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What is reasonable volume?

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msking

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
I am a trainee, working with a mentor whose knowledge I respect. We check and confirm every detail, attach thorough descriptive addenda, turn out what seems to be to be a bulletproof report.

A "cookie-cutter" URAR takes me a minimum of 10 hours (if nothing goes wrong) after 6 months of training. Since most of our appraisals aren't "cookie-cutters", I manage to complete around 3 appraisals per week on average (up from 2 per week last month, so I *am* making progress).

Naturally, I know other trainees and I am astonished by the volume of appraisals they claim can be done - 2 or 3 a day! I can't imagine how this is possible (and have never see it done myself) without simply lying...

Those of you who are trainees, and those of you who are experts in the field - what do you believe is a reasonable volume of work in a month for a trainee? I am in an urban area where comps are not difficult to find (usually) and are not far from the subject - nothing like the rural nightmares I have read on this forum. Usually the biggest slowdown is working in one of the many, many brand-new subdivisions where there are no country records available yet and the sales office is less than helpful.

I know there are all sorts of caveats, but what do you believe is a good ballpark target for your trainees after 6 months?

Thanks for the voice of experience!
 

BigBlueGA

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
After 6 months when I started I was up to about 4-5 a week average. After a year I was up to about 6 steady a week. After about two years it went up to 7 or 8 a week with moderate cookie cutter work and I've been around there since then. I think that the reports that we put out of our office are relatively bulletproof and well thought out.

Hope this helps.
 

Randy Beigh

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
msking

The question as posed is not easy to answer as there are a number of varibles that none of us know, including such things as the type of customer you work with and the form you typically use. It also assumes there is plenty of work in your office. There is also a question about the resources you have available in your community. By that, I mean if you are constantly going to the title company or assessor, time is being used up. If you have MLS and Metroscan, etc., then there is a time savings. It also depends if you are using technology to the fullest, such as digital photos and the internet.

Having said that, if everything is in the positive, between 1-1/2 a day are typical for a qualified appraiser. A trainee would likely be less than that, but that varies on the trainee as well as all the things I mentioned(and forgot to mention) above. I am assuming you are doing 1004's. Short forms would be faster and narratives would take longer.

I wouldn't be to quick to judge your office or your performance based on your competitors, for they may be exaggerating. Besides, you should break this down to money. Is your paycheck workable? If not, ask your supervisor what you can do improve the situation.

Hope this helps
 

Dee Dee

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
msking,

While I was training I noticed that sometimes it would seem as if I'd reach a plateau, where I couldn't get any more efficient for weeks or months. Then something would 'click' and I'd get better coordinated and organized, which allowed me to reach a higher level.

Every person learns at a different pace, so don't be too hard on yourself as long as you know you are doing your best.

And most important.....
Take good care of yourself if you are working long hours. Make sure you don't skip meals or miss out on too much sleep. You'll be able to focus and concentrate better if you take care of your physical health and know when to break for personal time.

Hang in there. Six months from now you'll be amazed at how much you will improve.
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
I do not have an appraiser working for me who can finish 3 in a week, except they be extremely simple. Often you will not get an assignment from the same town within 2 - 4 weeks. We average 30 miles minimum per appraisal two way. For Instance, Steve has been to Cherokee Co (60 mi. away, Delaware Co. (20 mil) and to Gravette (20 mi the other way) on past three assignments.

I am faster than any of my subs but have slowed down. I used to type 100 wpm. I am down to maybe 35-40. Carpel Tunnel in my right wrist slows my mouse work down, degenerative arthritsis in my little finger and one thumb. I use a lot of bluestuff. Believe it or not, the little fingers are the problem that bug me worst. Reaching for a Q or 1, I have developed the habit of shifting to the next digit, and get off key frequently. Sometimes the stabbing pain of using the little finger grates on my nerves so bad I just have to quit for a while.

Most of my work is narrative, and I have tweaked (and continually do) my Word Perfect templates until keypunch is about as fast as with a form report.

I probably continued to gain speed for about 5 - 6 years. Memory helps me the most. I recall sales better than my subs, organize the sales better, and can choose appropriate comparables quicker.

I suggest you not try to force your speed up. At Bat Masterson said about gunfighting, "Take your time, but don't miss."
 

msking

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
After reading your responses, I am reassured that I am on track. Plus, a milestone today - I completed a 2055 driveby in 4 hours. I know you probably are laughing about that, but it was a cause for optimism for me!

Regarding the variables I did not disclose: our urban/suburban area has good online data resources, for the most part. We use technology to the max: digital cameras, scanners, internet, dialup and CD sources available in the office. I come from a computer database customer service background, so I am comfortable mining the data, know Windows, type around 100 wpm, and have a cell phone (purchased for the job, Terrel - I agree wholeheartedly with your opinion on this!) and digital camera. I have a home "office" with the basics to get the job done at home, a zip drive for transfering files, and a space in the office to call my own. So, no problems with technology!

It looks to me as though my biggest productivity increase over the next six months will come from learning the quirks of the urban and suburban neighborhoods. I am SO MUCH FASTER when I work an assignment that is in a neighborhood I know and can picture as I search the records for comps.

Sometimes the mix of comps is so diverse, especially in areas where older, never-remodeled homes sit side by side with older, remodeled-and-expanded homes, next to lots where the original structure has been knocked down and replaced with a new construction. Understanding the neighborhood makes my comp selection much more accurate and (usually) saves a return trip.

Dee Dee - absolutely! I realized fairly early that "personal time" and attention was critical. Hit the gym, don't overdo the junk food, and TRY to turn off the ongoing mental debate about value so that I can get some sleep!

Randy, your comment, "Is your paycheck workable? If not, ask your supervisor what you can do improve the situation." was right one target. Fortunately, before I went into my training situation, I had set myself up for two years of very limited income, so I am not stressed over money (in fact, I am ahead of my worst case scenario - YAY). However, posting my message before work yesterday morning helped me focus my thoughts, and I had a conversation with my mentor yesterday about some of the ways I could improve my speed. Naturally, he is on the same track on this!

Thanks again for your responses and reassurances. I don't post too often, but I read almost daily and know I can count on the forum for expert direction and a wide range of opinions and suggestions.
 

Randy Beigh

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
msking

This was a very enjoyable post to read. Sounds like you are doing a very good job and are responsible enough to analyze your situation.

I would be very pleased to have a trainee like yourself.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
I'll second Randy! If you want to move to Florida, look me up! Sounds like you're a natural.
 

Em Tee

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
msking:

You mentioned that you have a zip drive to transfer files from your home computer to office. A few times, I've left home without putting my file on the disk and found a solution! There's an online service called Go To My PC. I can connect from the office to my home PC online. It's terrific, fast, and cheap. It's saved me a few trips back to my house. :lol:

Thought you might be interested.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
Thanks Mary. I just noticed an article/advertisement about that (GoToMyPC) but hadn't had a chance to really look at it. Glad to hear that it does work. How safe/secure is it?
 
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