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Getting in the Appraisal Profession

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Jeremy Noland

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2003
Professional Status
General Public
State
Kansas
It seems that many appraisers (from what is written inthis forum) either hate their profession or see it ending sometime soon (AVM's). I am enrolled in some classes in Kansas City and it seems like a great profession. Can make a good amount of money, with hard work of course. I have talked to over 50 appraisers and all have no need for a trainee. It seems that this profession WILL die soon; not because of AVM's, banks, etc., but from the lack of appraisers wanting to train new people. I even let them know I would work for pennies, work long hours, and sign a non-compete disclosure. I know it is a pain to have a trainee (more time, make less, liability, trainee leaving, etc). But without these new people coming in, who will be the new blood. Maybe the Appraisal Boards should step in and make it a license requirement to train new appraisers every few years. Maybe that is a bad idea, but it would keep this profession going for years to come. After all, who is going to fight the banks and mortgage companies when there is only 1 appraiser left.
 

Tim Hicks (Texas)

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
Me.

It is any employers right to choose whether they want to hire somebody. Appraising is just like any other job, you have to find the one that is hiring and hope you are the best qualified. There is no conspiracy. Many appraisers are tired or potential appraisers who want a job, but don't want to work. It takes a special dispositon to be an appraiser, not anyone can do it, but if you have the right stuff you will do well. It is just like any other job.

No, I am not hiring.
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
me.

Jeremy:

I have an idea, why don't you post a $25,000 fee for some appraiser to train you, realize that they will be working for minimum wage during the intital 6-9 month portion of your training, and then for free on the entire tail end. Someone will bite, but you may not get what you paid for.

You see there is a reason many appraisers are concerned about training! They have all the liability, a tremendous burdon in expolaining that reality has little to do with the classes you just took at great cost. And when it is all done, if you are as fired up about hte big$$ as it sounds, you are going to hit the door running at the tail end of your training EVEN if you don't steal a single client, your are providing no benefit to the person who did all that work.

If you are very serious about wanting to work I have a few contacts, but I would NOT reccomend you to them if you are anywhere as brash as this post makes you sound.

Read the whole Newbies forum paying particular attention to the posts By Doug (Montana) and other worties. It is all here as to how to get yoru first job. Keeping it is up to you.

Most folks don't really want to appraise, they want a paycheck for nuttin and a car for free.

If you are REAL about your desire to join the profession, go forth but whine no more, otherwise don't bother us. :evil:
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
You are exactly right about some things. But I work to eat not visa versa. I can take on a trainee. Have 3 orphans now. 2 are Cert. Res. and I can't get them to lift a finger for anything but a house and lot or small acreage. The other would tackle anything but lacks the skills to do so. This week I have had to correct two reports - 1 of my subs moved the house into the next town....how dumb a mistake is that? Yeah, we all have made them, but these mistakes are found hours before closing and "we need it fixed now!" Which means I FIX IT and waste about 2 hr. of my time. The sub has already been paid and merrily upon their way. Next we needa 'fourth comp" with a shop building on it like the subject....the sub will get to do that over and I can hear them bellyache for a week.

I have been in this profession for 12 years. 2002 will make the third year that I have achieved a net income as high as I made in 1980 working in the oil business [we ain't talking inflation adjusted either]. After Desert Storm, I basically went broke and had to switch careers. I think for the work, and especially the increasing LIABILITY (read risk, remember the relationship between cap rates and risk??? Higher risk ought to return higher income????) we are badly underpaid. You have enormous expectations of income that will not materialize or you are going/learning under/ and/or approve of the "hit the numbers and crank out the drive bys" appraising that has given this profession a bad name.

Yes we complain. That is common to the human animal. Do we like what we do? Yes we do...I just have become a little more than disenchanted with the lawsuits, threats, pressure and underwriting stupidity that exists. It did not exist for years after I started. It was probably 1995 before I had my first mort. co. bluntly instructing me to inflate a value...I didn't and I don't have a mortgage client (still stay 60 hr./week busy.)

As long as I have to take 100% responsibility for a subcontractor (read trainee) work, then each sub only doubles my risk with little reward outside of taking so big a piece of the fee pie, the trainee is living off peanuts. I refuse to pay help peanuts - even if that is all they are worth at that time. I don't need to be trying to train someone who is distracted by a cut off notice in the mail, can't afford a reliable car to drive, or can't be reached because they are bussing tables at Furr's Cafeteria so they can heat the house.

To do it right, I should spend from 1 - 3 hours double checking any report my signature goes on. And I don't mean just for a few weeks, I mean EVERY report I sign even if it is someone with vast more experience than me, I need to read every word, correct every mistake, and view every comp. That is exactly what you are certifying on the URAR...or have you read the text of the certification?

You are right. The average age of appraisers is over 50. We will die of old age before enough people can be properly trained to replace us. Eventually the market will have to pay more for us, thus I see a much increased use of AVM's and appraisers will need to be more and more geared to doing complex property, commercial property, Business Enterprise values, etc. We will have to be much smarter and more generalized appraisers in the future.

