The Power of the Hasselhoff

Stuck in a Stuttgart airport, struggling to get a rent a car, my son-in-law was desperate to get to an important meeting. The car rental employee was stoically German, responding with a repeated “nein” to the availability of a car. After much frustrated discussion, my son-in-law pulled the Hasselhoff card. The mere uttering of his name was received by the car rental guy with enthusiasm. He even did a little dance, “You know da Hof?” Minutes later, my son-in-law was on the autobahn in his rental. Success! (Erfolg!)

Some call this technique, yucking it up. In business, having a relationship (beziehung) and actually knowing your client is paramount. Face-to-face communication is one of the simplest and effective human connection. Many commercial appraisers have never met their clients, myself included. My local CEO group think that’s crazy (verrückt).

Some clients are out-of-state, which makes meeting up more challenging. However, there are very good clients within driving distance worthy of your time. How much money have they given you in the last year? Let’s say you only did four reports for them. That $10,000 of appraisals is certainly worth a $4.65 Skinny Vanilla Latte (Venti) at Starbucks and an hour of your time. Don’t you think?

If you get a bank review, getting to know the reviewer goes a long way to facilitate an amiable and quicker outcome. Determine personal context to what’s important to the reviewer. Yucking it up is a big deal for the longevity of your appraisal career. It’s a huge productivity tool. Get to know someone. Random stuff is fine; family, sports, favorite Netflix show, their dog and music are a good start. Don’t jump to business from the start. It’s disingenuous (unaufrichtig), not authentic.

Knight Rider and Baywatch are cheesy plot fodder, but strangely they live in the global consciousness. Why do I know that the Pontiac Firebird in the show was called Kitt? Remembering Pamela Anderson is a little easier. The point is, get to know your clients, which ultimately allows you to serve them better. Channel your inner Hof. Laugh (lachen). Yuck it up.