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getting business, need advice

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David kirby

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2002
hi all, i have recently passed the test <2 months ago> here in ga. and i have a mentor who will look over my work. the trouble i am having is gettin work. i have to get my own business. i have went to many banks and mortgage companies and no luck. are there other optoins out there to get my foot in the door so to speak. any advice is welcomed and appreciated as well as pep talks lol.
hope all has a wonderful , safe and blessed holiday season.
thx in advance, david kirby.
 

George Hatch

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
David,

Marketing your mentor will be a lot easier than marketing yourself as a raw trainee. It will also engender a little more good will, and hence some extra attention from your mentor. This extra edge will pay off in the long run because you'll learn much more quickly and won't make as many costly mistakes. Try and bear in mind that our work involves a lot of other people's money, so all but the smallest of mistakes can have grave consequences. This is real money, not pretend money. It's a very serious business. It's not like messing up someone's order at the local choke-n-puke, or shorting a customer some change at the local mall.

Another alternative is to keep on searching for another job with a mentor who actually has some extra work for you. Having more than one source of work is always a plus for a fee appraiser working on a split. It lets you see more than one way to handle problems, and might help to stabilize your work load.

I would say that developing your own clients and trying to limit your mentor's involvement to checking the final product would be the least desirable way to handle this. It is like walking a tightrope without a net, and just as hazardous. That's because almost everything you look at as a newbie is, by definition, over your head. Since you lack experience, you really won't know which assignments to decline. Appraiser competency is a big deal. There is no difference in our business between mistakes made because of incompetency and mistakes via fraud or other criminal activity.

Proper supervision and training of trainees occurs throughout the entire process, not just at the review stage. Matter of fact, a 'mentor' who would simply sign off for a fee without getting involved in your training is really doing you no favors. They certainly aren't setting a very good example for you.

My advice for you is to try and find another mentor, and put the notion of working for yourself aside; at least until you get a permanent license or certification. Appraisers shouldn't work on their own for the first few years, even if they're good.


George Hatch
 

USPAP Compliant

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Excellent post and advice! Great job George!
 

David Riggs

Sophomore Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2002
David,

If you could look in a miror you would see me. I am in the same shoes you are! 8O

The mentor I hooked up with never called with any work. I went on several ride alongs, but after a few months I realized either he didn't want to mess with a wannabe, didn't have enough work for himself or in case I ever sold an appraisal setting himself up for a fee spilt. Perhaps all three.

That was last summer. I did interview with a couple other shops however since I have a full time job (that pays well) that made it nearly impossible to make the leap. I was also not excited about the slave labor these other shops wanted to sign you up for. One guy said 20% for the first 15 reports, then an increase of 5% per 15, up to a max of 45%. For a $300 appraisal at 20% that $60 bucks!! You can beat that at McDee's!

This profession is truely not for the weak of heart, thin skined or those with tight funding. You will starve to death! Also after reading some posts from the "gray haired crew" you wonder if it's even worth the trouble and BS in the long run.

So after a few weeks of dispair this is what I decied to do. I went ahead and bought the $1100 alamode software, had phone lines into the house for fax/phone/internet $100/month, paid the $400/year for the MLS database and shelled out $80 / month for yellow pages add, upgraded my printer to a d135 multifunction hp $550 and several trips to office depot for "stuff". Total $3000 and the formal education about another $1400, for a grand total of about $4500.

Almost a year after passing the state test and moving into trainee status, monday I landed my first appraisal! :D

My "supervisior appraiser" meet me at the house and we did the inspection. I then spent a total of 16 hours bleeding all over the URAR and the mentor had to correct it 3 times. I dropped it in the mail today spilt the $250.00 fee 50% with the super and walked away with $125.00

So to recap David, I think you are better off going to work full-time for someone that has the work. A class mate took the above job I talked about. He has a regular job but get's off early and then works on appraisals. It is slave labor, but he is happy to be working and I am sure looking forward to chewing up the required 2000 hours and moving on.

The path I took required the large cash out at the front and I am positive to be in "trainee status" much much longer. However it did feel very good to get one under the belt and I am looking forward to the next job. Doing it this way is also forcing me to also take on the marketing problem. The above job came from the yellow pages add. It took about 30 days for the first job, so right now I am breaking even on the advertising.(if you want to look at it that way:))

Moving forward I think I am going to track down a loan officer and do whatever it takes to bring in some business, short of sex or breaking the law! :wink:


David
 
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