Looking for tried-and-true strategies to increase your real estate appraiser income? Last month, we surveyed our appraisal community to find out, “What’s the BEST way to earn more money as an appraiser?” The top four most popular answers were: 1) adopt technology, 2) upgrade your appraisal license, 3) become a specialist, and 4) build a team to scale your business. Read the full survey results below, including helpful comments from real-life appraisers.
For more comprehensive income data, download the 2020-2021 Appraisal Income Guide.
What’s the BEST way to earn more money as an appraiser?
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Adopt technology to increase your efficiency (28%)
“Tech features such as smart phone, appraisal app software, and laser measuring device save me 30 minutes on each report.”
“The old saying is ‘Time is money’ and it stands true today. The more efficient and organized an appraiser can be, the more appraisals can get done.”
“Staying up to date with new technology can save you time and energy to focus on more work!”
“Efficiency is always the key in any endeavor. Doing something the best way possible is always appreciated by others as well.”
“As technology advances so does our efficiency (if we are open to adopting new ways of doing business).”
“Technology allows one to automate data acquisition in a way that was not previously available.”
“The way to increase income is to increase efficiency while maintaining or improving quality. Adopting new technologies is a great way to do this, as is becoming a specialist.”
Upgrade your appraisal license (22%)
“I have been an appraiser for 15 years and upgraded my license to a certified level within the last two years, and my income increased by 25% or more. I had put it off for a long time only because of lack of time to tackle the studying and the testing. In the end it was worth it!”
“Even in the Mass Appraising World, if you have the Certified General/Commercial License, you will earn more money with the position advancements/titles that open up for that type of knowledge and experience.”
“In order to do your job effectively and efficiently, you must always be up to date on new changes and laws.”
Did you know? 75% of certified general appraisers earned more in 2019 than the previous year. Learn more in our free license upgrade guide.
Become a specialist (20%)
“Over the course of your career, it is inevitable that you will specialize in one or more aspects of valuation. This specialization will undoubtedly pay dividends. Education and networking in your specialty of choice will be key!”
“Being able to perform evaluations on specialized properties (beyond standard SFR 1-4 unit properties) creates more opportunities for an appraiser in their local market. Examples include horse properties, hobby farms, properties with Accessory Dwelling Units/granny flats, etc.”
“Learn right-of-way/eminent domain appraisal review—market niches in high demand.”
“Become a specialist and become proficient with the work you’re doing. A good team can expand that.”
“Participate in creating valuation products that your client will need in the future, such as hybrid valuations. Be a proactive appraiser.”
Build a team of appraisers to scale your business (18%)
“I made real money when I started training people. It is necessary for the future of our industry.”
“With upscale technology and a knowledgeable team, you can conquer the world!”
“Single signing offices are capped at so much work they can handle without sacrificing quality. Being able to scale your business (hire an assistant, hire a trainee or two) is crucial. I have learned that getting a system down, from the time an assignment is received until the time the order is turned in, is 110% a MUST. I have an office manager, two trainees and a proven system to where I am rarely ever late on a report. Scaling, with a plan, is the key to building a successful appraisal office!”
Get expert tips in our post, Building Your Appraisal Team: Advice from Top Appraisers.
Hire an assistant to handle administrative work (7%)
“Having someone to handle the administrative work frees up time to work on reports and helps keep the office (orders, appointments, etc.) in order.”
Some survey respondents selected “Other” and wrote in their own responses. Their answers included the following:
- All of the above!
- Networking and building client trust
- Consulting, litigation assistance, and expert testimony
“All of these can help your business; however, the individual appraiser much decide which is right for them and weigh the cost and benefits short/long term and possibly make a 5-year plan to implement them step by step.”
“Build trust with your clients through consistency and reliability.”
“All assignments don’t have to culminate in a written appraisal report. Consulting advice on alternative solutions to a client’s real estate concerns or problems can be a steady and lucrative means to expanding an appraiser/consultant practice. Hourly rates with a reasonable retainer is a method to increase and maintain cash flow.”
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