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Advice on entering the Appraisal profession

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DaveSmith1

Freshman Member
Joined
May 29, 2019
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Arizona
I’ll keep this as short as I can because I have several questions:

I’m in the Phoenix area, signed up for the training certification courses, and just completed the first class (procedures). Read mixed things about being in the industry (I’m leaning towards the Certified General route because I have a degree so figure I’d use it). Any honest facts/opinions are helpful because if I decide to go this route it’s a big career change and I’d appreciate some guidance.

Here they are:

-What is the income range once I’m a Certified General Appraiser? Does it go up quickly or will it take another 5-7 years of work to get the high paying jobs. I know a trainee that says once he is a licensed, not even certified, residential appraiser in a couple months he will make close to 6 figures based on his newly licensed coworkers current salaries

-is there a lot of malicious reporting to the board? I’m in a corporation where bad behavior is rampant and am looking into a profession where hard and quality work are rewarded over petty drama and brown nosing

-is technology like a Zillow equivalent of appraisal a serious threat in the near future?

-does a down market hit the industry hard or does it just slow down typically?

Last one (thanks for hanging in there):

- what is the typical workweek? I’m fine working more than 40, is it all reports or a mix of research, field work, etc.

I know locations and appraisal job types are not equal which causes variations in info, so any helpful thoughts to assist me in this career decision are greatly appreciated!

-Dave
 

Tawfik Ahdab

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Oregon
Your query should be posted in the newbies/wannabe appraiser section.
 

Overimprovement

Senior Member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Kentucky
I suggest searching this forum using keywords such as Phoenix, Arizona, trainee, supervisor, etc.

Its a nice career where you set your own hours if you stay independent. Want more $? Work 80 hours/week. Part time income? Work 25. But...very tough industry right now undergoing a potentially massive change in both amount of work and fees, neither positive. Search this forum also for 1004P threads, hybrid, and bifurcated.

Don't believe the lies about appraiser shortages. Simply not true. Most large metro areas are seeing appraisers taking lower and lower fees just to hang on. Do lots of research, talk to appraisers IN your desired market. Talk to lenders, agents, etc. Recently licensed trainees making 6 figures? Seriously doubt that. Even gross income that high seems very dubious.

You will need a good, knowledgeable supervisor for 3-5 years (some may say more, and it will be more for certified general). If you don't have one now, better start looking--they can be tough to find for reasons illustrated on other threads.

I strongly recommend doing all this research before you spend another hour or dime on getting into this field. If 25 year seasoned appraisers are having a hard time making ends meet...Now if you have a secondary income source while you are training and trying to get your own clients, that would help, but making money out of the gate? Fairly unlikely, esp. if you are in the Phoenix metro area.
 

ucbruin

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2014
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Massachusetts
I suggest searching this forum using keywords such as Phoenix, Arizona, trainee, supervisor, etc.

Its a nice career where you set your own hours if you stay independent. Want more $? Work 80 hours/week. Part time income? Work 25. But...very tough industry right now undergoing a potentially massive change in both amount of work and fees, neither positive. Search this forum also for 1004P threads, hybrid, and bifurcated.

Don't believe the lies about appraiser shortages. Simply not true. Most large metro areas are seeing appraisers taking lower and lower fees just to hang on. Do lots of research, talk to appraisers IN your desired market. Talk to lenders, agents, etc. Recently licensed trainees making 6 figures? Seriously doubt that. Even gross income that high seems very dubious.

You will need a good, knowledgeable supervisor for 3-5 years (some may say more, and it will be more for certified general). If you don't have one now, better start looking--they can be tough to find for reasons illustrated on other threads.

I strongly recommend doing all this research before you spend another hour or dime on getting into this field. If 25 year seasoned appraisers are having a hard time making ends meet...Now if you have a secondary income source while you are training and trying to get your own clients, that would help, but making money out of the gate? Fairly unlikely, esp. if you are in the Phoenix metro area.

What you shared seems so sad and currently so true....
 

Mr Rex

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
I’ll keep this as short as I can because I have several questions:

I’m in the Phoenix area, signed up for the training certification courses, and just completed the first class (procedures). Read mixed things about being in the industry (I’m leaning towards the Certified General route because I have a degree so figure I’d use it). Any honest facts/opinions are helpful because if I decide to go this route it’s a big career change and I’d appreciate some guidance.

