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Out On My Own

Del Toro

Freshman Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Texas
Looking for input. I’m currently certified and working for a local appraisal firm In Houston, TX. I am not thrilled with this company and am thinking about leaving and going out on my own. For those who have already made the leap, do you find you make more, less or the same amount of money when you take into consideration the items (report writing software, MLS, Supra, etc) that will now be my expense instead of the firm I work for? I really enjoy the profession but I‘m being taken advantage of In my current situation. My current split is 40%. TIA.
 

Sadie

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Oregon
Find out how much the software licensing is, how much E and O is, data bases etc. and how much you need to spend in equipment. All of this is tax deductible, but you still have to pay for it. It is also important to have a good network of appraisers you can reach out to if you run into unusual stuff and/or circumstances. This forum is probably ok, but someone in your specific market is better. Also try and leave on good terms. Make sure you have a good place to work, like a separate office. Some people rent office space.
 

Del Toro

Freshman Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Texas
Thank you for the sound advice.
 

Sadie

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Oregon
Looking for input. I’m currently certified and working for a local appraisal firm In Houston, TX. I am not thrilled with this company and am thinking about leaving and going out on my own. For those who have already made the leap, do you find you make more, less or the same amount of money when you take into consideration the items (report writing software, MLS, Supra, etc) that will now be my expense instead of the firm I work for? I really enjoy the profession but I‘m being taken advantage of In my current situation. My current split is 40%. TIA.
Thats not too bad of a split. Ride it out as long as you can so you can gain all the knowledge possible.
 

Elliott

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Oregon
It is a story as old as time, does the new independent fee appraiser do better by going off on their own, or staying with their current umbrella? The answer is what is the fortitude of the new upstart? Will they work harder, be more credible, then when the worked for the previous employer? It is an unanswerable question.
 

Alsie35

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2020
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
I would add the following thought to the prior comments: Will you have any support, like a spouse willing to do the administrative side of the business? Because if you plan on being "one-deep", well ... prepare for many, many 14-hour days and weekends, and perhaps not (much) more $$ than you were clearing earlier - at least until you build a stable of clients.

Still, if you're gonna "pull the trigger", it is FAR BETTER to do it when there is more work and AMCs/lenders are BEGGING appraisers to take their orders, rather than going out (as I did) as a result of being laid off during the crash in 2008 when I spent a year at home living purely off of savings.

Do your homework, make your plans, get some help if at all possible - then go for it. There will never be a better time to do it than right now.

Good luck!
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
I presume you have some sort of license that is fungible in the market? You may lack the hours to get on elsewhere, but there are a lot of banks, from small community banks to mid-sized Regional banks who hire appraisers in house to do administrative reviews (as opposed to technical review), ordering and even do evaluations for the bank (below de minimus work) If you've been active for over a year, I'd think 40% was low unless they are paying everything - software, E & O, etc. - 50% would be more typical where you buy your own software, and many of use took a third or less after our trainees were "on their own" so to speak- that is, they could inspect and write the report and all I had to do was review the work and sign off.
 

sshurgot

Freshman Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2018
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Texas
Looking for input. I’m currently certified and working for a local appraisal firm In Houston, TX. I am not thrilled with this company and am thinking about leaving and going out on my own. For those who have already made the leap, do you find you make more, less or the same amount of money when you take into consideration the items (report writing software, MLS, Supra, etc) that will now be my expense instead of the firm I work for? I really enjoy the profession but I‘m being taken advantage of In my current situation. My current split is 40%. TIA.
I got my license in March 2020 and decided to work on my own. I've been BUSY. I do a lot of AMC work for AMC's I selected and am happy with - some are far better than others. You can work as much or as little as you like; if I accepted all the assignments that come my way, I'd have about 50 reports a month. I hired a friend who needed a job during covid to work with me so there are now two of us, but when I was on my own for a few months, 20 reports/mo was very comfortable. I did 33 by myself last July and I was working very long days, 7 days/week. I'm in San Antonio.
 
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