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What are you doing to cut costs?

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Doug in NC

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
With dropping business volume and the increasing cost of living, what are you doing to save money? I am driving less and trying my best to combine trips to avoid unnecessary mileage. Trying to keep expenditures to a minimum. Mapping out the comps prior to picture taking is good for saving gas and time.
 

DaveH

Junior Member
Joined
May 5, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Ohio
We always try to map out our comparables, for the most part. I also purchased a GPS unit for the car and have it set to the shortest distance. It seems to help on the rural appraisals especially. Just trying to keep in mind everything that costs money and looking at everything as do we really need that.
 

Scott Lanz

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Minnesota
A very successful veteran mentor of mine in the real estate industry always tells me to keep overhead to a bare minimum. I also maintain reserve amounts both personally and in the business (retained earnings).

Every subscription, expense, etc. I always ask for a reduction, if there are any special offers, volume discounts or any way to save me money. It's kinda of a shameless tactic but surprisingly effective.

I built a spreadsheet based on my business costs for each project. I include the estimated miles needed for driving the subject, comps and research. I use my historical business costs divided by the projected number of assignments to get an administrative amount for each appraisal. This includes MLS fees, E & O and all other non-specific assignment costs. Finally, I estimate the time needed for each assignment and plug in my hours.

Each job has to be profitable in either dollar amounts, or intangible value.

I also pay cash for everything and built a detailed buget for the next five years. I find that knowing what I need to pay my bills help in determing the fees I charge and motivates me to meet my financial goals.

Time management, like you indicated, is also necessary. I also drive less and combine my errands into fewer trips.
 
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stefan olafson

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
North Dakota
I'm biking to the Post Office, banks, grocery store, etc... As long as the weather is good it's a great way to get around.

I'm interviewing for a position as a county assessor, getting a paycheck every two weeks and someone else paying for benefits looks real good for the near term.

I've parked my 1997 Ford F-150 4x4 and only use it once or twice a month. It's paid for and the mileage is about 16 miles per gallon, but we have two cars that get over 30.

My son, who is starting college in the fall bought a scooter, over 100 miles to the gallon, it will work until the winter winds come.

I moved my office to my basement, only me working now so no other people need to be accomodated. I dropped MLS and use county records for all my work, not a very big deal as my area of work doesn't really have MLS coverage.

I eat one large meal a day and seldom eat after 7:00 at night. My wife and I walk whenever we can, good for the environment, the pocket book, and your relationship.

Our one vacation this year is this weekend, a trip to Valley Fair, (like Six Flags) and a Minnesota Twins Game, then home.
 

athome77

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
Turning on the A/C in the office for the first time today.
 

JT1974

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2006
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
Hey athome77,

NICE TAN!
 

Greg Bell

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Professional Status
Gvmt Agency, FNMA, HUD, VA etc.
State
Louisiana
I swapped Milk for Beer and Beef for Cheeto's.No air conditioning problems at the local bar and peanuts are free.
 

James R

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
Went with an internet fax line
Cut my TV bill in half
Refi on my car
Switched to crappy beer :(
 

Wolverinefan

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Michigan
I swapped Milk for Beer and Beef for Cheeto's.No air conditioning problems at the local bar and peanuts are free.

Great post.....I am relying on my stimulus check to survive another month! Oh wait, I spent that months ago before I had it.....
 

Tom Woolford

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Canceled FAx Line in favor if internet fax (saved $49)
Moved Land Line and internet from AT&T to my cable provider(saved $104)
Switched from Legal to Letter Paper ($35)
Turned down water heater, shut off Heated drying on dishwasher, thermostat to 78, turned off Flood Light on Flag and just bring it in now, all compact fluorescent bulbs throughout house, Quit using my Bunn coffee pot that keeps the water hot. Turn off computer at night now (have not done that in 20 years).

First month electric savings was almost 20%
 
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