Home General How to Get Started in the Field of Property Valuation

How to Get Started in the Field of Property Valuation

by Olufisayo
Property Valuation

Property valuation is the process of establishing the current market value of a real estate asset. It’s usually a requirement in a range of settings, including sales listing, taxation, investment analysis, financing, and property insurance.

Are you interested in pursuing a career in this field?

Property valuers, also known as real estate appraisers, are the professionals who analyze and crunch the numbers in a bid to determine the value of a property.

So, what does it take to become a property valuer?

Here’s everything you need to know to get started in this profession.

What Does a Property Valuer Do?

You already know a property value determines the fair market values of real estate assets. But this is a summary of the job. In detail, here’s what these professionals do:

  • Inspecting land and buildings
  • Measuring land dimensions and taking photographs of the property
  • Preparing and presenting valuation reports
  • Advising clients on real estate investment strategies
  • Staying abreast of legal changes in the field of property valuation

From these duties, you can tell that property valuers spend some of their time outdoors and the rest in a traditional office environment. So if your dream is to pursue a career that doesn’t involve spending the entire week behind a desk, this is a good option.

Also, it’s important to note that most valuers choose to specialize in a certain class of real estate assets. For instance, you could specialize in valuing commercial buildings only.

Now that you’re familiar with the job description of a property valuer, let’s take a look at the qualification requirements.

Pursue a Degree in a Relevant Field

What do property appraisers study in college?

Well, there’s no single answer to this question, and that’s because there’s no specialized degree program for aspiring appraisers.

However, you’re best advised to pursue a bachelor’s degree in real estate, finance, business, economics, or a closely-related field. Such programs will equip you with the foundational knowledge you need to pursue a successful career in property valuation.

Get Specialized Training

After obtaining your degree, the next step is to pursue a certification program in real estate appraisal. These are short-term courses that will enable you to meet the minimum qualification requirements set by the Appraisal Qualifications Board.

There are four levels of specialized training:

  • Appraiser trainee
  • Licensed residential real property appraiser
  • Certified residential real property appraiser
  • Certified general real property appraiser.

This means you’ll start out as an appraiser trainee and work your way up to the level of certified general property appraiser. Each level has a set of requirements (education and experience hours) you must complete before you can move to the next level.

For example, for you to become an appraiser trainee, you must complete 75 hours of classroom instruction. The program you’ll take offers classes in basic appraisal principles, basic appraisal procedures, and national uniform standards of professional appraisal practice. After successful completion, you’ll work under the direct supervision of a certified appraiser for a specified period of time.

You will then embark on becoming a licensed real property appraiser, which requires 150-course hours. You must also obtain an occupational license from the relevant board in your state.

Be sure to gather more information on qualification requirements for each level.

Develop the Right Occupational Skills

Professional knowledge alone isn’t enough to make you a competent property valuer. You also need to possess the right occupational skills.

For instance, your analytical skills must be top-notch. The job involves analyzing a wide range of factors that affect property value, as well as assessing how trends and regulations will affect property values in the future.

A passion for numbers is essential, as is a possession of strong math skills. Valuation is all about putting a price tag on a property. To arrive at a value, you must be able to, among other things, calculate square footages of land and buildings.

Other abilities and skills you need to succeed include:

  • Strong attention to detail
  • Time-management skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Report writing skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Customer/client service skills

As you take your classes, have these skills in mind. Use your spare time to practice report writing, for instance. By the time you graduate, you’ll certainly be a competent writer of property valuation reports.

Find Employment  

After completing your specialized training and obtaining an occupational license, you’re good to join the practice. This means it’s time to hunt for a job.

As a newly-qualified property appraiser, you can find employment in established property valuation companies in your state. You’ll be assigned duties depending on your level of qualification.

In this profession, patience is key. It takes a couple of years to grow from appraiser trainee to certified general real property appraiser. During this period, you’ll certainly be working as an employee.

However, once you become a certified general real property appraiser, you can start your own property valuation company. Keep in mind, though, self-employment is a different ballgame. You’ll be responsible for raising startup capital, marketing your company, and finding new clients.

It’s Time to Get Started in Property Valuation

The real estate industry is finding its feet after the economic downturn of 2008. The demand for property valuation services is on the uptick, meaning it’s a good time to break into the field of property valuation. With this career guide, you now know the steps you have to take.

Good luck and keep reading our blog for more tips and insights.

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