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Pros Cons of Bank Review work

How much money (salary) would it take for you to leave independent appraisal practice?

  • 0-20000

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 20000-40000

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 40000-60000

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 60000-80000

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Couldn't pay me enough!!

    Votes: 1 100.0%

  • Total voters
    1
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liznindy

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Indiana
Looking for some discussion on pros and cons of being employed by a bank to do review work.

I can think of a number of reasons to stay independent (pick my own hours, make more $$$ in the good years, expanded scope of appraisal work, etc.) and I know the cons of an independent appraisal co. (spending time getting collections, competing with the "make the numbers" appraisers, worrying about getting in work (haven't had this problem in a while), working at midnight to get the "rush" order out, etc.

Any comments from anyone who has been a salaried employee and especially in review work is welcomed.

Just trying to weigh all options,

Thanks :)
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
Liz:

Got any friends who can really crunch the numbers? I am talking REAL finacial planning folks who can take a honest and realistic look at what your TRUE after tax income is as self employed, and what the cost/advantages of any proferred benefits really is.

Get a real one the range of professionalism of FP folks runs the same gamut of skill level as appraisers :roll: You may be surprised at what a REAL planner can tell you about yourself.

Don't forget to consider availability of health insurance and other benefits on one side and also the cost of snootier clothing (than anything I wear appraising) on the other side of the scale...

Then forecast present value of income versus probablility of decreasing revenues, AND the independance factor...

I'd find several someones to interview who are willing to give you the REAL scoop on the specific corporate environment before proceeding further...

Lots O luck in your decision making.
 

Restrain

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
I left an independent fee appraisal position to go to work for a bank. Worked for the bank for 5 years, then the bank 'changed direction' and shut down the appraisal operation. As a result, I had to completely rebuild my business. The only regret is the fact that my health insurance is $600 per month with a $2500 deductable, and no retirement. However, I don't have to worry about some bean-counter in another state deciding that I'm not worth what they're paying me.
 

larryhaskell

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Nevada
A few years ago while employed with one of the biggest banks in the country, I was loaned to their assignment center to review appraisals from all over the country. After six weeks of reviewing hundreds of appraisals, I promised myself I would beg for forgiveness from the appraisal Gods and I would never review another appraiser's work again. So far I've kept my word. Dealing with the incompetent appraisers was one thing but I got real tired of asking appraisers to take another look at their value. We were discouraged from paying much attention to USPAP in those days. The only way I would consider it now is to have everything in writing to protect myself from having to pressure appraisers to stick their neck out. Having been on the other side for a while is probably the main reason I hate it when somebody does it to me now.
 

George Hatch

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
Not many staff appraisers actually make it to retirement. I know of several appraisers, all good, who worked for lenders only to get cut off when they were in their mid-50's. Face it, a younger employee with less experience costs less in salary, health benefits and retirement benefits, especially when considering pensions and profit sharing plans. If you think that starting a fee operation is tough in your 30's, try doing it in your 50's. When you are an employee of a bank, you have a single source of income. A decent fee appraiser has at least several sources of work and is not dependent on a single entity. And it isn't just the ethics of a company that can cause problems. Mergers, acquisistions, personality conflicts with management, etc., are all hazards to one's employment. I have a friend who has been a chief appraiser at a commercial bank for the last 10 years. He is constantly looking over his shoulder and is constantly nervous about his job and has been since day one. He's a good appraiser and is doing a good job, but there just isn't any loyalty.

Then there is the question of doing reviews for a living. To me, that's a thankless job and is equivalent to combat duty. Depending on the company, working as an employee of a bank or mortgage house does not always offer as much independence of opinion as being an outsider does.

The only good reasons I can think of that would justify leaving a reasonably stable fee practice for bank employment would be if the job offered educational/experience opportunities for advancement within the appraisal profession; if the appraiser has a higher than average need for the health benefits; or the appraiser's business skills and demeanor are such that they would do better (financially and professionally) with a stable routine and professional supervision/management. Of course, I'm sure there are more good ones, just none that come to mind. Money should be the very last consideration because it is not much of a long term motivation.

Once again, remember that there is no such thing as employer loyalty anymore. You will be an asset with only limited control over your economic lifespan. Whatever decision you make, be prepared to like it; there is no point in looking back. Good Luck.


George Hatch
 

Dale Smalley

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
The cons
Boring
Nine hours a day on the computer.
Trying to find out what the real value is when everybody is lying.
Being the Deal Killer.
Reviewing is like grading homework.

The Pros
I get a check evey two weeks.
The corp extras 401k, vacations, paid sick days...
Not having to deal with LOs
Did I mention the check
Free coffee
 

Lee in L.A.

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Now here's an interesting discussion. Especially since I have just experienced what George mentioned.

Once again, remember that there is no such thing as employer loyalty anymore. You will be an asset with only limited control over your economic lifespan.
:x :(

Good thing most real parents aren't like "parent" companies. Goodbye production unit, we hardly knew thee. :p

Time to polish the old resume and figure out what to do.
 

George Hatch

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

Sorry to hear of your situation. I've been there, done that, and I got the T-shirt. Years ago in the early '90's, my department was gutted and I, along with about 1/2 the crew, got laid off. The company re-hired me (I was the only re-hire) the next year and then laid me off again 6 months later, along with the other half. That same bank has been through at least 3 complete appraisal staff changes since then, so a lot of other professionals have wasted a few years at that joint.


Anyways, the day I got laid off the first time I hit the streets and started making phone calls to my contacts, one of whom was a veteran fee appraiser. His advice was very timely and provided me with a positive frame of reference that I carry with me to this day. I thought I'd share it with you:

"There is no such thing as an unemployed appraiser. You're either working on staff, or you're a fee appraiser".

I have found this to be true. Incidentally, I maintained my outside fee work the second time I worked for that bank. When they laid me off again, I still had some work. It was against their rules, but I figured they didn't deserve any more loyalty than they had demonstrated to me. They paid me for 8/40 hours and after that my time was my own. Besides, I wasn't competing with them anyway as my fee work was different in property type and borrowers than their work.

Bottom line, they can take your paycheck, but they can't take your knowledge, capabilities and contacts. Go out there and make your assets work for you.

George Hatch
 

Lee in L.A.

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
"There is no such thing as an unemployed appraiser. You're either working on staff, or you're a fee appraiser".
Thanks George. Appreciate the advice / encouragement.

Go out there and make your assets work for you.
Working on that. :) There are some irons in the fire. After 10 years you can't help but meet a few people. :wink:

Hey, this board has some good info too!
 

Lee in L.A.

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Oh, I got 2 T Shirts out of the deal. :lol: :lol: :lol:
 
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