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Frustrated

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Benjamin

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2002
I have mailed more than 40 letters to Southern California appraiser companies (Riverside and San Bernardino counties) offering to work without any fees in order to get experience. I have an Appraiser Trainee license as well as a 4 year college degree. I even have a year of law school - so I know I can learn quickly. I have a home computer, digital camera and a new truck. I haven't had any responses to my letters and it's been a several weeks. What am I doing wrong? I don't want to give up, but I am getting extremely frustrated. :( Any suggestions :?:
 

TEL2002

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Louisiana
Try to visit the appraisers...The last few months everyone has been buried with work and there has been little time to respond to anything that is not necessary.

Offer to hold the dumb end of the tape 'for free' as an opportunity to learn. The right personal presentation on your part should go a long ways to finding a mentor. SELL YOURSELF!!!!
 

Bruce Aseltine

Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2002
Dear Benjamin,

I am going to be in the same position myself come June. My advise, for what its' worth, is to try to find an Appraiser 1 position at the County Assessor's office. To qualify for the State BOE Temporary Certification to assess property for income tax purposes, all that you need is 4 years of college, or relevant experience and college to equal 4 years. I only have 3 years of college, so they have deemed me "unqualified". You may want to try it, since you have the Degree. After a year or so (2000 hours), you can break out and take the Residential Appraiser's license and start appraising on your own.

If you are not interested in a County Position, then you may want to contact a bank and ask to speak to a Chief Appraiser to find if there are any "trainee" positions available. If that is not what you want, then look at the OREA web site (OREA.CA.GOV) and search for all Appraisers in your area and send mail to all of them (that's what I am doing). I have mailed about 60 within the past 3 days and have actually received 4 responses. No one is hiring presently, but I don't have my Trainee license yet either.

Hang in there and good luck and God Bless America, :p

Bruce - future Appraiser
 

Dee Dee

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Visiting appraisers is probably your best shot. Even if they don't want to take on an apprentice, perhaps they can refer you to another appraiser who will. That's how I got my foot in a door about 4 years ago.
You might also try local lenders to see if they know of any appraisers who might want some help. Not all appraisers advertise, many have established clients and they don't need to.
Did you meet other people in your appraisal classes who have started working somewhere? Maybe there's some room for another appraiser at their job.
You need to get out there, pound some pavement and shake some hands.
Taking on a trainee is a long term commitment on the part of any established appraiser, they'll want to size you up. After all, they'll be signing their name and staking their license on your work. For what it's worth (and this might tick off a few other appraisers in this forum), I believe that having college degrees isn't nearly as important as being articulate, honest, hard working and dedicated to learning the profession.
Best of luck to you...outside of having to establish my own clients after I left my mentor, just getting someone to take me as a trainee was one of the most frustrating hurdles.
 

Bryan (OK)

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Has anyone had experience as a Trainee working independently (my startup company) with a Licensed to sign off? I am just getting ready to start soliciting business in about 10 days (once the board gets my Licensed Trainee certificate out the door!).

I have two appraisers, both with significant experience that have agreed to review my work and sign off for a reasonable fee. I know the mortgage brokers may be reluctant, so I am trying to lean on the veterans many years of experience to create a comfort level initially. If I can just get my foot in the door with 3-4 clients, I will prove my worth.

Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated. Some good information in the previous posts.

Thanks :lol: ,

Bryan
 

Dan/Fla

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Benjamin

Getting appraisers to want to put their license on the line for a letter is not going to happen, at least by appraisers which, I hope you want to learn from. It took me 6 months after passing my test to get my 1st job in business. This is a business were good appraisers are slow and very cautious to hiring just anyone, The reason for this is sound. 1st like I said you want to make sure you get someone you can trust to do timely, quality, and above all give an honest appraisal, and not just hit the numbers. If all appraisers just hit the number, why have an appraisal. You want someone that will appraise a property. 2nd You as associate will have access to the files, and they have to trust you will not take some of his (her) clients when you get Certified. 3rd They want to know that when you have to talk to a client, or a borrower that you have the manners to not P--- them off and lose business that the owner has worked to build. No this is not an easy business to break into. Because most are owner/managed and this business it their business, it is what puts a roof over their head and feeds the family. Personal contact will always work the best, and keep trying; it is well worth the wait.

