Does anyone have any suggestions on finding a mentor/trainee position? I am searching in the Tampa Bay Area, but I am not having much luck. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions on where I could search, what type of companies, etc.
I have a couple of suggestions, Frank. Ask anyone you know in the banking business; they have daily contact with appraisers and might know who is looking for a trainee.
Secondly, don't get discouraged. I routinely tell callers "no." The only people who work for me are ones who call back again and act really interested. Also, when someone turns you down, ask for a referral to another appraiser who might be interested.
Remember, appraisers are basically training their own competition. I won't train anyone who I think won't be good competition. The slightest hint of unethical thinking and I run the other way.
I was in Real Estate sales. When I let the real estate appraiser into the house I was selling, I started talking to him. I told him about my upcoming test, ect. He told me to call when I got the paperwork. I did and that is how I got some experience. However, he did not have enough work.
If you have any friends in the business, it may help to network, where ever. I also called an appraiser that a lender friend uses and just asked a bunch of basic stupid questions. There is darkness in the begining in anything NEW.
I then went to a web site that combines newspaper journals, and searched, and found another position.
I also have put my name out here and have got some response.
I found that there are different personality appraiser that work very differently. I appreciate the mentorship but I feel some of the wages are difficult to comprehend. I will get those hours.
The following is a post by T. E. Lawrence that I found to be quite interesting and a bit of a different twist than most advice.
Do not give up your day job. I've been at this 5.5 years now, and just went full time last June. Until then at times I thought I was working 3 jobs and only getting paid for one, however, an education does cost money. I figured my first 2-3 years was just that...an education.
Every states rules differ a little. But, I think there is no rule that says you have to do appraisals under a supervisor...as long as those appraisals are for no one but you and your state certification process. Here's how you can gain some hours, but there is no pay and no boss or supervisor.
Get a computer, a digital camera, take the appraisal classes, and get some appraisal software. (some software you can get on 30 day free trials...try several before you make up your mind.) Join your local board of realtors as an affiliate member. Get the MLS books. Go to an open house, explain what you are doing. Write an appraisal on this house. It goes no where but your file. Do a couple, then call an appraiser and offer to buy lunch if they would critique your work. Take your work back to one of your appraisal class instructors with the same offer. Suggest you start with the 2055 form...do several then progress on to the 1004. The 1004 is a ittle more complex in filling out. Each of these reports ought to be worth 5-10 hours of experience. My 1st 3-4 reports I know took 20 hours each. 5 hours was getting chewed out for making mistakes, 5 hours was spent driving back to the inspection site and comps 2 or 3 times because I overlooked something. I bet if you did enough of these, you could walk into an appraiser with some completed reports and they just might pick you up as a trainee, because you have already proven you can stick to it and you are determined. Better you help them, than their competition.
---------------T. E. L.--------------------------------
I've been working with my mentor for about 3 months now. It took me approximately 2 months to find one. I did so by going to the state appraisal site for my state which is "http://www.appraisal.state.az.us/" from here I found the county I was going to find work in and printed a list of every single appraiser in this county, there was about 3,000 appraisers in my county. From this point I would call 10 to 20 appraisers a day and ask if they were interested in bringing aboard a trainee.... I heard NO for the first month. So I needed to take a different approach. I then started to call appraiser and ask for their fax # so I could send them appraisal information. Some would question me and others would just give me the #. I then would fax a cover letter with a resume. Mind you I'm new to the business so I had a very small resume, just the computer experience I posses, military, and the 90 class hours.
Follow-up with these faxes the next day. Ask the appraiser if they have received your resume and what they thought about the opportunity. Keep your resume short, under 1 page. This way, the appraiser has a chance to at least scan your resume and if something catches their eye, you have that much more of a chance of getting your foot in the door. Believe it or not, the only reason my guy called me back was because I followed up with him about 5 different times. Every time I called I got his voice mail. I didn't stop until I spoke to him. Don't give up. There's someone out there.
As much as I hate to say it--if you're not having much luck you could always check out a sweat shop.
The library has a book (don't remember what it's called) that list all the companies, President or Owner & how many employees they have under specific headings. Call the library--ask if they know the book you're talking about (they always do), and go down & copy the appraiser's section for your area.
This will give a rough idea of how many employees a particular office tends to keep on staff. My experience has tought me that the more employees a business has the higher the turn over. I've heard on the news recently that the average American changes jobs every 2 years!!! I couldn't believe it--that's no good for the average American or the employer. At any rate sweat shops tend to have a high turn over.
I would only do this if I felt I couldn't find employment any other place. I got my first job by contacting my future employer continuously over a period of months--be persistent.
Another way to get names is off the HUD website--you can search by city, zip code, etc...