Appraisal News and Business Tips

Really Bad Business Advice for Appraisers

Appraisal humor is hard to find. One of my favorite joke books is “The Appraisers Guide to Really Bad Business Advice – A collection of irreverent – off the wall ideas for marketing your appraisal services, impressing clients, and writing reports,” by Bill Pittenger, a former director of corporate appraisal at Barnett Bank, now an appraisal management consultant.

Here’s some advice:

  • Cartoon, 2 guys in front of an elevator: “What I really want to do is move to Key West and become an artist. I can’t do any of those things, but since I’m an appraiser, I’ll assume I quit my job, assume I sold my house, assume I can paint, assume I moved to Key West and assume I became an artist.”
  • Put the statement, “Offices in London, Brisbane, and Hong Kong” on your business cards and stationery. That way no one will know you work at home off your kitchen table.”
  • Set aside a few minutes everyday to whine about low fees and stupid client requests.
  • Bill clients twice for the same work. Every now and then both invoices will slip through.
  • Always deliver your appraisals late. No one expects them on time anyway.
  • The principle of supply and demand is one of those silly academic things that doesn’t apply to appraisers. When business decreases, raise your fees.
  • Use astrology to forecast absorption.
  • If your client doesn’t agree with your conclusions, tell him “That’s the new paradigm.”
  • In your promotional literature, tell prospective clients you specialize in residential, commercial, special purpose, multifamily…Be sure not to leave any property type out.”
  • Sign your reports with a smiley face.
  • Never give a client a straight answer. It gives ‘em the creeps.
  • Start the appraisal after the client’s fourth phone call asking if it’s done yet.
  • Promise everything. Deliver…whatever.

Pittenger’s “serious” books on appraising

Pittenger publishes three books targeted at appraisal bank reviewers and bank executives. However, the books are useful for fee appraisers as they show the client side of the appraisal process. The books are well written and relatively short.

Google for his latest link or call 904-262-6877 (Florida) for more information. His Web site has information on his books and seminars and some of the articles he has written.