As a real estate appraiser, you know that time is money. Are you looking for simple ways to speed up your process so that you can complete more assignments, reduce your turnaround time, and earn more income? We recently asked our Facebook community, “What are the best time-saving hacks for appraisers?” Below, we’ve taken their comments and combined them with the advice of industry experts to create a list of nine practical time-saving tips for appraisers.
Use multiple screens
Maximize your ability to multitask by setting up your workspace with multiple screens and monitors. One appraiser told us, “I have a 43-inch Sony Bravia 4K TV divided into three screens with Display fusion, and two other 28-inch monitors on the side for five screens total.” Multiple screens may come in particularly handy when utilizing remote inspection software for desktop appraisals.
Use a laser measuring device
You can measure properties more quickly by using a laser measuring tool. Not sure what type of laser device to use? Recommendations from appraisal professionals include:
- Disto laser
- Leica Disto E7400x
- Leica Disto D2
- Bosch digital meter
Have your voicemails auto transcribed
“Have your voicemails auto transcribed to text,” commented one appraiser. This is a simple time-saving tip for appraisers and anyone else who has to field a lot of incoming phone calls throughout the day. Instead of having to stop and listen to a full voicemail and possibly jot down notes, you can just quickly scan the text transcription for all pertinent info.
Free guide: Get tips and insights to increase your earning potential with our free Appraisal Income Guide.
Invest in good appraisal software
Good appraisal software can be a real “game changer” in terms of speeding up your process and cutting back time spent on tedious tasks. One appraiser recommended “Spark or Datamaster,” for example. But there are many software options to choose from. Additionally, take the time to learn software shortcuts, another appraiser advised. This will help to ensure you get the most out of your investment.
Use a mobile app
One example of a great time-saving mobile app for appraisers is TOTAL for Mobile by a la mode. In a previous survey that asked appraisal professionals to name the “one technology tool that makes their life easier as an appraiser,” TOTAL for mobile was by far the most popular answer.
“If you have Total, use the Link Field tool, and Worksheets,” advised one appraiser.
Use appraisal report templates
You can save a significant amount of time by using templates. However, don’t rely on one template for all your appraisals. Create templates that are specific to different clients and assignment types (e.g., FHA, VA, USDA, conventional). If you regularly prepare appraisals for other types of intended uses (e.g., divorce or estate), create a template just for that intended use. Furthermore, with USPAP and client requirements always changing, make sure your report templates are always up-to-date.
Take your classes online
“Taking your online classes is a time saver. I have taken lots of classes and have never needed 7 hours when taking a 7 hour class. I usually am in and out in like 2 or 3 hours.”
Did you know? McKissock offers two types of %100 online appraisal classes: Livestream and Self-paced. Find courses in your state.
Hire an assistant
An appraisal assistant can do more than just type up your reports. Here are some tasks that you could delegate to an assistant in order to free up your own time for other work:
- Managing emails and phone calls
- Scheduling appointments
- Doing preliminary research, creating files
- Compiling search and market-study data, per your instruction
- Researching and inputting subject data and your comparable data
- Proofreading and organizing the report
- Delivering the report
Keep one “office-only” day a week
Set aside at least one day a week as an office-only day. You’d be surprised how much more efficient and productive you can be on a day when you are not visiting any properties. On the days when you do go out, reduce driving time by scheduling all your appointments either back-to-back first thing in the morning or back-to-back at the end of the day. Or, if you’re going out to rural or remote properties, try to schedule them all in one day.
Further reading: Find additional time-saving tips for appraisers in our post, 6 Ways to Streamline Your Appraisal Workflow.