Another 50+ hour week

Commercial appraisers are “struggling to keep up.”  

Did you think at this point in your career you’d be working this hard? 

In a word, exhausted.

I get it, working in an appraisal office, you can work around using Microsoft Office to run your firm. It’s “good enough.” 

Opening up old Word docs to create a new report feels efficient, but often leads to word-processing proofing purgatory. Your reviewers can get frustrated by looking at the lack of report consistency coming out of the same office. 

Some appraisal firms don’t even have a commercial comp database.

Hamsters on the wheel

Appraisal firms typically experience very little churn. The same appraisers sitting in the same chairs creating appraisals the same way they always have. After a report is completed, the go-to move it to move on to the next one. Very little time to stop and collaborate with others in the office to discuss productivity.

Commercial comp database, report writing and appraisal workflow management software, can buy back your time. It should make your life better, a lot better.

Trifecta of fatigue. 

  1. High appraisal volume. 
  1. Lack of implemented report writing. 
  1. Resistance to spend time and money to achieve success.

Metrics don’t lie

I’m going to get my MAI. No you’re not.

“I plan to” or “will” or “should” are nowhere words. They lead to lack-of-execution land. Nowheresville. It took me forever to get designated. The reason? I didn’t have a metric mindset to nail a specific time frame for success.

Have you found yourself saying things like, “I want to lose weight, make more money or improve my reports?” It’s meaningless without metrics.

Words matter. Try these.

“I will get my MAI by the end of 2023.” 

“I will lose 10 lbs. by the end of March.” 

“I will update my report format no later than 4Q 2022.”

Where resolutions go to die

Right now, commercial reports take about 6-8 weeks or more. Some of this has to do with simple supply and demand. However, a deeper dive reveals many firms struggling due to lack of consistently implemented software. This can lead to overwhelmed appraisers and internal reviewers.

Ownership needs the confidence to know if your firm is performing at peak efficiency. Identify bottlenecks. Highlight areas to improve profit and performance.

Having your metrics is step No. 1. This allows you to create specific meaningful projects that can reduce the long hours. Metrics are the outline for defining your success. Take the time to write down the successful outcome of a specific project. Resist the urge to just give it a quick thought and not actually take pen to paper.

Give the project a name and define the success criteria. Identify the best and worst results, this will help visualize the upside and the downside, the latter of which is what you’ll experience if you do nothing different.

“Kicking the can down the road and
not changing will keep you chained to your desk.
Jeff Hicks 

Time management constraints

Hesitant to change.

As a commercial appraiser, I felt an emotional connection to Times New Roman font. It was in my reports for decades. When I moved to the easier-to-read Calibri, it was a “Who moved my cheese?” moment. Dumb I know, real it was.

This highlighted my lack of openness to change my mindset that allowed for massive productivity improvement.

Be stronger than your excuses

Defined outcome. Measure performance. Lead and coach to success.

As the appraisal firm owner, you’re the leader.

The usual path for many firms is to start with a commercial comp database like DataComp Suite. Many slowly put their foot in the water when it comes to report writing, but often don’t get to the finish line. The lack of identifying someone in the office that’s 100% in charge of its success, is in and of itself, a metric.

The creation of one every day appraisal format is usually the challenge to successful report writing. As appraisers, we tend to be perfectionists and get tripped up on the details. We overthink it. Asking your staff to change the way they create their reports is also a leadership investment.

The natural progression after report writing is workflow. As appraisal volume shoots through the roof, it’s critical to capture all the details during the bidding process. This includes back and forth emails and phone conversations in one app. Track each appraisal assignment in real-time helps. Facilitate internal reviewer’s schedules and meet external due dates. 

Is it after 7:00 PM and you’re still working? Do you have to work this weekend? Ugh.

Buy back your time for the things you love to do.