• Welcome to AppraisersForum.com, the premier online  community for the discussion of real estate appraisal. Register a free account to be able to post and unlock additional forums and features.

Here's how they(rookies) get into the business and ruin it

Status
Not open for further replies.

P.Johnson

Thread Starter
Sophomore Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
40somthing man is referred to me by another appraiser. He says he just got his license (registered real property appraiser) from the 90 hours of required training. Knows several people in the business, LOs, a regional manager, branch manager, etc. I should have stopped when he mentioned something about him splitting his fees with me. I did two or three reports with him (including the inspection), but only let him do simple second mortgage deals. I got busy and never heard back from him for a few weeks, then months. He calls me back six months later saying he needs someone to sign off on his reports for him - he would be willing to pay me as much as $25 for the honor - no review needed!!!! After he did about two or three appraisals, he purchased the computer, software, etc. and went around to the local banks offering second mortgage appraisals with one or same day turnaround for $100. None of the banks batted an eye - they just used him because he was 1/3 of the normal fee. None even had an approved list or any appraisal policies. He just gave him a copy of his trainee license and went to work. After a while, several of his competitors (the low fee appraisers in our area) turned him into the state and the clients. That is why he suddenly needs a cosigner. Hopefully, the state will make an example of him. Multiply this example times every rookie appraiser that has called your office looking for work after purchasing the minimum education and you know why our industry is in disarray. All these rookies are willing to get a couple of months experience and sign up for every AMC in the book. Why not, the fees are the same if they had to split with another appraiser that actually offered training, expertise, and overhead. But why do they need a supervisory appraiser after taking the 90 hours of education? Why not come in high on a few values just to get established? WE NEED TO SUBSTANTIALLY RAISE THE REQUIREMENTS TO BECOME AN APPRAISER. Incidentally, if you are a rookie appraiser in my area without the proper experience, I will turn you into the state. I may even testify against you.
 

BenLuby

Senior Member
Joined
May 28, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Georgia
Mr. Johnson,
I am a rookie appraiser, as you classify it, and find your lumping us all into one category rather stereotypical. I have a mentor, and would never even think of doing this line of work without one. I know a good bit after my training to this level, but I also see that I have a long way to go. The class was just a formality. It taught me the basics, but now is when I am learning the job. Just because you had dealings with a greedy person who decided he is smarter than the rest of the world doesn't mean the rest of us do. Your assumption is, not to sound insulting, like saying all appraisers are number rollers. They are not. You want to keep bad appraisers out of the business, then turning them in will do so. On the other hand, if you want to see to it that only good appraisers are the new breed, then take the time to train someone. If only sloppy appraisers are training people in your area, then you will only get more sloppy appraisers. My mentor is grilling me daily, and, honestly, most of the time I feel like my tail is on the menu as the main course, as he seems to chew it regularly, but I understand this is how to train an appraiser, and he doesn't have time to molly-coddle me. But please, refrain from lumping every registered appraiser into one category. I am working to become a good appraiser, not a number hitter. And I am sure there are other appraisers out there like me. Thank you for your time. By the way, I know a few rollers, as you call them, and most are highly educated. More important than raising the educational level is raising the responsibility of appraisers and making it an offense NOT to turn in a bad appraisal. Otherwise, you are simply ignoring morals and character in favor of having more educated unethical people in the profession.

Ben Hoover
You only fail when you quit trying.
 

graindart

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Montana
I understand and agree with your post to a point. However, I don't think that most current appraisers have any idea how hard it is to get into the business right now. Unless you have a relative or really good friend in the business, you pretty much have to either just give up or plan on quite a few years of major struggle. This fact is what drives some of the trainees to act in the way your example portrayed, not that I condone their actions, just stating a fact. Thankfully I had the "good friend in the business" route. But I know of 2 people locally that took the whole real estate appraiser course load (total of approximately $5000-$8000 spent on courses, lodging, food, travel w/ no income coming in for a couple months); the "school" told them that it was easy to get a mentor after completing the schooling. After the completion of their schooling, they went around to all of the appraisers in the phone book, and found out that no one wants to mentor them, too much liability for little to no gain for the licensed appraiser. Now that they've gone in debt a good chunk, have no income, and have relatively no way to get experience hours, I'm sure that the $100 per appraisal is sounding pretty attractive.

