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Busy Vs Slow Cycles

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Dennis Condon

Freshman Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Massachusetts
I was just wondering what the average/typical weekly (or monthly) assignment flow is for a one to three person shop during both busy and slow times. With the slow cycle in the horizon somewhere, I was trying to get a sense of what to expect.

I began as a trainee in early '99, which was at the end of a boom and couldn't tell whether it was busy or slow as I was in the shock and awe stage of learning. Subsequently it seems to have been steadily busy with bursts of insanity.

Of course I realize the correct answer to my question and all appraisal related questions is "it depends", but I thought I might get some insights from the more seasoned veterans of the up and down turns of the appraisal market.
 

Mike Simpson

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2002
Dennis-

Actually, I don't think '99' was the end of a busy cycle. The stock market was still going strong then, consequently investors tended to invest in stocks rather than bonds (opposite of what's taking place today & the past few years).

Home interest rates tend to follow the 10 year bond (not whether the Fed is raising or lowering rates...contrary to popular belief). Track the 10 year bond closely (watch CNBC), and you'll get some idea of what you might expect regarding home interest rates, and therefore, how busy you can expect to be in the near future. Listen carefully to what the experts think and you might even get a feel when the best time to take a vacation is (busy times--when rates are low--competitors are kept busy and don't have as much time to romance your clients).

My business (myself & my wife) tends to be just as busy during traditionally slow times as busy, because of our marketing approach. Only difference is, now (busy times) we tend to turn more mortgage work away than we would when the interest rates are high and the refi markets tanked.

-Mike
 

Charlotte Dixon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
I opened my business in 1993 and have had only 2 slower spells. One in 1995, only for about 2 weeks, and one slower time Dec. 2002 until the end of January 2003. We haven't seen ups and downs here. There are 4 of us here, and each of the 3 gets out about 1 1/2 appraisals per day. I get one out aday, because I'm also the "secretary" which I NEVER wanted to be. I take the calls and relay them, log in, set up files, and put them on the dry erase board. Then I do the payroll, quarterly deposits, etc. But, then, I'm the mother and I'm the boss. We haven't seen any cycles in this office, just crazy busy all the time and no signs here of slowing down. We keep about 60 on our dry erase board, most of the time. Turnaround time now is 3-4 weeks and we take no new clients, ERC appraisals, divorce, or private jobs right now. 95% of our work is conventional mortgage appraisals, with about 4% V.A. and 1% other Government work. We're not number hitters, so that doesn't account for our business. A lender called the other day and said a Realtor asked him to use another appraisal company, because we are so conservative. Thank you for that!
 
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