Change is a part of life, and that is certainly evident in the appraisal industry. Statistics tell us that 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. Regardless of your age, you can expect to experience changes that will continue to affect how you work.
While change can feel uncomfortable, we challenge you to see it as an opportunity to better service your clients—and to boost your appraisal career. If you do, you will help to ensure that your services will be in demand for years to come.
Here are five key strategies for appraisers to succeed in today’s world.
Be open to new technologies
It hasn’t been all that long ago since an appraiser’s favorite tools were an electric type writer and a glue stick. Now, technology makes it possible to do pretty much everything online, and we can expect even more advancements. Virtual inspection technology is already making a splash in the industry, and more apps and software will be available to help you be more efficient and accurate. Make sure that you are staying on top of the latest technologies. More than that, adopt and use them; otherwise, you risk becoming obsolete.
Stay up-to-date on hot topics from around the profession with Appraisal Pro-Series Webinars.
Train the next generation
The industry is already anticipating an appraiser shortage in the years to come, so you can do your part to bring in fresh talent now. Additionally, hiring appraisal trainees 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.
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 a 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 the 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.
Welcome 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. 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.
Don’t shy away from the unfamiliar. Embrace these changes and use them to become more
professional and competent.
Updated CE course! Enroll in Best Practices for Bifurcated and Hybrid Appraisals—now updated with Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s guidelines on how to complete the 1004 Desktop/70D appraisal form.
Become the local market expert
Start taking statistical analysis seriously—and learn how to do it. Take courses if needed 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 key to becoming indispensable in the appraisal industry.
For more appraisal business strategies and insights on how to compete in today’s world, check out our post, “Real Estate Appraisers Share How They Stand Out from the Competition.”