Don’t make me think
“Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what’s left.” Though Steve Krug’s quote has to do with web usability, it has huge applicability for commercial appraisers. In his book, Don’t Make Me Think! he explains how people really use the web. He quotes children’s riddles such as, “Why are things always in the last place you look for them? Because you stop looking when you find them.”
While not a doctor of anything, Dr. Seuss chimes in, “It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.” So with your commercial appraisal creation, what can it become? What can your office culture become despite distributed workforce? Can marketing and sales become a cash flow rocket?
Dr. Suess’s Mic Drop Advice for Appraisers
- “So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
- “Sometimes the questions are complicated and answers are simple.”
- “If you keep your eyes open enough, oh, the stuff you will learn. Oh, the most wonderful stuff.”
Having basic tools like a comp database, report writing and appraisal workflow is just the start. It’s really about how you and your staff work together to continuously ideate. Come up with procedures to substantively increase your productivity, while at the same time keep it simple. Appraisers sometimes think like adults. We make it overly complex. Our ideas don’t seem to go anywhere.
Have fun! “Words and pictures are yin and yang. Married, they produce a progeny more interesting than either parent.” Marry simple explanatory text with charts to lead the reader to your conclusions. Make chief appraisers very happy by spending more time explaining how the subject fits in the local market. Don’t breed more words. Keep it simple. Can you chop off, say 15 pages, from your reports while keeping the good stuff?
The doctor suggests, “It is better to know how to learn than to know.” That means we should strive to create an office culture that leads to discussions. Connect with your peers. Read more. “Everything stinks till it’s finished.” The secret is improving your appraisal firm like it’s recess. The more successful can’t wait for it to start and don’t want it to end.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” Don’t make me think.