Supervisor Spotlight – Jeff Hosto
Jeff Hosto has been working as an appraiser for the past 35 years. His newest appraiser trainee, Jason Martinez, started his appraisal journey just five months ago. Although they are separated by three decades of experience, Hosto and Martinez both have the same passion for their careers and are contributing to the future of the appraisal industry.
Martinez has always had an interest in the mortgage industry. He obtained his real estate license in 2017, but his work as an agent was more of a hobby than a full-time pursuit. He was interested in finding a more permanent career within the mortgage industry but wasn’t quite sure about his options. After learning more about the appraisal side of the industry from his girlfriend’s father, licensed appraiser Joe Macias, he was hooked and eager to learn more. “Knowing what I know now, it’s odd that you generally don’t hear about appraising when you talk about real estate,” says Martinez. “You hear about real estate investing, real estate development, but not so much the appraising side. That’s surprising to me because it’s such an important aspect of real estate.” Martinez took the first steps to begin his new venture and enrolled in appraisal courses to obtain his trainee license.
Making the Connection
Throughout the course of his career, Jeff Hosto has mentored more than 40 appraiser trainees, 25 of whom still work at his appraisal firm, Appraisal Resource, in Newport Coast, CA. One of these trainees was Joe Macias. And so when Martinez was wrapping up his coursework, Macias contacted Hosto to see if he would be willing to take him on as his next trainee.
Martinez received his trainee license in April 2021 and started working with Hosto on a regular basis. Their connection works because of their shared passion for the profession. “With Jason, I got really lucky. He’s doing incredibly well. He’s driven, he’s a hard worker, and it’s really working out.” Hosto says he was a lot like Martinez when he was a trainee himself; he had an appetite to always know more and loved learning something new every day.
I just try to treat each trainee the way I would want to be treated. Obviously there will be questions and patience is required, but we just take it day by day, assignment by assignment.
Shared Trainee Experiences Across the Decades
Although they started their appraisal trainee careers 35 years apart, Hosto and Martinez experienced similar challenges when seeking out a mentor. Martinez cold called more than 100 appraisers looking for a supervising trainer to mentor him. Most of the appraisers he spoke with were either too busy or unwilling to take on a trainee. In the early days of his trainee career, Hosto also experienced difficulty finding a mentor – but not to the same extent. This was partially due to the fact there were no licensing requirements and fewer lender regulations in place at the time. “Requirements have certainly changed since I was training. Up until recently, lenders weren’t willing to accept a report completed by a trainee,” says Hosto. Today, lenders are becoming more supportive of appraiser trainees, allowing them to participate more actively in the appraisal process. Hosto and Martinez both hope this growing acceptance will encourage more appraisers to become mentors to new trainees.
Hosto has experience on both the trainee and mentor sides of the industry and recognizes there are challenges and rewards to both sides of the relationship. “One of biggest challenges is finding the right mentor. I was fortunate to find a great mentor early in my career who invested time and training to ensure I could be an independent appraiser.” Because of his own positive experiences, Hosto tries to do the same for his trainees. “I just try to treat each trainee the way I would want to be treated. Obviously there will be questions and patience is required, but we just take it day by day, assignment by assignment.”
Martinez is enjoying his time out in the field with Hosto. He appreciates the autonomy and the variety of work the profession offers. “It’s a good mix of being out in the field inspecting a property but then sitting down to create analytical, data-driven reports.” When asked where he sees his appraisal career heading, Martinez says he plans to learn as much as he can from Hosto on his path to becoming a certified general appraiser.
The Rewards of Mentorship
Even after mentoring for decades, it still amazes Hosto to watch each of his mentees become fully licensed appraisers. “The most rewarding part is taking someone who knew nothing, training them, and right before your eyes they become an appraiser.” He hopes to instill enough technical knowledge and insight to make each of his trainees successful. If he could only pass along one piece of advice to new appraisers and trainees, Hosto would stress the importance of the appraiser’s role in the mortgage process. “Appraisers exist to be the lenders eyes and ears – we’re here to help and support them. We have to justify what we do and take our role in the process seriously.” Once his trainees are fully licensed themselves, Hosto hopes that they will pay it forward and become mentors for the next generation of appraiser trainees.