Don’t Overdo It

I think it is human nature to do things the way you have always done them. Now these things may not necessarily be wrong, but they also may be hurting your business. It is up to us as appraisers to personally decide when things are necessary and professional versus when things are overkill.

Story time! In my early years of being an appraiser, I used to include interior walls in all of my sketches. My mentor did the same thing and he taught me to do it as well. One day, I stopped and asked myself why. Adding interior walls took a lot of time, but it usually did not significantly contribute to the valuation narrative I was telling in my reports. Now there are times when there are functional problems with the design layout of a home. and it is useful to include interior walls in a sketch; however, usually this is not the case. When I decided to stop sketching interior walls, I honestly had a lot of fear. I worried my clients would complain and that I would get multiple revision requests, but I did not receive a single one.

This experience taught me that sometimes the things we think are necessary, or “professional” are really just wastes of time. It actually added more value to my reports to do less in this situation because my clients never cared about interior walls in the first place, and I was able to reduce turn time. In the end, doing less benefited me and the client.

I encourage you to take a step back and take a look at some of the things you are doing in your reports and your business. Ask yourself if these things truly add value to your reports and business model or if they are ultimately costing you and your clients valuable time.

For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: Professionalism vs Overkill

7 thoughts on “Don’t Overdo It”

  1. Can I get an amen? Back in the dark ages (when it was a hand-drawn sketch) I even drew in the windows and doors for each room. Even showed door swing because ….. that’s the way the boss did it.

  2. Good point. We must always look at what we do and ask ourselves if it is necessary to the process or if there are ways to do it more quickly. If we do not, we will be passed up.

  3. Heck, I remember when the appraiser actually did the appraisal! I can’t remember where I heard it, but i think now a days many an appraiser just sends the entire appraisal to the Philippines for assistance (wink, wink). It’ll come to me.

    Seek the truth.

  4. Patrick Goebel

    When I started in Houston, we had the “girls” up front do the sketch on tracer paper. They put on the doors and the windows too. Guess that might be akin to the Phillippines today. My how technology has advanced for those who use it! Bill you should trade in that 35MM soon. It will save you some time, even if you do it all yourself.

    1. Patrick, I’ve been taking pictures (late 90’s / Personal digital assistant / PDA’s) digitally for decades and directly uploading into them into report. Pictures are not a problem. Heck, for that matter we used the same PDA’s to electronically enter our inspection results into the form. With cell phones and other apps (2005 / 2010), many an appraiser are a decade behind as to what we have been doing for some time.

      Go make up a value, and seek the truth.

  5. For once I agree, however, sketches for homes with functional inadequacies may require, as do the occasional lender, interior walls drawn to provide clarification

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