting out. Knowing what you now know about Appraisal, would you consider the one person appraisal business or the shop to be a better way to break into the business? I really appreciate the input!

Helen
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
Nice!
#1) In the Appraisal shop with 14 appraisers, how many are certified? Most of the larger shops I know of consist of mostly trainees. When the volume is high, it usually means, not always but most often means, there is a high possibllity that turn time and number hitting is more important than quality.

#2) 40% of how much? What is the fee? 40% of $250 is $100. 50% of $300 is $150. What does that high volume shop typically charge per appraisal? What does your friend typically charge per appraisal?

#3) If your friend has been an appraiser since 1996 and works alone, is she a member of this forum? What is her typical fee? Does she concentrate on the quality of her appraisals and keep herself up-to-date with USPAP and guidelines? That goes for the shop with 14 also.

4) Last hired - first fired is usually correct.

I don't want to push you to make your decision one way or the other. Just carefully look at each place, make sure you choose the one that will turn you into an honest to goodness appraiser instead of a number hitter that has no clue how to actually appraise.

Welcome and good luck!!!!
 

xmrdfghap

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
It may be my personality (or lack of it) but a large shop would never enter into my plans. Maybe the volume/money is less at the one person shop, but you will be able to get hands on consultations whenever you need it. One of the things you have to be able to do, as a trainee, is to listen to the "war stories" and learn from their experiences.

I do not want to put down the large shop, they may be as ethical and conscientious as the one person shop. They may be able to resist pressure. But if you want a variety of work, If you want a close personal learning experiance, I would opt for the one person office.
 

HelenTestin

Sophomore Member
Joined
May 10, 2003
#1) In the Appraisal shop with 14 appraisers, how many are certified? Most of the larger shops I know of consist of mostly trainees. When the volume is high, it usually means, not always but most often means, there is a high possibility that turn time and number hitting is more important than quality.
>>>>>>>>>.

Their appears to be a couple certs along with the owner. Their also seems to be a fair amount of trainees.


#2) 40% of how much? What is the fee? 40% of $250 is $100. 50% of $300 is $150. What does that high volume shop typically charge per appraisal? What does your friend typically charge per appraisal?>>>>>>>>>>

The Charge for a URAR seems to be the same. My friend does a very limited amount of drivebys. She says she does a few here and there just to stay sharp. She states she can get us more than enough Appraisal work where the fee splits will be larger along with the fee. The Shop does everything and everything. It appears volume is the key.


#3) If your friend has been an appraiser since 1996 and works alone, is she a member of this forum? What is her typical fee? Does she concentrate on the quality of her appraisals and keep herself up-to-date with USPAP and guidelines? That goes for the shop with 14 also.

My friend became a trainee in 94, then finished her training right on time at the 2 year mark in 1996. She worked at a big shop, and said she could not get out of there fast enough. She states it was tough to go it alone after 2 years, but, she has a friend who is a Cert Gen, who she formed a relationship and helped ( for a fee of course), whenever the situation called for it. She still calls him from time to time now. She does go to many courses on appraisal and is chasing some designations, i am not sure which ones. At the shop, they also seem very knowledgable in USPAP.

I think i might prefer working for my friend, but as a new person to the field, and with mentoring not so easy to come by, I want to make sure not to make the wrong decision. Also, I dont believe I am in a position to work for both. They both use different software and seem to have different out looks, and training and learning one way seems easier starting out, as Appraisal is tough enough as it is.
 

Willie

Senior Member
Joined
May 30, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Helen, I think I would go with the friend. I hope I'm not telling you wrong. But if you can get along with the one person, it will be the best choice.

My first job landed 1/93. It was with a big Appraisal firm that did everything. 3 months in all the residential folks left, except me, as I was the last one in. They didn't need any help on the commercial end. So I was job hunting again. Finally land somewhere and made a good friend doing residential. Left there, went to the big name Commercial Appraiser for a couple of years. Decided commercial wasn' t my thing and went back to the small shop. Worked there several years. Still friends with the one guy I worked hand and hand with and speak with him 3 +- times a week.

