Many say commercial appraising is an art but what does that really mean? Art can be defined as using imagination and creative skills, but with appraising, it has more to do with skill or craft. 

The valuation art can be suppressed due to the lack of time to do your job properly. Often, we’re bogged down with manual tasks and word processing purgatory. Managing an entire appraisal department or commercial appraisal firm with only Microsoft Office is challenging. 

The artist 

Every time my wife and I go to Savannah with friends, we visit the artist, Vincent Golshani. His art is as colorful as his personality. Each piece has a story. He often offers wine as we watch him paint. It was amazing to see the creation of so much depth coming from a white canvas very quickly.  

I asked him how long it will take to complete what he was working on, he said, “40 years.” In actuality it took him about 45 minutes. What he meant; it took lifelong training to be able to create solid consistent art quickly. Sounds like commercial appraising. 

Some refer to his Goldon House Gallery as the “Face of Individuality.” Like appraisers, reports are similar yet different. The formats vary but the components remain the same. Appraisers love their own formats. 

Aim for better than yesterday 

Perfection shows up in a lot of our activities. Lack of new initiatives is the biggest hurdle. Fee and bank appraisers are both so busy to stop and sharpen their axe. Who’s got the time? The problem is not improving processes can lead to burnout, dissatisfaction and employee churn. 

If a software does 100 things but lacks the 101st thing, then for some perfectionists, all forward momentum comes to an abrupt stop. No software is perfect, ours included. The goal is to mirror a typical day appraising and provide general functionality to complete individual tasks. Being in the valuation space shows up in our fee appraiser productivity software DataComp Suite. It’s evident in our bank appraisal and environmental workflow platform, YouConnect

3 Ideas to consider 

“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” 
Mark Twain 

“Aiming for perfection causes frustration at best and paralysis at worst.” 
Sheryl Sandberg 

“At its root, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous. It’s about fear. 
Fear of making a mistake. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of failure. Fear of success.” 
Michael Law 

Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done is a book by Jon Acuff.  

5 Top Takeaways 

  1. Don’t set overly optimistic goals. 
  1. Don’t complicate things. 
  1. Don’t amplify your mistakes. 
  1. Don’t diminish your achievements. 
  1. Don’t quit prematurely. 

The above reflects things not to do, which might be easier to obtain. Most of all, don’t beat yourself up if you’re not achieving success momentum, personally or professionally. Give yourself a mulligan. Leave lots of room for improvement. 

What exactly is business process? Documented ways of handling everything at your office. Create playbooks as living breathing documents. Google docs, use images and videos, whatever communicates in a super easy way. Don’t over-think it. Most of all, processes need to be: 

“The true art is understanding your processes that are
supported by software to achieve success.” 

When it comes to process and software, many appraisers want perfection. When they don’t get it, they revert back to the absence of either. Kicking the can down the road.  

Waiting for that perfect moment of tons of free time to evaluate the perfect software, implement the solution and train your staff is elusive. It’s never a perfect time, only a determined mindset borne out of necessity and desire. Basically, you tell yourself, “it’s time”…in earnest. 

Paint with whatever color you want. It’s your canvas. It’s your team. It’s your productivity.  

Give yourself the gift of done. Iterate to success.