One Step Closer to Owning a Business

One day while I was at the local state fair, I saw a one-man band walking by. As I watched him walk by toting drums, a harmonica, and a banjo, I had to laugh a little bit to myself. He reminded me of many appraisers! I was impressed by his ability to juggle everything, but I also noticed that, in his effort to juggle so many things at once, he wasn’t particularly excellent at any of them.

Many appraisers are a one-man show; they’re the professional appraiser, the customer service rep, and the secretary all wrapped into one. I make the argument that, if this is you, you’re not a business owner; you own your job. The difference here is that, if you own your job, work stops when you stop working. When you own a business, however, you can still make money while you’re on vacation, because business is able to continue without you. So, what’s the first step you need to take to go from owning your job to owning a business?

The first thing I have many of my clients do is get rid of their phone. It’s so unprofessional to be walking through someone’s property doing an appraisal, only to get an important phone call from a client that you have to take. To those of you who say, “But I turn my phone off during a walk-through,” I ask how many phone calls you have to return at the end. There’s a better way to do this!

Get a new number. Keep your current number as your business phone number, and get a new personal number. It’s generally a lot easier to change your phone number with your mom than it is to change your phone number with all your clients. Consider getting a voice-over IP system to start switching over to the proper routing system. Even better, consider hiring a customer service representative to handle your calls! Regardless of who’s in charge of answering the phone, you will be seen as more professional when you have separate phone numbers for business and personal use. This is an easy, simple step toward becoming a business owner that you can get started on today.

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


3 thoughts on “One Step Closer to Owning a Business”

  1. Answering the calls for my business is one thing that I’ve held onto when I should not (I guess other than banking). I’ve been able to delegate most other tasks to my staff, but not this yet. This should be done by others so that I can more easily take time off and focus on the business. It’s the last step for me and necessary.

  2. That one-man band most likely keeps 90% of gross versus the 10% he might keep with the Dustin Harris approach. Considering a Google search indicated a pay rate of $100-$250 per hour for a one-man band, that’s a heck of a lot better than what Dustin’s employer (True Footage Inc.) pays its staff. Per real estate appraisers & trainees at True Footage earn $23 per hour and senior appraisers make $35 per hour. Good luck to the those appraisers working 60 hours a week at an even $23 per hour as their income is less than $75,000 per year. Where have we heard those numbers before (it will come to me)? On a side note, it could be worse as I believe Dustin pays his staff in the Philippines around $300 Pesos per hour.

    Seek the truth.

  3. I apologize Dustin. I am wrong again. I know nothing about salaries of senior appraisers at TrueFootage. On a side note, I now know Dustin does not pay any staff at TrueFootage.

    Seek the truth.

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