Dear Clipboard and Measuring Wheel:

Hey!  How have you been?  Sorry I have not written in a while.  Wow, I cannot believe it has been over 15 years since I broke up with you.  How time flies.  My purpose in writing is not to make you feel bad, but I am not disappointed that we parted ways, and I honestly do not miss you two… at all.  I know that seems harsh, but you said I would be sorry, and I just wanted you to know that you were wrong… again.

Oh, in the beginning, I thought I had made a huge mistake.  My new flings were not as easy to get used to as you were. There was that one night, early on, where I had a little cry, ate an entire carton of Ben and Jerry’s, and almost broke up and came running back to you.  How glad I am that I did not.  That would have been a huge mistake.  Why?  Despite your warnings, your replacements have loved me without condition, been nearly completely faithful, and have allowed me to be more efficient and more accurate than I ever was with you.  Though they may have cost more in the beginning, they have paid for themselves over and over and over.

 Measuring Wheel, I am sorry for the jealousy I caused you when I left you for Disto.  I still remember the harsh words you spewed at me as I laid you in the trunk of the car as a ‘backup.’  You said, “You will regret this!  Her smaller frame and fancy red laser can never replace me.  You will, I repeat, WILL be back.”  In all honesty, I thought at the time that you might have been correct.  That is why I carried you around for so many years even after turning my attention to Disto.  Please accept my apology that I never did pick you up again, even for a short fling.  I just cannot tell you how happy I am now with Disto by my side.  Is she accurate?  So much so that I have to ‘dumb her down’ a bit in order to meet ANSII standards of measuring to the nearest half foot.  “But, what about those really sunny days or walls that do not have anything to bounce off of” you ask?  Let me just say that everyone had a period of ‘getting used to.”  She had hers as well (and honestly, it was longer than it took to get used to you), but once I understood what makes her tick and how to really ‘push her buttons,’ I have never met a wall I could not measure with her since.  She and I are quite a team now.  Granted, she will never protect me like you did (remember that time I used you to beat that vicious dog over the head?), but thankfully I have never had an incident like that one again.

Clipboard, I know you were angry when I put you in the backseat and started holding a pocket PC instead.  Though Jornada™ seems a little antiquated now, she was light years ahead of you at the time.  Maybe it will make you feel a little better if I told you she did not last either.  Yes, I have now replaced her as well.  Before you start accusing me of being a ‘player,’ you should know I stuck with her for many more years than I ever was with you, and her replacement was a huge step forward.  Yep, I am now hanging with the iPad.  Interestingly, you will remember that I ditched you for the more petite replacement, but my steady now is almost the same size as you (though she is a tad more heavy—so you at least have that).  Remember when we were together how I would sometimes get clear back to my office before I realized that I had forgotten to take a picture or the two sides of my sketch did not match?  Then, you and I would have to get back in the car for another ‘date’ to the subject property?  Well, those days are so 1997.  iPad never allows me to leave the property without knowing that I have everything I need and that everything matches as it should.  How cool is that?

I know what you are saying, Clipboard.  You think that I am spending more time at the subject than I ever did with you.  OK.  I admit it.  This time you are right (I bet you never thought you would hear those words from me).  I am spending an average of 5 additional minutes at the inspection, but that is not where the time savings comes in.  The efficiency factor comes into play when I get back to the office.  Remember how I used to have to come back to my desk and stare at you for dozens of minutes while I transferred my chicken scratches into the appraisal software?  I know you liked all the attention, but I do not do that anymore.  All that data transfers into the report on its own.  You heard me correctly, all the data, the sketch, and pictures are all there when I get back to my office.  You could never do that for me, Clipboard.

As I reread this letter, I guess I have been hard on you two.  Maybe I shouldn’t send it, but my purpose is not to tear you down, and I am certainly not trying to pour salt in old wounds.  I only think it is fair, since so many appraisers are still spending so much time with you, that you know where you stand.  Just because you are popular does not mean you are better.  There, I said it.  I am sorry if that hurts, but there are other fish in the proverbial sea, as they say.  It is time that other appraisers follow my lead and ditch you guys.  Breaking up is hard to do, but it was a great decision for me, and I know it will be for others as well.  Sometimes we gotta put you relics on the shelves and move on.  Please do not feel bad.  Perhaps it is time for a makeover.  Clipboard, maybe you could round yourself off a bit and get rid of that hideous, metal growth and start a new life as a Frisbee.  And Measuring Wheel; you still make a pretty good billy club.

