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Mentors please help, my first six months!

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Robert Smith

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2002
I would like some opinions on how many appraisals are done in an average month for an appraiser who has 6-months experience. I went to work for a company nearly 6 months ago here in Southern California and I have completed between 125-150 inspections since being hired on mostly SFR’s under 500k. I thought I was going into a “mentoring” situation but soon realized that this wasn’t the case, my mentor has been on 1 inspection with me. Through trial and error I am learning the business, and feel that I am doing a pretty good job at it, my employer informs me of this and I have yet to make any major mistakes. The problem is that I have been so busy I haven’t had time to get my trainee license yet, which I feel tremendously guilty about. I know this isn’t ethical but on the other hand I have been given a great opportunity to break into this field and I want to make the most of it. I have submitted my application and I should be testing in the next 6 weeks for my trainee license.

I feel extremely overworked and the term “sweatshop” comes to mind, I put in 65 hours a week work 6 days, never say no to work no matter what time or where they send me, my take home pay averages $2,500 a month, regardless of how much he bills $350, $275, $450, $550, $750, my cut is the same, one flat rate in the range of $75. My take is roughly 25% no benefits, my own computer and with my own gas etc. Going into this I knew there were sacrifices to make, but at the same time I find myself going into my savings each month to get bye on.

I was so thankful to have the opportunity to break into this field that initially it was ok at 25%, I figured once I got my trainee license (in a couple months) my cut would increase, but I have not had the time in the past 5 months to devote to studying. I was also naïve in thinking that I could perform 40 jobs a month, enough to maintain my cost of living. I want to do this for a career but at the same time I’m quite frustrated that my “mentor” has not taught me anything. Right now it’s a paycheck, but there is so much more that I desire to learn. I would really appreciate hearing from a mentor or others in similar situations who give me some advice on my situation. I would like to know if I have a leg to stand on in justifying a pay increase, are there many other people like myself un-licensed working for employers like this.

Despite all of this I feel this profession is a good fit for me, I hope to do this the rest of my life, but the most important thing in the early stages of my career is for me to learn it the right way. I don’t want to walk away from my situation I want to make the most of it and hopefully someday I can be the one wearing the “mentor” hat always remembering what I went through.

Thank you,
 
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Bemis Pownall

Guest
yur gunna have yur license revoked before you even have one...smart

with no license your "cut" wont matter much...

get your license and move on... :icecream:
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
Hold on now, easy, he came here for some help.
I suggest you go to the newbie section and read up. There are a lot of post like yours. There are also lots of post on the correct way to get into the biz.

Your homework for tomorrow is reading, test to follow. :flasingsmile:
 
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Bemis Pownall

Guest
legget
if what this "newbie" says is true
mentors like this are ruining the business
I know of a few in this area. re read his post
 

Robert Smith

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2002
M.Leggett

Thank you for clarifying that I came here for help. I also was very up front with how I felt about the situation.

If you feel inclined to criticize me that's fine, but I can't change the past!

I will do my homework!
 
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Bemis Pownall

Guest
am I missing something here?
there is a law which requires an appriaser to be licensed BEFORE they make and complete appraisals.

that is all. :icecream:
 

George Hatch

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
Robert,

First things first. You are to be commended for your initiative and self motivation. These are qualities that will serve you well, provided you use them properly.

But there are some risks in your situation that you should be aware of. First, the lack of supervision you are describing is very disturbing. Finding the answers on your own is very commendable, but using a process of trial and error on appraisals that people are paying for is not very fair. It is commendable that you are willing to accept the assignments as they come, but surely you recognize that at least some of them are over your head on a technical basis. At the very least, these are violations of the Competency rule of the USPAP. And if you don't know what I'm talking about here, you should definitely read up on it.