One question for you. Why would anyone want to suffer 2-3 years of serfdom at $75 a pop fee splits to learn a trade when you can get paid a living wage going to work in a similar skill position? And, soon you will have to have starved in college for 4 years minimum THEN go another 3 yr. to get certified, which is no guarntee of financial success. Why wait until you are 30 years old before you can make a decent living? Most appraisers need experience from ad valorem or insurance adjusting as a background. Something that pays decently and does not expect you to train yourself at your own expense. Good luck, I hope you have the financial resources to endure the next 2-3 years until you can make a decent living......keep looking someone will be willing to train you.

terrel
 

Jeremy Noland

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2003
Professional Status
General Public
State
Kansas
Thanks Terrel for the feedback. I was a mortgage broker for a few years and the appraisers I met "seemed" to be happy and enjoy their freedom. Money is somewhat a motivator (in the long term) but being happy about what I do is more important. I know the work is tough, long, and can be demanding, but that is what I look for in a career. Lee Ann, thanks for your feedback as well. I am not sure how to take the "brash" and"whining" comments though. I see your point about how appraisers work for minimum wage when training. Maybe the joy of training someone will make up for that though. Just kidding! Thanks again for all your comments.
 

Willie

Senior Member
Joined
May 30, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Tennessee
THis month, I have been doing this for 10 years. I'm am 33 years old. I didn't know a soul in the appraisal biz., when I got in and it was tough. So don't complain to me, because I did it. That should be an encouragement to you.

That being said, I have 3 younger business minded siblings. I neither encouraged them or discouraged them to become an appraiser. None of them did. There has been a cloud over the profession the entire time I have been in this biz.

You don't state your age or education. I can tell you what a man told me 10 years ago. He was in his mid 40's at the time. He told me to get my *** back in school. I still don't know if he was right but he probably was. I do know that a pharmacist friend of mine works 40 hour a week w' benefits, counting pills and makes $45/hr. That's 90K w' benes. Not bad for only 5 years of school. I would say if things stay the same he will be pulling 150K in another 10 years. Keep in mind that 90K now is net salary for only 40 hours a week. Plus his hourly rate does what all health care does, goes up 15% a year. Our fees stay the same, regs increase. Tech offsets this somewhat. Just some thoughts.

PS. I made something like $15K first year, $20K second year, $25K third year, working my butt off each year.
 

Rob Bodkin

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Washington
Jeremy,

Thanks for the "fresh" perspective.

Don't let the negativity get you down. I agree that there is a lot of that here, but there is also a lot of really valuable information and council. If I were new and reading a lot of the comments here I might get dicouraged as well.

When I started appraising for my father, in 1991 fresh out of the navy all of the "old school" appraisers had nothing but bad things to say about the changing laws (certification), mortgage brokers and incompetant Realtors. They were also scared to death that computers would be replacing us before I would be able to get my ticket.

12 years later I have the job of my dreams, make a very comfortable 6 figure income, have clients I like and respect who feel the same for me and am generally happier in my work than any of my friends.

Sure we deal with stress and pressures and incompetance at times, but would all of the complainers rather be a plumber, work on the flight deck of a carrier, tend bar or frame houses for a living? I've done all of those and I wouldn't trade this for the world. If this was easy and stress free then everyone would do it, but there is a reason it is called work. In Seattle a school teacher makes 30K, a cop 40K. Not a day goes by that I don't thank my H.P. (not a calculator or computer) that I have been blessed with the opportunity to live here and enjoy such a rewarding work life.

Finding the right mentor can be a challange, but hang in there, you'll find that right shop and then the fun begins.

Good luck

Rob Bodkin
Freestone Partners
 

Christopher Sotere

Freshman Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
California
Hey Rob,
Nice positive reply, but I'm puzzeled about that "blessed with the opportunity to live here" line? Seattle?? :lol:

I'amm still a newbie and LOVE this forum.
Chris
Los Angeles, CA
 

Rob Bodkin

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Washington
The blessed part was mostly in reference to Seattle, though the U.S. as a whole is another part but Seattle in specific. While I am admitadly very biased, with the exception of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia I've never lived in a more beautiful spot.

The work blesing is primarily a relatively high fee schedule and great data.

We have very reliable county data on-line through Metroscan or the County direct, though going direct to the county is not nearly as productive, and we have a great MLS for the Realtor stuff and confirmations.

When I first started, we were still going down to the courthouse and using the microfiche and the MLS was still publishing sales books for comps.

There are a lot of locations in the U.S. that still operate that way today, or where appraisers have only the local MLS for there primary data.

We are able to produce more high quality, reliably supported work today than we ever dreamed of and that is because of our data sources being so convienient. You will probably enjoy the same thing in Southern Cal.

Good Luck.

Rob Bodkin
Freestone Partners
 
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