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Starting an Appraisal Business

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tanyabates

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2008
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Utah
-- To give a brief background history --

When I became a licensed appraiser I was employed by a bank (World Savings which then became Wachovia) and was laid off last November. I was actually on maternity leave at that time and was in the process of becoming a certified appraiser. I wish I had the opportunity to work with a bank until I became a certified appraiser because I imagine that only being licensed will slow me down a bit when beginning to working on my own. I have taken the past year of work off and am just now trying to get back to work. I'd have to say it is a daunting task! So much has changed in this past year with the AMC's and how to obtain business, etc... Without ever working on my own previously, it's difficult to know where to begin. Everything I knew from before about working on your own was all just hearsay due to me being employed by a bank...

So, how to start my own business... I'm doing all of the typical stuff like getting my own software, MLS access, realtor fees, E & O, setting up a website, etc... Then I get to the point of looking for work and that's where my questions begin! Where do you get your work from? If it's not from an AMC, where does it come from? I hear so many people say how hard it can be to work with them, yet I'm not really seeing where the business is coming from if you're not getting it from them. To my understanding, you can't obtain work directly from a bank as an independent contractor now? Thanks for your help, I greatly appreciate any info you may have to offer!
 

Lloyd Bonafide

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
To my understanding, you can't obtain work directly from a bank as an independent contractor now?
That's not totally true. With the largest banks, who control most of the residential lending, that's probably true, but there are plenty of smaller banks, regional banks, correspondent lenders, etc. who order appraisals directly, using their own approved panels, without going through a regular AMC. (They tend to pay a full fee, too.) They just can't have a loan officer order the appraisal if the loans will eventually be owned by Fannie / Freddie.

Getting that work starting today would be very tough, I would think, and I think it is also tough to get any new AMC clients today because many have closed their lists.
 

jtinmichigan

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Michigan
In addition to local and regional small banks, attorneys are a fantastic source of work. And not necessarily divorce work, which I know scares some people, but things like estate work and estate planning. This kind of thing is also done by many CPA's, which are another good source. Mortgage work is not the only thing out there.

Keep after it, if you are worth your salt, you can do well. (no matter what all the naysayers in the forums will tell you.)
 

Mike Kennedy

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
Hi Tanya, welcome to the Forum. First piece of advice - Get Certified prior to/while marketing your services. Second - become best friends with this Sub-forum >>>

http://appraisersforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=183

Third - do a Google search for Appraisal Today newsletter published by Ann O'Rourke, MAI, review the Marketing Reports on Industry Segments above and beyond Mortgage Appraising as well as "specialties" such as Relo etc.

Fourth - suggest visiting Appraisal Scoop on-line for additional business development strategies.

Fifth - check online for your State SBA, and the Fed Small Business Adminstration, local Community Colleges, Business Organizations including Chambers of Commerce, Appraiser Organizations all of which routinely offer no cost or low cost Marketing, Buz Development, Seminars and Mini-courses.

Example: $30. seminar http://nawboslc.org/events/?event_id=6 and Networking Social Meetings

Please remember at one time or another - most of us "been there done that" and still do market our services daily & weekly. No such thing as a dumb question - ask for opinions and ideas on AF. "What goes round, comes round". Good Luck and again, welcome aboard.
 

tanyabates

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2008
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Utah
Thanks so much for your help everyone. This helps a ton...now I can get started in the right direction! :clapping:
 

Kris Chase

Sophomore Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
My advice is start attending some Realtor/Lender networking groups in your area. Start becoming the "expert" in your market. It gets you out of your office and is a great way to keep on top of the market. I have received many referrals from realtors/mortgage brokers in my area. It takes time-- you will have to be persistent. I attended the same meeting every week for 1 year before anyone gave me any business! The professionals there are very seasoned, and wanted to make sure I was going to stick around, and I did! Join your local Realtor Board and ask them about their meetings. The meetings here are usually once a week, they have guest speakers, then go on tour. Going on tour is great, because then you can see the local market up close and talk to all the realtors about pricing, updates, etc., what is valued more/less. There are also a lot of mortgage brokers there (trying to get the agent's business). They can't order appraisals from you, but you can ask them what their process is now, what AMC they use, do they have a separate department ordering appraisals, etc., and could refer you to the right individual in their organization.

The other great thing is that chances are you will be the only appraiser there. I am the only appraiser who attends the networking groups in my area (don't know where everyone else is-- on the Forum I guess!) so when an appraiser speaker is needed, they call me. It's great ratios-- typically 30-40 real estate professionals, and ME! This has led to small group presentations at Realtor offices, First Time Homebuyers Seminars, referrals to other companies, etc. Whenever the topic of appraising comes up, it's ME they turn to! Good luck!
 

NWolvie

Junior Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Washington
Just wanted to give a shout out from one World Savings appraiser to another :) I keep wondering how many former World staff are registered on this forum.
 

tanyabates

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2008
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Utah
Ohhh...nice! Me too! I'm guessing you probably know Keven being located where you are. He used to be my boss! :icon_mrgreen: I guess it's possible that I may have even met you during all of those times we flew out to either Oregon or Washington for training. I've been wondering how many former World employees are on here too...it's good to know there's at least one out there!
 

NWolvie

Junior Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Washington
I did know Keven-good guy:beer:
 

Doug in NC

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
In addition to local and regional small banks, attorneys are a fantastic source of work. And not necessarily divorce work, which I know scares some people, but things like estate work and estate planning. This kind of thing is also done by many CPA's, which are another good source. Mortgage work is not the only thing out there.
What is a good strategy to use to get these clients? In any mid-sized market, there are hundreds of attorneys and accountants. Where does an appraiser start in the estate marketing efforts?
 
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