Wishing you All the Best,

Dustin Harris

The Appraiser Coach

Dustin Harris is a multi-business owner and 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. He owns and operates The Appraiser Coach where he personally advises and mentors other appraisers. 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. His principles and methodologies are also taught in an online, Mastermind group. He and his wife reside in Idaho with their four children.

9 thoughts on “Dear Clipboard and Measuring Wheel:”

  1. Anna Richardson

    I just can’t break up with my vinyl tape and clipboard. I wish I knew more about the newfangled, good looking and smart options, but I don’t think I would be very compatible with them. They are just too pricey for me. Vy and Clip are very low maintenance overall. They just dn’t intimidate me at all, either.

    I’m an old lady and I still have a phone in the wall and an old cell phone that doesn’t make me talk. I guess I’m just old school.

    Love your blog very much.

    Take care,
    Anna L. Richardson
    State of Georgia
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    HUD Roster Appraiser
    404 285 6321

  2. Tammie Daughety

    I’m with you Dustin!! I have just purchased an iPad and am in the “training” process. 🙂 My goal for 2013 is to break up with the “old school tools” as well. But…..I have used a Disto for a few years now and still have to use my tape measure. As for your “I have never met a wall I could not measure with her since” comment….I’m definitely not there and can’t see how I will ever not need it. 🙂
    BUT I’M TRYIN’!! (wink)

  3. I have been using the Disto for 4 years and have not used the 50′ vinyl tape in over 3 years. There is always something to shoot with the laser. I used duct tape to attach a small plastic pouch to the side of my Disto case just large enough for two old hotel room keys. Coat the back of both keys with a LITTLE bit of rosin(sticky stuff), pull apart, sitck 1′ to the side of the house and SHOOT! I want to go mobile SOON! I can’t decide between the iPad3 and the iPad Mini. Have you talked with anyone that uses the Mini? Is the screen large enough for the sketching software? I am cosidering the Mini due to size and weight. It just seems that it will be more practical in the Field.

    1. Good idea, Pierce. I do have several contacts who are using the mini and they love it. It is probably the perfect size for appraising. It is not the perfect size for other activities (such as writing-which I do an aweful lot of), so I will not be personally switching soon. Take a look at your other activities and if the mini works there, go for it. I think for appraising (sketching) you cannot beat it as it can be held in one hand quite easily. By the way, the Disto fits perfectly on the back of a mini.

  4. Coach, I love your blog keep up the good work. I thought you might want to hear fron an old(older)appraiser who still measures every room in the home and draws sketches on graph paper. My first appraisal was in July of 1963 so in about six months I will have 50 years in the business. Yes I still work. Have a happy new year.

  5. Hi Dustin, I have ditched my vinyl tape after reading some of your
    articles. I refuse to go back to the vinyl tape (wanted to in the begining), and I am happy to say that I have not used the vinyl tape
    in over 7+ months. Yes there are problems with the sun and other factors, but just improvise. Clients are impressed with the laser also…I am saving up to buy a ipad or knockoff (mini is to small), as I get older it’s becoming harder to read small screens(iphone). I purchased my first cell phone (secretary only one who knows phone number)also. I am joining the 21st century. Thanks Dustin for the motivation. I have a question.. I use aci software..Who has the best(best price also) software for use on the hand held computers? Keep it up guy..Let’s go fishing sometime!!!!

    1. Jerry:

      These are the kinds of things I love to hear. Good for you. As for software, they all have pros and cons (and different pricing for each). I would say, you get more bells and whistles with Alamode, but you also pay more. It all depends upon what you need and want. As for fishing? Time and place buddy!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Scroll to Top

Existing Members

If you have been a member prior to Jan. 1st 2024

Or, click on the right side to sign up as a new member (with a free month and added bonus material) and your existing membership will be automatically moved over and any extra payments credited. 

Or, click on the link below to sign up as a new member (with a free month and added bonus material) and your existing membership will be automatically moved over and any extra payments credited. 

New Members

If you became a member after Jan. 1st 2024 or are an existing member and want to move to our new system. 

Try the All-Star Team No-Risk for 30 Days Free!