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Part Time Trainee Infoquest

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Travis McGee

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2004
:yellowblack: After careful reading of the AF, I have decided to approach the field by working on Saturdays, half Sundays and at least five hours during the business week. One of the Appraisers I talked to expects 3 appraisals a day. Is it feasible to do three appraisals on a Saturday and complete the writeups five hours on Sunday and five hours during the businessweek? If that were to translate to three apprasisals a week, how long would it take me to accumulate the two thousand hours :question: I live and would work in North/Central New Jersey.
KARURI
 

Caterina Platt

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Mexico
Karuri,

In the beginning, 3 inspections on a given day (your mentor will need to be with you as well!) would not be a problem. Personally, I wouldn't overload a trainee with any more, as they all start to blend together mentally. It will all depend on travel time and complexity of the dwelling. To date, some will take me 15 minutes to inspect, some 1+ hours.

Verification, anaylsis, and typing the reports is an entirely different story. My state and others I've heard of generally allow a trainee 8 hours per appraisal in the first year or so for the entire process (inspection and report). This figure may vary with the ease or complexity of the assignment, but is a fairly accurate average. 3 per day to complete is typically what an experienced appraiser can type in a day. I would not begin to expect that kind of production level from a trainee.

With only 5 hours to type and gather data, I'd consider a trainee doing well to complete one. In my early days, it often took the better chunk of an 8 hour day to type the report. Multi family or other complex reports, give yourself 2 full work days in the beginning.

Along the second year or so (considering one is doing appraisal work full time), this figure allowed by the states will often decrease to about 6 hours claimed per appraisal.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
After 8 years, there is still no way I could complete 3 in 1 day - unless they all were cookie cutters in the same subdivision!!! So far, that has never happened.
 

Stone

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
Karuri - I started part time, working weekends, evenings and one weekday. I think it would be amazing for you to finish the amount you are discussing in the time you have as a beginner. The one problem with starting out part time, is that the curve is a little slower than it is for those who jump in full-time, though you will be able to pay your bills. Like anything, if you do it daily, all day, you get better faster. I would plan on more than five night-time hours per week if you want to improve at any sort of reasonable rate.

Good luck.
 

Caterina Platt

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Mexico
Michael has a good point. Unstressing from the previous work day and getting your head into an appraisal takes some time.

I took the plunge and did nothing but appraisals full time. I didn't starve, but had to count my pennies for awhile. I don't know that there is that much difference, if at all between the appraisal fees in NJ and NM. The major difference is in our cost of living expenses. I would imagine your's is a good bit higher and this may be difficult for you financially. I think I pulled in the low to mid 20's figures in my trainee days. My husband had a job and it covered the health insurance. Our expenses weren't all that high either, relatively speaking.

It all depends on your personal and financial situation, and the deal you can cut with your mentor. If I had to do it over again, I'd probably do the appraisal full time and work at nite part time if it were financially feasible. It just takes too long otherwise.
 

Walter Kirk

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Karuri,
I think that three inspections in one day is too much for a trainee. Limiting your working hours to evenings and weekends makes checking zoning and other public records as well as confirming sales data difficult in N.J. That being said I claimed 6 hours experience credit for each URAR when applying for my N.J. license. At the rate of three appraisals per week it will take a little over two years to get the 2000 hours that you need.
 

Steve Gish

Sophomore Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
I can speak for the State of Kansas because I looked it up today. Here you get 8 hours credit for a single family residence. I made my 1st attempt at an appraisal (albiet without supervision) for a resume package I put together..., a full 13 page report with complete URAR, addendum, measured the house, sketches, plat maps, flood maps, tax records, county survey data, 8 comps, drive by comp pics, the works. Took me 3 days.

3 a day, not even if they were on the same block. :blink:
 

Dee Dee

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Karuri,

I'm a little confused.
Is the appraiser that you've spoken to expecting you to do three complete appraisals per day? If so, the answer is absolutely no, you cannot do it. In fact, I'll even go so far to say that if you have no background experience with the software programs you will be using, knowing how to choose and decide on comparable sales, measuring and knowing appropriate grid adjustments for your market area, you'll be stretched to the max just trying to get one appraisal finished in a weekend.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but if this appraiser is someone who is considering you as a trainee, did you mention the kind of schedule that you spoke of in your original post (mostly weekends)? If so you'd better ask many more questions as to exactly what kind of supervision and basic training this person plans on giving you before they'll allow you to inspect and complete an appraisal. I also think you need to understand that as a trainee your supervisor should be present with you on your inspections, and not many would be willing to take a Saturday off to do that.

Something that most people don't realize about being an appraiser is that it's nearly impossible to get three homeowners to line up their appointments in a tidy order just to suit what works for your schedule, or to build a convincing case to your clients (the lenders) or supervisor that these are the only hours that you will be available. There are hundreds of other appraiser wannabes who would leap at the chance to work 24/7 if given the opportunity, and they'll set appointments at the homeowners convenience and complete the appraisal in the time frame dictated by the client.

It's no exaggeration when experienced appraisers tell newbies that they are going to be shocked at how much they DON'T know and can only learn if their mentor is continuously available to answer questions and provide guidance. It's a forumula for disaster, discouragement and failure if a newbie is thrown out into the field without proper one-on-one guidance for the sake of volume.

IMO, the idea of breaking into this profession on a part-time basis is nice but the reality is that most mentors will not be receptive to giving up their weekends to answer a million questions that most newbies will have. It's MUCH easier if the trainee is available at their supervisor's convenience during normal business hours.

I'm sorry if this post seems negative, but I believe it represents the reality of breaking into this business today. A few years ago I might have had a different opinion, but it's dog-eat-dog competition to get a foothold in the field right now unless you're fortunate enough to be training with an understanding family member or close friend.
 

Frank Lostracco

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Karuri,
If you are truly serious you might have to bump up your hours during the week. In the begining it will not be possible, but after 6 months you will get faster and continue to improve. I did 5 inspections on Saturday and as of 6:30 Sunday 3 are finished. I just completed my 2000 hours in 23 months of partime appraising, but I put in more time then you are planning to do.
 
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