Working Hard but Going Nowhere

The life of appraisers is undoubtedly challenging, as we face mounting pressures from various angles. Things like acceleration of declining number of appraisers, finding good reviewers, regulatory audits, ROVs, bias claims and so on.

Though work has slowed, appraisers often feel trapped in a cycle of endless work, limiting their ability to make significant strides.

There’s an alternative way to look at it – small swings vs. fat pitches. Shift from hard work to smart work.

Shaan Puri, entrepreneur and investor, tells the story, “Ted Williams, one of the greatest baseball hitters ever. He was famous for waiting for the fat pitch. He would sort of map out the strike zone. He said, all right, all these are strikes, but you notice that when it’s dead center, I hit 400. But if I try to hit on the edge of the strike zone, I’m only hitting 230. Ted would only swing at the pitches where he’d average 400.”

Mr. Puri says the common mistake most people make is that they take a lot of small swings, like the first good job or the first good deal. They start too many projects at once, often distracted by shiny object syndrome.

Only focus on the fat pitches

“Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest men in the world, one of the best investors in the world, he missed the whole internet wave. Like the last 20 years basically dominated by the tech industry. He missed it. That’s all right. He still ended up doing great. Why? Because he understands Coke and Geico.

His fat pitch was companies like that were in his zone of competence, things he understood that he was able to act on. Buffet says, unlike baseball, there’s no called strikes in investing. You can literally sit there and pass on 50 opportunities straight just waiting for your fat pitch.”

You can do anything, but you can’t do everything

What does a fat pitch look like for appraisers? It’s your strategic vision for your appraisal firm or appraisal department. Collaborate on your strategic game plan with short and long term metrics.

So once you find a good strategy, you want to execute it violently versus trying to wait for the perfect magic formula that doesn’t exist. Intensity is the strategy that makes a big difference.

You don’t have to get everything right. You just got to get one thing right to be successful.

From sweat to strategy

Make the shift from hard work to smart work. After the strategic vision is fully understood by your staff, your focus will have a far bigger impact on your trajectory than just ordering, writing and reviewing appraisals.

Small swings vs. fat pitches, you choose.

You’re at bat. Bases loaded and there’s two outs.

Wait for the fat pitch.

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