Portland Area Real Estate Appraisal Discussion

How to Find an Appraiser to Train You
August 24th, 2016 7:14 PM

How to Find an Appraiser to Train Me
Last week, I wrote about how difficult it is to schedule an appraisal in Portland, Oregon right now.  The backlog has resulted in recent appraisal fee increases.  Subsequently, more people have been contacting me seeking someone willing to train them and pass the largest hurdle of becoming a Certified Residential Appraiser – the two-year apprenticeship.  If you’re an appraiser looking to find an assistant, please contact me, I will connect you with some good candidates.

I cannot hire everyone that contacts me.  So, what advice do I give to someone looking to find a supervising appraiser?  I generally tell them to seek out and attend local appraiser functions and organizations.  In Portland, the local NAIFA meets monthly for lunch and a guest speaker.  (Click here for more information about the chapter luncheons.)  The Appraisal Institute (AI) also has local events, but the mixes are not as regular as with the NAIFA.   However, the meetings in both organizations are welcoming to guests and are a great way to meet appraisers, particularly the ones who might be able to hire or otherwise help you. 

When you are looking to find an appraiser to train you, they are much more likely to hire you if they feel like they know you.  This takes shaking hands, sending out resumes, and phone calls.  It is said in sales that it takes seven touches or interactions to make a sale, so don’t get frustrated if you don’t get a job right away.  Here is a plan to use on every appraiser that you think might be able to train you or get you into contact with someone who can.

  1. Meet appraisers in person at an appraiser function. Introduce yourself, shake hands, ask for business cards, and ask for advice on finding a supervisor. You want the appraiser you meet to help you find a supervisor rather than feel like they are being pressured to hire you. You can also cold call appraisers and ask to meet with them (here is a link to a directory of appraisers). Alternately, ask your friends on social media if they know any appraisers. Be sure to have a resume and a cover letter ready if anyone requests it (see below).
  2. Send a follow-up email to appraisers you have met or spoken to, tell them how excited and thankful you are to be making contacts.
  3. Follow up by phone to discuss your progress in meeting other appraisers. Be sure to thank that person for any time, help, or kindness they have given you.
  4. Connect on social media like LinkedIn or other sources if the appraiser you met has an online presence.
  5. Send a note (multiple forms, but handwritten can be effective) checking in with progress you have made in your search or people you have met. Again, don’t forget to be thankful for all the time that a person has given you, even if it is just a moment.
  6. Start over at step one. On the second trip through these steps, your prospects will start to be quite aware of you. If any of your prospects are thinking of hiring or know someone who is, you will likely be on the top of the list. If you can connect with your best contacts on a personal level like families or hobbies, you will have an additional edge. Also, you will be on the top of your contact’s mind if you can find a way to help them. (See: Give And Take: How The Rule Of Reciprocation Binds Us.)

The more appraisers that you can interact with, the better your chances are at finding a job.  When you’re interacting with appraisers, you never know when someone will ask for your resume and cover letter.  Here is a listing of some things that I look for in an appraiser assistant.

  1. The ability to communicate in writing. An appraisal is essentially an argument in favor of your opinion of value. If you can explain things simply and argue effectively in writing, highlight this on your resume. Be sure to have several people proofread your resume. You don’t want your resume to have errors, particularly when you’re applying for a job that requires writing skills.
  2. A capacity to research online. A large part of what appraisers and appraisal assistants do is research online. People who are good at finding things online can make great appraiser assistants and appraisers.
  3. The aptitude to master computer programs. It can be difficult and frustrating for your trainer and for an appraiser assistant if you cannot troubleshoot simple computer problems. Appraisers use many computer programs and dealing with issues as they arise is just part of life as an appraiser. If you have computer skills, even if you think they are basic, highlight them on your resume.
  4. A talent to work independently. Most appraisers spend a great deal of time working from home and need to have the self-discipline to meet deadlines.
  5. Do not provide the same resume to an appraiser that you would provide for any other job. Make sure that your resume gets to the point and highlights your key skills that relate to appraisal. If you had a prior unrelated job, point out the skills from that job that will be helpful to an appraiser.
  6. Clean up your social media or online presence by deleting posts that you would not want a future employer to read or changing your privacy settings. I always Google candidates looking for a job. On several occasions, I have not contacted a candidate simply because of something ignominious on social media.

For additional information, here is a link to another article that I wrote about How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser.  Did I leave anything out or do you want to join in the conversation?  Let me know in the comments below.

If you find this information interesting or useful, please subscribe to this blog and like A Quality Appraisal, LLC on Facebook.  Also, please support us by making Portland real estate appraisal related comments on our blogs and YouTube videos.  If you need Portland, Oregon area residential real estate appraisal services for any reason, please request appraisal fee quote or book us to speak at your next event.  We will do everything possible to assist you.

Thanks for reading,

Gary F. Kristensen, SRA, IFA, AGA

Posted by Gary Kristensen on August 24th, 2016 7:14 PMPost a Comment

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Fantastic post Gary. This is very practical and I think trainees across the country can glean some value here. Are you finding in your area that lenders are willing to let trainees sign the report and/or do a significant portion of the appraisal?

Posted by Ryan Lundquist on August 24th, 2016 7:50 PM
Great question Ryan. I don't know of any lenders or AMCs in Oregon who are accepting appraisal reports that have been signed by the assistant and signed by the supervising appraiser as having not inspected the property. This is a big problem and a key part of why there have not been a sufficient number of people becoming appraisers in recent years.

Posted by Gary Kristensen on August 24th, 2016 11:55 PM
With 1,000 appraisers in San Diego County alone and 6,000 within a few hundred miles, your version of reality is not shared by me or many. There is NO WAY you will get any work if you are outside the 3 to 5 day window in my area (Rushes are due same day!). Even though the median price in my area is just over $800,000 on average (San Diego / Carlsbad), gross appraisal fees are rarely over $325. The idea of having two weeks of work is crazy (10 to 15 appraisals), however no one in my area could in a million years fathom 7 weeks of work or (40 to 50 appraisals). Congratulations on winning the location lottery.

Posted by Bill Johnson on September 23rd, 2016 6:05 PM
Hi Gary. First of all, thank you for taking the time to write this post. It is extremely helpful to find such great advice from a local appraiser! I am a stay at home mom and I have been planning to start my appraisal career for a while now. I have a bachelor’s degree in business but have not started any appraisal courses. Does it make sense to become a Certified Assistant Appraiser before job hunting; Or, would you recommend finding a Supervising Appraiser before hitting the books? Your time and advice is much appreciated, thank you!!

Posted by Brianna Abdalla on January 15th, 2017 3:24 PM
Brianna, Thank you for following and for the question. My advice is that if you know this is what you want to do, you should start looking for a supervising appraiser right away and start taking the classes. Once you have your classes, a supervising appraiser might take you more seriously as someone with skin in the game, but it does not hurt to start trying. Also, you can work as an appraiser assistant without taking the classes, you just cannot log experience hours until you have the classes and have become registered.

Posted by Gary Kristensen on January 16th, 2017 12:33 AM
Hi Gary, I just wanted to thank you for your posts. I am in the middle of taking the classes necessary to become a trainee, and your blog is the most relevant and helpful I have found to figuring out how to find a Supervisory Appraiser. From someone just learning the ins and outs of the industry, I appreciate the help your blog provides. -Erin

Posted by Erin Letterman on March 20th, 2017 6:51 PM
Thank you for following Erin and let me know if you need anything.

Posted by Gary Kristensen on March 20th, 2017 7:00 PM


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