I Am Thankful

This is Diana with ABC-The Appraiser’s Business Companion.  I know this week is a short week for many of you as you gather with your family on this most very American Holiday.  I was thinking about all of you in your fields across the country.  I often picture you at your desks in front of the computer or your car at the drive-in window getting something to drink and at the gas pump with your cell phone in hand while the gas is flowing in once again to the big empty tank.  Sometimes, the holidays make our time crunches even more difficult.  And, sometimes, its at those moments when things go awry.

You’re trying to print and the paper jams, you clear the jam and the ink cartridge you thought you had in your supply cabinet, was on the list to get from the office supply at your next trip.   There’s a power outage and you hadn’t saved your last 20 minutes of work.  You get a flat on the interstate or you’re behind an accident and can’t get out of the traffic jam.  You quickly scramble what your time frame is and you realize you’re not going to make it on time to your next appointment.  Calls are made as you redirect the traffic of your day because something else just happened and right at the point, when you’re 15 minutes away from the next inspection, the sky breaks open with a downpour of what sounds like what we imagine of the second coming and your umbrella is back at the office.  You have to get an appraisal report out, you’re frantically trying to get it done and there’s information you need that you cannot put your hands on.  Don’t you just wonder sometimes why your name is on the lender’s list for “call this one when you get the most complex where no one else will go”?  Sometimes its hard to be thankful when so many things go wrong you have to make a “fire list” of what has to be taken care of.  That’s actually just the breaking point that we need to identify the problem.  Not the appraisal problem, the appraiser problem, our mental frame of mind problem.

I don’t think I’m any different than the rest of you, I daily tackle timeframes and deadlines I fail often to meet regardless of my planning.  What I have learned I pass to you because of those before me who generously passed their knowledge on to me.  I’ve often used what I know about appraisal and related the same problem-solving techniques to sort things in my personal as well as professional life through.  Consider what you do when you identify the appraisal problem and begin with you being the client.  What are the relevant characteristics of your day?  Are there any that can be relocated to another time either today or tomorrow?  If you’re a morning person, working late at night will find you the least productive.   Stop doing that; your risk probability for making mistakes is at its highest peak when you’re working outside your productive time.   Think out what you can physically do in the timeframe left when you know you’re optimum is left.  Realistically you may be one that will get more done if you shut it down for the day, set the alarm an hour early and while you’re sipping your coffee go over the day ahead and the tasks that are needing to be done.  You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to tackle the unfinished.

Instead of commiserating over the horrible assignments, be grateful.  There’s never been a difficult assignment I’ve had where I didn’t gain far more than the additional time it took to complete.  Its an absolute than when the feat is done you are both relieved but also a more seasoned and knowledgeable appraiser.   Be thankful for that experience.  When things aren’t making sense, do you stop and ask yourself, “what is it that I’m missing”?  If the sale didn’t make sense, does the thought of verifying it from one of the parties beyond the reported MLS possibly hold the answer?  Be thankful there’s someone else who may be able to help you make sense out of the senseless.

While you’re on the phone and multi-tasking at the gas pump, take just a minute and be thankful that you live in an age where you can accomplish two tasks simultaneously.   While you wait to be the next in line at the drive thru, think about other things that you are grateful for, one thing right off the bat is that you can afford to go to the drive through and “have it your way”.   There are many who cannot.

This week begins our holiday season, this week I begin thinking about all that I’m so very grateful for and those whom I respect, care about and love.  This week, its important to me to share more than these tidbits of what may make your life better as you soldier on in this business.  This is Diana Jacob, with ABC-The Appraiser’s Business Companion and I am thankful for each and every one of you.  Happy Thanksgiving ABC members!