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The Career Path of a Commercial Real Estate Appraiser

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#AskColliers: Talent Edition

Are you looking for a lucrative, yet stable career within the real estate industry? Then Commercial Appraisal might be the path for you!

A commercial real estate appraiser is tasked with determining a property's value through extensive research and analysis. Appraisers gather comprehensive information about a property and generate a detailed commercial appraisal report. There are many reasons why an appraisal may be requested. Most commonly, it’s required for new loans, though other reasons include taxes, dividing assets, eminent domain work, or possibly aiding in corporate mergers, feasibility, and litigation. Estimating the value of different commercial property types requires varying levels of expertise and tailored approaches, all of which you will need to learn before earning your state license.

Education is Key

Majoring in real estate or taking real estate classes will give you a better understanding of the field and also help you stand out. Of course, many successful appraisers come from majors in accounting, business, finance, engineering, mathematics and statistics. If this level of achievement doesn't sound like you, today, but you are passionate about pursuing a career in commercial appraisal, keep educating yourself, go to networking events, and proactively reach out to real estate companies that can help you get started. When you show an active interest in your future, they will too.

Becoming a Commercial Real Estate Appraiser

Like most professions in real estate, you need to obtain a license in order to be an appraiser. The Appraisal Foundation has set the standards and requirements to earn this license, and I’ll describe them below. Please note that these vary per state, but you’ll gain some important insights on the general standards.

Your first step is to obtain your appraisal trainee license. To do this, you’ll need to complete 75 hours of course work that will cover basic appraisal principals, procedures and standards.

Once you've obtained your trainee license, you’ll need to work with a licensed commercial appraiser to make progress toward the certified general appraisal license. But how do you find one who will work with you? Easy! Visit Colliers Careers page and apply for one of our Valuation Analyst roles. You can apply for these roles before getting your appraisal trainee license. However, candidates who already have their trainee license are viewed more favorably. Reach out to me directly to learn more. You can also connect with an appraiser via the Appraisal Institute or LinkedIn.

Next Steps

Once you've landed your new role, the work to obtain your certified general appraiser license begins! The Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) lists requirements that include education, experience, exam, plus application requirements. These requirements total 300 hours of state-approved coursework, 3,000 hours of logged appraisal work under the supervision of a Certified Appraiser, successfully passing an AQB-approved Certified General Real Property Appraiser exam, and finally, submitting your application with all of these completed to your state appraisal regulatory agency.

Your Career as a CRE Appraiser at Colliers.

The whole process to become a licensed appraiser typically takes 2 to 3 years. Once you have your license, you can sign-off on reports and enjoy many perks that come with that level of expertise. Here at Colliers, you’ll go on a commission plan that can have you earning anywhere from $100,000 to $400,000 in your first year as a licensed appraiser! What’s more, Colliers is known for providing top-flight support and access to the tools you need to succeed, including state-of-the-art technology.

Opportunities don't end once you’ve earned your certified general license. The sky is the limit in this profession, and your compensation reflects the effort you put in to building your practice. You can go on to earn many other designations and specialties, like becoming designated as a Member, Appraisal Institute (MAI), which will help your career soar to spectacular heights.

Considering a Career as a CRE Appraiser? Reach out to find out more!

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About the Author:

Brandi Skaggs leads the Talent Acquisition team for Brokerage and Valuation & Advisory Services across North America. Brandi’s team is making an impact by focusing on finding top talent to join Colliers. They partner with business leaders across North America to advise on recruiting in their market, establish pipelines, and help promote the Colliers brand. Brandi’s team is also involved in key Talent Acquisition projects around candidate experience, process, and employment branding, technology and diversity & inclusion.