Appraising is a great career

Demand and opportunity have arrived for fee and bank appraisers. It’s time for us to show the way for new talent with a rebranding of our valuation industry. 

Abundance mindset: I’ll be a supervisor, provide a framework for success and leverage opportunity. 

Scarcity mindset: I don’t want to be a supervisor; they’ll just leave after I train them and compete with me. 

3 Reasons for valuation rebranding 

  1. The process of creating a strong, positive perception of a service. 
  1. Build relationships with your audience. 
  1. Create a brand that people care about. 

Advocacy – talk it up 

As valuation experts, it’s time for give back. As a collective group, it will serve our industry well if we help newbies understand what this career path looks like. When asked the question, “Should I go into appraising?” it should be an affirmative “Yes!”. However, some of us talk about glory days and discourage young ears. 

If you’re still appraising, you stayed for a reason. Probably because you love it. Sure, it’s a different business model in 2022 than 1985, but newbies don’t know or care what it “used to be.” It’s good now. Really good. Change your message to highlight a better lifestyle, a lot less stress than other jobs and a lot more stability. 

Kick start a career 

“My experiences” is a technique to use anecdotal stories by younger people in your firm or appraisal department. Have casual conversations and let them honestly describe their journey as an appraiser.  

Listen for roadblocks that could have been avoided. Resist the urge to roll your eyes and compare the journey to what you experienced two or three decades ago. 

Push through setbacks 

Commercial appraising is demanding. There’s a ton of research, writing, organizational and time management skills. The younger generation resists perceived long career runways. Therefore, promote and acknowledge their contributions. 

Our current brand 

Brand perceptions of the valuation industry. 

Thumbs up 

  • “If you’re smart, it’s not that hard to make $175,000 a year without killing yourself working.”  
  • “Sr. commercial reviewers in a bank can make $145-$160K + 30% bonus at 55-hour weeks.” 
  • “Appraising gives you invaluable experience due to the sheer amount of research it takes.” 

Thumbs down 

  • “Great experience, poor long-term career path except for a handful of owners.” 
  • “Starting out, the pay isn’t worth the ramp up time.” 
  • “I talked to a few MAIs, but their tone was very discouraging.” 

Mixed Bag 

  • “I haven’t decided if I want to make a career out of this; however, my skills will be transferable to other roles within investments or development.” 
  • “There’s opportunities to make money but breaking into the business isn’t easy.” 
  • “You have to go into an appraisal career with the ambition of being the person in charge or it’s not worth doing.”  

Lack of awareness 

U.S. News & World Report 100 best jobs in 2022, appraising isn’t even listed. Their criteria: They pay well, challenge us year after year, match our talents and skills, aren’t too stressful, offer room to advance throughout our careers, and provide a satisfying work-life balance. Sound like appraising to me. 

According to FortuneBuilders, best real estate jobs in 2022 puts appraisers on the list, but at the end of the Top 10. Glass Door rates the top best jobs in America, most of which are tech, enterprise architect, full stack engineer, data scientist, devops engineer and strategy manager. 

Happy and you know it, clap your hands 

McKissock answers the question with their survey, “Are appraisers happy?” Turns out 83.4% of us are. Commercial appraising checks all the boxes: independence, work-life balance, flexible schedule, respectable income, challenging work and diverse work opportunities. 

As some approach retirement, appraising allows part-time work. Consider, even part-time, to train someone. Be a mentor.  

Maybe we should stop using the clinical “supervisor” term. Instead consider – guide, counselor or sensei, the latter of which means, “One who has gone before.”  

Share your art. Rebrand.