The Undercover Appraiser

successful-volume-appraisal-business Mar 19, 2024

          As a real estate investor, I have the opportunity to rub shoulders with all kinds of people, even other appraisers on occasion. With a recent house purchase in another state, I got a call from the appraiser of this property as he was planning a visit out there. We talked about what was still needed and how to go about the property moving forward. I never mentioned that I was in his same line of work, but it was a breath of fresh air when I got off the phone and I was reminded of a principle I teach: The Arnold Palmer Effect. 

          You might be thinking of the golfer, but I mean the drink, which is not surprisingly named after the golfer. This great combo is a mix between iced tea and lemonade: you’ve got a sweet flavor with a hint of your standard tea. To get the mix just right, you need a little bit of both. In appraising, the lemonade represents the friendly side of the conversation and the tea is the professionalism. There is a balance; too much of the friendly makes a phone call unprofessional, and sitting at the other end of the table is a robot reading a script. You need to offer the perfect mixture between getting business done and being friendly. 

          Sometimes appraisers get a bit of a black eye because of a lack of professionalism. We try to set up appointments while we’re stumbling around getting specs on a property and we play phone tag with potential clients because we’re not always able to pick up. But even something as simple as always answering the phone can make a big difference. And if you’re not available, delegate someone to answer that phone. Your clients need to feel important enough to have a live person to talk to so they can walk away having had a stellar experience. 

          As I ended that phone call as an undercover appraiser, I concluded that there was a large mix of friendly and a lower mix of professionalism, but the perfect Arnold Palmer I needed that day. He fulfilled his purpose and was refreshing to talk to. This property is located in the south, and a shot of southern hospitality definitely topped it off. Ultimately, this experience was a great reminder of some of the ways we need to treat others. While you’re out there seeking to add value, remember that value also lies in getting to know people, being friendly, and taking time to genuinely listen. 

For more information on this subject, please listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode:

The Good Ol' Boy Appraiser