As the owner of a commercial appraisal firm, are you listening or doing all the talking?

As the appraisal manager of your department, are you listening to your staff or too busy?

We all have a role to play, your work is to figure out what you want your role to be and giving that role (and your team) your absolute best.

The power of listening.


Stop and look around. Pay attention to every conversation you have with your staff and clients. Do you notice anything? Are there issues that play out over and over? Most problems are minor but there’s usually a lot of them. They can be hard to spot without active listening. 

Could your process be improved? Should you meet with your staff to discuss these opportunities? Do you hear opportunity to improve how you order, create and review appraisals?

Productivity is a mindset of listening to your staff and clients.

“The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand.
We listen to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

The ABC’s of collaborating.

Intrinsic motivation

Avoid jumping in to fix every problem, rather determine if the issue could’ve been avoided in the first place. Is there any software, process or documented training that would address it next time around? Move away from the tactical and focus on the strategic. The work happiness ROI is 1,000x more impactful for you and your staff.


Every day is busy for fee and bank appraisers. No time to improve how you order or create appraisals. Stop and do the math of your stress level.

Consider DataComp Suite and YouConnect, software designed by appraisers who understand your day to day. Determine how your business day should be, organized productivity or chronically putting out fires.

Listen to understand

I’m reminded how fortunate I am that I accidentally fell into a commercial valuation career. It’s been rewarding, lucrative and synergistic with other opportunities. It got me thinking about a few things.

Am I done learning?

My base appraisal education is from the 1990s. Sure I’ve taken some random classes throughout the years but am I currently learning anything new? Am I curious? If you stop and listen, you know business best practices are changing.

Consider a mindset of investing in yourself, your appraisal firm or department. Surround yourself with a team that pushes you to play at a new level. Surround yourself with like-minded people for accountability. Actively create a collaborative environment.

Be relentless in your pursuit of exploring your capability.

Stop, collaborate and listen for opportunity.