If you’re thinking about becoming a commercial property appraiser, commercial real estate is a great place to start. Appraisers in general tend to see a lot of job satisfaction overall, but working in commercial real estate valuation opens up so many doors and allows you many opportunities for success. Here are some of the top reasons why you should consider this career path and what it will take to get there.
Qualities of a Commercial Property Appraiser
You may fit in well with a career in property valuation if you understand the value of doing quality research. As an appraiser, it is your job to look extensively into all areas of a commercial property. This goes far beyond the building itself and should include its history, zoning, tangible and intangible assets, and more. This will include doing your own property inspections, speaking with whoever is in charge of the property, and completing additional research about the area as needed. You will also need to take time to understand what similar properties have to offer, which means you may have to do research that goes beyond the property you are appraising. Then, based on this extensive report, you would have to make a determination on what the property should be valued as.
In addition, you should be open to a flexible working environment. Some commercial appraisal companies use mainly virtual appraisals and value properties through a combination of video conferencing and AR technologies. However, the traditional approach of “on-site” appraisals is still widely used and you may spend a portion of your time going to different properties to gather information. Overall, this tends to be a major benefit in becoming a commercial property appraiser as it allows you also to have a flexible schedule and gives you the ability to find a good work-life balance.
Another key quality that a property appraiser should have is the ability to communicate with others effectively. This goes beyond communicating with the rest of your team (although, this is also important). You should feel comfortable discussing specifics and gathering information from property managers and owners in order to create a detailed report. Although you will have the opportunity to do research on your own time, much of the needed information can be gathered from sources who are familiar with the property.
Commercial Real Estate Valuation Career Outlook
Overall, appraisers in general are highly satisfied with their careers. For instance, McKissock Learning explains that there is a 79.4% satisfaction rating among all appraisers. They go on further to say that this is due to factors such as having a flexible schedule, respectable income, varying work opportunities, a good work-life balance, and work that challenges them.
If becoming a commercial real estate property appraiser is your goal, you should plan for many years to build up your education. Although becoming a trainee appraiser does not require much education or any experience, this is only the first step in the process. You will have to work your way up to become a certified general appraiser if your goal is to move into commercial real estate appraisals.
Getting into this field includes a lot of hard work, especially in the beginning. However, this is not a career that will be going away anytime soon. There is a very bright outlook on this field as a whole. Commercial property appraisal companies are always looking for experienced individuals to bring onto their teams, especially because financing commercial properties large and small will always be part of our economy.
Commercial Real Estate Vs. Other Appraisal Careers
There are four different areas of real estate appraisal: Trainee Appraiser, Licensed Residential Appraiser, Certified Residential Appraiser, and Certified General Appraiser.
Each of these appraisal titles comes with different requirements, experience, and abilities. In order to perform commercial real estate valuations, you will need to become a Certified General Appraiser.
So, how does this title compare to the others? According to the Appraisal Foundation, A Trainee Appraiser will need 75 hours of education and participate in a Supervisory Appraiser/Trainee Appraiser Course. As mentioned before, you can get this license without prior experience in the field.
In order to become a Licensed Residential Appraiser, you will need at least 150 hours of qualifying education, 1,000 hours of experience in a 6-month timeframe, and take a state exam. This title allows you to complete appraisals for smaller residential units with a limit on value.
A certified Residential Appraiser requires 200 hours of qualifying education, including college-level education requirements. You’ll also have to have 1,500 hours of experience in the past 12 months and take another state exam. This will allow you to appraise any residential unit, regardless of the value or complexity.
Finally, in order to become a Certified General Appraiser and be able to complete valuations on commercial real estate, you will need to complete at least 300 hours of qualifying education, including a bachelor’s degree in any field of study. You will also need to have 3,000 hours of experience with 1,500 of those hours in non-residential work. Lastly, you will have to take a state exam.
The process to become a commercial real estate property appraiser is long and takes a lot of dedication, but it is well worth it when you look at the satisfaction rates, income abilities, and opportunities for growth. If you are someone who is willing to work hard and put in the time, effort, and research necessary, a career in commercial real estate valuation may be perfect for you.
Commercial Property Appraiser: How Does CES Compare?
Here at CES, we value our team of commercial real estate appraisers and expect the highest quality of work from them. In order to ensure that our clients receive accurate and detailed appraisals, we only hire appraisers with at least 20 years of experience in the field. If you would like more information on CES and the types of appraisals we perform, you can contact us.