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Help. Interview tomorrow 9/19

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DanWaechter

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
California
I am currently completing my education for my Trainee license and have been applying for Trainee positions. Just got a call today for an interview with what sounds to be a medium sized appraisal company. They have two offices in the area and they say they are SWAMPED. Trainee's have been averaging 30 assignments per month, and I have been told that once you are up and running, they would like to have the appraisers up to 35-40 per month. This is in a very large metropolitan area where Real Estate is booming. They indicated over the phone that the initial split would be 35% while training, and 50% once licensed (which I was also told is taking just over a year with the amount of work that is coming in).

My questions to you experts is this:
What types of questions would you recommend I ask about the company, about fee splits, etc.

Anything in particular I should look out for or any helpful information that I should try and gather during the interview.

Any information is GREATLY appreciated.
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
50% split after licensed is the norm, in my opinion. Some companies may offer a client recruitment bonus, to entice the appraisers to go get bizniz.

Going for your first interview?
I would check out their operations. Does it seem to run smooth, or do they do a lot of inter-office fussing.
Are they up with the times and use modern equipment like digital cameras, the internet to EDI reports, etc. Or are they still on an old 1980's DOS system, printing out reports to be mailed?
Do they provide a work space, computer & software, MLS, etc?
Look on your states real estate or appraisers commission web site to see if your soon to be boss has been sanctioned or disciplined.
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
. Trainee's have been averaging 30 assignments per month

Metro or not, any trainee doing 30 appraisals and doing them right in a month is two different things. If I were guessing, they are mortgage oriented which means pressured to get the values up & they would not have all that much business if they refused to succumb to that pressure. My question to them was how much are they charging? If they average $185 per assignment, 35% ain't much. If they average $300, its a lot better. I calculated last years fees and our average fee was $455 but that is rural properties mostly and I expect no more than 8-12 appraisals a month with a 67% fee cut to my subs.

If you read and reread your USPAP, and after working a few weeks you begin to notice the boss rationalizes a lot of high values in your work, you probably are ruined...never be anything but a lap dog for mortgage lenders. If you are lucky enough to work for someone who will stand up for you when your appraisal is less than the sales price, you might make a hand. Otherwise, you have to make a moral decision...do I eat and commit fraud with the boss's blessing, or quit and starve.....no wonder we have so few trainees who make it.
ter
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
Terrel,

You did it again! Excellent post!!! I cannot even begin to imagine a trainee doing 30 appraisals a month, especially when we all know now that the vast majority of cookie-cutters go to an AVM instead of an appraisal.

I'll freely admit that I can't do 30 a month - as long as I continue to do them correctly and verify my data that is.
 

DanWaechter

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
California
Thanks everyone for your input. The advertisement for the position was very clear that the office is very very busy and that the job would entail 50+ hours a week, with weekend work as well. When I spoke with the owner over the phone to set up the interview, he indicated as well that they were very busy. Yes, Terrel the average fee is $300 per assignment, and so as a trainee the 35% split would provide $105 per assignment. From reviewing many of the posts throughout the site that seems pretty reasonable for a trainee.

Also, my understanding of the position is that driving long distances is limited as the majority of their assigments are located within the greater metro area.

I do not expect 30 assigments/month as soon as I walk in the door, but it sounds as though it should be expected once I am up and running.

I have read many of the posts throughout this site and I of course will look for things that you have mentioned.

M Leggett - thank you very much for the information you provided as I will definitely look into all the different aspects you suggested.
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
I am averaging 13 appraisals a month personally with a fee average of nearly $600. My hands are averaging 11 - 15 mo. each and averaging almost $200 per.
 

DanWaechter

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
California
Well, I got the job and personally saw the amount of working coming in. It is absolutely crazy. I start this Tuesday and already have 6 assignments lined up. Appraisers are averaging 30-40 assignments a month and the staff at the office is phenominal to assist in any way possible. They had 250 new assignments come in during the month of August, with 5 appraisers. 90% of the work is within a 20 mile radius.

I understand all of your concerns, and I will definitely look out for any of the pitfalls you have listed, but it really looks like a great opportunity for a trainee (as I have read way too many postings about appraisers having 5 assignments a month. Yes, I want to learn, but I also want to eat.

Thanks again to all those who responded, and I will definitely look forward to your future assistance and expertise!
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
:D Good luck.
Keep tuned into this forum for some good info. Take as many classes as you can to expand your knowledge and expertises. And DO NOT let the job take ALL of your time or weekends. Starting off, you will be tempted to work like crazy (like a newbie 8) ) but that will get old quicker than you think. Even new recruits gotta re-charge their batteries. :wink:
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Dan....does the term "sweat shop" sound familiar????


Personally I would "Run Like the Wind"! Who is going to train you? How many trainees? How many trainers?

Anyone who thinks a trainee can do 5 to 6 a week needs mental help. These are the kind of operations that give all of us a bad name. Recently I was having a conversation with the administrator of the state licensing board. He said those types of operations are where fully half of the complaints that are filed are coming from. Inadequate supervision!

On the other hand, you have to start somewhere. Get your hours, hopefully learn something, and then look for a real job!
 

Lee in L.A.

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Congrats on breaking past 1 of the hardest parts of getting into this biz. Finding that first job. :eek:

Just a small quote from the Who. :D
Gettin' in tune with the straight and narrow, yeah I'm gettin' in tune with the straight and narrooooooow.
It's called USPAP. :wink:
 
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