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Looking for some friendly advice….

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Bill Johnson

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
North Carolina
I have watched this forum for several years but have never felt the need to participate until now. I am a Certified General living in Raleigh North Carolina and am returning to the appraisal field after being away from it for the last year or so. I was “lured” away by a headhunter into another position with a company that has become a victim of the current real estate crisis. Prior to leaving appraisal practice, I was trained by an MAI who has a stellar reputation for knowledge and quality. During my involvement with him, his firm was merged into one of the large national companies and I worked there for about a year before leaving. We appraised fairly complex properties that often required Argus and other pretty sophisticated analyses. My question is this…..as I am returning to the appraisal world, it appears that there may be multiple paths that I can take with my CG license (review, start my own firm, work for another local company or national firm, government employment etc….). My degree is in Structural Engineering, I enjoy complex analysis and feel pretty comfortable that I have been trained “right” and would like to pursue at least the education part of the MAI designation. Since I have only been involved in this arena for 3-4 years, I wanted to solicit advice/wisdom from others who have, maybe, had to make this decision before. I realize the market is soft right now but having been around the real estate business for several years, I don’t expect it to stay that way indefinitely. Any advice? Thanks in advance for you time.....
 

stefan olafson

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
North Dakota
Given the opportunity to 'start over' I'd head for either a large national VERY GOOD company or go into government service. It's quite difficult right now to start your own company, no one will know you or anything about you. With your background there must be someone out there looking?
 

stefan olafson

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
North Dakota
rescom!

May I suggest a short sabbatical? You sound like the string is wound too tight. I've gotten good advice as well as some less than sound advice from the appraisers on this forum.

By and large they are all good appraisers with strong opinions, aren't we all?
 

Artyman1200

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Sorry Bill, but you won't find any good or positive advise on this forum. Most are angry, bitter, perfect appraisers that will pick apart your posts, bash your business decisions, and belittle you. For your own benefit, I would seek advise elsewhere, because you might consider leaving the business all together if you hang around here too long. Just being honest with you.

Maybe a little extreme, but appraisers tend to be negative and skeptical. That's why appraisers so rarely actually invest in real estate. You have to be positive to own real estate (with a healthy dose of what's realistic).

On a slightly different note, I have found that most forums are controlled by the power posters who have like 1 million+ posts. Sometimes they get together and bully up on you. I wonder sometimes if these posters ever do anything else with lives. This isn't directed at anyone on this site, just an observation. I have generally found this forum to be very helpful.

To the original poster, I haven't been in this game long enough to give the best advice, but I know I like the flexibility of working with a small shop. It would be hard for me to go back to x number of weeks off and having to work a set schedule everyday. I come and go as I please as long as the work gets done. The sad thing is I probably take less time off each year than most people in salaried positions.
 

The Warrior Monk

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New York
Sorry Bill, but you won't find any good or positive advise on this forum. Most are angry, bitter, perfect appraisers that will pick apart your posts, bash your business decisions, and belittle you. For your own benefit, I would seek advise elsewhere, because you might consider leaving the business all together if you hang around here too long. Just being honest with you.

Not necessarily true. There is an entirely different atmosphere in the Commercial/Industrial forum than there is in the rest of the forum. Most of the GC appraisers that post in this section are completely unaffected by the BS that goes on in the res lending segment, and don't have the same negativity. In fact, some have even noted that they don't want to see such negativity leaching into this forum.
 

The Warrior Monk

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New York
I realize the market is soft right now but having been around the real estate business for several years, I don’t expect it to stay that way indefinitely. Any advice? Thanks in advance for you time.....

The market is not necessarily soft; it depends what market you are talking about. The amount of lending work is in the toilet for many, but the rest of the appraisal world continues on. With your qualifications, and the the fact that you've been out of the business for a while, I'd think that working for a national firm might be the way to go.
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
There is still a good demand for CGs with good commercial and industrial experience. We were almost caught up around the 4th holiday, but the fax is rolling again. With good connections, I'd think you could easily start up your own shop in short order. However, the idea of a regular paycheck and given holidaze sounds good too! If you do start your own shop, prepare to be barraged with faxes from residential appraisers and RE agents who all of a sudden are "commerical trainees". :)
 

CBBoston

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Professional Status
General Public
State
Massachusetts
Bill -- This is a daunting time to reenter the business. Very little low hanging fruit. If you truely want to carve a niche doing complex income producing appraisals, it is especially tough as an individual or small shop. Many clients want them done by large and also want the branding of a national firm. Multi-property assignments all over the country are challenging unless you've got others you can work with. That said it is not impossible to use you skill set and work in a small shop or solo. I know many people who do that and have been very successful. The trick is to find a niche area to work in. Unless you are very good at marketing yourself it could take a long time to build a practice. Good luck
 

Michigan CG

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Michigan
Bill,

I just moved to Michigan and am starting new. I have been here for about 3.5 months. In that time I have secured through contacts three assignments locally; I have done three residential appraisals from the phone. The rest of my work is through my old employer (thankfully he is busy).

It is very hard starting off new, and definately does not pay the bills. I think you should try contacting other CG's who do a lot of commercial. If it were me I would be calling MAI appraisers.
 

Boonders

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Iowa
Sorry Bill, but you won't find any good or positive advise on this forum. Most are angry, bitter, perfect appraisers that will pick apart your posts, bash your business decisions, and belittle you. For your own benefit, I would seek advise elsewhere, because you might consider leaving the business all together if you hang around here too long. Just being honest with you.

:rof:

There is truth in that statement, but I do believe SOME people on here can provide positive and constructive advise.
 
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