Change is a part of life, and that is certainly evident in the appraisal industry. The average appraiser is between the ages of 55 and 60 years old, and no doubt, they’ve seen technology reshape the industry since their early days in the field. While change can feel uncomfortable, we challenge you to see it as an opportunity to better serve your clients—and to boost your appraisal career. By doing so, you will help to ensure that your services will be in demand for years to come. Here are five ways to embrace technology and succeed in today’s world.
1. Be open to new technologies
The number one way to stay competitive is to embrace technology. It wasn’t all that long ago when an appraiser’s favorite tool was an electric typewriter and a glue stick. Now, technology makes it possible to do pretty much everything online, and you can expect even more advancements. Virtual reality is already making a splash in the industry, and plenty of apps and software are available to help make your work more efficient and accurate.
Make sure you take advantage of technology and the opportunities it offers. Stay on top of the new technologies available, and, more importantly, adopt and use them. Otherwise, you risk becoming obsolete.
Ready to embrace technology? These awesome videos for appraisers may be a good place to start.
2. Train the next generation
The industry is already anticipating an appraiser shortage in the years to come. You can do your part to bring in fresh talent now. Hiring trainee appraisers offers you personal benefits as well. You can train them, and then send them out to conduct property inspections and take on the type of work that someone with your experience and credentials shouldn’t be doing.
Stop worrying! Fannie Mae says it’s acceptable to delegate inspections to trainees!
Selling Guide Announcement SEL-2017-01 (January 31, 2017) states: “We have clarified our existing policy that allows an unlicensed or uncertified appraiser, or an appraiser trainee to complete the property inspection. When the unlicensed or uncertified appraiser or appraiser trainee completes the property inspection, the supervisory appraiser is not required to also inspect the property.”
3. Coach trainees to be field inspectors while you focus on desktop appraisals
You are dealing with more regulations and client specifications than ever before. That means that you are spending 4 to 8 hours per appraisal. The problem is you don’t get paid for all that time you spend in the field, driving to comparables, measuring houses, or typing and revising appraisal forms. Stop wasting time on tasks that an appraisal assistant or trainee is more than capable of handling. Delegate some of that work, and put your time and expertise to better use analyzing data, building your local market knowledge, identifying market trends, and communicating your results to clients.
After all, what will ensure your longevity is your market expertise and accuracy of the overall appraisal. Besides that, with you staying put at your desk, you will be able to complete more appraisals per day, and that means more money in your pocket.
Get your limited scope questions answered. Check out our online course: Evaluations, Desktops, and Other Limited Scope Appraisals.
4. Embrace new, alternative valuations
What can you expect? You will need to consider valuations that look nothing like Fannie Mae forms. Desktop appraisals are going to become the norm, and they’ll be coming to you in a web form. (Again, embrace technology!) MLS providers will come to you offering more information for larger territories, and you may not even need to subscribe to your local MLS resources any longer. One of the biggest changes is that appraisers will begin working per hour, not per appraisal.
5. Become the local market expert
Start taking statistical analysis seriously—and learn to do it. Take courses if you have to, and learn how to study it so that you can interpret and identify trends in your market—and then communicate your analysis to customers. That is essential to becoming indispensable in the appraisal industry.
Don’t shy away from the unfamiliar. Welcome these changes and use them to become more professional and competent so that you can compete in today’s world. What steps are you taking to sharpen your appraisal skills, embrace technology, and grow your business into the future?