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TRAINEES ARE THE FUTURE
by Stan Choate, Sales Researcher
Whether you’re trying to order fast-food or visiting the doctor’s office, the word “trainee” is the last word you want to see on a name tag or hear from the receptionist. Depending on the details, the word may be enough to make you take your business elsewhere. A person in training is often pre-judged as slow-moving, lacking necessary expertise, and awkward in his interactions with clients. And since trainees often do begin their training with limited experience, their reputation often seems fair.
The general leeriness toward trainees also finds its way into the appraisal business. Customers sometimes dislike being assigned a trainee appraiser, especially if they believe the business at hand requires great care, or if they have simply never ordered an appraisal before. This attitude has caused us to lose several bids when only a trainee was available for certain projects.
This year, Spurgeon Appraisals finds itself with a total of three certified general real-estate appraisers, now that Jesse Lochman, head of our residential department, has completed his training. And since we are always eager to expand services to our clients, we plan to hire a new trainee appraiser soon, so we can provide better turnaround times for our clients. With one trainee moving up and another moving in, this seems like a good time for us to make a few observations about trainee appraisers.
If you feel hesitant to accept a trainee as your appraiser, remember that trainees always work under the supervision of a certified appraiser. When a trainee begins, he will be accompanied by the supervisory appraiser on inspections, so important information will not be missed when viewing the property. Even when the supervisor ceases to accompany the trainee on inspections, he will still be involved in the true work of the appraisal: finding and analyzing comparable sales. And when the trainee has enough experience to do most of that on his own too, the supervisory appraiser must still review and approve his work before the opinion of value is finalized. The supervisor must always sign his own name to the report, and he assumes full responsibility for its content, so that his reputation, license, and livelihood are at risk if he does not properly review his trainee's work. That vested interest will ensure that the supervisory appraiser guides his trainee properly in all projects.
Another thing to remember is that the supervisory appraiser cares about staying in business and so will not assign his trainee to projects beyond his competency. Poorly written, poorly researched appraisals will inevitably destroy the reputation of the appraisal firm writing them, whether done by fully trained appraisers or their trainees. At Spurgeon Appraisals, no trainee will be assigned to a project deemed beyond his ability—which means any trainee assigned to your project will be competent for the task.
For the above reasons, Spurgeon Appraisals was never reluctant to assign a project to Jesse, as a trainee, when we thought he was capable to handle it. Sometimes we even insisted on it, since we always had the confidence in what training he did possess, and we knew that any shortcomings could be overcome by oversight. Trainees who are assigned to a variety of projects, even difficult or unusual ones, receive the exact kind of training they should receive. After all, everyone begins as a trainee in his profession and will never excel if no one gives him the chance.
As Spurgeon Appraisals looks forward to bringing a new trainee into our company, we hope our customers will see it as a chance to help us grow as a company, so we can have a greater capacity to serve them for years to come.