The real estate appraiser industry has seen a steady decline in the number of property appraisers available in the workforce, and this number continues to go down. Much of this shortage is due to the aging population of appraisers facing retirement, the challenge of attracting new talent entering the profession, and stringent government regulations and certification requirements. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) also released a study in 2017 that concluded lack of training, downward trends in compensation, and increasing regulations are also major issues.
With mortgage rates low and real estate sales trending higher than ever right now, this is an inopportune time for the property appraisal industry to face a staffing crisis.
Currently, the average age of property appraisers is what has the industry on highest alert. It is estimated that more than 60% of the appraisal community is over the age of 50. Some studies have even put this average age at more than 60 years old. This age group makes up approximately 85% of the population who plan to retire in the next decade. If there were enough people coming to the front of the job pipeline, a potential crisis would not be on the horizon…
A major prohibitive factor for people wanting to enter this profession is the amount of time it takes in order to become licensed to work. Each state differs in regard to the requirements, but generally the process is as follows:
• Complete 75 credit hours of coursework in order to become an appraisal trainee
• Work approximately 1,000 hours under the supervision of a licensed property appraiser
• Pass the appraiser exam
Further perpetuating this issue, is a lack of motivation from licensed appraisers to want to take on the role of mentor for incoming trainees. Veteran appraisers are called on to train the next wave, but those providing the training do not get compensated appropriately in most situations. Additionally, appraisals completed by trainees are not accepted universally, making it harder for trainees to get the on-the-job training that they need to be successful. This is no fault of the appraiser, but rather of the process itself.
With the current shortage of appraisers, a new opportunity presents itself: thinking outside the box and leveraging the wealth of technology and data available to improve both the efficiency and accuracy of appraisals. By using technology, appraisers can be more productive—which would benefit everyone. These improvements might not solve the shortage of human resources right now, however, technology might be just the ticket to entice a younger generation to join the ranks. As we know, the demand is out there…and those coming up in the workforce thrive on technology!
At Appraisals Unlimited we are staying ahead of the game. We pride ourselves on being one of the most trusted appraisal companies in the Northeast, always offering competitive turn times and staffing a team of experienced appraisers with local knowledge. We have a close-knit team of appraisers located across the Northeast, and are ready to perform your residential and commercial appraisals today! Order an appraisal online, or contact us for more information.