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Unpaid Trainee, almost have my license .. now what?

devin

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2013
Professional Status
General Public
State
California
After you get your license, start applying to every AMC , if you feel that your competent to work on your own. It doesnt mean that you were trained incorrectly, it's just that it sounds like your trainer took advantage of you, time wise. However look at it as a benefit, you've the experience, one thing I will say is research how to structure your company and business before you go out on your own. If you feel you want more or better training, then seek out other mentor appraisers, and volunteer your services at other fee shops until your confident. A new licensed appraiser will still get some work from some AMC's, it's all numbers game with them , the more AMC's you sign up with the greater your chances of generating some work. Don't focus on the negative folks that sya you will need 5-10 years experience before and AMC will consider sending you work, I was told the same thing when I started out, but was persistent and determined to get work, and eventually I did. I agree in the beginning it was slow, but I stayed focus on getting work and kept at it, and even when you have established clients, continue to market and search for more business, because in this field you may loose a client easy, so it's good practice to keep developing relationships. Good Luck
 

Basically Rectangular

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Virginia
You will most likely need a part time job to supplement your income in the first two years, as you may only be able to get 2-4 orders per week from various AMCs. While some AMCs won't take you on until you have 3 years experience, others will. Get your name out there and strive to do good work, eventually you will get work. This is a terrible field to be new; you will have to learn a ton by experience, on your own. Look up appraisal firms in your state, also consider entry level assessor positions if available. Your biggest challenge now is lack of experience and being alone- the work will come with time.
 

David S. Roberson

Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
You need to leave that ******* the minute you get your license. Set up your own shop in your home. If you get no orders at all, you're making the same he was paying you. Start contacting AMC's. You'll find some that will send work, albeit at a pretty low fee. After some experience, you'll be set to compete.
 

devin

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2013
Professional Status
General Public
State
California
Yep, that's a good idea, get your license, and set up shop at home, continue signing up with more AMCs, in time, and experience you'll be able to weave out the garbage from the decent ones, but I feel you will still make more on your own, even if you get off to a slow start. Keep striving, learning, and stay focused.
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
If some one honestly doesn't need you to keep up, why would they pay much to train their future competition?. Paying minimum wage is likely just as good as those 40/60 splits when taking $240 assignments. Do you own your own software, MLS access, and pay your own E & O? Since few AMCs pay in less than 30 days, I would just get used to that. Happens to me all the time. If 99% of the work you see is AMC, why not go bank to bank in your local community and seek direct work? Not brokers, but regulated lenders. Banks, Credit Unions, etc. Most banks also have a trust department managing estates, etc. Go there and drop a business card. They are separate from the lenders. PS learn to write a non-lender report with a non-lender certification on a general purpose form.
 

Mark K

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Indiana
You've gotten a lot of good advice.

My advice is to get paid for the work you've done for this dirtbag mentor.

Should be easy. Make a call to your state's Labor Dept. and tell them you've put in a lot of hours and weren't being paid. They'll take it from there.

Others will disagree (they're wrong) but if someone is directly supervising your work and signing as supervisor, the IRS (and probably the state) will VERY likely categorize you as an employee, not as a contractor. Employees must be paid, especially in CA.

Your mentor's life will become a living hll for a while but the way he/she is taking advantage of you, he deserves it.

Good Luck.

PS: I'd give him a chance to make it right first and pay you for your time/work. If he scoffs, see above.
 

NP_MAI

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2018
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
I am going to send this thread to my trainee and remind him how lucky he is, lol!

Seriously though, what you have accepted is awful. Realize your worth and start marketing yourself to other mentors that will pay you. Do not offer to work for $X per hour. Offer to work for X% of the work that you complete. Tell a prospective mentor about your background and let them know how valuable you can be.

Meetings are great, but aren't an immediate fix. I would go to the appraisal institute's website and look up all the SRA designated members within a 20-mile radius. Prepare a professional email and resume along with a headshot. Send out a blast and blind copy all of the people that you send it to (so that they don't see each other or hit "reply all" or some other business). You could also send it using mailchimp or something similar to see who has read the email etc.

Best of luck, bad situation, but its time to dig yourself out.
 

Michigan CG

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Michigan
Both of the appraisers get 99% of their work from them, and the fees are between $475-$750.
So the jerk you have been working for is making about $20,000/month and didn't have the ability to pay you? Unbelievable as the average residential appraiser makes about $70k/year. If he is getting those fees you live in an area of high demand. There are many people in CA getting $250/report.

As I said a lot earlier in this thread, you need to send a report to someone to review to see if you have been trained correctly. Your mentor is a scumbag and it is very possible you were trained very wrong. If this is your chosen career you need to make sure you are doing things correctly. I get to see a bunch of garbage reports.
 

ucbruin

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2014
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Massachusetts
"Your mentor is a scumbag and it is very possible you were trained very wrong. If this is your chosen career you need to make sure you are doing things correctly."

May or may not be true....

But devil's advocate....
No one forces someone else into this type of arrangement....
 

ramrcdk

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
You've gotten a lot of good advice.

My advice is to get paid for the work you've done for this dirtbag mentor.

Should be easy. Make a call to your state's Labor Dept. and tell them you've put in a lot of hours and weren't being paid. They'll take it from there.

Others will disagree (they're wrong) but if someone is directly supervising your work and signing as supervisor, the IRS (and probably the state) will VERY likely categorize you as an employee, not as a contractor. Employees must be paid, especially in CA.

Your mentor's life will become a living hll for a while but the way he/she is taking advantage of you, he deserves it.

Good Luck.

PS: I'd give him a chance to make it right first and pay you for your time/work. If he scoffs, see above.
Sorry BUT WHY add that to the list..."we are independent contractors & so is the POS ", ... LABOR BOARD ...for what? OR ..do that & tell us the outcome, so we will learn something.

Any way... LOTS of good advice posted.
Also can try to get a JOB with the tax dept locally. Credit Unions. YES a 1000 times to ...another Mentor. Multiple reasons...different experience on HOW to appraise, learn how to CYA, & potential work.
To say: I had it easy. My first job was with the most popular appraiser in town, so I did not have to find work, just pick a few addresses off of the Wall Map each morning.
When I went ON my own, I brought clients with... AND got more by not graveling BUT saying I had work for this & that & looking to add 1 more client, then 1 more, then... Saying this because it WAS a different TIME in this ...POS career as it is now.
The AMCs that will offer you work will likely be those "bottom feeder" AMCs like Proteck, imortgage or streetlinks which GOES by a different name like I think, not sure through
Assurant or XHome. Typical offer: $250 or less for pages of scope & STIPS afterwards. ***"Always, attention to detail with the specific instructions WILL eliminate after STIPS." Also remember, after delivery requests: typo' or error ... not a laundry lists of stuff they forgot to request UPfront.
GO to the boards WEB Site & get names of AMCs ...IF they must be "licensed" in your State. GO to Mercury-Alamode-corelogic & sign Up. SIGN UP everywhere!
DO you have your OWN software, E&O...???? I use J A Price Agency, a broker for E&O and for many years they have kept premiums LOW considering $$$ for a million, less than $700 a year and retro back to the 90's, so Navigators is what I have.
Call your local college IF they teach appraisal classes, talk to the instructor who is likely an appraiser. You have a sad story to tell, perhaps a kindness can come your way!
 
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