Commercial appraisers lament about doing bank work. I’m not sure why. Often it represents 60% of the total sales volume of a typical firm. Yes, they have reviews. Yes, the fees are competitive. A more productive mindset would be to serve them better

It may come to a surprise for some appraisers that your bank clients are grading you. For many banks, it’s simply policy, part of vendor management.  

As a fee appraiser, take the opportunity to up your game through grading. Even if you’re nearing the end of your career, it’s still a great opportunity to take a fresh new look at your report quality and how you deliver your product

As a fee appraiser, what exactly does the appraisal department expect of you? For many of our YouConnect clients, they rate you on a scale from A-F. The criteria includes quality, timing, corrections, professionalism and communication. 

Reviewers in the YouConnect system can grade their appraisers, but also there’s the flexibility to provide an overall grade beyond the mathematical weighted average of the criteria. In the end, both the appraisal manager and fee appraiser want to have a productive relationship.  

(Re)meet your appraiser panel 

Given the decline of appraisers, if some of your vendors have relatively low scores, have a conversation with them. Pick up the phone and talk. Oftentimes it could be veteran appraisers struggling to train younger appraisers who sometimes make mistakes and it shows up in the grading system.  

Close the feedback loop 

Immordino-Yang writes in Emotions, Learning, and the Brain, “When kids care mainly about grades, they’re devoting more mental resources to the assessment than to the actual subject matter.” 

If grading is done properly, it can raise the game of your fee panel. Punitive grading (over-zealous reviews) without a conversation with your fee panel can result in sanitized appraisals. The report looks pretty but is lacking the local deep dive of market knowledge, or the subject is always in “average” condition with no deferred maintenance…you get the idea. 

For many appraisers, the review function can seem sometimes disassociated with learning. No appraiser likes to make a mistake, but appraisers are human and often don’t see reviews as an opportunity to improve their report format. 

If we all get on the same page, report quality can improve, report deadlines met and facilitate our value as valuation professionals, providing sound collateral risk analysis. 

The goal for both appraiser manager and fee appraiser is excellence. 

Up your appraiser game with grading. 

What’s your grade?