Cloning or templates? What is the best for you? How do you start your appraisal reports? Various other software programs have different ways but, in general, we’re going to talk about the pros and cons of using a template versus a clone.
When I talk about templates, I’m talking about having a set of typical reports that you might merge with to start your report. Really, I don’t know anybody that starts with a blank report, but there might be some of you out there. Using a template can help you be more efficient. So you might have a template for the 1004 UAD and another for a 1025. With templates, you would probably only have a handful, maybe five or six, that you use on a regular basis.
Cloning is more about taking a report that you’ve done recently and using all the information as the bulk of your current report. Say you just did an appraisal a few weeks ago for a house in a particular subdivision and now you have another house in that same subdivision. Sure they’ll be slightly different, maybe plus or minus a few hundred square feet or a three car garage instead of a two car, but you have the comps, the history, and the information on the market for that division that you use. To save time, you merge the reports instead of starting fresh for the new order.
One of the first steps I take with anyone that I coach is reviewing their process, we go deep into the nitty gritty details. We’re looking for efficiencies and for what tweaks might allow them to complete the whole process in a more efficient manner. More than half the time, the appraisers that I’m coaching use templates instead of cloning.
Personally, I do templates. I’m all about efficiency and so you might be questioning why I’d go back and recreate all the information when I already have a similar report on hand. I will give you this, cloning is probably more efficient in saving time, but efficiency has just as much to do with quality. Bad quality reports that have to be revised slow you down.
Templates can save you some time while still allowing you to keep quality high, you can do your report right the first time. I’ve worked with a lot of appraisers over the years and, in my opinion, you are going to be more efficient and consistent when you use templates.
For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 484