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Was Your Mentor A Skippy?

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ucbruin

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2014
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Massachusetts
Man, in a couple of weeks I will have been an AF member for 4 years....

Recently I've been labeled a Skippy because I don't interview participants to the transactions of sales I employ as comps....
At least 1 AF member admits that his mentor did not interview participants, thus his mentor did not teach him to interview the participants....
And yet the same AF member who labels me a Skippy said his mentor was great but not perfect....
Hmmmmm....

After reading hundreds of threads and thousands of comments, including several current ones running for several days, I'm curious how today's appraisers, looking back in time, view their mentors....

Was your mentor a Skippy????
Or great but just not perfect????
 

Tom Woolford

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Skippy would be generous. Probably why he had his ticket pulled and sued umpteen times.
 

Digger88

Elite Member
Joined
May 11, 2010
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Virginia
Man, in a couple of weeks I will have been an AF member for 4 years....

Recently I've been labeled a Skippy because I don't interview participants to the transactions of sales I employ as comps....
At least 1 AF member admits that his mentor did not interview participants, thus his mentor did not teach him to interview the participants....
And yet the same AF member who labels me a Skippy said his mentor was great but not perfect....
Hmmmmm....

After reading hundreds of threads and thousands of comments, including several current ones running for several days, I'm curious how today's appraisers, looking back in time, view their mentors....

Was your mentor a Skippy????
Or great but just not perfect????

my mentor was great! he taught me how to do a very thorough job. his request to replace a comp for a better one he found flew me into a rage!!! i taught myself how to be maximally efficient, im a proud skippy!
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
Was your mentor a Skippy????
Or great but just not perfect????
I had one mentor who was excellent appraiser, but not great trainer, OTOH she was coping with new rules regs too. Next was too easy on me. Other two (one in AR, one in OK) were agri pros and no issues. They all did not tolerate pushing values.
 

AMF13

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Mine was an SRA. My first day I was surprised to see I was 1 of 8 new trainees. Two or 3 of them did not last long at all. I stuck around for 7 or 8 years, iirc.
They were going for volume, so you tell me. I haven't seen any of those people in years, but the head guy is still licensed with no issues showing.
 

Michigan CG

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Michigan
My mentor was an MAI, SRA. We only did commercial for the first 2 or 3 years I was with him, all residential was farmed out. He rarely turned down any commercial work; we worked eastern Iowa and western Illinois. He took a red pen to my reports for years and everything for the first year had to be rewritten, or needed more clarity. He wanted "exhibits" for almost everything. If there as anything questionable about zoning he wanted zoning in the report. If there was anything at all that had potential to get us in trouble he wanted something in the report to cover that issue.

He insisted on all three approaches to value most of the time. I remember an insurance company national headquarters building that had a complete limestone exterior and he made me do the cost approach on it and figure out the functional obsolescence of the limestone exterior vs a typical exterior. "Dammit, there are three ways to do a cost approach, do it right".

He would build meticulous spreadsheets because "this assignment is different". Everything had to be explained.

The site section had to be at least two pages and the neighborhood had to be 2-3 pages or they were not explained enough. Site pages had to show all entrances to the property and all reports had to have traffic counts and preferably traffic count maps (exhibit) if they were available. Highest and Best Use had to be 4+ pages. or it was not explained enough.

All three approaches had two pages of canned comments at the beginning of the approach detailing to the reader the basic premise of the approach. "The reader needs to know what the hell you are doing here."

Every commercial report had 16 sections. I combined two sections when I moved to Michigan. He sold his reports by the pound but I can't say that what was included was "fluff"; reports were rarely under 100 pages.

For every single comp I had to go talk to a broker, a buyer or a seller. He had me going into offices to talk to people about their leases. "Mr. office lessee, can you tell me about the details of your lease?" "Hello Doctor, I am trying to confirm your lease terms." "Mrs. Hair Salon Buyer, can you explain the details of the purchase of this building?"

"You only learn things by talking to the people, talk to the people" he would say.

For residential he agreed to do it after a couple years when we had a huge divorce case and the attorney hiring him wanted one appraiser doing all the commercial and residential; he would not let it be farmed out. This was 20-25 properties and it was an ugly divorce. I don't remember which side we were working for but the attorney insisted on an MAI, SRA for the reports. The other side was not using an MAI, SRA.

For that one he taught me how to use the 1004 form and required me to verify the sales just like I had to for commercial. I had to talk to a Realtor, buyer or seller and had to mention in the report the name of the person I talked to along with their phone number. "Are you going to sit on the stand in front of the lawyer who is paid to make you look like an *** and say you didn't talk to someone involved in the transaction?"

If the sale was not verified, it did not go into the report.

After that we started doing residential as the calls would come. Eventually I was doing at least one a week, sometimes more but he would still review every single one of them. I got to keep 100% of the residential work fee. At the time there was a big FSBO website and the market was about 25% FSBO and I got a residential that was FSBO. I gave him the report to review and he wanted to make sure that at least two of the comps were FSBO to show if there was any difference in the FSBO market and the typical market. I had to find two FSBO sales and he made me knock on the doors of those two sales and verify the sales with the buyers.

People on internet forums will swear that people won't talk to you when you approach them. Sure some won't, but many will and actually most will. Some people will claim that in rural areas everyone has a gun and will threaten you if you try to knock on their door and ask questions. One idiot, on this forum a couple years ago, claimed that in Iowa it was impossible to verify sales in rural areas. I still maintain my Iowa license and worked in rural Iowa for years and know that to be a complete lie, or a complete lie that the appraiser had actually tried to verify sales as the statement was not true.

I was taught to write all reports the same way with extreme detail. "Write every report as if you are going to be on the witness stand or sitting in front of your state board."

That was before the Scope of Work Rule came into play in USPAP which in my opinion changes the game but I am guessing he would still have the same thoughts now.

However, from what I have seen in the last few years, the quality of reports by most for litigation and private work is getting worse and going to the level of minimum reporting standards (AMC work) that don't work in the litigation or private party world if two appraisers are involved. Is part of that Scope of Work? Most likely. But I will always remember what I was taught about standing in front of a lawyer or my state board.

In the last five years I have seen things go very badly for some appraisers in all types of non-lending work and am seeing it more and more.

My mentor was not a skippy and the reason he would not take residential was because "they don't pay sh** for what we have to do". Things haven't changed much since then.
 

AMF13

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
My mentor was not a skippy and the reason he would not take residential was because "they don't pay sh** for what we have to do". Things haven't changed much since then.

Well, damn! :clapping:
 

Terraform

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Math's and logic are secondary to ethics. My mentor taught me to be honest, in this business we may screw up from time to time on our math and may apply logic that is hard to quantify and support, but IMO our ethical conduct trumps all and is the number 1 thing we rely upon to move our profession forward.
 
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