• Potentially Endangered Species: Commercial Real Estate Appraisers

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    As I sit here in front of my computer attempting to draft my first Blog at the request of my tech savvy sons, it dawns on me that I should write something that may be beneficial to those who are considering a career in the real estate appraisal industry, which is where I got my start. As I do every year, last October I attended a continuing education seminar at Tahoe for appraisers’ intent on maintaining their certification in good standing. I have been in this industry for over 37 years and when I was in my late 20’s, I was one of the youngest attendees at most of my classes sponsored by the Appraisal Institute. Sadly, at this past October seminar, even though I am approaching 60, it was apparent that I was still one of the youngest attendees out of about 75 participants. This seems to be the trend these days, and unless something changes, the population of qualified appraisers will diminish rapidly.

    It has been reported that more than half of appraisers in the US are between the age of 51 and 65. The population is decreasing at the rate of 3% per year. A major factor is the lack of qualified mentors or seasoned appraisers that are willing to spend the time and money to train individuals wishing to become a trainee and hopefully a certified appraiser. When I entered the practice, anyone could hang a “shingle” and call themselves an appraiser. Now with all of the necessary Federal regulations on quality control, strict guidelines have been set out regarding hours of experience and supervision that are required to become licensed with the state. Without a license, a successful practice is impractical.

    Interestingly, while the number of appraisers is decreasing, the current number of licensed and certified appraisers is at an all-time high. Even though the current number of licensed appraisers is high, the lack of career opportunities for trainees will hinder the ability for a large number of appraiser hopefuls to enter the industry and could have negative effects on our future supply of appraisers. Those who find a way in should be confronted with an over supply of job opportunities (once the experience is obtained) which will likely be enhanced in the coming years. Consequently, if one is so inclined to pursue a career in the appraisal of commercial real estate, the rewards should be well worth the effort.

    Bill Haedrich

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    Bill Haedrich, MAI, CCIM, is a member of the Appraisal Institute, a Certified Commercial Investment Member and is a licensed real estate broker with close to 40 years of real estate sales and valuation experience. Bill has been instrumental in marketing, negotiating, and closing over 500 million dollars in sales and lease transactions of commercial and investment properties in the Redding area over the last 30 years. As a graduate of the University of California, Davis, his appraisal background and computer expertise has enabled the firm to provide invaluable market-related data and computer-assisted valuation analyses to its clients.