Webmaster’s Note: This is the first in a series of weekly posts by John Cicero, MAI who will provide commentary on issues affecting real estate appraisers, with specific focus on commercial valuation.

Disclosure: John is a partner of mine in our commercial real estate valuation concern [Miller Cicero, LLC](http://www.millercicero.com) and he is one of the smartest guys I know.

We commercial guys like to think that we are sophisticated financial analystswe analyze real estate as an investment vehicle, similar to an equities or bond analyst would. We spend our days cash flow modeling wirh Argus and Dyna. Our training includes advanced capitalization theory, in order to understand the relationship between cap rates and yield rates, and we need to understand theories that, frankly, we’ll never use again (remember the J-factor and the Hoskold premise?). We analyze assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and advise clients on managing their real estate risk.

That’s why it’s particularly disheartening that, in these days of appraiser licensing, the state doesn’t quite know what to do with us. I recently went onto the New York State Department of Licensing web site and found the other “professions” that are similarly licensed:

Don’t get me wrong. I have the utmost respect for notary publics, cosmetologists and telemarketers, all of whom work hard to make an honest living. But if this is the public perception of the commercial real estate appraiser, I suspect that attracting bright and talented people to this field will continue to be a struggle.


  1. Mike January 26, 2006 at 9:59 pm

    I am a certified residential appraiser. I think that many folks would love to enter the commercial field. There are several things stopping people from moving in that direction.

    1. It is nearly impossible to find anyone to train you.

    2. The educational requirements and apprenticeship (which are totally justified and should be more) make people nervous.

    3. Does the possible income match up with other fields requiring the same kind of training?

    4. Will tech advances make all appraisal fields obsolete.

    Just some thoughts from someone who has considered becoming a Certified General.


  2. pcampbell January 29, 2006 at 9:57 am

    Ditto, John, for Residential Real Estate Appraisers. Considering the number of residential licensed and certified appraisers in the country and the “kazilllions” of dollars of real estate they appraise for lending purposes you would think they would be at least be listed with CPA’s, stock brokers, financial analists and other financial related professions.

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