Appraisers are the smartest people in the room when it comes to real estate.  

Then why do we receive so few kudos? How do you know if you’re doing a good job if your only feedback tends to be complaints? Where do you get positive commends for all the work you do? Where’s the high fives from the c-suite, RM/LO or reviewers?  

Appraisers can use a North Star to measure success. It’s a way to keep score. To define a sense of purpose in our lives, we need to identify goals.  

Determine a North Star to make informed decisions. Identify goals to achieve desired outcomes. Be happy on your progress, but don’t focus on the finish line. Obtaining your North Star isn’t the real goal. It’s a mindset. 

There’s one plan you can’t break, one variable that must stay constant, and that’s your mission. It’s the North Star that everyone orients around. A North Star metric is the one measurement that’s most predictive of long-term success.  

Your star should: 1. impact revenue, 2. bring customer value and 3. measure progress. 

One measurement 

For the appraisal department, what North Star is meaningful? One idea would be choosing an appraisal and environmental workflow platform like YouConnect. Having a real time dashboard of appraisals in progress capturing every communication (internally and externally) and securely handling all documents helps manage high appraisal volume with confidence.  

This platform impacts revenue through shorter timeline from order to close. It brings customer value when you’re quicker than other banks, bringing real business benefit. No longer just a cost center. Measure progress through exceeding your SLAs, while at the same time providing appropriate collateral protection. 

For the commercial fee appraisers, your North Star might show up with productivity software like DataComp Suite. Experience a significant increase in revenue through comp database, report writing and workflow. Customer value is presented through reports delivered on time with few (hopefully no) errors. Measuring the progress can be shown with an increase in appraiser production per hour, reduced internal review times and fewer external review report modifications. 

Keep score 

NPS stands for Net Promoter Score, a metric to measure the loyalty of customers. NPS scores are measured with a single-question survey and reported with a number, usually 1-10. It measures customer perception based on one simple question: 

“On a scale 1-10, how likely are you to recommend [your appraisal department or firm] to a friend or colleague? 

Why would an appraisal department or fee appraisers need an NPS? The future of success is rooted in “CS” or customer service. Next level CS moves beyond a break-fix mentality and focuses on business outcomes.  

Great job appraisers 

Providing CS is like a business coach and psychologist wrapped into one. Understanding what your client wants now and suggesting new processes as best practice. CS professionals ask lots of questions, determining what’s best suited for your success.  

The one-size-fits-all approach to valuation is going away. More successful appraisers are all about scope of work. They talk to their clients and get specific about what they want. Maybe less boiler plate, ditch the 10-page regional data and stop inserting market overviews prepared by brokers that you don’t relate to the subject. Ask your client what they’d like to see. Focus on what they care about. 

Move beyond boiler plate 

An example might be focusing on the revenue for a large multi-tenant office building appraisal. Post-Covid, what’s the likelihood of lease renewals? Are some of the tenants 100% remote but still paying rent? Has property ownership negotiated side deals not shown up in the rent roll? Why is the parking lot empty but the rent roll says 90% occupancy? What are investors real expectations on a cap rate for this property grade?  

Appraisers deserve credit. 

You work hard, consistently day in, and day out. 

You’re good at what you do. Great job!