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What are they telling trainee appraisers?

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Joined
Mar 19, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Illinois
Recently, I had to let an appraiser go, and during the process she told me what her plan was originally when she received her license.

After 6 months of training she thought she could go out and get her own clients, presumably making the full fee for herself!

In addition I just read a post on another one of these forums, a trainee appraiser aludes to getting their own clients within one year.

I don't know about you, but I did not feel 100% knowledgeable til I had been an appraiser for 4 or 5 years.

Looking back after 10 years, I know a lot more now than 4 or 5 years ago.

Who is telling appraisers they can go out on their own so quickly, they likely don't have a clue about competency requirements in USPAP, are the education providers failing them, are they dangling a carrot in front of unknowing job seekers to get fuller classrooms? Is it someone else?

I think its ridiculous to get your own clients in less than 3 years, even that seems too quick.

Here in Illinois, recently there was a case of a broker turned appraiser. As soon as he got licensed, his buddies sent work to him, he in turn hired appraisers and had them e mail the work directly to the clients, not even signing off. I hear he got into some hot water, if anyone is familiar with the case, please let me know.


Just wanted to see if this was a phenomenon or just something I am experiencing.
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
I don't know about you, but I did not feel 100% knowledgeable til I had been an appraiser for 4 or 5 years.

I will never feel "100%" knowledgable, but anyone who is disciplined should know their own limits. Even surgeons don't spend more than 4 or 5 years in training. Frankly, I was on my own virtually from day one, but A- I started at a time when neither regulation nor appraisals were very sophisticated; B- I had a career and knew how to run a self-employed business (most newbies will underestimate the time that they will spend doing something besides appraising just to stay in business); and, C- I had a "mentor" both an appraisal one and a bank one (who fed me work and told me how to get more.) Very few people will be lucky enough to have such luck. I did not steal anyone else's work because at the time there was a vacuum in the start up. Banks who never considered hiring appraisers, decided that they needed them and latched upon the handiest person around. Remember the $50,000 de minimus initially instituted caused numerous banks to hire appraisers. Most kept hiring them even after the de minimus was upped to 250K. They liked the idea of having someone handle that and allow their loan officers to do more important things. Most loans were in house and secondary market was very picky about what they took...not anymore. Fannie mae will take anything and most banks without secondary market loan originators lost business to those who had them.
Under those sink or swim circumstances, I feel like 1- 2 years is plenty for someone to be competent to do SFRs. With state requirements what they are I cannot see how anyone can go it along under current rules save having 3 years minimum. It is taking that long to get the experience hours to certify. W/O a license you have limited opportunity to cabbage onto clients. I have one client that will not accept an appraiser except they have had a license for at least 4 years and then you have to get on their approved list.
Licensing is proving to be a gleaning of the troops. I am not sure it means better appraisers, but am confident it means fewer which is a plus for those of us who "already have ours."
ter
 

David Bodtcher

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2002
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Utah
Joseph,
I am a trainee in Cali, and after 1 month, my mentor had me going to get my own work, building a clientell for myself. There are a lot of things that seemed to have changed onced i became a licensed trainee. Before I started schooling for appraising, I was under the impression from talking to my mentor, that he had so much work, that there would be plenty for me to do. Little did I comprehend that it didn't mean there would be plenty of work he had for ME to do. And I also was welcome to help myself to his office, but after working 2 months, I'm being told I need to get everything he has for his business, for myself very soon. That's a lot of stuff with a small income!! But at least the fee split is good.(which also changed a tad when I started:))

So to make a long story short, I believe trainees are told anything and everything. We're tossed to and fro like waves on the sea between different ideas, beleifs and strategies about appraising. But I'm sure I'll weather the storm. It's a little hard to follow a mentor when the world seems to spin, but at least it makes it fun.
 

Mike Simpson

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2002
Joseph-

This is the sweat-shop mentality. Lose your job? No problem...take some appraisal courses and you too can be earning six figures a year within six months!

