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Resist the urge to surge!

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Michael T. Hiester

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2002
Long time lurker, first time poster.

I feel compelled to say "you were right". Well mostly :D . I am an aspiring appraiser who has been diligently reading thread after thread on this forum. And I must say - what a great resource!

Like many newbies, I find it hard to contain my excitement in this new endeavor for me. And like many, I struggle to "resist the urge to surge". I want to be trained now, licensed now, and appraising now. As I watch many dialogues on this site, I see a common bit of advice from the veterans. Many say to take it one step at a time. Don't rush into anything. Do your homework, and by all means FIND A MENTOR before committing to training. I struggled with this last bit. I was sure that I could find someone to take on someone as ambitious, hardworking, and honest as myself (not to mention incredibly dashing :wink: ). I was so close to taking the class first. But I didn't. And I have to say that I am so glad. After a while of searching for a mentor, I found a well-respected CG in my county that has agreed to take me on. Ironically, he was one of my first choices, but took some time to think about it before giving me an answer.

I realize how fortunate I am after reading about everyone who is still seeking a mentor. I cannot tell you the stress that was lifted knowing that I have a position after I complete my training next month. I tell you all this to encourage all the new people (like the veterans have been saying all along) to find a mentor before committing. I have already, or soon will invest considerable sums into getting started. There is still stress of the unknown. But there is less stress knowing that I have a plan with all the pieces in place. I couldn't imagine starting the training without knowing if I would ever be able to become certified.

I also would like to encourage all the veterans who have been providing such great advice to continue. One must wade through some negativity sometimes, but when one does, the effort is well worth it.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
Congratulations! Someone that researched, studied, paid attention to experienced advise...... you will probably make a very good appraiser!
 

Tim Hicks (Texas)

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
Now, if we can just teach him how to resist the dark side of the force! :)
 

Restrain

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
The "Dark Side" is often the "Gray Side". In class, the question is often presented in black and white. In the real world, the question becomes how far you can "push" a value and not violate USPAP. And that comes with experience.

Just a thought.
 

Ross (CO)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Ahh, the Force, that ever-present and relentless effort of others to test the limits of our character. One either bends and flexes to the Force, or one stands bold, faces the slings and arrows, the bad-mouthing and black-lists, and continually seeks those persons to serve who know the difference between right and wrong, ethical and un-ethical and who can courageously accept your opinion of value.....or they can go out and get another opinion, if they are so moved.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
Ross,

:lol: After our lunch, I can picture your face with a wry smile as you say that.
 

allengish

Freshman Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Michael,
Congrats on finding a reputable mentor to begin your appraisal career. May I ask how you contacted this appraiser to ask him/her to take you on? I have 96 hours of classes under my belt and I'm begining the search for a mentor now and I'm wondering if I should look thru the phone book and start calling..put on a suit and take my resume to appraisal offices or what? Any advise/help would be appreciated.

Allen Gish in KC
 

Michael T. Hiester

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2002
Allen,

I don't know that I have a secret to finding a mentor. I feel fortunate that it didn't take me nearly as long as most appraisers who post to this forum.

I live in a small town so everyone pretty much knows everyone else. I started by making a list of all the appraisers I knew. I made another list of the appraisers who I knew indirectly (acquaintances, friend of a friend, etc.). Then I made a list of those who I didn't know and those that were in the closest large city (using the yellow pages). This became my A, B, and C lists.

And then I started the old telephone thing. I started calling all the appraisers I knew. I started off by asking questions about the profession and their opinion of the future of appraising. Then I would ask if they knew of anyone willing to take on a newbie like myself. This yielded a lot of information, but did not secure a position.

I left messages for a few people who weren't in when I called. This wasn't a good idea. My message told them what I was calling about. Even though I knew them, I never received a return phone call from any of them. On one call, I simply said I was calling in reference to appraising. I did get a return call from that message. Again, no position, but very friendly gentleman who gave me a bunch of helpful advice.

I sent about a dozen "cold call" letters to firms in a larger city. These did not produce results. I was preparing to put on a sport coat and tie, and start hitting the offices in person. I was determined to find a position. And then I got the callback I was waiting for.

In this (and surrounding counties) when you say appraising, one name usually comes up before the rest. This man has been appraising for years and is well known and respected. This was who I wanted to train me. I had tried calling him, but couldn't reach him. So I sent an email that simply said I was taking my prelicensing course next month and was searching for information about the appraising profession. He promptly returned my email and said he would be interested in sitting down and talking about my plans. I am sure that it helped that I know this person, went to school with his kids, etc.

We met in his office and the meeting went great. When we were done I was sure I had a position. When I asked if he would be willing to bring me on, he told me "we will consider it". I was a little shocked because I thought I had the position. But when I got home and thought about it, I was glad he was being cautious. I would prefer him think through it and be willing to commit rather than make a knee-jerk reaction that he couldn't suppport in the long run. I held off contacting any other appraisers during this waiting time. Just when I thought I wouldn't receive a call-back, my mentor called with the news.

During my interview he told me that he has had other requests for training during his career. He has only trained one other appraiser. He said he had a request recently. When I asked what concerns he had with training, he said the other person's situation was different than mine.

The concessions/points I offered in the attempts to secure a position were:

1. Whatever fee split he felt reasonable during the training period was fine with me.
2. Flexible schedule with 10-20 hours per week a target work goal
3. Goal to complete required hours in 3-5 years. This allowed him to do the math and see if he could support it with his work load.
4. I will not go on my own for at least 8 years, unless he no longer requires my services. (I retire from the military in 8 years, so I figure it gives me 8 years to gain experience.)
5. I am willing/prepared to invest considerable time and expense in getting started (i.e. will provide all personal equipment needed).

I don't know if these were the things that made "my situation different" or not. What I can tell you is to be confident (not arrogant). Do your homework and know what you want out of a career/business. Be honest with your potential mentors.

Don't know if that rambling helped or not. I start my classes in two weeks, and should be testing in January. Wish me luck.
 

Dee Dee

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

Thanks for posting your experience for all to see.
For what it's worth, I think that what probably caught your mentor's attention was your focus on a long term goal.

Far too often trainees enter into interviews with unrealistic expectations as to how quickly they will learn the business and how much money they will make. Nobody wants to start training someone that they know will be disappointed if their priorities aren't in the proper order. Experienced appraisers pick up on this quickly, and they know that the odds are not as good that this rookie will survive over the long haul. More likely than not they will bolt as soon as they have reached the minimum requirements to be licensed, if they make it that far. There is no incentive for a good mentor to waste their time or most importantly their knowledge on this type of rookie.

I'm convinced that you will become a good appraiser because of your realistic approach to learning the business.

Best of luck and please continue to contribute your experiences to the forum.

Dee Dee
 

allengish

Freshman Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Michael,
Thanks for your response...I think that is very solid advise. I have no problem living on starvation wages for a couple years while I'm learning the trade and learning to contribute to my mentors business. Also, I may be loyal to a fault, so if I find good mentor I would expect to be with them for the long run. Good luck with your new career and thanks again.
 
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