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Cutting Expenses Without Giving Up Quality Service

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thebean

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2007
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Georgia
Our cost to do business is steadly increasing while it appears our fees are declining. Some examples of expenses of our profession as follows:

Auto...
Education..
License Fees..
Computer Software & Hardware
Data....
Rent...
Telephone...
Internet...
Insurance...
Dig Cameras...
Utlities...
Accountants....
Etc.....

Of, course we should always give quality service regardless of our expenses.

Please share your tips how you control and cut expenses of doing business.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Montana
Accounting System

The first rule of business is that you can not save yourself into prosperity. You need income first; profitably derived by intelligent cost control. Neither can you save yourself out of moral/ethical dilemmas. The last three appraisal reports reviewed all contained MLS comparable pictures without comment or attribution. Avoiding the drive to see the comparables seems to be the fastest way to save money. The push back has begun. One company has started to demand date stamps on comp pictures.However, most lenders don't seem to notice that all the comp pictures have for sale signs.

The most productive step to control expenses is to have a detailed accounting system. If you are not running your business on Quick Books or equivalent, it is difficult to truly make adjustments or look for saving potential.

The three most cost saving potential areas are driving costs (By now everyone should be GPS savvy); Telephone charges( many ways to save money) and routine expenses. Do you still print out a copy of the report to proofread? Dump the postage machine and buy stamps. Use the zero budget concept and question every expense.

Before getting to all the ways to save money, a true accounting system with a detailed chart of accounts is the first and most necessary step.

Doug
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
Well, thinking ultra cheap...
You could dump your DSL and use free coffee house wifi.
Dump your MLS and use the login of an RE agent friend.
Dump your rent cost by working from your car and dining room table.
Insurance? What's that? For E&O, use an imaging software to change the expiration date every year.
Use freebie trial versions of software, and use an imaging software to remove the DEMO label at the top.
Cameras now are cheap enough, or you could take the $30 camera you bought your daughter. It holds 30 pics, that's enough for one report.
Rather than using an accountant, you could get an old version of Quickbooks on Ebay and file your own reports. The withholds will be wrong, but don't worry about it.... the IRS will let you know they are wrong and issue a correction letter really, really quick.
 

Offshore

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Of, course we should always give quality service regardless of our expenses.Please share your tips how you control and cut expenses of doing business.
There has been some good news. The AF recently announced the price of comp checks has not decreased.
 

Dennis

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Alabama
The last three appraisal reports reviewed all contained MLS comparable pictures without comment or attribution. Avoiding the drive to see the comparables seems to be the fastest way to save money. The push back has begun. One company has started to demand date stamps on comp pictures.However, most lenders don't seem to notice that all the comp pictures have for sale signs.

Starting September 1 my local MLS requires all photos to NOT have any for sale signs or any other identifying signs in the pictures. I'll never have to see another comp again!

Also got a request from an AMC, 1004 with interior for less $$$ than I charge for an exterior only. Now this AMC has sent me several FHA assignments for a decent fee, not quite full price but close enough for government work. ;)

The reason for the extremely low fee was the borrowers had another appraisal done, and FHA chewed it up and spit it out, so now they need a conventional one. Since it was conventional I could just use MLS photos, so of course the fee should be half the normal! I guess other appraisers have been telling the AMC's how they manage on such small fees. If anybody wants this one I'd be glad to pass on your name!
 
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