It’s getting harder to be a commercial appraiser

Have you noticed recently that it’s gotten a lot harder to be a commercial real estate appraiser? It’s not the pandemic, but rather a lighthouse versus tugboat mindset. When it comes to you and your staff, are you moving forward towards productive change like a lighthouse or need to be pushed, like a tugboat? Don’t allow the historically uncooperative appraiser mindset to be a productivity anchor.

In the chart, your goal for your firm is reach the upper right green quadrant. You want to avoid “Hot Mess” (no tech no ideation), “Ghost Town” (no tech some ideation) and “Modest Town” (some tech some ideation) and reach for “Rockstar” (“all in” tech and ideation).

Top 3 Appraiser Success Tips

  1. Technology

  2. Ideation

  3. Repeat No. 1 and No. 2 continuously

Technology is not a ubiquitous word, but rather it’s meaningful every day meat and potatoes productivity. For example, I bought a bunch of Intel NUCs for my office. They’re the size of a large English muffin. No noisy fans. Top of the line chipset. Does this itty-bitty PC really make you more productive? Maybe not, but it does speak to having a lighthouse attitude of continually investing in your success.

Many appraisers confuse technology with effort. No matter what technology you adopt, such as report writing, comp database or appraisal workflow, the mojo is motivating everyone to get on board. A typical scenario for most appraisal firms is one or two people in the office “play around” with solutions but never get any real traction. Projects gets shelved. These failed efforts result in discouragement.

If you have a lighthouse mentality, you know it’s going to take effort to implement solutions tweaked to how you work. This gets to the Top No. 2 Success Tip, ideation, meaning the creative process of generating, developing and communicating ideas. Ask the right questions and innovate. Bring your team together, go beyond obvious solutions, motivating your office. Make sure you set expectations.

Successful appraisal firms leverage technology and its implementation to create time to find new clients, improve processes and their appraisal product. Asking chief appraisers the worn-out question, “How do I get on your panel?” is a non-starter. They feel bad when you ask. Maybe bank work has run its course for your firm. The opportunity is: there’s an entire world out there super thirsty for your due diligence skills. Find them. Go get them. Be ready for them. Be a lighthouse.

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