Bad monkey

Why appraiser managers struggle

Chief appraisers and commercial fee appraisers often don’t get training on time management, people management and how to be efficient. Sometimes they get bogged down having highly independent appraisers and reviewers around them. Maybe they don’t understand how to manage that personality type.

One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey is a book less about monkeys and more about your business freedom. The idea is to don’t take on others’ problems (i.e. monkeys) if they’re not yours. As a manager, if you accept your staff’s every issue, it creates endless bottlenecks. You become loaded down with a bunch of monkeys on your back.

You taught them how to treat you

Your goal is to reduce monkeys on your back. Become monkey free. Time to focus on important stuff. Avoid the daily, “hey, do you have a second?” If you’re the keeper of everything, your value doesn’t go up, it just makes you exhausted. We’ve all heard about delegating tasks, but do we actually do it?

In an effort to help, they get bogged down in daily details. Constantly being pinged with questions. It’s a challenge to handle everything, properly bidding assignments, managing deadlines and the review process.

Pro Tip: document your interaction with EVERYONE for one week. Write down if the interaction could have been documented and automated. This exercise isn’t punitive to particular staff people, but allows you to recognize the overall monkey experience. If it’s unbalanced, it’s likely you’re working late and weekends.

“I set the wrong expectations”

If your door is always open as an appraisal manager, you might have set the wrong expectations. Tell your people, “As we evolve the business and make the best appraisal and appraisal department; I’ve created a new division called client success (someone on your staff – train the trainer). I’ve personally trained this person. They’re incredible. Going forward, all questions are going to the client success person, which will provide an excellent outcome. I apologize that I didn’t set expectations. I would like to reset expectations.

Avoid leaping monkeys

If you get pushback like, “you’ve always been available.” As a manager, you need to be authentic. “I get it, you’re right, that’s how it used to work. I totally agree, but guess what, I want to get better. You want to get better. I’m going to teach you to get better so we can increase the quality of service.”

I’m not suggesting extreme avoidance like Tim Ferris, The 4-Hour Workweek style. Tim broke up with his girlfriend (true story) via an email written by his outsourced assistant…harsh. I’m suggesting create a better experience AND buy back your time.

Perfect and refine the process

Increase the quality of the service by training your staff. I suggest making quick Loom videos showing how to do various processes. The software is super easy to use and allows you to show your screen and includes a little bubble picture of you talking. This video library creates repeatable processes to share with others as they join your staff.

Really reduce your time management struggles, includes buying back your time to focus on technology and processes. Appraisal and environmental workflow YouConnect is one of those things. Properly implemented, allows you to document the process. Create audit trails and transparency within your appraisal department.

For commercial fee appraisers, buy back your time with DataComp comp management, Edge report writing and Manager appraisal workflow. Understand you have to create the processes AND tweak them. Appraisers in banks and their fee panel both benefit by knowing the status of their appraisals process. It provides a great FEELING that things are under control.

Time to leave the zoo

As a manager, you need to meet your own priorities. Give back people their monkeys and let them solve their own problems through coach training and resources. Be supportive. Focus on outcomes. You will notice that you and your staff’s productivity will increase substantially. 

Teach them how to get their own bananas. No more “bad monkey!”