Appraisal Office Resolutions for 2012

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  Not sure who first said it. Don’t really care. It is a mantra I live by and have learned first-hand that it is true.  Traditionally, January 1 marks the unofficial “Let’s Make a Plan for the Year” date.  What is your plan?  Another truism I like is that ‘if you continue to do what you have always done, you will continue to get what you have always got.’  Okay, so the English grammar is not quite right, but you get the idea.  Are you going to keep getting up each morning and completing the same routine or is 2012 the year you will transform your appraisal business….and….yourself?!?!?!

There are a few things to consider as we begin a new year.  Maybe a few questions we should each ask ourselves (and give time for serious mental reflection on the honest answers):

  1. Are you happy with your life?
  2. Are you doing what you were meant to do (your Mortal Mission)?
  3. Did you work too much or too little during 2011?
  4. Do you go to work and come home from work at a time that makes you and your family happy?
  5. Do you take days off?
  6. Is your appraisal office doing the volume that you are happy with?
  7. Are the reports you are doing at the quality level you are satisfied with?
  8. Is there something you should/need to change?
  9. Do you need to hire/fire someone in your office?
  10. Are you happy with the types of clients you are working for?  Maybe it is time to hire/fire some of them.
  11. Is it time to get involved in your local appraiser association?
  12. Is it time to start a local appraiser association?
  13. What will you do for continuing education this coming year?
  14. How is your financial life, your spiritual life, your physical health, your mental state, and your social life?

There are probably a few other questions that came to your mind as you read through this short list.  Good.  This is not all-inclusive, but rather a primer to get you started.  But, get started you must if you are going to have a better 2012 than you had a 2011.  I am firmly convinced that the only difference between ‘successful’ people and the majority is that successful individuals PLAN to be successful.  That’s right; it’s not luck or fortune as much as it is a deliberate decision(s) to assess, plan, achieve, re-assess, etc.

One of my ‘successful’ friends gave me a piece of advice this past week which I will pass on to you.  Said he, “…every New Year’s Eve I take off for one day and one night to reflect and plan next year…  If you don’t do that – you should try it.  No kids – no spouse – nobody.  This year, planning on going to the cabin, starting a fire, pulling out the laptop and writing about 2011 and plan out 2012…”  Great advice!  Thanks, Ben!  And by the way, you don’t need a cabin or a laptop to do the same thing.  It is time to reflect a bit on the past year (evaluate what went right and what needs to change) and make a deliberate plan for success in the coming year.

In closing, just a few items to consider as you plan.  First, ‘a dream unwritten is only a wish.’  Whatever it is you decide to do in the coming year, WRITE IT DOWN!  Second, ‘an un-measurable goal is no goal at all’ (or something like that).  In other words, “I am going to exercise more” is not a goal.  “I am going to the gym 3 days a week” is.  Make sure your goals can hold you accountable.  Finally, you MUST, MUST, MUST break your goals down into tiny, bite-sized pieces.  If you have a goal to shed 35 lbs this year, you cannot do it effectively without setting new benchmarks each week that will help you achieve the larger picture.

Well, get to it!  No time like the present.  I hear a lot of complaining among my colleagues about AMCs, scope creep, poor fees, etc. etc. etc.  Well, stop complaining and start doing something about it.  Let’s make 2012 your best year yet!

No, go create some value!


Dustin Harris is a multi-business owner, but he has found most of his success as a self-employed, residential real estate appraiser. He has been appraising for nearly two decades. He is the owner and President of Appraisal Precision and Consulting Group, Inc., and is a popular author, speaker and consultant. He owns and operates The Appraiser Coach ( where he personally advises and mentors other appraisers helping them to also run successful appraisal companies and increase their net worth.  He is also the Founder and President of Your Appraisal Office ( which implements some of the systems he has developed to help lower costs and free up time for real estate business owners.   He and his wife reside in Idaho with their four children.



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