As a fee or bank appraiser, do you feel stuck in chronic work mode? When’s the last time you’ve had a vacation?  

Fee appraisers are struggling to keep up with the current workload. 

Some bank presidents and C-Suite leadership aren’t fully aware that many appraisal departments are understaffed and overworked. 

Getting unstuck is a fantastic feeling of freedom

Growing up in Tampa, my go to sport isn’t snow skiing. I’m an intermediate blue run skier at best. I attempt the black diamond runs, but the outcome is usually no bueno. I don’t have the skills for the steep pitch or icy moguls. I nonetheless try. 

The Experiment 

Last time I went skiing, I got frustrated since I couldn’t keep up with my brother-in-law. I tried an experiment. I attempted to suspend fear as I increased speed beyond my abilities. The goal was to turn off the lizard brain just for a few minutes to see if I could catch him.  

The experiment started well. I felt myself going down the mountain faster and faster, on the edge of losing control, but with relaxed focus. I concentrated on my breathing and relaxing my body, being in the moment.  

Yard sale 

But then something happened. I’m not sure what. I blinked and I found myself skidding at high speeds down the mountain on my back looking up at the sky. I focused on not letting the skis dig in to avoid injury. Then something hit hard on my back that slowed me to a stop. It turns out, I swept the legs out from behind someone standing on the mountain.  

Yard sale is when a skier crashes and scatters everything like skies, poles, goggles, beanies and gloves all over the hill. 

I profusely apologized to the man explaining my limited skills and the experiment. After we chatted some, we both laughed and then went for a beer on the mountain. 

Move beyond the bunny slope 

The point of the story could be it’s good to have a decent amount of fear. But on the other hand, attempting to go faster was exhilarating. I did improve, almost catching up with my brother in law. What I did feel (though it ended messy) was a sense of accomplishment of not being too tentative, too limited in my attempt, too rigid in my abilities. The experiment allowed me to see the possibilities of improvement. Move past the same limitation, “I guess I’ll always only be a blue run skier.” Seek out coaches (I definitely need ski instruction). 

Running a business is not free 

As fee appraisers, we tend to be so busy cranking out appraisals that we view our business model too tentatively. We approach the business of appraising sometimes with limited effort. It takes time and money to be successful. Of course, you shouldn’t waste money but business is expensive

Labor is the most expensive line item that you have. Multiply limited processes and lack of effective software by the number of people in your firm or department. The math result is astounding. 

“The cost of running your firm or 
department tentatively is enormous.” 

Pressure to compress turnaround times 

Appraisal departments have budget limitations. On top of that, there’s additional pressure from the top do reduce the prolonged turn-around times. LO/RMs relationship with the borrower is being strained, adding pressure to your department. 

Fresh powder 

Improving allows you to move a little bit faster. It allows you to be more productive. Multiplied by your staff, the impact is significant. Consider implementing DataComp Suite at your appraisal firm or YouConnect in your bank appraisal department to give you back your time.   

Create free time by being much more productive. Consider taking a ski vacation next year with family and friends. You’ve been working 50+ hour weeks for years now. So why not treat yourself with a vacation? You deserve it. 

Get unstuck.