Be inspired, not tired

The appraisal industry is dying…or is it? The demise of commercial appraisers has been talked about for years. An obsolete industry, no longer relevant. Declining number of appraisers combined with anemic new talent is often cited. Big data, AI and algorithms are the 1-2-3 punch…presumedly. The common solution is to hyper specialize or have skills to appraise very complex property. I disagree. Our industry is lacking the confidence to change. The confidence to embrace technology. Especially collaboration with your employees to maximize every function of your business.

Aspirational goals

We’re at the beginning. The beginning of a new way of running your appraisal business. The focus of this movement is seeking out new business education. It’s also a new mindset. Recognizing that technology doesn’t fix everything, but rather provides leverage. The ability to do so much more with fewer resources.

True collaboration within the office. Weekly meetings with each person providing their own metrics.  Creating an office culture of encouragement, to reach for the goal. The “new” appraisal firms will be in the zone, not afraid of technology, but rather embracing it. Implemented across the board including support staff, appraisers, reviewers and owners.

External consultants might be part of the team offering short-term tasks, reoccurring projects and full-time contract work. Consider building: 1. a pool of diverse experts for one-off tasks, 2. have a go to team with specialized skills and 3. expand your staff with a dedicated team. These skills might include sales, marketing,  web designers, SEO experts, copy writers, QA and IT support (MSP). It’s your call to determine what should be internal and what can effectively be outsourced.

Take pride in your firm

Move beyond these limiting tiresome thoughts.

  1. Appraisal fees will be the same, forever.
  2. Don’t hire a trainee, they’ll just leave you.
  3. Evaluations are bad for our profession.
  4. I’m worried about keeping my current appraisers busy.
  5. I should continue to use whatever technology I already have. 

Replace negative anchor thoughts with re-engagement.

  1. CANI (Constant And Never Ending Improvement) always on the lookout for new software tools resulting in productive happy appraisers with low turnover.
  2. Bring your firm into 2021 with business best practices touching sales, marketing, leadership, technology and community.
  3. Use a cloud-based work platform to assign tasks to team members, manage appraisals for clients and collaborate with colleagues on documents.
  4. Manage customer data that supports sales management, delivers actionable insights, integrates with social media and facilitates team communication.
  5. Invest in an appraisal workflow platform that provides transparency with real-time metrics to the appraisals in the bid stage, underway or completed.

Opportunity is where you look

I have this ongoing disagreement with my cousin. I believe the economy is like a magical pizza that never runs out of slices. The size of the pizza does vary over time, but you never fully run out of slices. If I take a slice of the economic pie, it doesn’t proportionally take away the opportunity for somebody else. Is your appraisal (pizza) business growing or declining?

With this mindset, your appraisal firm doesn’t have to keep puttering along with the same technology. Appraisers that already have a comp database, report writing and appraisal workflow view other firms that don’t as obsolete. They say things like, “If you don’t have appraisal specific software, you’re not likely to ever do it. You will plod the rest of your career with a copy and paste mentality.”

“Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.”

Eckhart Tolle

Don’t believe the appraisal industry is near the end. Consider what you’re feeling is the need to change.  Invest in your people. Invest in yourself. Learn how to create collaboration in your appraisal firm. If you do that, I guarantee you and your team will be inspired, not tired.