With the current bank slowdown, many in the valuation field are considering retiring. In the past, retiring meant taking less jobs but not a full stop. Does green golf courses or fishing on the bay in your center console boat sound alluring? Maybe it’s thoughts of getting to all those house projects. Or finally taking a real vacation, more than just a long weekend. 

I have a friend that used to have 12 appraisers, now he’s down to three. The other friend is a chief appraiser who’s been at it for 35 years. Both are wondering if “it’s time.” Thoughts of closing the doors and writing that resignation letter are a frequent occurrence. 

So, when’s the right time to retire? Is it only about having a large enough nest egg, or is it something more? Often, it’s fatigue that makes us pull the trigger. The lack of passion also plays into our thoughts. The Retire or Refuel Matrix TM might help determine where you are in your career. The goal is to be in the upper right quadrant – Rock Star, feeling strong, passion and productivity. 

Retire or Refuel Matrix TM 

“$#*! Show” Quadrant 

Many appraisal firms live here. The firm owners haven’t invested any internal software and processes in years. They manually type over old reports, creating copy/paste fatigue and lots of mistakes.  

I know chief appraisers in this box, they lack any appraisal management platform and struggle to run their department with Excel spreadsheets and Outlook.  

“Having a long day” Quadrant 

These firms are creating reports manually but they have some processes for bidding, job setup and scheduling.  

Chief appraisers in this quadrant have no automated workflow but have established policy, experienced reviewers and a solid fee panel.  

“Watch Paint Dry” Quadrant 

These firms have a commercial comp database, but they only use a fraction of its features. They lack any report writing software.  

Chief appraisers in this box have an appraisal management platform, but often it’s legacy and lacks custom configurations. Getting to the correct Scope of Work is often challenging, slowing down the process and irritating Relationship Managers.  

“Rock Star” Quadrant 

Appraisal firms in this box are “in the zone”, using maximum leverage of their comp database and report writing consistently used by everyone. They have playbooks documenting various processes. The business outcomes are 1. reports delivered on time, 2. fewer mistakes, 3. a much better valuation product and 4. ability to attract new hires.  

The appraisal department as a Rock Star has an appraisal management platform configured for your needs – vendor management with grading, reporting, full transparency and integrations like nCino. The business outcome is much shorter turnaround times, hitting your SLAs and happier co-workers. Your valuations are better since your processes are aligned with technology

I can understand that the feeling of being in a box other than Rock Star is good enough. You’ve been operating this way for years so the “it’s not broke, no need to fix it” works for you. That said, consider where you are on the Fatigue-Passion and Idle-Productivity scale.  

Engaging in fulfilling work can enhance your overall well-being and life satisfaction. It can provide a sense of accomplishment, pride and contribute to a more fulfilling and balanced life. 

How would it feel to do an awesome job? Ridiculous success

Retire or refuel? 

Think about it.