I don't know that making the requirements to become an appraiser harder is the answer. Under the current requirements, the trainee in the above example wouldn't have been able to get away with his unsupervised appraising if the AMC's and banks would've been doing their job and verifying the license. I think that the answer lies more along a standard path to licensure. And I'm guessing the only way that this is going to happen is with a standard course lineup through the college/university structure. The instructor needs to be a licensed/certified appraiser who gets paid a decent amount. I think that the instructor should also get a special circumstances wave on his liability for the student's work product, because there's no way that one instructor is going to be able to effectively monitor 30+ students at a time to make sure that they're not doing something illegal or that would otherwise jeopardize the instructor's license. I think that at the end of a 2 year course, these students could take the test and apply for licensure, even without the traditional 2000 hours of in the field experience. I think that the current experience hours requirement is good in theory, but the fact of the matter is that most trainees don't end up learning much, except how to fill out a form and which canned phrases to use in which boxes.

My speech is over, thank God I'm already licensed.
 

graindart

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Montana
My post above was directed towards the original post......someone just beat me to the first reply.......
 

Dee Dee

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
I find it amazing that banks would even speak to a registered appraiser about doing work for them without a supervisor.

It's a blatant sign of negligence by the lenders who would hire someone with so little experience and, truthfully, as long as they don't monitor their own it's no surprise that inexperienced appraisers would take advantage of it.

Ben,
You are fortunate to have a mentor that holds your feet to the fire. In the long run you'll be a better appraiser for it.
I know that sometimes it's frustrating and difficult, but when you finally meet all the requirements to achieve higher licensing levels you'll be one of the first in line to smack anyone who tries to cheat by taking short cuts . :wink: :lol:
 

BenLuby

Senior Member
Joined
May 28, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Georgia
Dee Dee,
I believe that anything worth doing is worth doing right, and am thankful (usually a day or two later) for the overview. I know that, in the end, I will be a much better appraiser for it, and that is my goal. Rookies who just go out to a mill and start churning out a number gall me. I wish more people were like those on this forum and my mentor, and actually took some pride in their work. Instead, they are focused on the dollar bill. I wonder how they sleep easy at night, knowing that, someday, one of those bad appraisals is going to be reviewed, and they could get into a mess? I like to sleep. That is why I try to do it right and learn something every day. And, I'd like to thank all my additional 'mentors', the people on this forum. Whether I agree or disagree with their comments, it makes one think about the profession, and that is always a good thing.
 

msking

Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
I am another rookie with an honest, knowledgeable, crusty mentor. After reading many of the posts of these forums, it is apparent that these adjectives apply to many of the appraisers who take the time to share their experience and opinions here. As a group, you seem intelligent, very independent, frequently impatient, often discouraging, sometimes dismissive, highly opinionated - and very entertaining.

Yes, I often "lurk" as a way to learn from your experience, to gain another viewpoint than that of my mentor, and to prepare for situations that I will no doubt need to deal with at one time for another. I am extremely grateful to those of you who share your knowledge.

I also find it very frustrating to hear of other rookies - and licensed appraisers - who churn out appraisals at a rate of several a day. Mr. Johnson, I understand your comments - imagine how it makes me feel to know that unscrupulous licensed "mentor" appraisers are teaching rookies to turn out questionable reports in the name of volume (lining their own pockets with the fees) and to know that these rookies will be accruing their 2000 hours in a fraction of the time I will spend.

