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Part-time appraisers – how many and why?
Statistics from data on appraiser licenses from www.asc.gov, and other sources, do not identify how many are doing appraisals part-time or not at all.
Why does it seem like there is an appraiser shortage in some areas? Of course, it is probably a shortage of appraisers willing to work for low fees. But, this also spills over into non-AMC work as few appraisers are available as they are cranking out AMC appraisals and won’t accept non-AMC work.
I keep speaking with more and more appraisers who are no longer working long hours. There is almost unlimited demand from AMCs, but most of them do not work for AMCs. Or, work for a few AMCs that pay well and give them occasional work. Or, refuse to work for lower fees, so don’t get much AMC work.
Why do appraisers work part-time?
– The median appraiser age is getting higher. Older appraisers (and non-appraisers) are no longer willing to work 60-80 hours per week. They often don’t need as much money as before. Children who graduated from college, collecting social security, home mortgage paid off, or have a low rate on the mortgage, spouse retired, etc. I suspect that this is the primary reason.
– Fee appraisers are self-employed. Many baby boomers that are employed want to work part-time but their employers won’t allow it. One of my brothers started working in the printing business when he was 18. For the past 30 years, he has been doing on-site printer repairs for national companies. He is 67 and would love to cut back to part-time as he does not want to do a lot of driving, which his job requires. When he retires this year, there is no one to replace him. There are no new people coming into printer repairs, which requires expertise in computer software and printer hardware, and many years of experience. His employer says “no” to part-time work.
– Self-employed appraisers, as we get older, can gradually cut back on how much time we spend on appraising. That is one of the best features of having an appraisal business. Also, if we start another business or get another job, we can often continue part-time appraising.
– Not working but keeping a license as a backup. Hard to get a license back. Sometimes do an occasional appraisal. I always recommend keeping your appraisal license as long as you can. You never know when you will need extra income.
– Don’t work for AMCs and don’t get a lot of work from non-AMC clients.
I just look in the mirror. I limit the amount of work I accept. I don’t do any lender work and turn down non-lender work every week. I am 72, downsized my home, no children to support, collect Social Security of $3,000 per month since I turned 70. I worked very long hours appraising for 25 years, but 5 years ago I started cutting back on the hours I spend appraising. (I typically worked about 60 hours per week.) I get also income from my paid newsletter and ads for this free email newsletter. Most importantly, I need more time for my experimental music and videos, another big motivator ;>
I do appraisals and work on my appraisal business for about 15 hours per week. My sfr fees are at, or slightly above, non-AMC C&R fees. I have little driving time as I have been working only in my small city for the past two years – 10 minutes to go from one end to the other. I have an assistant that proofreads, invoices, etc. My typical time to writeup an sfr is about 2 hours. The total time is about 4 hours plus 1 hour for my assistant. There are few tract homes here.
What does this mean for you?
If you stay in the appraisal profession, even part-time, you will have lots of work in the future. Baby Boomers are leaving the workplace, or cutting way back, in large numbers for all types of work.