Luke Tomaszewski

Title: Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser/President of Luke's Appraisal Services, Inc
Company: Luke's Appraisal Services, Inc., Chicago, Illinois
Website: www.LASINC.net

Why did you become an appraiser? 

When I was in high school my parents were refinancing and I met the appraiser as he was taking interior measurements.  I briefly spoke with him and asked how he liked his job.  He told me it was the best job he'd had and he was very happy with it.  After that I saw some classes to be an appraiser and started taking them.

What has been the highlight of your professional career so far?

I would have to say the highlight has been opening an office and hiring a support staff which work with our appraisers and clients.  The role of an appraiser changes drastically from working on your own when compared to running a fee shop with over 12 appraisers. 

What piece of advice would you offer young people considering a career in this profession?
This is not a career for people that want to make quick, easy money.  When I started, I remember the first two years were hard in which I worked a lot, found all of my own clients and made very little money.  Now I believe it's harder then ever to start appraising, as appraising is harder with limited comparables, REO sales, and finding a mentor to sponsor you.

What book would we find on your nightstand right now?

Appraising for Dummies...Just kidding the last book I really enjoyed was Sam Walton: Made in America, the book about the founder of Walmart.  The reason I liked it is because Mr. Walton was a very hard worker and had great ideas which grew from one store to thousands.  I remember one part of the story where Mr. Walton bought a popcorn machine and started making popcorn in front of his store knowing people would smell the popcorn from down the block and come to his store.  Ideas like that will keep your business growing.

Can you share a funny or unique story about an appraisal you’ve done?

Nothing comes to mind personally but one of my appraiser had a funny story.  He was appraising a property in a newly built subdivision and it was raining that day.  He was measuring the exterior of the property as he starts sinking.  Every time he pulls one leg the other starts sinking more.  In the end both of his boots were stuck in the mud and he went home in his socks and lost his shoes forever. 

Do you have a favorite quote? Why?

Strike while the iron is hot.  I like this quote because whenever I see an opportunity I take it immediately because if you don't act quickly the opportunity will pass you by.

If you could change one thing about the appraisal industry today, what would it be?

The value of a good appraisal.  I have run into some AMCs which I no longer work with which want the fastest and cheapest appraisal with complete disregard for the quality of work.  The thing I hated the most was when a report was due and I told the client I am still working on it and it is complex or something along those lines and the person on the other end tells me you have one hour or less otherwise we will cancel the order with you and you will not get paid anything. People like this should not be in our industry as they are only diminishing the quality of appraisals out there.

Tell us something about yourself that people might not know.

I am very involved in the real estate industry which everyone knows.  Something people might not know is that I'm breaking into the restaurant/bar industry with another one of my ideas.  I have a patent on a beer serving device called The Meter of Beer which is catching alot of interest quickly.  If anyone would like one for themselves we have five different models available at www.MeterOfBeer.com.

When not at work, you are most likely…

Either at the beach during the summer or skiing in the winter. Always trying to do something active.  If weather does not permit I'll be working on my patent for The Meter of Beer.

What is the best thing about your job?

The freedom of being your own boss.  I am very ambitious and love taking risks.  The best thing is that I don't have a manager or a boss that can limit my potential.

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