Please, don't stereotype us rookies, and blame us for "ruining" the profession. It is obvious from the posts on these forums that there are licensed appraisers already doing their best to ruin the credibility of the appraisal profession without the help of rookies. Ben and I and all the other rookies out there who truly enjoy our new profession (dying or not!) need your support! I know some of us will be able to strengthen the profession, thanks to the training of our mentors and the help of the regulars on this forum.

BTW, regarding the 90 hours of training - surely this is just a ploy to make aspiring appraisers prove they are serious by wasting money and time? There has got to be a better way to get new, qualified, ethical appraisers into the profession - the current system is hard on both rookies and on those licensed appraisers who are willing to mentor us.
 

Wally Jones

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
I reckon I lead a sheltered life with a good state Appraisal Board here in Florida.

P. Johnson, I understand your frustration. However, when you say you performed a few reports with the rookie including inspections, what was your role? Were you acting as his supervisor? Just being a nice guy? In Florida, a new appraiser must have an assigned supervisory appraiser who then becomes responsible for the rookie's training. It doesn't prevent the type of loose cannon you're talking about, but I think it cuts down on it a bit. Hard to believe lenders would accept any work from someone not certified.

There aren't any easy answers to providing new appraisers adequate training. It's going to require someone assuming a lot of responsibility and there don't seem to be many of us willing to do so without a whole bunch of compensation.
 

George Hatch

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
To the Rookies; and I mean that in a nice way,

Believe it or not, every single veteran appraiser on this forum has an acute understanding and empathy for the difficulties you are faced with in accumulating your experience hours. The reason we understand and empathize is because we have all faced that hurdle in one form or another when we entered the profession. Gaining the necessary experience and credibility through association with an established appraiser has always been the way, with the possible exception of a short period of time during the early '90s (an era of economic depression and reduced workload anyway) when there were some people who came in under the radar because the state boards weren't doing their job properly.

The big difference between the current and historical conditions is that since most supervisors are now being forced to actually accept responsibility for everything with their signature on it, they have come to the conclusion that dealing with trainees can be very hazardous to their economic health. In reality, this is the way that it was always supposed to be, but too many were ignoring these requirements because they could get away with it (lax enforcement).

Look at it this way, if you wanted to be a (paid) firefighter in the U.S., it takes an average of 5 years to gain the necessary training and experience to get on with a department (except for those cases where affirmative action intervenes). That's 5 years for those who are successful in landing the job, which means that there are numerous others who start the process but drop out later. Of those who land the job, not everyone makes it through their probationary period. That's 5 years of part time volunteerism and part time work at minimum wage or slightly more, college classes, technical training, constant interviewing, oral boards, etc.. During this time the typical applicant pays for every single course and most every personal expense they have out of pocket. And even then, you would seldom get to live and work where you actually want to. It's very common for a firefighter to start off working for some rural community far from home to get the necessary probationary period over with and then lateral over to an agency closer to home. The same thing goes for a lot of other occupations where the perceived desirability attracts more people than the market can absorb. This is simple supply and demand.


Bottom line here is that the best way to quickly earn your hours may involve relocation, or extensive volunteerism, or weasling in with a county assessor, or some other alternative path. Maybe a combination of these approaches. Think of it this way: if self-motivation, self-discipline, patience, and persistence are virtues in appraisal work (and I believe that they are), this process will end up contributing to your levels of committment and appreciation for what you have. Just stick with it and try to learn as much as you can during the process. Not all of you will make it, nor should you, because not everyone has what it takes to be a successful appraiser. Gaining a permanent place in our industry is not an entitlement to be granted, but rather, a privilege to be earned.

The strong will survive, the weak will fail. There's nothing new here.


George Hatch
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Find a Real Estate Appraiser - Enter Zip Code

Copyright © 2000-, AppraisersForum.com, All Rights Reserved
AppraisersForum.com is proudly hosted by the folks at
AppraiserSites.com
Top

AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks