Me and Mrs. Jones

Who do you wake up to, stare at throughout your day, talk to on the drive-home, then cuddle up in front of with your dinner? Your spouse, significant or plus one? Maybe. But more likely it’s your cell, laptop or TV. Thing is, I love technology. It’s like Billy Paul’s song Me and Mrs. Jones. “Me and Mrs. Jones, we got a thing goin’on” is a metaphor, or in my case, my love relationship with productivity. Yes every day I have to write, review and bid on appraisal assignments. So why not have tools that free up my time to do it well?

We have surveyed numerous commercial appraisers and determined that 35% (or more) of appraisal reports are wasted on inefficient activities. Things like copying and pasting from old reports, not leveraging confirmed comps used by other appraisers in your office and the lack of a real-time appraisal workflow dashboard.

Problem is, a Gallup poll indicates that 70% of US workers are disengaged. The culprit? Ironically it’s technology like social media and cell phones. It’s a huge distraction. Hurting the bottom line. Some businesses are responding by banning specific websites (27%) and not allowing cell phone use at the office (19%), with mixed results. The biggest impetus to your relationship with productivity is unnecessary email, cited by a whopping 96% of respondents.

The answer to disengagement is productive meetings. Not Dilbert-style time vortex meetings where nothing ever gets done, but rather communicate internally best practices. Start talking to your appraisers and support staff of things you should start doing and things you should stop doing, immediately.

Training your staff with time management skills is a very good first step. Bringing awareness to their potential disengagement will highlight the importance of hourly productivity for themselves and the company’s success. A Staples survey indicated that 3 out of every 4 US employees blame their employers for not providing them the latest technology to do their job efficiently.

Mr. Paul’s song lyrics provides metaphors to improved appraisal productivity.

  1. “We meet every day at the same café.” = Your office PC or laptop, make sure they’re very fast, no issues, with appraisal productivity applications.
  2. “Holding hands, making all kinds of plans.” = Write down your office productivity goals, 6 month, 1 year and 3 year windows.
  3. “While the juke box plays our favorite songs.” = Have your reports effectively communicated what your clients’ want.
  4. “We gotta be extra careful” = Spend time on a planned process for internal adoption of software implementation.
  5. “That do we don’t build our hopes up too high” = Communicate with your staff as to your expectations, define (as a group) what “success” really means.

Productivity. I love her. She’s fantastic. She doesn’t judge. No nitpicking. Mrs. Jones demands productivity. No inefficient appraiser for this lady. “Me and Mrs. Jones, we got a thing goin’on, we both know that it’s wrong, but it’s much too strong, to let it go now.” Fall in love.