David-

Been there done that. You can always find a new 'mentor.' Sounds like the one you've got is riding you hard and putting you away wet. I worked for many different outfits and their clienteles and services varied wildly. While I didn't make much initially the experience served to create a solid base when we finally started our own business. Hang in there...you've got hope for future achievement--that should keep you going.

-Mike
 

Lee SW IL

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
A lot has to do with the individual themselves. But, I in my opinion, most appraisers with less than five years experience need a mentor. I have just reaching my 6th year appraising. I still find myself asking questions. I also turn down assignments that I believe are just too difficult. If I had a good mentor, I would be a better appraiser. But, the mentor I had did a lousy job running his appraisal mill. So I left.

I joined NAIFA, go to the meetings, talk with other appraisers for questions and thoughts about specifics. I also take alot of classes each year.

Any lender would be crazy accepting the work of a person less than 2 years experience. Most I know require 5 years appraisal experience. Im curious what the requirement of an AMC is? I thought they also had a five year requirement, but, with the fees they pay, I don't know any appraiser with more than five years experience would work for $175 for a URAR.

I do know of another appraiser that is on her own and has a ton of full fee clients, with 3 years experience, she has had these clients for two years or so, but she's pretty much of a hitter, (she has told me she would stop an appraisal if its not going to near the "estimated value").

As far as your case about the broker turned appraiser. Check the OBRE website for discipline actions against appraisers.

http://www.obre.state.il.us/
 

Ramona

Sophomore Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Maryland
It has to start in the beginning appraisal classes. My teacher (who was brilliant, and still the best appraisal teacher I've run across in CE classes) told our class of 30 that perhaps 3 or 4 of us would actually become licensed appraisers. He went over the difficulty in finding an apprenticeship, low pay, long hours, lender pressure, etc.

I'm getting alot of homeowners watching me do their inspection in an hour, and saying "Wow, what a great job you have. How do you get to be an appraiser, I'd like to do that." I always make sure to mention that the inspection is the easy, quick part, and hours and hours of work that they don't see is involved. "Heh, heh, I wish this was all there was to it, I could do 20 a day and be filthy rich!". Maybe with increased focus on the Scope section, at least the owners who take the time to read the report will understand better what we actually do (and not sign up for the next community college appraiser fundamentals classes).
 

Bill_FL

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
I think we are all in a constant state of learning. I would like to think I knew more after 2 years. That I knew more after 5 years and that I know more now after 12 years.

I think appraising is like martial arts. You never "know it" but you can always study it.
 

Jonathan Davey

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2003
The degree of cycisism in this field is shocking, never seen anything like it.

What are schools telling people: couldn't say. My quess though, would be that it is like any other proffsional school (give me your money, things will be peachy). Of course, only the nieve would believe it.

Now, I'll put the shoe on the other foot for a second> Lets talk about cost approach and cost approach depreciation. Do any of you appraisers actually feel your cost approaches are accurate? Let me see, to be an estimater (this is an actual profession)using the cost approach, people typically need ten years practical experience and education to do it correctly. That would generally mean 5 years constuction application (banging nails) and 5 years managment plus 800 hrs classroom study. Umm, have any of you actually done this?
Quik fact: most profesional estimators (marshall and swift aside) DO NOT rely on the manuals. It is a reference ONLY. Further, for those of you who don't know, the manuals DO NOT account for builder overhead such as workers comp, liability, bad customers, vehicle maintenance or builder profit. Most builders add 10% margine of error. Most builders adjust for seasonal difference , ie: add for winter work. The cost manuals DO NOT account for carrying costs, point and real costs of construction.
Additionally, the better GC or builders rely upon sub-contractors to provide the estimates in their given field of expertise and generally DO NOT accept the lowest bids.
So just curious, all you being cynics and all. When did you all learn to become proffesional estimators, or perhaps, just perhaps...YOUR NOT!
And when doing so, and the numbers you come up with, truth be told, at best it would be replacement costs. Everybody has heard of the construction over runs, more than likely it had to do with the initial construction estimate, and again, more often than not from somebody that had a dergree in construction managment, architecture or engineering, but never banged any nails themselves

In all honesty, GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSES.

