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Work Patterns...One Person...No Clerical Help

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Charlotte Dixon

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
O.K., we're all swamped. I'm on a 10 minute break on a Friday night at 7 p.m. Let's share work patterns. For instance, my routine goes like this:
(no clerical help here)
1) Request comes in
2) Assign it a file # and log it in (HAND WRITTEN BOOK) Learned from computer crash!
3) With black marker, write last name, file #, date it came in, & lender on file folder tab. Throw order in folder. Slam dunk folder in rolling cabinet under my desk.
4) Write on dry erase board: Borrower, address, date in, file #, lender
I have 26 on my board now.

In the order in which they are received, I call for appointments. I try to group them together according to locations, but it rarely works. One day of appointments = 3-5 jobs, depending upon distance. I work that night organizing and writing until about 11 p.m. and all the next day starting at anywhere between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. Then, back to another day of appointments on day 3. I get 2 out a day, if I don't answer the phone (screen them) and if there are no complications, and barely start the 3rd job. E.D.I. is the only way I go. I've inspected a bunch now, so will write all weekend. Depending upon the weather (really hot & humid, or thunderstorms) I shake it up a little. Turnaround time right now is about 10-14 days. I was keeping up fairly well, but 12 came in yesterday.

How about you :?:
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
Screwy around here. Had a full week without more than 1 or 2 coming in, then the fax would not stop yesterday. I have decided I need a sec'y / gopher more than subs. Someone who will keep folders in place, run to the post office, or whatnot, go to the courthouse, take the annoying phone calls and screen out the telemarketers. I must spend 10 hr. a week sending out letters of engagement and logging the assignments on the computer, doing bills, and running to deposit checks.
 

jtrotta

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Charlotte

sounds similar to what I do and yes it's a one man show here too; am prepairing to add a private office and maybe a gopher/typer. When I was in the insurance field we used to use a tape recorder and have a girl come in three days a week to type it all up, so I guess there's a variation of themes you can use. If it works, just keep doing it.


8)
 

TC

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Charlotte

Those of us in one man, make that one person offices, can relate. I love it when it is busy, the alternative is much worse. I have a retired appraiser who inputs data for me via the internet when I get really busy, like now. She just likes to supplement her income and doesn't do any field work at all. Having worked for other firms over the years, I have every intention of staying a 1 man office. Back to work...

TC
 

Blue1

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Charlotte,

In my (one man office) it goes something like:

1) Request comes in
2) Assigned a file name (usually same as AP#) it goes on a clipboard.
3) Initial research (AP map, tax card, MLS, contract, flood map, zoning etc.) all goes on a "checklist sheet" the clipboard along with EVERYTHING pertaining to that job....purchase agreements, notes, you name it.
4) Job goes on a list in my computer which is printed out as needed. List includes: Borrower name, address, date in, date due and updates. (My clients usually use the borrower name as a reference and I cross-refrence to the address)
5) I also call for appointements in the order in which they are received...of course, there are those RUSH jobs..... :twisted:

I have a wall of clipboards that display every job in process and their progression to completion. (Yes I have about 40 clipboards and a BIIIIIG wall)

Clipboard goes to inspection of subject and then gets "cleared" and all the paperwork gets put into a folder and filed when job complete....thus "freeing" the clipboard for yet another job. Call me silly but I gauge how much work I have by the number full clipboards on my wall. What happens when I run out of clipboards? I'm at least a month out!! :lol:
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
Our routine is like this:

1. Order comes in via fax, e-mail or mail. We do not take phone orders without written confirmation.
2. Incoming order is logged in 4 column accounting book with client, borrower, file number (last number of year plus sequential order number starting at the first of the year), type of appraisal and of course fee.
3. Work file established with order stapled inside.
4. DeLorme map generated if necessary for subject’s exact location.
5. Search of MLS for subject current MLS data sheet, old sale info, expired listing etc along with any comps and land sales nearby for site valuation. Placed in work file.
6. File placed in the “To Be Inspected” rack.
7. Judy keeps then sorted according to inspection date.
8. Two to three days before inspection, we conference to determine most efficient routing and approximate time of arrival at the houses. I normally do 3 to 6 inspections in 1 day due to the large area we cover. Judy then calls and tells the borrower/homeowner when we will be there.
9. Upon setting appointment, confirmation is faxed to lender if it is for refi or sale. Copy placed in work file
10. Inspection day, Judy has an itinerary made out with expected time of inspection, special instructions, COD amounts, where key is hidden, dogs/neighbors to watch out for, etc.

