I have found having my own resources as well as my own clientele is very helpful in finding a mentor. Were I live, most appraisers work from their own homes and dont want a stranger in their personal space. They also dont want to take the time showing you how to learn the ropes on their own equipment. This takes time away from their own work and they end up falling behind with their clients in favor of yours. I have all the things need to do appraisals on my own. Its a big investment but it seems to have helped in finding someone to mentor and hold my license. By having my own resources all I really need is a mentor to hold my license, go on on site visits with me and checking and correct my work.
It is more appealing to a possible mentor to know that the biggest sacrifice they’ll have to make for their apprentice is time. Time is money, but at least this way they can go about their own business encumbered by a newbie fumbling around their office too. The time I spend plugging away at the computer, making calculations and uploading comp pictures is all done on my time, my resources and in my space. We operate on a 60% - 40% split in his favor, but as I get better and the amount of time he needs to spend with me decreases the split will move more in my favor. I dont know if this is the best way for you to make it but it seems to have helped me break into to the game. I wont make any money for a while because I need to pay off all the stuff I bought, but in the end I think it will work out for the best. Good luck.
ps. Make sure you find a mentor before you go and buy software, you will want to make sure that the software you buy is compatible with your mentors so you can send forms back and forth on the net.
I am fully independant. I have computer with internet access, day 1, software, MLS access, and e & o insurance. I can email the files to my supervisor to review and sign and send back to me. I can even get my own clients. The only thing I can not find is someone to be my supervisor. I invested a lot of money and time to become an appraise and I'm very knowledgable but finding someone to work under is a big PAIN!!!
Keep trying is what I would say. If it was easy and well defined path the less motivated would travel it . I am in the same position as thomas. His advice IMHO is very good. A part time gig, find your own clients then have your reports reviewed. Slow going for sure and even longer to remove the trainee status. The up side is not taking the risk of going full time, then quiting because of lack of cash or economic down turn.
So to recap:
Slow down! Decide you are going to do this then write down a plan to obtain a mentor! List every one in the phone book and call them. Anyone that sounds wishy washy, follow up with a personal visit. Go to the next appraiser group meeting. Network. Make surpise personal visits. Make repeat visits. Dress and act like you are applying for a job.
Realize that no one is going to feed you, teach you. It is up to you to LEARN. If you don't understand something, then search, read, dig. Only then ask your mentor. Their time is their money. They will not like repeat questions, silly questions, easy questions. Basically respect their time.
I know this posting is old. But since I live in Chicago as well, I figure I try anyway. I'm going up for my exam, but will be soon looking to work with someone. Have you found someone to work with? Or if you are a Certified Residental Appraiser are you willing to work with a trainee?
Entering the business as a part timer is likely a deal killer. There a big learning curve in the beginning, and attempting to do it part time won't cut it with most mentors, especially given the current vast oversupply of appraisers. There is the additional problem of turnaround times. If you enter the business doing work through AMCs and mortgage brokers, quick turnaround times are expected. A day off because your working another job won't be tolerated.
A trainee bringing in clients is not necessarily a plus. For example, if you know the people personally (friend, family member, etc.) that you are getting the work from, there could be a perceived bias (conflict of interest). The types of work that a trainee could bring in are also limited; it's likely to be geared towards lower-paying clients (e.g., AMC's), rather than say attorneys or trust companies.
If you really are serious about getting into this business, I would recommend doing so full time.