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My Quickest Report

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Michigan CG

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Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Michigan
One of the recent articles written by someone concerned about fees and turn times for appraisers talked about appraisers doing two to three reports per day. I had to chuckle at the ignorance of that person. I have been on this forum for over a decade and there have been many threads about how long it takes to do a typical residential report.

The threads typically conclude that a residential appraisal takes 6-10 hours and most appraisers say they can do 1-1.5 per day.

Monday, late afternoon, I got a call of desperation. A report was assigned to an appraiser two weeks ago and the appraiser will not return phone calls or e-mails and there has been no inspection. The borrower was concerned. This client understands that turn times are up to three weeks here for residential.

They wanted a rush (one week is now a rush) and the fee was very good. I asked about the property and knew the street. It is a rare cookie-cutter neighborhood where I knew comps would be available within the neighborhood.

I called the borrower looking for an inspection time and he said he could do it that night. I had to pick up my daughter from band practice Monday evening which is half way to the subject. I figured what the heck. I spent an hour looking up comps, putting them in the form, made a map and then went to the property which is 14 miles from my home.

I decided I wanted to see how fast I could do a very simple residential report. Details are as follows:

-Looking up comps, putting them in the grid and creating a map;
-Drive the comps and inspect the 1,300 subject property which is 14 miles from my house;
-All comps were within 1/4 mile and comp driving time was less than 10 minutes;
-Drive home (pick up kid on the way home);
-Pull all assessor records and call the Listing Realtors for my four sales and one listing;
-I talked to four of the Realtors, one did not call back;
-Fill out form and write addenda;
-Four comps needed small GLA adjustments, one needed finished basement adjustment, one needed a market conditions adjustment (sale was in December, 2015) and the listing needed a SP/LP adjustment.
-All adjustments explained in report addenda.
-Highest and Best Use analysis is two short paragraphs.
-Reconciliation of value was three short paragraphs.

The total time to do everything for one of the easiest reports I have ever written was 4 hours and 5 minutes.
 

Tom Woolford

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
The only easier one I've had was a model match in a retirement community to one I had done 3 days prior literally everything was identical except the names and the legal. Even the lender was the same. Inspection 15 minutes. Travel, zero; I was there anyway. Drive comps, nope did them on tuesday. Research, zero. Form prep, 10 min. Total time expended, less than 40 minutes. Fee, 350. Life was good. Never happened before, or since.
 

J Grant

Elite Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Agree. Anyone doing more than 2 a day is using shortcuts/rote/generic, or has no life and works 16 hours a day.
 

EddieB

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
I would say your conclusion of 6-10 hours per report from field to filed matches my norm. Now, getting a reasonable hourly rate that doesn't fluctuate for non appraisal related factors is the challenge. These last few months have been in line.
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
I'm doing one right now that I will turn in 24 hours. Of course the rush fee (extra $200) gave me incentive to "Geter Done".
 

DWiley

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Agree. Anyone doing more than 2 a day is using shortcuts/rote/generic, or has no life and works 16 hours a day.
Maybe. Another way to increase efficiency is to use assistants. My appraisers did not schedule inspections. They did not pull flood maps (they verified that what was pulled was correct). They did not do anything related to billing or report upload/delivery. They did not updates statuses. etc. etc. There is a lot of administrative stuff that can be done by others without compromising the actual appraisal process. We generally had one assistant for every 2 to 3 appraisers. I wanted the appraisers appraising - not doing other stuff.
 

A K

Elite Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Maryland
Doing two in a day is a lot of work. Assistant or no assistant. Two a day can't be the customers expectation of appraisers. Fees need to be so that staff appraisers can make a decent income doing five a week and when it gets busy they will work overtime and be able to do seven a week.
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Two a day was a piece of cake back in the day. I had two assistants. One would set up the file, schedule the appointments and hand me the files each morning all ready for inspections. The second assistant would help the first one with comp selection. She was extremely talented as she worked for a real estate attorney for a number of years in Chicago. In those days, we had the MLS tear sheets filed in several file boxes by subdivision or marketing area and then by style. She would pull half a dozen and paper clip them to the file. I would make the final selection.

We would try to schedule the inspections in the mornings. I would do the inspection, usually with my trainee in tow. He would do the measurements while I did the interior inspection and took the photos. We would then drive the comps. As soon as that was done we would stop by One Hour Photo and drop off the film. My office would go through 50 rolls of film a month.

While we were out, my #2 assistant would be inputting the basic data on the form and making the basic sketch. When we returned to the office I would hand her the file and she would finish inputting the data, finish the sketch. The trainee or assistant would go to the lab to pick up the pictures. Later in the day I would complete the report...usually only needing to make minor corrections.

In those days the reports were either hand delivered to local clients or sent by Fed Ex to the out of state clients. Assistant #1 was responsible for scheduling appointments not only for me but also the other two appraisers in the office. She would also verify the sales (tear sheets), usually 20 to 30 a week. We would stamp the back of the tear sheet with the comp verification and then use a highlighter on the address which indicated the data was verified. Assistant #1 or #2 and/or trainee would deliver the completed reports to the local lenders.

We had a highly efficient office and our goal was 50 assignments a month. I personally trained 8 people and of those, 7 are still in the business. I would still do it that way if I was younger and willing to work for any company or AMC. What changed everything was two fold. I had a partner and he was a pilot for TWA. He thought TWA was going to fold so he wanted to have a second occupation to fall back on. As it turned out, he was promoted and flew New York to Paris as a regular route so he became less and less available. The cost of the operation fell on my shoulders alone and I couldn't justify the expense. I also got on the VA panel so I decided to close the office, buy a new house, and move my business to my home and work alone. Been doing that for the last 15 years.

I find doing 3 or 4 a week by myself is more profitable than doing 10 a week with help. Working from home is more my style and affords me enough time to do other things too. I'm in the twilight of my career. It's been a fun 36 year ride and I plan to work at least a couple more years so long as my health permits.
 

DWiley

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Doing two in a day is a lot of work. Assistant or no assistant. Two a day can't be the customers expectation of appraisers. Fees need to be so that staff appraisers can make a decent income doing five a week and when it gets busy they will work overtime and be able to do seven a week.
A major advantage of staff appraisers is the ability to concentrate the work. I have had staff appraisers in suburban Chicago who could (and would) go a whole month without driving more than 5 miles to a property. Cutting down on drive time can greatly increase efficiency. That cannot be achieved everywhere, but in certain markets it is easy to do, if one has enough business (e.g. Chicagoland, Long Island, South Florida)
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Here it's not uncommon to drive 100 miles round trip on an appraisal assignment. Even those assignments in town can involve 20 miles and the traffic can be terrible.
 
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