Secondly, I am a broker. I've NEVER had a disiplanary action. I've seen a few posts that "took shots" at the brokers. The real estate boards governing brokers for ethics/managment and so forth are VERY active, they investigate EVERY complaint. The testing, at least in Massachusetts, is difficult. The fail rate is over 50%. Most people, CPAs finance know it alls and so forth frequently fail.

Thirdly: property mangament: have any of you a clue? how does this affect value? what do you check for? does it encumber a property?
I understand your only doing an appraisal, but isn't that part of value?Easy to find out.

Title reresearch/abstracting? any of you a clue, do you do it? should you?
answer: #### YES. quick and easy to do, you would be amazed at what you find> Most registries can be accessed online as well.

The building department/inspectional services, whatever it may be called in your area: "the jacket" anyone know what it is? anyone know why you should check it? probably not. Your only doing appraisals, not making an investment or finding out about a property. right?

I'm a newbie, I haven't got a clue about the ins and outs of running an appraisal bussiness. But point blank: when it comes to property value of one to four families, within just a few hours, i'd know more about a property and the "real property value" than nearly anyone: Sounds arrogant, but it isn't. Im also an investor: I've lost a ton of money, because i hit a mine field that no one knew about: I've also made a ton of money, because i found out about things people didn't know about. Lose 100K of your own money because you missed something, THAT is liability!

Anyways, The arrogance on your parts is amazing, many of you come across as if your the end all of real estate knowledge: YOUR NOT!
NOT EVEN CLOSE< (NOR AM I) and yet so quick to cast aspersions on a group of people (steriotyping) so quickly. Hmmmm, perhaps insecure about your own knowledge and ability to deal with people ie the lenders;

One other point, unlike other professions such as archtecture, engineering legal, medical. It seems as though the appraisal field is a dog and pony show being run by the banks, hmmmmm could this be a source of your bitterness?

Anywyas, a disproportionate amount of the posts here focus bad mouthing others, so i'll leave you with a quote "you doth protest too much", lol some of you will know what that means.
 

Rob Bodkin

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Washington
Interesting Stream of posts.

I recently expanded the shop, was interviewing people and I talked with people who had their ticket and people who did not. I hired a certified appraiser at the end of the day, but the most interesting interview was of a trainee.

She has been working for a shop here in Seattle since Sept. 02' and came to the interview with a very high opinion of her worth and work product. While I was not really put off by her bravado, I was in her shoes 10 years ago, I was put off by her assumptions and total lack of understanding of our craft and the roles we play.

She has a "whole ton" of brokers who would love to send her work and she really only needs me to "sign off" on her work. And for the pleasure she was willing to PAY ME 50% of the feee initially and once I was "comfortable" with her work product that would go to 25%. It was all I could do to be polite and stear the interview towards a brief conclusion.

It did make me really frustrated though because I know she will find someone who is willing to do it. Hell, in this day and age she will find someone to give her a copy of their signature on disk with a password and just wait for the checks to roll in. YIKES!

To our new friend Jonathan, god luck, you'll need it.

One of the things about a place like this forum is that our profession, to a great degree, is very isolating (spelling). A lot of us have home offices, or work long hours in a small 1 or 2 person office. That does not create too many opportunities to rub shoulders with each other very often. One of the things we all crave is someone to hear our frustrations, my fishing partner hears more of mine, but a lot get laid out here.

There is also a great deal of good advice/feedback when we encounter a deal that is tough or new. For that I am quite gratefull.

To train another appriaser is a tough deal. I've done it. There are rewards, though at the end of the year they are usually not fiscal, and there are frustrations galore. I'll probably do it again, but probably only once more.

Good luck newbies, even you Jonathan.

Rob Bodkin
Freestone Partners
 

BigBlueGA

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
And this is the same guy that proposed an appraiser's union a few days ago??? 8O
 
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