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This is the site I have been looking for!

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Jim Williams

Freshman Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2003
Before posting this I have read some of the threads regarding getting into the business. I have read the encouraging ones and the not so encouraging ones. I have read how difficult it is to get into the business. I have read how bright the future looks from some, and not so bright from others.
Being a mid 40ish unemployed man with marketable yet an increasingly obsolete skillset, Appraisal has become a career I am going to get into. Note I said "am going" not try. You're all going "yeah yeah, heard that before" but I am. You see, I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. As a Buyer, Warehouse/Inventory Control Manager, I can't find anything because I am either over qualified or under qualified in this terrible job market.
I am looking for a mentor daily. I live in a small but growing market. I am probably going to have to leave this market for a larger one while I attend class and try to find a mentor there.
I am not doing this for the money, although I would be lying if I said that was not a consideration. I am tired of working for companies who ask for loyalty and give none in return. I am tired of "safe" 9-5 hrs that leave me frustrated and unfulfilled. I am tired of working for people who know less about what I do then myself yet force feed me the way it should be done. I am looking for a challenge. I am looking for some freedom, a career where no two days are the same. I am a problem solver, analytical, in my career I've always kind of felt like a detective, researching and trying to solve a case if you will.
I have tried to take everything I have read here, in just this short period of time and come to my own conclussions. The thing I keep coming back to is what a local Appraiser told me. He said "if a person really wants to do this, it can be done" Well I really want to do it. I don't care about making very little money, cripes, I'm not making any now. I don't care about the hrs. I'm not doing this for a wife, or a girlfriend or anybody but myself.
I know this is something I can succeed at, and I plan to keep coming back to this site to increase my knowledge of the field, and to take ALL of the information I find here and come to my own conclussions as to how that affects me and where my market is.
What I don't want to have happen 10 years from now looking back, at a dead end job wondering what it would have been like if I had just tried? Well I'm going to try! I don't expect many of you to wish me luck, but I will take all I can get.
 

xmrdfghap

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
First of all, welcome to the forum

Second of all, Welcome to the profession.

One of the things that struck me in your post was


Appraisal has become a career I am going to get into.

<span style='color:brown'>A long time ago a Lebanese friend discussed with me the concpet of business. You see, he could trace his family back over a thousand years, and all of his ancestors were merchants. He claimmed his heritage went back to the Phonecians, but he might have been exagerating.......but then again, he might not have been. :lol:

He told me the first sign of failure was claiming to "try." I will try to win. I will try to succeed. Sometimes one does try and succeed. Usually it is the person who says I WILL succeed that succeeds.

I would wish you luck, but effort makes luck irrelevant. I would wish you the best, but the best will come on it's own.....along with success......as a result of your effort.

So, absent a well wish option, all I can say is welcome.
Greg</span>
 

Jim Williams

Freshman Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2003
This has been one hard decision. I've had "analysis paralysis" for months it seems trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up lol. I've not made this decision lightly. While moving to a larger market (Portland) will probably increase my chances of finding something in my field, I just keep hearing this little voice saying "go for it".
I'm hoping to have my classwork done by May. In Oregon you need 75 hrs to be an Apprentice/Trainee, and then another 30 hrs to get your license. I figure I'll get that later. In the interim I'll try to find a job in my field, while looking for a mentor.
In lieu of wishing me luck, thanks for welcoming me to the board.
 

Randy Beigh

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Jim

You are right. There are some people who will try to discourage you, but that won't be me.

Good luck on your career path. Hope you find a mentor, soon.
 

aprazer

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
Welcome Jim-

Your friend was right-If you really want to do this you can. A cash cushion would be a big help. Most new businesses that fail are due to insufficient capital. The same can be said for starting in a new profession that won't pay a heck of a lot in the beginning. As long as you can make it through the first year or two-you should be OK.

Your post has more determination than a lot of posters who are looking to get started in the field. It also sounds like you are doing it for the right reasons. Every day is different and the independence this job has is priceless. There is a wealth of information on this site-use it and gain an advantage.

