Why’re appraisers always swamped?

The alligators represent inefficiencies, tedious manual processes and duplicative work. 

Appraisers have never worked harder, but what makes a successful appraisal firm?

Too much to do 

With defined outcomes, you will move away from the chronic condition of, “I’m swamped.” Measure performance by grading your appraisers, measure deliverables and communicate your expectations. Change your leadership style from transactional to transformational and watch the magic happen. 

Residential and commercial appraisers are very busy. Long hours for many. A typically week might include different people wanting different things from you. They’re asking lots of questions. 

  • Appraisers – “For this report, should I consider this to be excess land?”
  • Staff – “How can we get the appraisers to invoice consistently?”
  • Clients – “Can you complete the report in 2 weeks rather than 3 weeks?”
  • Reviewers – “Why did the value drop so much since the last appraisal?”

Even if you answer the above, you might get even more questions. Your appraiser might ask, “Where’s the rent roll and P&L for this property?” or “Who’s the contact for the inspection?” or “Why’s the Sales Comparison so much higher than the Income Approach?” 

It goes on and on. 

Buy back your time 

Appraisal report writing and workflow, if designed well, can buy back your time. It should make your life better, a lot better.  

5 Appraisal Firm Best Practices 

  1. Create “review proof” templates.  
  1. Establish and maintain a library of re-usable comp and market data. 
  1. Create appraisal playbooks to document specifics. 
  1. Real-time notifications of workflow stages. 
  1. Collaborate with your staff creating new initiatives. 

Don’t be busy, be effective. Avoid wasting time, reduce stress and relieve potential heartburn. Expect your workflow to work the way you want to. Answer questions quickly and with confidence. 

Outcome versus output 

Defined outcome. Measure performance. Lead and coach to success. This management style is alien to most in the valuation world. Appraisers tend to be technicians. We need to focus on the valuation, but not every single detail. Take a coaching position.  

Encourage your staff to perform. Provide guidance. Encourage communication and ideation. Select and successfully implement software appraisal tools to be successful. Move away from the manual process. 

People don’t leave firms, they leave bosses 

Invest in your people, expand their skills, improve their attitude and it will positively impact their life. Customer experience trumps product since people do business with people they like and trust. Engage client satisfaction issues with executive leadership support and involvement. 

Running an appraisal firm takes determination, passion, strategy and a complete engagement to the firm’s vision by its employees and partners. 

Build people, build the business 

Listen for feedback. If your software tools are not fully implemented across the board, have a meeting. Ask your staff what they like and hate about a particular solution. Seek an outcome, rather than a list of complaints. Ask your peers what solutions they think works best. Get referrals. 

Most of us in the valuation vertical say the same thing, “I’m swamped.” Some of the feeling of swampiness comes from micromanagement. It comes from lack of software solutions and a coaching style to encourage your staff to fully take advantage of productivity tools. 

As the appraisal owner or director, you’re the leader for your firm. Your team includes researchers, appraisers, reviewers, accounting and support staff. The team would be supported with outside vendors like leadership coaches, Upwork workers, a virtual assistant (VA), marketing agency, and an MSP firm.  

A comp database, report writing and workflow are the tools to run your appraisal firm. Drain the swamp of chronic appraisal volume inefficiencies, tedious manual processes and duplicative work with DataComp Suite

It’s hard for me to write this being a FSU Seminole, Go Gators!