Do you Have a Wingman?

One of my favorite shows as a teenager was Top Gun.  Tom Cruise was  “da bomb” (at least, he used to be—he’s a bit weird these days).  Of course, the true message of that film is that Maverick would have never been a success without Goose by his side, and Goose would have hated life without Maverick.  Every successful individual needs a wingman.

Appraiser assistantsAs I sit in consolation with other appraisers, I see a common challenge; they do not feel they are important enough to have a wingman (or wing ‘woman’ as the case may be).  “I have been a one man show for 15 years,” is the common response I get when I ask why they don’t consider getting some help around the office.  The problem is that most appraisers are used to doing it on their own and just do not see how spending money on payroll is going to possibly save them money, or earn them more, in the long run.

In my “Go Create Some Value” workshops, I have participants fill out a couple of worksheets.  The first is to help them figure out how much they are ACTUALLY making per hour.  The next one is to show them how much more they could make if they hired some part or full time help.  I think in almost every case participants are surprised first, by how much they really make per hour and second, how much of a savings it is in both time and money to hire help.

Personally, I have two wing-women.  Jai and Brooke are literally in the details of everything that is done at my appraisal office.  Though supervised, they are given a great deal of autonomy to make decisions on my behalf so I can focus on running the business (and my life).  The result allows me to enjoy a great deal of success that I could not achieve on my own.

Iceman: “You can be my wingman anytime.”

Maverick:  “Bull[crap].  You can be mine.”

Now, go create some value!


Dustin Harris is a super-successful, 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 also 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 and his wife reside in Idaho with their four children.

9 thoughts on “Do you Have a Wingman?”

    1. On the contrary, the appraisers that continue to complain and blame the ever changing industry for their inability to achieve success will undoubtably do just that. A number of the articles that have been presented encourage a new way of thinking and how to use technology to achieve success in this industry. You may want to think about the people who bashed computers, email and cell phones and consider how successful they are now. Dustin is not a threat, but someone who encourages an open mind to achieve success once again in this industry. I and many other appraisers appreciate his willingness to share the resources that he has found to save time and money to create a better product. The appraisers that continue to complain about how bad the industry is and refuse to accept that it is no longer what it once was are the ones who make ALL appraisers look bad.

      1. The Appraiser Coach


        They say that if you are not receiving criticism then you are not doing things right. I suppose that is true but I am always thankful to receive comments like yours as well. 🙂

  1. I have 3 part time assistants but they are mainly used for data entry / writing my appraisals based on what I provide them. They have all met my expectations so far and now I am trying to transition them into helping with more office work and maybe even helping with client contact. Keep up the good work Dustin!

    Winners do what losers won’t.

    1. The Appraiser Coach


      It appears that you are well on your way. Perhaps you will benefit from our upcoming workshop on how to find, hire, train, and manage an effective appraisal support team. Keep watching your email.

  2. I have been thinking of hiring help for awhile now, however I am not sure of the best way to utilize the help and my work has been sporadic of late. Anyone have any advise – What is fair pay?

  3. There is a service called ieimpact and they type up many of my appraisals and its $12.49 -$16.98 for Rush . It will save you time when used correctly . I recommend them highly .

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