Saving Time and Money with Mobile Appraising

Paul says to Mary, “You sure do attend a lot of appraisal conferences every year. I admire you, but why do you choose to drive to and from each of them. Do you have aerophobia or something?”

“No,” answers Mary, “I just have never flown before and do not have time to learn now.”

Ridiculous! Why would a person spend hours upon hours driving across country every year to attend classes when it would only take a small amount of time (and experience) to learn how to navigate the airport scene and save hundreds of hours in the process? Yet, there are appraisers all over the country following the exact same philosophy when it comes to mobile technology.

It happened to me again just today. During lunch at a gathering of appraisers from across the nation, I asked the question of a peer, “So, are you using an iPad or similar device in the field?”

“Oh, goodness no,” came the answer. “It would probably save me time in the long-run, but I just do not have time or patience to learn how to use it right now.” I wanted to ask her if she drove to the conference as well, but reconsidered.

People! Here’s the deal; unless you are a complete buffoon, learning how to use mobile tools in the field will take you less time and will be far less complicated than you think it is. Furthermore, the time and brain-power you will invest will be returned to you a hundred-fold with your increased efficiency. It took me approximately 45 minutes to learn how to inspect a home using my new iPad (with a few additional refinements since). Granted, I have been “mobile” for years (so for me, it was more about changing the device rather than learning a whole new process), but it is not much harder to go from paper and pencil to fully digital. Really, it’s not.

All of us use computers. Tablets are not much different. Most of us have smartphones. Tablets are nearly identical (just bigger). Frankly, if you had no idea how to use either a computer or a smartphone, you could still learn how to use an iPad or Android tablet with minimal effort.

Now, I realize there are other reasons for not embracing mobile tools. “It is too expensive. It does not really save you time anyway. I do not want to take the chance that my data could be lost.” And more. For any of you who are embracing these myths, I would encourage you to sign up and attend my webinar on the subject in March. Here is the link. In addition to discussing the benefits of laser measurers and tablet PCs, I will also be showing you how to use them, and if you are already using them, how to improve upon your current model.

I remember my father (also my appraiser mentor) moving from a typewriter to a computer for a 1004 type up. Most of us remember film cameras and standing in line for the one-hour photo. Technology happens. It is time to embrace it. Get out of the car, and get on the jet airplane of the appraisal world!

Now, 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.



1 thought on “Saving Time and Money with Mobile Appraising”

  1. I wanted to know where to get the carrying case with the handle that is shown in the photo with the article. Also, is that water proof? Wondering about inspections in the rain. I am finally going to convert. I’m an old timer appraiser of 30 years but know this will be beneficial. Do you recommend the Ipad or androide? I’m looking at the Samsung. Thanks for you opinion.


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