It is no secret that the appraisal industry is in a precarious place due to a dramatic decline in its workforce. One of the key drivers to reversing this trend is attracting young people into the industry; however, tightening profit margins and increased education and training requirements makes it a hard sell. And, this only became more laborious with the recent addition of another coursework requirement from the AQB for trainees and supervisors. So, not only is it more work for the trainee, it is also a bigger commitment from you, a potential supervisor if you feel compelled. And even though it’s vital to the growth of the appraisal profession, taking on a trainee is a big deal. This leads us to the obvious question: Is it worth it? We asked our Senior Appraisal Instructor and two-time Supervisory Appraiser Tracy Martin to share with us some of her thoughts on her own experience mentoring trainees:
Q: So far you’ve supervised two trainees in your career. How did you pick them?
A: "My first trainee was a family member, but I’m afraid that didn’t last very long. Part of a Supervisor’s role is to direct and correct his or her trainee, and my first trainee didn’t much like the idea of taking directions from his sister. Both of us went into it with the wrong motivations, and that’s the #1 way to kill a supervisor-trainee relationship.
My second trainee picked me. She had been working with another firm and wanted to switch, so she called me to ask about becoming my trainee. At first I told her I wasn’t interested, but she was persistent. As in, calling once a week for eight months persistent. Finally I gave in and said we would give it a try. Despite a rocky start, she brought something important to the supervisor-trainee dynamic that my first trainee hadn’t: she wanted to be there. We both had better motivations for making it work, and long story short, she’s now a partner in my firm."