“Do you remember the 21st night of September?” If you’re of a certain age, you immediately recall this song, September by Earth Wind and Fire. Maurice White, the leader of the band was co-writing the album with Allee Willis. When collaborating on the song, Ms. Willis adamantly didn’t want Mr. White’s nonsensical “ba-dee-ya” lyric to make it into the song. She asked, “What does it mean?” He said, “Who the #@*% cares!” (excuse my glawlixe). Ms. Willis said “ba-dee-ya” became her greatest songwriting lesson. Never let a lyric get in the way of a groove.
Are there things getting in the way of your business groove? When’s the last time you’ve done employee performance reviews? Has it been a while since you popped the hood on your office systems? Have you recently met with your office staff to generate new ideas to facilitate productivity? Is additional appraiser education being promoted internally? How about participation in local real estate seminars, speaking engagements or general business interaction with other professionals?
Willis wrote, “Ultimately it’s the feel that is the most important, and someone will feel what you’re saying if those words fit in there right. Their stuff was very much based on Eastern philosophies, an incredibly positive outlook on life.” Do you currently have a positive outlook on your commercial appraisal firm? If you’re a staff appraiser, are you contributing to the overall team, or just looking out for your own production?
She went on, “I absolutely couldn’t deal with lyrics that were nonsensical, or lines that weren’t complete sentences. And I’m exceedingly happy that I lost that attitude.” What’s your attitude toward your clients? Do you promptly and cheerfully respond to reviews, even if you don’t agree with them? I know sometimes it can be trying. A reviewer recently asked me to show support for adjustments I didn’t make. I think the review’s question doesn’t help their client, but Ba-de-ya. So what. It doesn’t matter. The reviewer is an extension of your client, so therefore they are your client.
The lyrics go on, “Our hearts were ringing, In the key that our souls were singing, As we danced in the night, Remember how the stars stole the night away?” Do you still love preparing commercial appraisals? Do you have software solutions that expedite the creation of the document that allow you to get back to the fun part, the valuation? Is it time to get serious about report writing?
The song often asks the listener, “Do you remember?” As an appraiser, do you remember how you felt about your career in the early days? Has regulation diminished your love for the valuation art? Is copy and paste fatigue reducing your positive attitude toward your trade? Do you have internal review lethargy? “Ba-dee-ya, say do you remember, Ba-dee-ya, dancing in September, Ba-dee-ya, never was a cloudy day.”