Here they are:

-What is the income range once I’m a Certified General Appraiser? Does it go up quickly or will it take another 5-7 years of work to get the high paying jobs. I know a trainee that says once he is a licensed, not even certified, residential appraiser in a couple months he will make close to 6 figures based on his newly licensed coworkers current salaries

-is there a lot of malicious reporting to the board? I’m in a corporation where bad behavior is rampant and am looking into a profession where hard and quality work are rewarded over petty drama and brown nosing

-is technology like a Zillow equivalent of appraisal a serious threat in the near future?

-does a down market hit the industry hard or does it just slow down typically?

Last one (thanks for hanging in there):

- what is the typical workweek? I’m fine working more than 40, is it all reports or a mix of research, field work, etc.

I know locations and appraisal job types are not equal which causes variations in info, so any helpful thoughts to assist me in this career decision are greatly appreciated!

-Dave

The folks that suckered him into taking the qualification course are the only ones that would present such BS. CG is different. Contact some of the Commercial Appraisal firms in your area and ask if they need help before you spend a bunch of money. Many CGs on this site and others think that they are immune to the "AI" zillow type competition, but I have heard differently, particularly that Commercial loan apps are vetted more thoroughly, LTV requirements are higher, and as with all Real Estate there is a move to a different approach to the dynamic between value of the collateral and the borrowers ability to pay the mortgage, Credit first, value of collateral mortgaged wayyyy secondary.
 

Michigan CG

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Michigan
If I had a child that wanted to be an appraiser I would let them on the following conditions:

They took all Appraisal Institute classes.
They were going to pursue a Certified General License.

As to making six figures by only getting licensed vs. being certified residential I have a hard time anyone is going to do that in a short period of time. Many lenders will not take licensed appraisers and many will not take anyone with less than five years of being licensed.

Many threads on this forum go into income and the average residential appraiser makes about $60,000/year after expenses and the average certified general makes about $90,000/year. Those numbers are a little skewed in that the average pay is lowered by many part-time residential people and people who work in assessing offices where they might get $15-$20/hour. The CG number is also skewed in that there are many CG appraisers who do absolutely no commercial work and are basically residential appraisers. Many CG appraisers (like myself) do commercial and residential. The appraisers who do only commercial work typically make substantially more than $90,000 per year.
 

NP_MAI

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2018
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
Don't go residential, those guys are getting squeezed hard. Also, your ceiling on earnings is lower.

I would be shocked to see a new trainee making six figures in the Phoenix metro. I am happy if a trainee doesn't end up costing me more than he is generating in revenue for the first year. It will take you 2-3 years to have any idea of what you are doing in the commercial appraisal world. Then your supervisor (if he/she is good) will give you more complex work and you will begin to realize how much you don't know.

All that said, if you get in with one of the nationals and are willing to work your tail off for the first three years, you could certainly be in six figures in some metros. Ultimately it may take you more hours per week in Phoenix to get to six figures than it would in the northeast, Texas, or California. Can you do it? Yes, but it might take 60 hours a week instead of 40 or 50.
 
D

Deleted member 128537

Guest
This is my 2 cents. I’m not a certified general. BUT if you want to make a good living I suggest after you have your license to move to an area where there are few appraisers. Most CG’s do residential work as well. But there are places that have a shortage and that’s where you can set up shop and live comfortably. I turn down commercial work all the time as a certified residential appraiser. I was going to get my CG, but hard to do in a rural area where I lived. Now I’m 64 and ready to retire. If you live in Phoenix that’s a great place to get the license. But it may not be a great place to make a living due to cost of living and competition.
 

devin

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2013
Professional Status
General Public
State
California
A lot of appraisers will try to steer you in the other direction, mainly because they fear you'll become their competition, so you can't listen to the negative, if it's something you really want, then go for it, do your research, yeah you can make 6 figures as a certified residential appraiser as well as a certified general, but not out the gate, it's just like any other profession, it's gonna take time and experience, don't focus so much on the Money, as much as focusing on the skill to become a good appraiser. I will say since you have a degree already go for C/G license, because it's the highest license, and you won't be limited., you'll be able to do residential and commercial. A key component to this puzzle is to find a good mentor to train under, that way when it's your turn to fish, you know how to survive. Good luck and welcome to appraising, Remember focus on the positive, leave the negative with the people that's not looking to succeed.
 
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