Please let us know what you decide on this thread. It will be interesting. Congratulations on having options.
 

HelenTestin

Sophomore Member
Joined
May 10, 2003
This is a very strange business. When I started researching, I thought that a big Appraisal Shop must be the way to go. I worked as a Claims Consultant in Property/Home Owners Claims for a long time, and I guess I just got use to the big corporate world. Of course, I also finally burned out on that profession after the endless amount of litigation involved just wore me out. At any rate, now I am thinking that being involved in a small operation might be just the change of pace I have been looking for. Not that the work will be any less demanding, but the more personal mentoring approach might be nice. I recall starting out in Insurance and having 100 claims dumped on my desk, and being told to "get going right away". Very little training was involved and you just had to learn on your own.

I can tell this board is going to be a valuable resource.
Hopefully, I make the right choice. This business seems like a good one.

Helen
 

wyecoyote

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Gvmt Agency, FNMA, HUD, VA etc.
State
Washington
Helen,

As I see it here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

Working for your friend may strain your friendship. Depending on how quickly you pick it up and how many mistakes you make. Is she any good at training someone? Has she trained someone in the past? You know your friend what type of person is she calm cool and collected or rash explosive at times?

The good perks working there are that you get alot more hands on training. You can learn more than the average trainiee at a big fee shop. Plus depending on what type of person she is makes you relax more.

The big fee shop check out what their training is like does someone go with you and talk you through it? How much hands on will there be? Will someone help you at all times?

The big thing about a large shop is that you can bounce ideas off multiple people and come up with different ideas on how to handle the situation. Much like this forum. The bad thing about large shops is that they are more worried about turn time than quality (most of the larger shops not all though).

Look into it and really consider your friend's personality.

Ryan
 

Randy Beigh

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Helen

Pamela asked the right question, but not necessarily for the right reason. Getting paid 40 or 50% of whatever fee is a reasonable question. But, if the employer is treating you as independent contractor(IC) and you have to buy all your supplies, then that % drops by at least 15%. That is because you have to pay your own taxes and buy your own equipment.

If, however, you are to be treated as an employee and the employer pays for everything, then this is a good figure and it is actual. Treating you as an IC doesn't tell you the whole picture.

Sometimes, it isn't the percentage that counts. It's asking the right questions.

Now, as to which company to choose, while I can't answer that, here are some more questions to ponder. What is the reputation of the companies? How long have they been in business? How long at the present location? How much work do they have? Further, what happens when the refinance boom is over? What will happen to you? If, in the larger company, there are more than one other trainee, how will you be treated, which is to ask who's going to train you? That is all that I can think of, offhand.

Good luck on whoever you choose. You are lucky. Many people who write in here can't find one person to look at them and you found 2.
 

Michael Reilly

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Helen,

The biggest issue I would look to uncover is, which firm has clients that will allow an assistant/apprentice to inspect by themselves and allow a supervisory to check the box “did not” inspect. Those types of clients are few and far between which means 1 of 2 things; either the smaller shop will not have much work for you or the mentor/supervisor will commit fraud by checking the “did inspect” box without actually visiting the property. I'm not saying that larger firms don't do this, what I am saying is they may have more clients that allow the owner to do it right. Also find out if either firm has a documented review process/procedure, based on your comments your friend sounds like she is new to this whereas the larger more experienced group may have more defined procedures.

MReilly-NY
ACE
 

Willie

Senior Member
Joined
May 30, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Helen, MReilly stated "either the smaller shop will not have much work for you or the mentor/supervisor will commit fraud by checking the “did inspect” box without actually visiting the property. "

Amazingly mreilly omitted one other possibility. Your friend will go with you, inspect the property with you, and teach you to do it right, and then the "box" issue won't be a problem.

Also, he stated "Allow the Owner to do it right". By right he means let the owner NOT go with you and teach on site, but allow them to sign off on it anyway.
 
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