I wouldn't be an appraiser! (half joking) Seriously, I would have charged higher fees and not been so eager for business to let clients jerk me around the way they used to. Would have been a much tougher business person. My hunch is that myself, and most appraisers don't have business backgrounds ( mine was real estate, and art) I might have taken a few business courses and learned how to run things more profiably and efficiently.
One of the primary things to learn is USPAP, your state appraisal laws, Fannie's guidelines and any other supplemental guidelines. Then, make absolutely sure the LOs and agents don't try to have you do things that are illegal for you to do! I do believe there are LOs out there that just love the newbie appraisers because most don't know enough about our laws and rules and bend/break them readily because some LO told them 'that's the way it's done'.
That and not charging enough. Those that are always doing discounted fees harm themselves and everyone else.
If I had to start over again, I would move to the middle of the state near a large city as far away from North Carolina as I could get and practice there. The town I work in borders the North Carolina border. At one time I had 6 state licenses and one city business license. Just have 5 now and 1 city license. I was a licensed real estate broker, licensed auctioneer, and certified general appraiser in NC and Virginia. That is six licenses with six fees and six renewals. Then each agency started requiring CE, which meant six different sets of CE classes. All of the regulatory agencies saw my dilemma with the exception of the North Carolina Appraisal Board. The only thing I would change about my career was my experience with state bureaucracies. There was no reason for it either; they were just obnoxious sob’s. I don’t think I have ever encountered any group worse than the NCAB. They refused to get a reciprocal license agreement for about 6 years, and then I wrote both governors and told them the problem. Then we got the agreement after I had gone to the trouble of getting licensed by examination in NC. Then the NCAB made me switch from license by exam to license by reciprocity or take double CE. Then they got mad at the Virginia Appraisal Board and rescinded the reciprocal agreement and gave all VA appraisers 30 days notice before renewal to take additional CE and reconvert our license back to license by examination. I said the hell with them.
I had a phone message on my machine a while back from an elderly lady in NC. She was crying and said: “I am an old woman, my husband has died, I have to sell this property and I don’t know what to do, will you please help me?” My dad was an appraiser that retired in 1983, and he had a woman from NC call him last year because she couldn’t get anybody to appraise her home. These people live about 7 miles from my home and I can’t work over there because of those idiots in Raleigh.
Yes, please. I have done a few churches with good results/good clients. But also a few I had to spend a lot of time working a bid and never even the courtesy of a reply. These were all commercial jobs, tho.