Bryan (OK)

No. Nor would I let anyone work for me that I do not have control over; especially a new person. Nor would I think that you can be New in business and work independently. You are setting yourself up for failure, a lawsuit/ fraud or jail time, or all the above. This not because you are dishonest, I have no Idea what kind of person you are. This is an easy profession after you get to know it. Though there are many problems that come up that well get you in a world of S--- if you do not handle it right. Read through the forum there are many Appraisers with over ten years experience, that are still asking questions, and help of others. What they do know and are smart enough to admit that there is a problem here and I want some advice. With out experience you may not even realize there is a problem. I have a better question for you to asked, look of this forum and asked some of the appraisers here how many of them would have started this way.

I have two appraisers, both with significant experience that have agreed to review my work and sign off for a reasonable fee.
That scares me!

Better offer an appraiser for a larger percentage if you bring work to them. Then work with them, and get someone that you see face to face daily, or at least a few times a week.

Ok that is my 2 cents worth. and probably not worth that much

Dan
 

Bryan (OK)

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Dan,

Thanks for you perspective. I appreciate your opinion and experience. The approach I'm considering seems positive in some ways:

1. I won't be soliciting any business from clients that Licensed counterparts have an existing relationship with (excuse the grammer).

2. I won't be a rogue appraiser. All of my work must be reviewed for accuracy and quality by the Licensed appraisers. I have been through a week long, hands on class (8 students:1 instructor) where we appraised two SFR beginning to end. Not simple SFR's either. I am not stating that this single class experience has prepared me for the real world. I agree that ignorance of what to look for in terms of red flags is a problem. This has been addressed to a degree by the class and future handholding at the subject properties.

3. Both Licensed appraisers that have agreed have many years of experience, Certified license levels, and know the area well. Initially, I would be accompanied on the inspections. I can have contact frequently with these men to discuss problems.

4. My corporate background & college education required strict attention to detail.

I understand your statement about control. I previously managed a company with oversight of 50 employees. I can't imagine not being in control. However, guidance might be a more accurate description of working relationships. Nonetheless, the Licensed appraisers will have control since FRT's will not allow trainee designation only. Therefore, the stick is in their hand. I must have their approval or no appraisal.

I want to reiterate that I value your opinion. I have followed this forum for about three months now and have great respect for the regulars like yourself. I am just trying to make a career change in my late 30's where I will be in more control of my life (if that's possible!!). I don't expect a rose garden, as I know there will be problems yet to be seen.

I don't blame existing appraisers for shying away from mentoring for the reasons you mentioned and more. Fortunately, one of the Licensed's is extremely well respected and connected in this community. He is also semi-retired. Only works on special occasions of his choosing.

Does this post warm you to the approach I am considering?

Best Regards,
Bryan
 

Dan/Fla

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Bryan

First I will wish you the best of luck, From a business point of view I would love a have a new hire that can bring Business to the table.

I too started when I was past 30 in management most of my adult life, I had 3 companies that in all cases I was making a good living at. Then sold out from under me. So I knew after the last one I was going to control my life and work to having my own company.


You have started on the correct track, with this forum; my belief is that the ones, which read this forum, are all trying to improve themselves. I know appraisers, which can not be bothered. And I am sure there are others not reading this forum because they are the ones a lot of us complain about, and they do not want to be reminded what they are doing is wrong.
Yes you had the class, believe me we all had that same class and a lot more too. If your class was like mine I learned less then 1/2 of 1% of what it takes to be a qualified appraiser. Please spend many many hours listening to these trainers, if they been around as you say they have forgot 10 times more then you know right now.

Just for information if I had my way an assistant would need 5 years to go out on their own. Yes I took the Certified Class after 2 years, but never took the test, because I did not personally think I was ready. I waited the 5 years; I feel I am a better appraiser because I did.

My 2 cents

Dan
 

Bryan (OK)

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Dan,

Thanks for your candid and sincere input. There is no substitute for experience. I have also considered the possibility of going to work for an appraisal company locally to cut my teeth. I know there is a lot for me to learn.

Happy Days,

Bryan
 
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