What To Do When Your Appraisal Office Is Slow

We work in a cyclical business.  I do not care how busy you are today, how buried you feel in work, you will have a downturn.  It is the nature of the appraisal business to be up for weeks and months, but also have some lulls.  So, what do you do when things slow down?

In my office, we have our regular tasks and our “backburner to-do list.”  It is the backburner items we turn to when things slow down. This is a list of things that can and should be done when there are not more pressing items (such as appraisal reports to get written).  

I have a mixture of both hourly and commission employees and contractors.  It is the hourly individuals who are tasked with the backburner to-do list.  If they are at work (physically or remotely), they are being paid. If they are being paid, I want to see them getting things done.  When there are not more pressing things to do, they are instructed to turn to the backburner to-do list. There is no down time in my office, just a shift in focus. 

Not only do I have an extensive list of things that can and should be worked on when valuation work is slow, it is prioritized.  The top of the list are the most important things that need done (and usually have to do with revenue generation). The items at the bottom of the list often do not get touched very often as things seem to always pick back up.

Here are a few items from my office backburner to-do list:

Accounts Receivable

Change Templates

Update E&O

Update Licenses

Update W-9

Update Fees and Coverage areas

Call Companies that are on the old database that we have not done anything for in a while and ask them what we can do to be active again

Post a blog


Take out Garbages

Dust everything (and under everything)

Water Plant

With permission, clean out desk drawers

Wash Baseboards

Clean windows inside and out

Vacuum along baseboards

Wipe down and disinfect chairs, keyboards, phones, etc.

Wipe computer screens

Clean out fridge

Clean up the back storage room

Go through Google Drive, dropbox, and other digital files and delete old ones and organize others.  


How about you?  Do you have a backburner to-do list?  Please share below some ideas.

For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 397 What Do You Do When Appraisal Work Slows Down

3 thoughts on “What To Do When Your Appraisal Office Is Slow”

  1. I love the question, “boy I bet your busy with the rates being so low”. My answer is always similar, in that I have been fully employed for over two decades as an appraiser, and I’m neither busy nor out of work, but work as much or as little as I want or need to. If I want to work 20 hours one week, I work 20 hours, if I choose to work 80, I work 80. I’m fully employed regardless of the craziness, and am thus neither busy nor slow.

    Live within your means, and remember to Seek the truth.

    1. One has to ask Rick, why is Dustin so slow? Or by slow, perhaps his world wide team is only churning out 4 to 7 assignments a day. Time to turn to those 3rd tier AMC’s Dustin?

      Seek the truth.

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