It would likely come as no surprise to most appraisers at this point that with the changing demographics and aging of the valuation profession, attracting the next generation remains crucial to the future. With the many opportunities for employment and continued growth, the benefits for those considering pursuing an appraisal career are clear.
The advantages to an experienced real estate appraiser of hiring a trainee may be less apparent, but they are no less significant.
While there is undoubtedly significant work and time commitment upfront, hiring a trainee can reap long-term benefits for an appraisal business, including:
- More money: If you thrive at managing your team, ultimately each additional appraiser you have working for you should mean more revenue for your business.
- Fewer hours: If you often find yourself working late or turning down work, hiring a trainee should eventually lead to more capacity and a greater division of assignments.
- Expanding your firm’s expertise: As a trainee gains experience, they will most likely develop an interest in a specific area of practice, geographic area or property type, thus increasing your firm’s capabilities.
To maximize your efforts, look for trainees with certain transferable qualities, such as a solid work history, persistence and experience in commission-based sales, among any others you may have found your firm requires.
Like any major business decision, though, the choice to hire a trainee should not be taken lightly. An appraiser should also consider the following to ensure the business continues to thrive:
- Will you need to increase your marketing activities? Presumably, you have enough work to take on a trainee, but you’ll want to make sure you have a steady flow of assignments coming in to justify having multiple employees.
- Are you comfortable handing over the reins? Of course, a trainee who has learned under you should pick up on the business habits you pride yourself on, so quality of work should be expected.
- Are you thinking long term? Appraisers might worry that a trainee will “steal” their clients, but it’s more important to consider whether an employee will stay with your company. By giving them the support they need, they’ll be more motivated to remain with the firm once the apprenticeship is completed.
You can also plan on a trial employment period. This will give you the chance to make sure the employee can complete assignments on time, can work independently and can handle any issues that might arise.
Are you an experienced appraiser who has mentored a younger professional, or an up-and-coming appraiser who had a mentor? Please share your experiences in the comments below.