This month, I want to discuss three recent polls that address some questions about the profession of real property appraisal. First, we asked: “Would you suggest becoming an appraiser to someone considering a new career?” This poll was very popular with 6850 responses. A 72% majority responded that “No” they would not recommend appraisal as a career. This is probably not a big surprise considering what appraisers have been through over the past few years. Another 21% are a little more positive, selecting the response of “Maybe, depends on the location, the individual, etc.” So a good number believe there is a future in appraising; it just may depend on where you are located and if the prospective person seems well-suited to deal with all the new rules, technology, and other issues. By far the smallest group, representing 7% of the vote, answered “Yes” they would recommend the profession to others. It seems there are a few people left who continue to think real estate appraisal is a good career path.
The next poll asked: “When do you plan to retire from (or leave) the appraisal business?” This poll had a total of 5643 responses spread fairly evenly among six possible choices. The top answer was, “More than 15 years,” with about 26% of the vote. A large number of people are planning to retire a bit sooner. The next four responses totaled up as follows: “In the next 11-15 years” (15%); “In the next 6-10 years” (18%); “In the next 3-5 years” (14%) and “In the next 2 years” (12%). So it’s important to note that the profession will lose nearly 60% of its appraisers to retirement within the next 15 years. I don’t know of any other profession that has such a large percentage leaving in such a short period of time. The final 15% answered that they will “Never” retire. At least we will have those people around to get the assignments completed!
Finally, we asked: “What do you think about the current college education requirements to become an appraiser?” This poll pulled in 5848 responses with two answers collecting most of the votes. “Probably about right” is the winning response with 47% of the vote. However, not far behind was, “Set too high to attract new people” with a 40% share. It seems most appraisers believe there are plenty of educational requirements now in place because only 8% chose the answer, “Not set high enough.” The final 5% are “Not sure.” This has been a topic of debate and I did receive some email concerning this issue. Most believe that raising the educational standards for the profession is good as long as the requirements are relevant to appraising. Many don’t see how having a non-real estate oriented college degree is going to make someone a better appraiser. Most would like to see educational requirements that require more real estate or finance-oriented educational backgrounds rather than just the specific requirement of a “college degree” or “college hours.”