By 2025, what do you want to achieve, both personally and professionally?

This blog will not mention USPAP. Nor FIRREA or cap rates. I won’t discuss anything to do with commercial valuation. Nope. You’re already very good at what you do.

Today’s message is learning, being curious, that leads to goal setting. Here’s a very simple, yet challenging exercise to see how you’re doing. Pull out a piece of paper, yes old school paper, and write down a full page of goals. Assume it’s three years in the future, 2025 and what you’re writing down has already occurred. These should be personal and professional.

Be Unrealistic

Don’t think like an appraiser. Resist the urge of an exhaustive plus and minus checklist. Lose the deep judgment as to what’s “reasonable.” Avoid a minimalist attitude. Rather truly ask yourself, what do you want? For some, it might be more travel. But be specific. Where do you want to go, who are you going with and for how long? What do you hope to experience? What’s the savings plan to make it happen?

I did this exercise recently and I found this simple task way more difficult than it sounds on the surface. I would start to write and then stop. I would think, rethink and overthink for such a very basic question, what do you want?

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” The Benjamin guy on the $100 bill has a great point for appraisers.

Actively get involved with your processes to drive productivity. What’s the cost of ignoring this advice? Few vacations, chronic stress and overworked staff.

How would success feel

The trick to this exercise is to dream big but not so much that subconsciously you feel it’s unobtainable. There’s another exercise called BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal, but that’s for another time). It should be something you want and can visualize.

You may write down that by 2025, your appraisal department has already successfully implemented YouConnect for your appraisal and environmental ordering platform. Describe how it feels to have transparency for your lenders, reporting for the C-Suite, automated vendor management and crushing your SLAs.

As a commercial fee appraiser, you may write down that in the year 2025, all of your appraisers and staff are consistently using a comp database and report writing like DataComp Suite. You set new much higher hourly production goals and you’re achieving them.

Calendar rules

Show me your calendar and I will show you your priorities. Try this quick exercise. Go back 30 days on your calendar and color highlight leadership activities. As appraisers, we tend to be chronically stuck in client fulfillment, constantly “touching the knobs” of valuation. Stuck in the details, never looking up from our desk to see something better.

“A goal is not always meant to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at.” Bruce Lee

It’s important to have dreams, ideally big ones. But not in a vacuum. You also need a strong work ethic to achieve those dreams. Ignore expectations of others, which can create self-imposed restrictions holding yourself back. What is your success story?

Turn and face the change

Leo Buscaglia sums it up nicely, “Change is the end result of all true learning.” Once you put pen to paper, will you commit change to achieve your own goals? We made up a three year future window, but it could easily be more or less. Play with the timeline and see what works for you.

Be authentic to how you’re feeling and thinking.

Ask yourself, what do you want?

I hope you have an answer.