MAI Appraiser to Buy-Side/Advisory?
I have done some reading on this forum and it seems the jump from appraisal to a the buy side or brokerage has been discussed a few times, each with their own circumstances. I would like to share my situation for some feedback and guidance.
I am an MAI designated appraiser at one of the big three and have appraised many significant institutional-grade assets. I hold an MSRE from a reputable program (not a top program, but respected at least locally), and finished the program during the recession when nobody was hiring. I made the best of the situation upon completion of the program and transitioned to appraisal from a non-finance real estate role. Last year, I made around $200k, which is not an anomaly (not sure how much higher I can get this though). I think my experience differs from some of the questions I have seen, which are typically how do I get out after 1-2 years of a low-paying appraisal job.
Before the recession, I thought I wanted to go into development based on my skill set and education, but believe I would like to pursue acquisitions, or possibly an advisory role. Some former colleagues and other appraisers, as well as myself, have met with various real estate executives over the past year(s) or so and received positive feedback regarding the value of an appraisal background, but I have not heard of any material leads for opportunities (if you don't want a low-level position). FWIW, some feedback has also been to stay where I'm at and to avoid development. I'm not disenchanted with the appraisal profession, as I have freedom and security in my job, just wondering how possible it is to still go after that goal, but also be responsible and pursue a respectable position/employer.
My questions are: What are some good strategies for parlaying my experience into the buy-side and possibly advisory side, with such stiff competition from other experienced professionals? Any advice regarding avenues to pursue to really find a position, other than try to grab the time of someone at a company I may have some interest in pursuing (I have tried some headhunters, but they have been unresponsive)? At my current comp level, would I be setting myself up for disappointment regarding alternate employment within the business?