Poll: In the past year, have your standard fees for a typical non-complex assignment?
My comment: Good news that the majority of responses were for increased fees. But, less than $50 annual increase is low. If you work for AMCs, your fees will drop when business slows down, assuming you are not getting very low fees now. If you don’t ask for higher fees now, or drop AMCs that insist on low fees, you are losing lots of money. I keep increasing my fees by $50 every 3-4 months and am still below other local appraisers’ fees. Remember, there is little or no AMC “loyalty” to appraisers. They will not remember you when business slows down and you really need work.
The system is finally broken in our favor for a change and we need to take full advantage. My current fees are nearing twice what they were this time last year. I’m getting lots of RFQs and pushing back HARD: I bid sky-high for decent “turn-times”, then take good care of those who pay me well by delivering their appraisals reliably & on-time. The AMCs had us over a barrel for seven years. It’s time to claw back as much of those stolen fees as possible while the busy times last.
The goal of a business is to make a profit. AMC’s generate their profit by finding the cheapest appraiser or selecting appraisers that allow them to maintain their profit margin. If you have an appraisal business and you work with AMC’s, you do not have a legitimate business because you have no control over how much profit you are making. Handling a greater volume of work for periods of time, will increase your pay temporarily and increase your profit margin slightly – longer hours more resources, but when you consider all of the long term expenses, auto repair/replacement, gas, insurance, license renewal fees, etc.a standard appraisal fee in L.A. should be $600.00. I’d like to think I was stating the obvious, but given what many appraisers are accepting as fees, many don’t understand basic business principals.