We are looking into utilizing the client info section of Total to a greater extent. Both of us will be going to the a la mode late October training class in Detroit and hope to pick up some good points there.

Right now, we have 28 orders in progress in our office.

You have to have some sort of a system else it would just be confusion central.
 

wyecoyote

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Gvmt Agency, FNMA, HUD, VA etc.
State
Washington
Typically wait until 5 PM to look at files and faxes for the day(2 person shop). Assign file numbers based upon client code and next number file. Get property information off internet. Send confirmation letter to client that we received and are in the process of scheduling appt. Assign to one of us. Schedules appt for next available day and time.

Ryan

P.S. Pamela,

You can have my girlfriend she is more trouble than she is worth. The other day she cleaned the house and my office space (bedroom). 3 orders were missing and one file that I inspected was gone as well as some paperwork for accounting. :evil: It was not a nice and pretty scene. :evil: She has been banned from my office space. Although now I know why she did it because now I have to buy her a laptop and run a modem out to the LV so she can get on the internet and check her e-mail. :roll:
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
In my non-computerized counties and a one person office, I am not very well organized but I will try to get my procedures in order.

Receive faxed or email order---enter in hand written log book assigning file number, owner, address, APN, appt date, invoice date, fee, then payment gets posted when received.

Check all files and comparable data that is in APN order, pull old file or old comparable data from the last time it sold or was for sale.

Go to the courthouse (7 miles away) to get a copy of assessor's property record card, property information printout for last tax year and also the field info that will be used in future tax years, go to treasurers office for taxes, next to planning and zoning office for zoning (this involves three trips up and down the stairs). During those trips up and down the stairs, also pull the same information for any recent MLS listings, FSBO ads, recent closed sales which are picked up every Friday, gossip on any market activity or anything else I can find. Get back to office and enter all of the above into my own computerized data base that I have created. And sometimes instead of 7 miles to the courthouse it is 45 miles to the next county courthouse for the same routine (except I only have to go up and down the stairs once). But I then have to drive 35 to 50 more miles to the subject and any sold/for sale properties, and then home again for round trip for the day of 100 to 200 miles.

Folder on desk until appointment set. Folder into briefcase until appointment. Also in briefcase is Comparables that need photos, more info from county,etc.

Try to set appointments in close geographical order. Around the appointment time drive and take photos of properties that have sold or are for sale that are in those neighborhoods (may or may not apply to any of the orders) as well as go to the appointment. Note on the previously found sale/for sale data the number of the photo and all observations about the comparables.

Folder back on desk until I start to write it up. Check my data base for comparables, go take photos and gather information from realtors, owners, neighbors, relatives, strangers on the street for items that I might be missing for possible comparables (and any others in that specific neighborhood) for that specific order and future orders. Finally get completely finished writing up report. Save all the comparables with their verified information and photos to my data base (all neat & tidy for another order some day). File everything back in APN order (report and all comparable data). Enter billing into Quicken and also write down date of invoice in my hand written log book.

As payments are received, enter into Quicken and log book, file envelope and any attachments in original job folder. Once a month, check Quicken and log book for any orders that are getting close to 30 days past due, start making phone calls and faxing past due invoices.

Once in awhile I get to send my husband to the courthouse and he gets to have the exercise of running up and down the stairs. Sometimes he even files for me! And about every six months I get a chance to vacuum the rung.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
It's a wonder that my one man office runs at all . When an order comes in it is placed in the order pile on my desk. I try to set appointments in the evening calling owners after supper. I try to schedule 2 to 3 inspections a day and I keep them in the same or adjacent counties. I assign file numbers add MLS or tax data where I can. I try spend the following day in the office, writing reports, checking comps and answring phone calls.
When the report is typed I prepare a bill, a copy is placed in an old file folder and when the bill is paid, in the appraisal file, somehow this works sometimes.
 
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