Where stress comes from

Do you ever wonder why some appraisal firms run smoothly, while other are reactionary, stuck in chronic stress? 

Stress is the conflict between what you have to do versus what you want to do. The trick is to be purposeful (or lucky) to want to do what you do

Passionate appraisers 

“How can we cultivate passion around our work or discover an occupation through which we can cultivate passion or enthusiasm?”
Jordan Harbinger 

“People are stressed at work because they don’t want to be at work, but they want to get paid.”
Seth Godin 

Let’s unpack that statement. Passion seems cliché, especially if we’re talking about working in an appraisal firm. Why not, if you don’t enjoy going to work every day then it’s called a J O B. If you do enjoy going to work often it’s called a career. So, what determines if you have a J O B or career?  

Enthusiasm should be curbed according to Larry David. “I’m not a person who embraces challenges. I run from challenges. I break world records running from challenges.” It’s important to do the opposite of whatever Larry says, such as: “When you’re not concerned with succeeding, you can work with complete freedom.” 

Positive urgency 

Enthusiastic professionals work with positive urgency, looking forward to new challenges with obstacles becoming an opportunity to refocus and recharge. Let’s say you’re a reviewer for your bank, working remotely. It’s easy to feel isolated, not part of your tribe. I suggest trying to find your way back to the office. But if that’s not possible, you might try daily huddles. Even if its with Zoom or Teams, feeling part of something is rewarding.  

The purpose of a daily huddle is to check-in with team members. Understand your priorities, as it relates to your work and your appraisal firm in general. Discuss how you can unblock issues. Set the agenda for each of your team members.  

Daily Huddle 

  1. What did you accomplish yesterday?  
  1. What are your top 3 priorities for today?  
  1. What are you stuck on? 

Right now, appraisal volume is heavy. So how would you rate your appraisal firm’s productivity? 

Productivity Measurement 

  1. High process 
  1. Tech stack 
  1. Fun culture 

The term “stack” is most often use with technology, various software needed to create a complete platform. But the word stack can also be applied to tools to best operate your firm.   

Buying a bunch of software doesn’t solve the business success equation by itself. Your goal should be a mind shift change from tactical to strategic from scarcity to growth mindset. Don’t expect your employees to magically read your mind and start implementing software. It will go nowhere without leadership.  

Stack is less about software tools and ALL about your processes.  

Why you feel tired 

Commercial appraisers are absolutely swamped, understaffed, not enough people on the team, overwhelmed, don’t have the time, doing a job that’s meant for two people, working weekends…in a word, buried.   

If you want to build a successful a successful appraisal firm; you need to fall in love with: 1. Developing your people and 2. Providing technology.  

Stress Erasers 

1. Handle appraisal volume spikes with current (happier) staff  

2. Transparency for the overall appraisal process  

3. Increases trust with your staff, RMs and the C-suite  

4. Releases productivity hand break  

5. Creates a better more consistent product and process  

Choices 

A comp database and report writing are the tools to run your appraisal firm. However, leadership is required to achieve consistent implementation. Have weekly meetings to obtain feedback to improve your internal processes. The metrics include tracking your comparables, automating report writing and managing office workflow with DataComp Suite.   

Seth says it well, “I think the difference is we begin with a choice, which is a possibility. We are here and we can do something with our day.” As valuation professionals, let’s strive to be remarkable not invisible. Embrace productivity. Facilitate process improvement. Let go of stress. Be remarkable.