Commercial Real Estate Appraiser Job Description
A commercial real estate appraiser determines the monetary value of business properties and other assets. While residential real estate appraisers assess homes, commercial appraisers evaluate commercial properties such office buildings, industrial centers, hotels, malls, retail stores, and parking garages. To create their valuation reports, appraisers personally inspect properties, collect data, conduct financial analysis, and stay up to date with local real estate market conditions. Self-motivated individuals with good math skills and a strong eye for detail will succeed in this role.
Commercial real estate appraisers usually work full time at real estate firms, mortgage providers, banks, and government agencies. However, some self-employed appraisers, also called independent appraisers, may work more hours than a traditional corporate schedule.
Commercial Real Estate Appraiser Duties and Responsibilities
No two commercial real estate appraisers are exactly alike, as specific duties vary from employer to employer. However, after analyzing online job postings, we identified several core duties and responsibilities common to the job:
Perform Detailed Property Inspections
Inspecting commercial properties is the primary responsibility of commercial real estate appraisers. They collect and examine construction details, building conditions, special features, and overall design. Appraisers also take specific property measurements. Their inspections help determine the value, age, and quality of the property. Appraisers identify any differences between a property’s description and current condition.
Photograph Property Interiors
Taking photographs of a property’s interior is a requirement for commercial real estate appraisers. Their pictures assist with property value estimations, verify findings, and fully complete appraisal reports. Some appraisers also sketch the outside of a property in addition to taking a photo.
Conduct Research for Property Data
Commercial real estate appraisers search websites to acquire market data to perform comparative analysis of rents, financial data, and market values. They use online websites and government databases to locate comparable properties to create accurate property value estimates. Appraisers also research national trends and compare them with local trends.
Consult with Other Real Estate Professionals
Real estate appraisers collaborate with other real estate professionals, such as contractors, engineers, electricians, interior designers, and plumbers, to get expert input on different parts of real estate. By working with experts, appraisers develop more exact estimates of a property’s taxability.
Prepare Property Estimation Reports
Once they produce their final value estimation of a property, commercial real estate appraisers create summary reports of their findings. The reports they produce incorporate items such as market value comparisons of equivalent properties and income potential. Real estate appraisers are also required to explain how their estimations were made. All appraisal reports must meet state-established standards and guidelines.
Commercial Real Estate Appraiser Skills and Qualifications
Successful commercial real estate appraisers need strong analytical and problem-solving skills. Employers look for candidates who have a bachelor’s degree, a state-certified appraisal license, and some real estate experience. The following skills are essential to getting the job done:
- Property evaluation – real estate appraisers use their discerning eye and structural measurement techniques to accurately assess properties
- Sales analysis – accurately forecasting sales activity and the investment income potential of commercial properties is essential
- Financial analysis – appraisers analyze financial data and market conditions to create their estimates
- Math skills – performing basic calculations is a continuous requirement for appraisers
- Data analysis – commercial real estate appraisers comb through income and operating expense statements and other data to create their assessments
- Computer skills – data modeling software and online research are computer-based methods commercial real estate appraisers rely on
- Interpersonal skills – appraisers often work with various real estate professionals and need to clearly communicate with the clients they perform appraisals for
- Writing skills – commercial real estate appraisers create detailed reports for each property they inspect
Tools of the Trade
Commercial real estate appraisers are comfortable using the following software and equipment in a typical workday:
- Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word)
- Commercial real estate software (ARGUS)
- Mapping software (GIS, ArcMap)
Commercial Real Estate Appraiser Education and Training
It is common for commercial real estate appraisers to have a bachelor’s degree. The most attractive applicants have a strong background in business, math, computer science, or economics. Employers prefer candidates with a state-certified commercial appraisal license and some real estate experience.
Commercial Real Estate Appraiser Salary and Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for commercial real estate appraisers is $54,010. The lowest 10 percent of workers earn less than $28,440. The highest 10 percent of earners make more than $101,710. Industry employment of commercial appraisers is expected to grow 14 percent through 2026, which is faster than average for all occupations.
There are many helpful resources out there for those interested in becoming real estate appraisers. Check out these links full of learning opportunities and the latest industry news:
American Society of Appraisers – this world-renowned and respected international organization focuses on appraisal professionals
The Appraisal Institute – check out this leading industry source of appraisal exam study materials, the latest industry news, and guides specific to commercial real estate
National Association of Real Estate Appraisers – a leading national organization for professional appraisers, NAREA offers career resources, events, educational seminars, and the professional designation of Certified Commercial Real Estate Appraiser (CCRA)
The Appraisal of Real Estate – this classic read gives readers a solid foundation for a successful commercial real estate appraising career
The Due Diligence Handbook for Commercial Real Estate: A Proven System to Save Time, Money, Headaches and Create Value When Buying Commercial Real Estate – this best-selling book on commercial real estate discusses how to evaluate commercial properties
The Site Book: A Field Guide to Commercial Real Estate Evaluation – learn a logical and systematic approach to site evaluation with the dozens of real-life examples explored in this book
The Appraisal Foundation – this leading national authority on real estate appraising offers online training and professional resources with the highest standards
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