In your business, do you face any crisis? You know, the things that cause you stress. Keeps you up at night. It could even be your industry itself. As a commercial real estate appraiser, I hear the words “remaining relevant“ too often. In our world, much of the changes are coming from a regulatory tide pushing against us. What can we do? One thing we can do is – investigate ways to better deliver your appraisal product.
My grandson loves Fireman Sam , a British cartoon in the fictional Welsh rural village of Pontypandy, a portmanteau (a linguistic blend of words) of two real towns, Pontypridd and Tonypandy. The storyline is Fireman Sam and his other firefighters are called to various calamities in their small village. In one episode, Fireman Sam is called to rescue a plumber stuck in a flooding basement. The plumber couldn’t focus on how to stop the flooding. Should he turn off the water? Should he try to cap the leak? Of course, Fireman Sam saves the day, but only after reiterating the important lesson of focusing on “one thing.” Then you can proceed to the next issue. Trying to solve numerous issues at once results in poor execution.
I think that “one thing” for commercial appraisers is an investment in all things productive. Did you know that the productivity “solution” for about 60% of commercial appraisers in North America is Microsoft Office Word and Excel? The other 40% typically have some type of solution, either a third-party software provider, something designed in-house or a hybrid. More progressive appraisal firms are investing a decent amount of money on productivity. They recognize the future (of their future) requires money, time and training to reposition their firms.
Key to an effective solution is not necessarily the specific technology, but its implementation. Software is software is software. Customer service is key to facilitate your office to be “up and running” with best practices. Keep things simple. Ask and pay for training. Focus on processes and metrics (bidding ratios, job tracking, appraisal setup, tracking appraiser hourly revenue, invoicing, etc.).
What does your success map look like? Have you ever had implementation meetings to currently assess the tools you’re using and to search out new ones to adopt? It takes time to get people on board. Keep things simple. Your productivity solutions should be sophisticated, but not overly cumbersome. There’s more than one way to get to your goal…but start with “one thing.”