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Do you use an assistant?

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KD247

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
I've been racking my brain trying to figure out how to incorporate an administrative assistant into my business.

This year is starting off at a good pace and I would love to increase my volume. However, I don't bend the rules (drive every comp, etc.) and don't want to take responsibility for a trainee's work.

For those of you that successfully utilize an assistant:

What tasks do you have them perform?
How long did it take for them to become profitable?
How are they paid (hourly, profit-sharing, etc.)?
Any other thoughts?

I can think of one good reason not to hire an assistant - payroll taxes! Any others?
Thanks for your input!
 

vargasteve

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
I have a full time assistant (non-appraiser) for 4 months now. It has been working well for me, however this individual brings alot to the table in general computer skills. Tasks are, file creation, flood zones, mapping comps, packaging, ect.... also entering data on appraisals. Assistant meets me at my first appointment & measure a few times a week (training for him), back to the office & create as much of the first file for me as possible untill I come back with 2nd & 3rd. However, I don't know if the relationship will last ( he was out of a job) & I needed help... we'll see - he's still in the prospective / thinking about it mode. This is my second try, 1st try I realized 2nd computer, networking is essential.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I utilize an assistant. Mine takes new orders, creates the file, pull taxe cards etc. Sets it up in the computer and prints out the first page of the URAR or whatever form. I do the inspection, fil out the first page of the form. I dictate all of my comments. (I fill out only the data sections, all comment sections dictated. All neighborhoods in a database) I select the cmparable sales I want to use and give her the file and the tape. She types it an hands it back to me. I do the cost approach, adjustments, final comments, put in the pics, make the map. Sign it and hand it back ot her to EDI. (95% of our work is edi).

This system has allowed me to be very productive. I must tell you that my assistant is my wife. When I got to the point of needing to hire someone to take that task I ran the numbers. Based on what I would have to pay someone that would stay long term, benefits, taxes etc, Economically, I was better off having her quit her job and work with me. That was seven years ago and I do not regret it at all. The plus is, I can trust her to handle the payments, talk to clients, etc.

Good Luck.
 

Ron in AR

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arkansas
There are times when I think about hiring someone for clerical work and errands but my office is in my home and I have 2 daughters living here. Having someone else in my home would do away with a lot of the freedom I have being self employed and working at home.

Too many things would change. I'd have to shower before 1 o'clock in the afternoon and I couldn't work in my underwear anymore.

I did have an assistant at one time but teaching someone the ins & outs of this business is like teaching someone from Arkansas to speak French (it ain't likely to happen very easily). Besides, it's too difficult to find someone that actually has a brain AND the desire to work.

Ron in AR
 

airphoto

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Ron,

I've always suspected it, but it's nice to have someone else admit that they shower at 1.00 pm, and work in their underwear ..

:lol:
 

jtrotta

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Think the first question should be where did you last work :?:

If it was a cake walk job, kiss em goodbye :)

If it wasn't a major Hurry Up position, kiss em goodbye :)

If they need benefits, workmans comp. etc.-show em the door :D

If they expect to get paid in a timely manner - show em the door 8O

Well I guess that about wraps it up for my assistants 8)

It must be all that mileage that brings out the best in me :?
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
I don't have an appraiser assistant, but I do have an excellent administrative assistant (she's the glue that keeps this place together).
Takes orders, does sales pitches, handles annoying clients and pushy mortgage brokers (I usually end up cursing them out, so she keeps them away from me), does all preliminary research (plat maps, tax records, flood maps, etc.), and processes reports out. Also does accounts payable and receivable. She worth her weight in gold. Given the lack of any work ethics these days, I'm lucky to have her.
 

Will Granger

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Assistants are good if they are good. I closed my office at the end of 2000 and don't have an adult day care center now. I do the $8/hour stuff and don't mind it. A full-time helper is going to cost you $20k. How much do you have to make in addition to afford that person. I'm interested in working less for the same pay. I want more pay, but I can't work more than 24/7/365/50years!
My wife used to work for me and she was the best, but we started playing and having lunch dates and such. I moved her office to the house with computer etc. She quit and went back to being a nurse. She's really good at that. I like the medical insurance benefits.
Think long and hard before having more people to be responsible for. 8)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
"teaching someone from Arkansas to speak French " HEY! Then why are my buddies always saying "Pardon my French."? The other night I colored the air so blue my dog got up and left the office and went into the living room.
Ter in AR
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I agree with Will. My assistants use me not me using them. I am getting a real belly full of it and will be turning them loose soon and getting a secretary, retired lady part time.
 
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