Seeking Appraisal Employment, 2006-2007 Edition, by Bill C. Merrell, Ph.D.

This section was created for those who wish to secure employment in the field of Real Estate Appraisal.  New York State has a specific way of entering the field. This path will change drastically within the next 12-24 months when the Federal Guidelines change 1-1-08. Many of our students have secured employment as appraisers throughout New York State. Still others are still seeking employment. I wrote this article specifically for those who have honestly been trying to gain employment and have been unsuccessful.

My First Question is Why? Not...why haven't your gained employment, but why are you not able to get a job as appraiser.  This may seem blunt, but it is a real question. People graduate in degree programs, put together a detailed resume, create a cover letter, contact employment agencies and head hunters and send out dozens of letters of intent. These recent college graduates check the local, regional and financial newspapers daily, look through every help wanted advertisement, and immediately respond to each that applies to them. These individuals make up business cards with important information hoping that a prospective employer will interview them and employ them. Sometimes the employment opportunity is not even what was hoped, but a stepping stone to the position they trained 4 years to obtain. The recent college graduate has taken 4 years of their life to learn their profession and has worked hard to gain employment. Hard work and energy paid off. Now they must work hard and prove themselves in order to keep their present position and work even harder to climb up the corporate ladder to their ultimate position or goal, which may take years to achieve.

Are you a recent appraisal graduate, with our school or another in New York State? If you are, what have you done to gain employment in the appraisal field. What professional steps have you taken to secure a position in this field?  Have you done an actual appraisal, which our school helps you to complete upon graduate. The purely voluntary assignment, known as the Mock Appraisal is one way to show a potential employer that you are capable of actually completing an assignment. 1 assignment. Have you contacted an employment agencies? Have you listed your name with head hunters specializing in appraisal and financial professions?  Have you created, proof read and printed a professional resume of your past accomplishments? Have you created a cover letter expressing your interest in this field? Is your appraisal good enough to show a potential employer?  Are you taking the time and energy to secure employment?  If you answered, YES to each of these questions, you should be able to obtain a position in an appraisal firm. Within 30-120 days most students who work at it, secure employment. Statistically, the average time to secure a new position in a new career after graduate is 1-4 months, and appraising is no exception.

The Job Interview. As important as getting the interview is getting the job by making a good impression. How are you dressed? Dress for an interview, not for an inspection in the field. The last thing you ask is about the money, quite simply because you are not in the drivers seat here. There are others who desire your position. You need to present yourself in a professional way and when offered the position you will be told what money is also being offered. At this time you may consider it or not, but you should wait to see what is being offered.

Recently we were looking for an Administrative Assistant for the school. We posted all the ads in all the right places, and specifically asked that a resume be faxed to us for our consideration. Out of the 47 people that replied, only 4 faxed resumes as requested. 30 decided to call and ask questions about the job to see if they were interested, and one told me that she wanted to check out the pay before she decided to drive down to the school. I told her that her drive would not be necessary and she was not only rude, she cursed at me, and called me back 3 times to let me know that she would have been the best assistant I ever had, but she was not interested. I suggested therapy for her, since she really believed that 1 phone call demanding a quote as to what salary she would start at, would cause me to stop what I was doing and jump at the opportunity to hire this person. Sounds silly, but many of you are simply calling appraisal firms, and you are speaking with appraisers in the office, typically not the boss, and asking for a job. This is cold calling. Even Supermarket stockers are required to fill out  employment applications, which is reviewed before anyone gets interviewed.  They last several candidates e-mailed my firm and expressed interest in this fashion. Again, I asked that a resume be faxed. We have a list. Those what cannot follow simple instructions are not to be hired.  Think about it, potential applicants were asked to send in a resume in a specific fashion less than 10% were able to follow simple instructions. Maybe they thought that by going a different path they would be noticed. Noticed, yes, hired No.

I would recommend you go to our OPEN HOUSE section and our APPRAISAL section at www.merrellinstitute.com    Both sections will link you to articles, employment tips and other avenues to secure a position in this field. I do not recommend that you simply call and ask if a firm is hiring. They do not know who you are, what your motives are, or even if you are the competition checking to see how busy they are, to see if they are expanding there territory or types of assignments. Appraising and the field is very confidential and owners keep information about business dealings strictly confidential. Why then would they freely discuss territories they cover, the banks they work with or they types of assignments they perform with a person they do not know, especially when you are the one hoping to be hired by this firm.  The firms that tell you everything are usually the ones that have more time than clients.

What's the Next Step?  It is really up to you. Are you willing to put together a detailed resume, do your first Mock Appraisal to show potential employers the quality of your work, contact employment agencies to have them work to secure employment for you, send out letters of intent showing your willing ness and desire to secure employment in this field. If you answered, Yes, then a position in the field may be around the corner.

Other sites to help include:  www.appraisaltraining.com     Much luck and success in the field of appraisal.