The Aging Appraiser
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Questions dealing with age and retirement…
There is a lot of apprehension in the appraisal industry regarding from where the next generation of appraisers will come. There are not a lot of new people entering the profession at this time. To try to get a better idea of appraiser demographics, we asked a couple of questions dealing with age and retirement. First, we asked, “What is your age range?” This was a very popular poll with a near record of 6,885 responses. No big surprise that the most popular answer was 51-60 with 33% of the vote. This was followed closely by 41-50 with just more than 30%. The 61-70 group at 16% is even slightly larger than the 31-40 group with 15%. Only a very small 2% of appraisers are 21-30 years old. So, in total, 83% of appraisers are over 41, while only 17% are 40 or younger.
The bulk of appraisers falling into the higher age brackets prompted a question to determine how much longer they plan to work. We asked, “I plan to retire or leave the appraisal business within the next…” This poll was also very popular with a total of 6,052 responses. The answer is a bit startling for the profession. Almost 22% of you plan to retire in the next five years with an additional 17% planning to leave within the next 10 years. In total, nearly 40% of appraisers plan to leave in the next 10 years. Keep in mind that an additional 16% said they are not sure when they plan to leave. So if a majority of the “undecided” group decides to leave, we could potentially lose half of the licensed and certified appraisers in the next 10 years. This profession has a reasonably long education and training curve. Based on these polls, the industry needs to do something sooner rather than later to encourage people to enter the profession. With licensing and certification requirements becoming increasingly strict and the economic environment for appraisers remaining poor, encouraging new people to join the profession will be a difficult task.