Good luck
 

Jim Williams

Freshman Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2003
I'm working on the cash cushion now. When my previous company was sold I received a decent severance package. I 've lived off some of it but I have about 6k. I have about 20 weeks of unemployment left so I am moving to Portland to live with my mom so I can stash some money while finishing my classwork, looking for a job, and finding a mentor. As much as I hate the thought of living at home at my age, I know I need this cushion you mention. I'm commited to living in Portland for 6-12 months, perhaps longer while I get back on my feet. I'm eligible for retraining so I am trying to find a mentor who will hire me as the employment department will pay my unemployment while I am being trained. Only stipulation is that I have to be hired once my training is over. I think I would just as soon do it on my own unless lightning strikes and I find someone who would do this. Anyway this is a great site and I will definitely take advantage of the advice of knowledgeable people such as yourself. Thanks.
 

George Hatch

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
Ditto to what the others have already posted. Becoming a successful appraiser requires many attributes, the combination of which not everyone has. Some of those ingredients include a reasonable amount of intelligence, the ability to express yourself, analytical skills, enough cynicism that you don't take what everyone says for granted (people lie to us a lot), some computer skills or the aptitude to learn quickly, and above all, self motivation and perserverance. Of these skills, the most important ones are the self-motivation and perserverance. Everyone comes across a certain amount of opportunity at one time or another. It is the people who are prepared when that moment arrives who get to enjoy the "luck" that opportunity represents.

As I'm sure you are hearing from us, getting your first job will be the most difficult hurdle. However, staying in the business requires quite a bit of work, too. There is no real coasting in our line of work. No autopilot. Everything you do will require at least some original thinking.

Just a thought here. If you do get the chance to get on with an appraisal shop with the help of the unemployment office, take it. Even if the end result of the arrangement falls through and you can't stay on at the shop, you will still benefit from the training and the accumulation of at least some of your trainee hours. Getting your second appraisal job will be a lot easier if you have at least a couple hundred hours down.

There are a number of good books out there that will help you understand more than what the beginner courses for your license teach. I would say it is not too soon to pick up a couple at our local library and start going through them. Better yet, buy the books. Most appraisers have a small library going in their offices.

Hang in there, push through and keep an open mind about working conditions in the beginning. If you have the need to do this badly enough and you can get it together, I'm sure you will make it.

George Hatch
 

Jim Williams

Freshman Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2003
George,

I have the attributes you mention. My previous career as a Buyer, Warehouse and Inventory Control Manager utilized all of those skills. I am extremely motivated. What may trip me up is if I get 100 doors slammed in my face, my perserverance may suffer. Staying focused on the ultimite goal should take care of that, but I do obviously expect some ups and downs.
I don't doubt that the biggest hurdle is the first job as an apprentice. I don't know of any job where you can truly coast, especially if you are always looking for new challenges.
I am going to work the unemployment angle as that is what it is for. They are making it a little tough, trying to make the schooling and the training like an "internship" I am taking and paying for the USPAP class myself while looking for a mentor. If I can find one I'll have the employment department see if they will pay for the rest of the classes as well as my training as they said they would. If not, I'm on my own and that's ok too.
I do have the book "Fundamentals of Real Estate Appraisal" by Ventolo and Williams. I don't know how good that is, but it was recomended by the school so I bought it and it seems very informative to me.
I will hang in there George and push through as best I can. I have a pretty good support system in place and a belief that I can accomplish what I set my mind out to do. I'm sure I will make it too, thanks George.
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Good luck and good hunting! A couple of things, you said 75 hours as an apprentice and 30 hours for licensed. Those are class room hours, you will still be required to do two years or 2,000 hours of appraisal experience to become licensed. Another draw back will be moving to a new area. Are you familiar with the Portland market?

When you go to interview try the following.

"Mr Appraiser, what can I do to make your life easier?" How can I best fit into your company? I am willing to do what ever it takes to fit in. Always make it them, not you!
 

Jim Williams

Freshman Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2003
Mike,

Yes I know I will still need 2000 hrs of on the job training to become licensed, I was just talking about classroom hrs.
I've lived in Portland most of my life and know the neighborhoods and community pretty well. I've been away for about five years but get to Portland several times a year.
I really liked that last bit of advice and will definitely take it.
BTW, in addition to the required classroom hrs needed I am planning to take some classes at the local Community College in Finance, Law, Statistics, Geography and perhaps others just to round out my skills. If nothing else it will help grow the brain a little while looking for a mentor. I went to CC years ago and really didn't take advantage of the experience. Now at my age it might be time to use the time I have while looking for a mentor to enjoy what I missed out on all those years ago. Education is a good thing.
 
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