Encourage the “Yutes”

“When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.” Rodney Dangerfield’s joke is insightful for veteran commercial real estate appraisers not to hide from our obligation to promote our industry. Case in point, I’ve had a growing number of coffee and lunch meetings with recent college grads considering going into our profession. Until recently, I wouldn’t encourage the youths (or “yutes”) to follow in my footsteps. However, I think that negativity came from my limiting “self-talk” or “head trash” of what the industry used to be and not what it can be for those looking for a professional path. My cousin Vinny might say “Fuhgettaboutit.” But I think that’s wrong.

There’s plenty of things to point your finger at that are no longer the same as when you entered your career. Thing is, if you’re a newbie, a yute or dare I say millennial, you don’t know or care about how it used to be. The opportunities are the same, but presented differently. As a veteran you may feel out of place talking about the positive attributes of the trade. Sort of like a 1990s movie plot, a New York attorney feeling like a fish out of water in an Alabama courtroom.

If you’ve been around the block, you may think the following are valid reasons not to go into commercial appraising in 2018. No. 1 is a big one, not only for Mr. Dangerfield, but for many of us in the ranks today.

  1. Significant decline in respect
  2. Historically low fees
  3. Sometimes anonymous clients, reviewers or feedback from clerks
  4. Increasing checkbox mentality
  5. Few know that commercial appraisers still exist in the wild

Joe Pesci would get “agita” or heartburn trying to compel a yute to complete the gauntlet of state education to become a commercial appraiser. The challenge: a four year degree (alternative options available), 300 classroom hours, and 3,000 experience credit hours (minimum 1.5 years under a supervisor) and completion of national general and state supplemental exams. I’m not trying to lower the bar for our profession, but I could become a pilot with a two year bachelor degree, 1,500 flight hours logged, 250 hours of flight time and passing a FAA practical test.

Sure, commercial airlines have additional requirements, but a yute might be thinking to themselves “what am I doing?” or “chefai?” If we veterans in the industry are saying you should do something else then new trainees might feel like a “boombot” or idiot thinking about appraising as a lifelong profession. No one wants to feel dimwitted or “stuppiau.”

So what is the answer for supervisor appraisers? Some of us may have “stunad,” or a negative amount of energy. But I contend that has to do with lack of technology investment in your appraisal firm. If you repackage your attitude toward your business and invest time and money into your productivity, you will create a meaningful and quicker path to success for yutes. Another “bene” payoff is that it would significantly improve your hourly income.

Airline pilots on average make more “contanti” ($) than average commercial appraisers. But if you run the numbers, those appraisers who invest heavily into technology make more “i soldi” ($) than pilots. If you’re in a position, try to find the time to encourage potential new appraisers. Let’s not hide like Mr. Dangerfield’s joke. The yutes are our future. Bada Bing!