Real estate appraiser working on laptop

Top Appraisal Skills to Sharpen in 2021


What New Year’s goals do you have for your appraisal business? Last month we asked our community of real estate appraisers, “What appraisal skill would you most like to improve in 2021?” The top answer was “adopting new technology,” and the three runners up were “obtaining new clients,” “staying up-to-date on industry and market trends,” and “time management and efficiency.” Below, we share insights into which areas appraisers plan to focus their efforts this year.

What appraisal skill would you most like to improve in 2021?

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Adopting new technology (28%)

“I would love to find a way to integrate technology to shorten my work days a bit!”

“As a student just coming into the industry, I would love to learn about the developing technology in the field that will help me to produce and provide results quickly, efficiently, and accurately. There’s always something new coming out and I’m sure there are programs to help boost the appraisal industry.”

“There is so much new technology available to appraisers we don’t seem to have the time or inclination to make ourselves learn and use it. At my age, 81, I’m still learning and wanting to improve my skills…heck, I have trouble utilizing all of my telephone technology.”

“I would like to take advantage of emerging appraisal technologies such as using in-the-field electronic inspection devices and learn regression analysis software.”

“We definitely see using a tablet to photograph and take notes on the features of the subject and comps will save time!”

“It seems the most time consuming and necessary tasks to complete a report are data entry, market analysis and determining appropriate adjustments. Adopting new technology will save time and strengthen adjustment credibility.”

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Obtaining new clients (17%)

“In this time, it is hard to network in the traditional way. I would love to learn techniques that have worked for others in getting your name out there!”

“I am new to the appraisal industry and McKissock has been a great resource. My next goal is to build up my appraisal clientele.”

“Sometimes appraisers feel like all the work there is to get has already been grabbed up by more senior appraisers, but surely there are more clients looking for quality appraisals somewhere. I want to learn how to find them and market to them.”

Staying up-to-date on industry & market trends (16%)

“With COVID-related shutdowns and other safety measures, it’s important to keep close track of changes in the markets.”

“Pandemic has impacted the market in very different ways and more diversely than perhaps any other recent time. It is important to keep current to do a proper analysis.”

“Staying up-to-date with market trends has become more difficult. Even though we are drowning in market data, COVID-19 has affected market areas within the world.”

“Specifically learning how the pandemic will affect values in the future.”

“In California the hottest topic is ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units).”

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Time management & efficiency (16%)

“We have so many orders coming in that I would love to find a way to manage our time time better.”

“As an associate licensee, I want to find out how to better manage my time and business to be able to get my certified license as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

“I want to improve my time management. I get bogged down in sometimes over-analyzing some segments of the assessments. Need to improve the efficiency and move forward.”

“I tend to get bogged down on details that may or may not affect my valuation conclusions.”

“I spend too much time with the small stuff, while attempting to get the whole picture.”

“Who wouldn’t want to manage their time better ? If we could could get the same amount of work done in a shorter period of time…now that’s a skill I’d like to learn.”

For helpful info, check out these articles: 7 Ways for Appraisers to Spend Less Time on Email and Q&A: Is It Time to Take On an Appraisal Trainee?

Maintaining work-life balance (12%)

“I can probably count on two hands the number of days off I have had this year. [I have] set a resolution in 2021 to find a way to continue to service my valued clients while still having a life.”

“Work-life balance is extremely important to me as a mom of three young kiddos! Finding and maintaining that balance is hard! Especially in an industry where you can really make some money if you want.”

“I am now 72 years old. The work keeps coming in so, I get it done. Still I think about just relaxing, golfing, whatever, just being able to do something other than work. Got a 3-year-old grandson I would like to see more often.”

“I love appraising – it is part of my DNA. It has provided me the opportunity for a wonderful life with my family. Looking forward to being able to travel again – looking forward to healthy days!!!!”

Financial & business management (5%)

“In the new year, I want to improve my professional skills, strive for a higher position in the company, earn more money and improve the living standard of my family.”

Other (6%)

Some survey respondents (6%) selected “Other” and wrote in their own answers for the top appraisal skills to sharpen in 2021. Responses included:

  • “Appraisal review”
  • “Reconciliation”
  • “Statistical analysis used in single-family residence”
  • “Adding staff and support team”
  • “Learning additional skills that benefit the day-to-day job”

What are the top appraisal skills that you wish to focus on this year? Join the conversation! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Or, sign up for our newsletter to get a new survey question in your inbox each month.


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