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Newbie interested in an appraisal career.

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NP_MAI

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There is no norm on the commercial side. If you work for one of the big guys you will need to turn down work. If you work for an independent firm, you'll be lucky to be busy consistently.

2 commercial appraisals per week is pretty typical. In small shops that is 2 x $2,300 or $18,400 per month, of which, a trainee will make about 30%. That is not 40 hours per week though, probably more like 50-60 hours. Also, it will take somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 years before you are able to tackle most assignments on your own.

In the larger firms those numbers can skew upward substantially. In a smaller firm, if a trainee was billing between $150k and $200k per annum, we were very happy. In my current firm, our expectations are much higher, but we also have significantly higher fees and expect more out of the folks that we train.
 

Michigan CG

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................2 commercial appraisals per week is pretty typical. In small shops that is 2 x $2,300 or $18,400 per month, of which, a trainee will make about 30%. That is not 40 hours per week though, probably more like 50-60 hours. ...............
I would say that if I did a lot of commercial work that I could do two reports per week average with a 60 hour week. The 30% of that would hurt a lot. :huh:


...............Also, it will take somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 years before you are able to tackle most assignments on your own......................
Yes, at least.
 

Red Flint

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If a norm even exists.
Assuming competency, and the top state license (usually plus a designation), any property and any property right can be appraised for a value opinion. This may include more than market value, such as liquidation, use, going concern, insurable, prospective, retrospective, or other value. Separate property rights can be hypothetically split off, such as development rights value for conservation easements. There is really an unlimited amount of property that includes commercial, industrial, land, and residential. Land and property leases can be valued on the lease or leasehold rights. Residential specialties include leasehold interests on property built on tribal land with 99 year leases for a buck a year. Throw in oddballs too, riparian rights, hunting club partial interests, 3000 acre parcels, wetlands. More complicated properties have personal property and business value intertwined, like funeral homes, golf courses, marinas, charter schools, restaurants. Complete fun and no dull momentos!
 

Michigan CG

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I imagine the commercial world has a lot less volume than residential just based on how many houses I see versus businesses. How many commercial appraisals per week would you say is the norm? If a norm even exists.
The commercial world is a different market. I live in a small, rural area with a big city south of me and a big city north of me. I am not an MAI so I don't get much lending work. The majority of my commercial work is referrals and estate work. Most of my commercial is smaller properties like apartments, owner-occupied buildings of less than 10,000 SF and other similar properties.

The data for the small shop or the lone appraiser guy is not as easy to come by as it is for the large shops. The big shops can feed their own data bases where I have to recreate from scratch most everything I do. Those big shops also pay for data subscriptions that don't make financial sense for me so I refer a lot of work out. I simply don't have time or resources to do hotels any more. I get referred a lot of the small stuff.

One thing to remember (or learn) about the CG appraiser "niche" is that a lot of appraisers with CG licenses from 1989 don't do any commercial at all. There were five CG appraisers in my county five years ago and two of did commercial work. One retired and one passed away so now I am the only one who does commercial work who lives in my county out of three, and commercial only would not pay my bills.. Since the one who passed away did commercial work my amount of commercial has gone up some, but not a lot. He also did residential along with commercial.

I think most of the people who are getting CG licenses now will have careers in commercial unlike the past. The big shops that have commercial fee shops train their people well and have a lot of resources to do so. A shop with 5-10 MAIs has a wealth of knowledge. If I were to train a person to get a CG license it would take at least a decade to get the different property types that the big fee shop people see in a year.

Picking a mentor for residential is important depending what you want to get out of it. If you want to be a mortgage appraiser and work for AMCs then it isn't too hard. If you want to do complex residential, litigation and have a lot of private work then the choice is not as easy.

For commercial, picking the right mentor(s) is even more important in my opinion.
 

FL Man

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Thank you guys. It's a lot of information to digest. I appreciate you all taking the time to share it.
 

FL Man

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Florida
If you don't have any previous real estate experience I would suggest that you first get a sales license and work part time with a small broker-owner. This will give you a chance to become familiar with the business and the MLS system...
Wanted to explore this idea a little further. I like this idea for a few reasons. I have a little experience in the industry through helping my dad several years ago. He got his real estate license during the boom/bust era. He did a few deals in his free time but went back to his commercial airline pilot job when the bottom dropped out.

I don't really see any downside to studying for my real estate license. I know several agents who could probably help guide me and could probably help get my foot into the appraisal door.

Anyone see a downside to getting a real estate sales license?
 

bnmappraisal

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Nov 9, 2011
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Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
None at all. As Walter pointed out, it will give you a chance to become familiar with the business, the terms used and MLS system.

Getting your sales license is much faster than getting your appraiser license.
 

TC

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Jan 31, 2002
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Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Back in the stone age, if you appraised in Pennsylvania you had to be a broker. That meant acquiring your sales license and working as an agent for 3 years before you could sit for the exam. That requirement went away back in 1991, but a lot of us old farts still have one. I still use mine to gain access to the MLS and the occasional sale. Recently listed and sold my own home, saved about 15K. It couldn't hurt to get a sales license, easy to obtain and may come in handy.
 

FL Man

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
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Jul 4, 2019
Professional Status
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Florida
I think I'm going to do it. After learning what it takes to get an appraisal license it's just too easy not to. Of course, neurosurgery seems to have easier entry than appraising too. Lol
 

EddieB

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Appraisers have better “on the job” stories than neurosurgeons as well
 
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