Anyone who’s followed me for a while knows that I have three main aims. I want to help real estate appraisers make their business more efficient, more effective, and generate more money.
People almost always assume that making more money relies only on cutting costs. This is completely inaccurate. If you become more efficient and more effective, and work smarter instead of working harder, then you’ll start boosting your income. In the past, one of the ways in which I’ve made my work more efficient, and in effect spent money to make more money, is by hiring a driver.
A lot of real estate appraisers are probably reeling backwards from their screen right about now. There’s a general view of appraisers as being very individualistic; of being go-getters who get the job done on their own. I’ll be honest; it took me a while to come around to the idea too.
Two main realizations helped me come around, and reach the point that I’m at now. Firstly, I realized just how much time we – and I mean all people – spend doing nothing productive. I’ll use myself as an example. I average over 100 miles per day on my inspections (I live/work a very rural area). Think about how much time that is: I don’t even want to try counting up how many hours I sat in my car doing absolutely nothing productive, before I started hiring drivers.
The second realization was that one of the keys to prosperity is allowing other people to do what they’re good at, or hiring them to do things you don’t want to do yourself. I was wasting hours each day driving and doing nothing productive, and I knew there would be plenty of people out there who’d be willing to drive me around for a respectable wage.
I made the decision to start hiring drivers to take me to my inspections. It’s absolutely true that time is money in the real estate appraisal business. I make over $150/hour when I’m working. When I was driving myself around for an hour I was doing no work, and therefore making no money. Now, if I pay a driver $10/hour and I can work on my journey, I’m still making $140. Seems like a smart choice, when you look at it that way.
Can I be just as efficient working in my car as I would be in an office? Of course not, but even if I work at half-efficiency, I’m still getting a heck of a lot more done than I would be if I had to drive.
I admit that this approach can’t work for every real estate appraiser. If you suffer severely from motion sickness, for example, which would make you unable to work, it’s probably a non-starter. Frankly, I do not do it as much as I used to either. My business model has changed from when I was using it regularly.
If you’re only holding off on hiring a driver because you have a certain view of how real estate appraisers ‘should’ operate, and that it wouldn’t be ‘right’ to have a driver, then I think you’re making a big mistake. Making more money and growing your business is all about working more efficiently and more effectively. Hiring a driver is a quick, easy, and cost-effective way of doing exactly this. Take this step like I did and try something new.
For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode 006 – Using a Driver for Appraisal Inspections.