Time management challenges are a big issue for many property appraisers. Your income depends on how many appraisal assignments you can complete each month and each year—and you need time to produce each report. In other words, time is money. Last month we asked appraisers, “What’s one thing you wish you could STOP doing to save time in your workday?” Read on to learn which day-to-day tasks are the most common culprits for decreasing an appraiser’s efficiency and productivity.
What’s one thing you wish you could STOP doing to save time in your workday?
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Answering phone calls (28%)
“Phone calls usually are from another client and slow down the task I am trying to accomplish.”
“Phone calls interrupt train of thought and emails aren’t any better. It’s hard to work when parties are micromanaging your work.”
“Most of my work seems to be just phone calls. As part of an AMC, there are time-sensitive items that need addressed ASAP and therefore require phone calls to handle. Pair that with other incoming and outbound calls to check the status of files, and it adds up. Not a complaint, there just aren’t enough hours in the day at present!”
“I get so many junk phone calls that waste my time. The calls don’t look like spam but are a waste of space. In this business you have to answer the phone in case it is a solid call.”
“I love communication, with that being said, I find that if I’m answering each phone call on demand, I have to redirect my focus. Texting has made communicating more ‘to the point’ and allows more time for other pressing matters.”
Providing status emails (23%)
“Some clients are sending multiple emails daily on the same property with status update requests. I know some of these are automated, and they can really be annoying and are clogging my inbox.”
“Often, almost everyone involved in the transaction calls or emails for a status. That includes two agents, the processor and loan officer. That situation is very burdensome.”
“I now only answer emails in the morning and end of day. I block off time to work in the morning and afternoon with phone turned off. Doing this has made me more productive with less interruptions.”
“If someone wants an immediate response, call me. Otherwise, there should be an expectation that emails will be answered within 4 hours. That would make the workday much more efficient!”
Taking comp photos (18%)
“Living in the mountains, it can take over 3 hours round trip to go take comp pictures.”
“Here in the suburbs, a large portion of properties can’t be seen clearly (or at all), making the process of taking comp photos even more of a waste of time.”
“MLS photos are a better representation of the comparable at its time of sale than a photo of a gate.”
“MLS photos are often better than mine for two reasons: 1) they have access to take photos from within the property itself whereas I do not trespass onto the comp property, and 2) they are often taken by professional photographers with better cameras than I can afford for appraisal work.”
Further reading: Get strategies to overcome appraisal time management challenges in our post, 6 Ways to Streamline Your Appraisal Workflow.
Monthly bookkeeping (11%)
“If I could afford to hire a secretary or office assistant to do my bookkeeping, it would drastically afford more time to work on current appraisals or take on a couple extra to increase revenue.”
“Hire it out! Find an excellent bookkeeper to do the expense tracking (and if they come to the office you might be able to have them answer the phones for a bit too).”
“Keeping track of my mileage and other minor tasks takes up a large portion of my time. While I know the importance it has for taxes, I wish there was an easier way, like entering my starting location and ending location into a software and it calculates for me. I am not a fan of the apps that track your mileage.”
Answering addendum requests (5%)
5% of survey respondents identified “answering addendum requests” as one of their top time management challenges, but had no additional comments.
Visiting subject properties in-person (4%)
“The most efficient way is to use a drone to inspect properties all around.”
Several survey respondents selected “Other” and wrote in their own answers for things they wish they could stop doing to save time in their workday. Responses included:
- Physically going to an office vs. working from home
- Providing continuous status texts
- Dealing with “all the overhead”
- Receiving redundant paper copies referencing manufactured homes from other departments, which still need verifying
- Getting distracted by online news during the day
- Answering repeat inquiries from staff
- Getting out-of-area appraisal requests
- Testing! I just started my appraisal education.
- I’ve only begun the course, so none of the above apply! I would say, STOP an extra 6 hours in my current 60 hour work week to allow me to advance my licensure application sooner!
- Stop procrastinating and just do!
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