Congrats! You’ve passed the National Uniform Licensing and Certification Exam, and you’re officially qualified to practice as a Licensed Residential or Certified Residential Appraiser. Now that you’ve conquered your real estate appraiser exam, where should you focus your time and energy next? Follow these six basic steps to help launch and grow your appraisal career.
1. Find an appraisal mentor
At this point, you’ve already found a supervisory appraiser to hire you as a trainee. Chances are, that person will continue to serve as your appraisal mentor and help you navigate the business throughout the early stages of your career. However, you may want to seek out another mentor who has knowledge and expertise in the specific area of appraisal you’re most interested in pursuing.
Prepping for the national exam? Use McKissock’s Appraisal Exam Prep packages and pass your licensing exam the first time.
2. Engage in professional organizations
Professional organizations offer a great way to connect, network, and increase your knowledge of the field. There are many national and local organizations that you can get involved in. Don’t limit yourself to appraisal groups alone. It’s a good idea to engage in real estate organizations as well, especially groups that will introduce you to a variety of real estate professionals in your area.
“Cultivate relationships with real estate agents and brokers,” urges Daniel A. Bradley, SRA, CDEI, McKissock’s director of online appraisal curriculum. They are on the front lines of the market, and they often discover trends before others do.”
For more expert tips, check out our post: Encouraging Advice for New Appraisers.
3. Build your professional profile
There’s no time like the present to start building your professional profile. You’ll want to establish an online presence as well as develop a rapport in your community. For starters, give yourself the following tasks:
- Create a website
- Set up social media profiles (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)
- Polish your resume and portfolio
- Get a professional head shot taken
- Order well-designed business cards (e.g., from Moo.com or Vistaprint)
- Attend local events (e.g., neighborhood association meetings)
Small details like handing out business cards with a link to your website can show potential clients that you are prepared and organized. You want to be top of mind—and easy to contact—in case they need to hire an appraiser in the future.
For additional advice, read our post: Marketing Guides, Networking Tips, and More Resources for Appraisers.
4. Increase your appraisal knowledge
You’ve already passed your appraiser exam, but that doesn’t mean you already know everything you need to know to be successful. Nor does it mean that your formal education is complete. Continuing education, professional development, and staying on top of industry changes and market trends will be essential to your success as a real estate appraiser.
In addition to taking the continuing education courses required to maintain your appraisal license, read relevant publications and blog articles, listen to podcasts, download job aids, attend professional development webinars, and take extra courses—many of which are available through McKissock’s Unlimited Learning Membership.
5. Learn how to manage a business
Many appraisers are self-employed, either operating as sole proprietors or running a company with employees underneath them. If your goal is to own your own appraisal business (either now or in the future), now is a great time to learn best practices. Take a business class or seek out resources that will teach you how to organize your business, manage your expenses, hire the right people, streamline your process, and maintain a steady stream of clients.
6. Budget for future plans
Budgeting essential—especially for self-employed appraisers. This includes budgeting for start-up costs, as well as setting up a savings plan for retirement. Think about things that will affect your budget as you grow your business. Do you plan to work from home or rent an office space? Will you remain a one-person appraisal shop or will you eventually hire employees, such as an appraisal assistant? What is your retirement goal? Consider all these different factors, and budget accordingly.
After you pass your appraiser exam, it’s time to get down to business and focus on building your career. By following these basic steps, you can begin to establish yourself in the field, bring in clients, sharpen your skills, and prepare for the future as you forge ahead in your appraisal career.
Want to contribute to our blog? Apply here to reach thousands of readers on a weekly basis and establish yourself as thought leader in appraisal.