Just like EOS (entrepreneurial operating system), AOS (appraiser operating system) can be a set of concepts and tools used by bank and fee appraisers to clarify, simplify, and achieve their vision.  

Where’s your firm or appraisal department going? How do you plan to get there? 

Is it time to update your appraiser operating system? 

Way better meetings 

Go around the (virtual) room and have everyone participate with these 3 questions: 

  1. What’s going well in your world? 

Whether it’s personal or professional, let everyone speak authentically. It doesn’t always have to be about appraisal stuff. It could be that they had a great weekend camping with their family. It’s important to learn about the people you work with since it creates trust.  

This question also generates understanding what everybody is working on. You might be surprised what you learn. 

  1. Commends 

Ask the group who deserves a commend for something done since you’ve last met. Avoid fake praise but encourage the conversation, talking about someone that went out of their way. It doesn’t have to be huge. Maybe something like, “I really appreciate Tom reviewing appraisals when I was on vacation.”  

It’s OK that not everybody steps up and gives a commend. Paradoxically, wanting to be commended might result in a subconscious want. It also illustrates employees helping each other out beyond their stated position. 

  1. What’s your biggest challenge, the thing you need help on? 

As valuation professionals, our go-to is to solve problems. Give advice, give solutions, bottom-line it. Most of us have been in the industry for years and have buckets of wisdom. But refrain from a break-fix mentality. Resist the urge to solve the problem but rather ask questions. Lots of them.  

Asking questions is the secret to self-discovery of those trying to resolve challenges.” 

Articulate the strategic vision for your appraisal firm. If you’re an appraisal manager, articulate your strategic vision for your department. This exercise can be challenging since both fee and bank appraisers don’t have time. Often 100% stuck in the tactical of getting reports ordered, completed and reviewed.  

No time to improve our process, workflow and technology tools like DataComp Suite or YouConnect to make us way more productive. 

AOS Playbook

  1. Vision: Get everyone on the same page on where your firm or department is going and how to get there. 
  1. People: This is the No. 1 consideration to any business but often takes a backseat reacting to the day-to-day. “I need to get this report out.” “This review is late.” “The RM thinks the value is low.” 
  1. Info: Aka data, is necessary to know how you’re doing. A scorecard. Everyone needs to present metrics to the group. Not in a punitive fashion but rather providing an awareness of how everyone is performing. Without data, you can’t be predictive. 
  1. Challenges: See No. 3 above. Meeting to workout small and large issues will move the needle for your firm or department. Technology can alleviate many bottlenecks but no one software solves all problems. It should mirror your desired processes. 
  1. Process: If you address your vision, people, data and challenges; the next important step is to create, document and use processes. This reduces mistakes and increases efficiency. Stop your people from recreating the wheel. 
  1. Traction: Just like a 4×4 truck, pull your operations out of the unproductive mud. Combining the five previous concepts will result in traction and movement. Results are paramount to the success of the AOS. 

Get everyone in your organization 100% on the same page with leadership. In every meeting, whether in-person or virtual, communicate where you’re going and how you plan to get there. Work to create focus and accountability to execute on your vision. 

Is it time for a new appraiser operating system?