I do around 4 times as many appraisals as my competitors. That’s not a boast: I’ve done my research, and it’s the truth. People in the real estate appraisal industry know how much work I get through, and the question they always ask is, ‘How do you do so much without cutting corners?’ They seem to think that because the quantity of my work is so high, the quality must suffer. Well, I can promise you that this is not the case.
I like to imagine a successful real estate appraisal business as being like a three legged stool. The top of the stool – the seat – is your actual appraisal business. It’s supported by three legs: technology, human resources and systems. Each leg is incredibly important. Take one leg away and the whole stool collapses. What I want to focus on today, and really the key to efficiently running a real estate appraisal business, is the second leg: human resources.
The secret to getting so much work done, whilst maintaining high standards, is the law of delegation. Now, a lot of people out there don’t like to delegate. They’re the chief appraiser, the boss, the CEO: it’s their reputation on the line when work goes out, so they want to do everything themselves.
That’s fine. If that’s the way you want to operate, I have no beef with that. Just keep in mind, there will always be a limit on just how high you can go and how much work you’ll be able to get done with that particular model. I’ve spent a lot of time studying the greats – the most successful people in our world – and I found that, without fail, that they did not work alone. They surrounded themselves with a high quality team, made of people all pulling efficiently and effectively in the same direction.
When it comes to delegation, we need to divide appraisal work into two parts. I call the first part ‘assembly line work’, which includes tasks like data entry. This is easily delegated, to an assistant or to a program. The second part is ‘analysis work’: making adjustments, choosing comps, weighing various comps, and so on. This is where real estate appraisal becomes more of an art form.
Now, you can still delegate analysis work, but this is where the most crucial part of delegation comes in: quality control. I delegate a lot of my work, but you’d better believe my fingerprints are still all over the work. I double and triple check absolutely everything that goes out of my office. I’m obsessive about it because I’m the boss, and it’s up to me to make sure the highest standards are maintained.
I put a lot of effort into quality control, but you know what? It still takes much less time to do this checking than it would to do every piece of assembly line or analysis work myself.
Do I still make mistakes? Of course I do; I’m human. But I am absolutely positive that I don’t make any more mistakes than my competitors who don’t utilize this approach. I’m also positive that, if you ever want to reach the heights of the real estate appraisal business, you need to understand the crucial importance of the art of delegation.
For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode 004 – Increasing Appraisal Volume Without Decreasing Quality.