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Mentor Wants To Charge Me For Training

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Jennifer Freudenberg

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2003
I have been having no luck finding a mentor and just located someone who is willing to take me on and lives in my county. However, he wants to charge me $6000 to train me for the 2000 hours. He has apparently trained about 25 others with this pay-for-training system. At this point, I am so discouraged at my prospects that I am considering it. I do know that it is a lot of work to train someone and nobody I have spoken with has the time or willingness to take on a trainee so far. He will pay me a very small amount for doing part of a report, like $10, and then will pay $125 when I can eventually complete a report myself.

Has anyone else had this kind of proposition? I just wanted some advice or input from you more experienced people. Thanks in advance!
 

George Hatch

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
Wow, 25 success stories from one mentor? That's pretty impressive (if it's true). You might want to talk to a couple of them and see what they have to say. I sure would.

I'd also be asking this person how large their company is in terms of appraisers and what the ratio of trainess to supervisors and/or veteran appraisers is. Although there's no current regulation on the books in California (yet) that restricts the number of trainees to supervisors, there are a couple of states that either are doing that already or are in the process of doing it; and for good reason.

I've heard of at least one big fee shop in the Bay area that solicits for and takes on trainees and then proceeds to break every rule in the book with regard to signing appraisal reports. You can kinda figure there might be a problem when the main appraiser in NorCal (let's say, Contra Costa County or Solano County for instance) is single signing an appraisal from SoCal (say, Los Angeles County or Riverside County) and there is no mention of assistance in the report.

The $6,000 training fee might be considered by some to be reasonable compensation or insurance to a mentor for the time required to bring a newbie from zero to hero. I've heard a couple claims of charging $10,000 fees for such training in the past. But Pay-to-Learn hasn't been a common practice in our field so far. The $6K might be payable in the form of reduced fee splits and such until paid off. I wonder if it includes any kinds of assurances (forget guarantees) about minimum workloads. I wonder what happens to the arrangment if the economy tanks during your training? Even so, I wouldn't dismiss the prospect out of hand if I wanted to break in badly enough.

You are definitely wise to look before you leap. It's possible this could be the best arrangement you can hope for at this time, or it could be just another scam. Seeing as how suspiscion and cynicism are part of an appraiser's job description, I guess I don't have to tell you which way I'm leaning on this.....
 

Steve Gish

Sophomore Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Jennifer, I'm still looking myself. I'm no expert and can only relate from a wannabee's point of view. If he's trained 25 people then at least half are probably still in the business. See if he'll give you 10-12 names, call a few and talk to them, see how their experience worked out, Then I'd call the state and check the "in good standing or not" status of these trained persons. If you get more than 2 or 3 that have had/or are under review or in trouble I'd run the other way.

If it all checks out, look at his workload, is he providing all the work or do you have to get some, do you need to provide any equipment, insurance etc or does he provide everything but a car? I've already walked away from one who just wasn't quite giving me a warm fuzzy. So I'm still looking.

For me I would gladly pay $6000 for training but I'd want...

1) A 10 year General Certified licensee doing at least 50% commercial/rural/consulting work
2) Software, E&O insurance paid for until I solo (did not inspect)
3) Guaranteed 2-4 (residential) orders a week until my own leads covered that.
4) I want a flat fee split, 30% until I solo (did not inspect) then 50% (I already have my own fully functional office... compters, camera's, high speed internet, scanner, car etc).

This way I know I can stay and work and train for 3-5 years all the way to a General certification at the same place from an active, knowledgable, commercial "appraisal" enriched environment (which is what I'd LOVE to find). Once I have the residential down pretty well, I would be in an environment where I can ease into commercial work as my experience and time allows. And I could feel comfortable I could make some long term financial plans in the family area. Of course there would have to be some sort of a pro-rated recouperation plan in the contract if for some reason it didn't work out or the employer for some reason couldn't hold up thier end of the deal, death, or health issues forces non-compliance on either side. Get a lawyer for that stuff.

You asked for thoughs and input, although I'm not one of the experienced people, I have been around the block a few times in the business world. Hope I gave you some things to think about. My class work is done, I'm waiting on the state for paperwork now, maybe someone will see this and offer me a job :D

Good luck, Steve
 

Ghost Rider

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
Professional Status
Banking/Mortgage Industry
State
Connecticut
Wow, I think I got a phone call from this guy who told me that if I p[aid him $395, he could give me LOTS of work in my area......don't walk, RUN AWAY
 

Jennifer Freudenberg

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2003
Thanks for your input, everyone. I wish it wasn't so hard to find someone to train me or else I wouldn't have ever considered this setup. For now, I think I'll see if anything else pans out. He would let me work off the $6000 but would only be paying $10 to $20 dollars for reports which I needed assistance with and then working up to $125 for reports which I could complete without any help. It would take forever to work that off I can imagine!! :eyecrazy: Back to looking! Thanks.
 

Dee Dee

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Hi Jennifer,
I think you're doing the right thing to keep looking for a different mentor.

You would be surprised at how many inexperienced newbies honestly believe that they can complete 3 appraisals a day right from the starting gate, and would be suckered into a deal like that.

Good luck to you!
 

Shelley Holmquist

Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
California
Jennifer-
There are appraisers willing to take you on for small wages. Mine pays me about $25.00 for an appraisal and maybe $5.00 for pulling comps. My friends always ask me if I'm making the big bucks yet, I just reply that it's better to earn $1-$2 per hour for my "schooling" than to have to pay for it! Hang in there and keep calling and sending your resume out. Also go to any appraiser groups that meet on a regular basis. Sometimes when they can meet you face to face they will like what they see in your willingness and eagerness. Please don't pay.....
Shelley
 

dezra

Sophomore Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2002
Hey Jennifer:

Here you go: tell this mentor you will pay him/her $6,000 in monthly payments for two years (the length of your mentorship) with the agreement you get a one-half fee split on the appraisals you do. Get it in writing. Good luck! *G* :twisted:
 
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