Learning how to become a certified appraiser is a great idea, if you’d like to start a small business in the real estate industry with low overhead. Certified appraisers are in demand, even as the overall real estate market is in a slump, because insurance companies and banks continue to need their services.
What You’ll Need to Succeed
To learn how to become a certified appraiser, you’ll need to first find out the requirements in your state. Get in touch with your state’s real estate board for certification and licensing details. Most of the certification requirements for certified appraisers are set on a state level, but you will also need to take a national residential exam.
Your states requirements for you to become a certified appraiser might include a criminal background check, and some states dictate a minimum age for certified appraisers. Additionally, most states require some kind of educational course. These requirements can include on the job training as well as classroom learning.
One of the most stringent states for learning how to become a certified appraiser is California, where you will be required to take anywhere from 150 to 300 hours of educational classes, depending on your license level. The highest level, a certified general appraiser takes a minimum of three thousand hours of work in the field, in addition to 300 hours of schooling, and a bachelor’s degree.
Making connections in the real estate field is a key for success once you’ve learned how to become a certified appraiser. There is likely to be a fair amount of competition in the field, so you need to let potential clients know why you are their best choice. One way to meet potential clients is to first work as a certified appraiser for a bank or insurance company. Networking within the real estate community will also be critical to your success.
Work hard to gain a reputation as a certified appraiser who provides accurate, timely appraisals of properties, and always present your findings in a very professional, well organized manner. You will need to be prepared to justify your estimates and demonstrate your expertise in your field on a regular basis.
When it comes time to expand your certified appraiser business, consider offering other types of appraisals. If you have concentrated on residential appraisals, you can begin providing commercial appraisals. Some certified appraisers even focus on a single industry, like self storage facilities or retail strip malls. Another option is to offer bulk discounts to banks, insurance companies and other entities that require regular appraisals. Some will even be willing to sign long term contracts to lock in a good appraisal fee rate.
When you learn how to become a certified appraiser, you are in business for yourself, and you can offer whichever services you feel will give you a competitive edge in your market. Do your research, commit to learning all you can on an ongoing basis, and go for it!