Of particular concern is the manner in which your appraisals are performed. You are an unlicensed appraiser. Read what the state law says about unlicensed appraisal activity:


California Business and Professions Code, Division 4, Part 3

11320. Practice without a license; prohibition; application of other statutes
No person shall engage in federally related real estate appraisal activity governed by this part or assume or use the title of or any title designation or abbreviation as a licensed appraiser in this state without first obtaining a license as defined in Section 11302. Any person who willfully violates this provision is guilty of a public offense punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a
fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the prisonment and fine. The possession of a license issued pursuant to this part does not preempt the application of other statutes including the requirement for specialized training or licensure pursuant to
Article 3 (commencing with Section 750) of Chapter 2.5 of Division 1 of the Public Resources Code.

11321. Authorization to use title, designation and abbreviation; authorization to perform and sign certified real estate appraisal reports

(a) No person other than a state licensed real estate appraiser may assume or use that title or any title, designation, or abbreviation likely to create the impression of state licensure as a real estate appraiser in this state.
(B) No person other than a licensee may sign an appraisal. A trainee licensed pursuant to Section 11327 may sign an appraisal if it is also signed by a licensee.
© No person other than a licensee holding a current valid license at the residential level issued under this part to perform, make, or approve and sign an appraisal may use the abbreviation SLREA in his or her real property appraisal business.
(d) No person other than a licensee holding a current valid license at a certified level issued under this part to perform, make, or approve and sign an appraisal may use the term "state certified real estate appraiser" or the abbreviation SCREA in his or her real
property appraisal business.

When you make appointments with homeowners and showing up at the door, are you representing yourself to be an appraiser or otherwise portraying yourself as being a licensed appraiser, trainee or otherwise? You say all of your inspections are solo. How are the appraisal reports signed? Does the supervisory appraiser sign by themself as if they have done the whole thing? Are they also signing the certification form that they have personally inspected the property when in fact they have not even seen it? Are they disclosing in the report that the majority of it, including the physical inspection, was done by you?

I don't know for sure, but I fear that the answers to at least some of the above questions may place both you and your supervisor in violation of the law. This is no joke. Appraisers have lost their licenses in California for violating this law. Unlicensed appraisers have been criminally prosecuted by their local District Attorney and sent to prison for violation of this law. Applicants for appraisal licenses have been denied the opportunity to ever get a license for violation of this law. People have been sued in civil courts and lost for this type of activity.

Not to overemphasize the point here, but if any of these things are going on then you are in an extremely bad position. One that could forever prevent you from gaining a license. If this is what is happening, you are being used and abused by an unscrupulous appraiser who is only interested in making a buck. You may very well be wasting your time if your activities are not completely in compliance with the USPAP and the reports aren't properly disclosing your role in these appraisals.

I hope this is not the case and that I'm just jumping to a lot of conclusions. If this is the case, I apologize in advance. But if your situation is in conflict with USPAP and the law, I urge you to stop immediately before it's too late. At the least, you should get your Trainee License and find a shop where you can legitimately learn how to do the job right.

Just so you know, I am currently preparing a complaint to the California OREA for a local appraisal sweatshop such as you appear to be describing. This sweatshop, which is owned by a veteran appraiser, reportedly turns out a large volume of appraisals, performed in some cases by trainees who are not being properly supervised and in at least one case by an unlicensed appraiser with the head cheese falsely certifying personal inspection. I fervently hope this shop will be shut down by the OREA, but that isn't my call. I also hope that you are not involved with this shop. If you are, I'd recommend you cease your association with them immediately.

George Hatch
 
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Bemis Pownall

Guest
would you want an unlicensed doctor(?) to perform any kind of surgery on you while you are paying the market rate for licensed surgens??

If mentors(?) like this are sooo busy they should raise their fees or turn work down..... but hire unlicensed individuals to work in the capacity of licensed individuals,,,,,,,,,that is an insult to all of us!

That is all :icecream:
 
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Bemis Pownall

Guest
Im not done
an unlicensed appraiser preforming the duties of a licensed appraiser is just as quilty as the mentor(?) in this situation.
JMHO

now Im done...for now

:drinking:
 
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Bemis Pownall

Guest
still not done

I know of a SRA who lost his state license(after 20 years)
continued to write appraisals for mortgages

he is in prison now......


great future in appraising if your licensed.


:drinking:
 
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