Happy New Year! As we begin a new year, I wanted to take a moment to discuss what that may mean. It seems that we don’t really hear much about “New Year’s Resolutions” anymore. Perhaps, it’s because they seem to be impossible. I “resolve” to do this or not do that and of course, that resolve can only go so far and we just feel like we failed. If I don’t make any resolutions, then I won’t fail, right?
What I have found to be more helpful in the new year, rather than making resolutions, is pausing and reflecting on how the last year went. Assess what was good and what might have been better, then make some changes for the new year. So it becomes more than just resolutions. As appraisers, what are some of our goals or strategies for this year?
Mckissock put out a great survey of appraiser industry goals.
What I find most interesting about this survey is that the highest goal was achieving a better work-life balance. I think that because of the pandemic, we have all been so busy. For most of us, there has been more work than we can do. Many appraisers began to experience burnout and had to take some time off so that they could continue. Now that so many of us work from home, it becomes harder to “leave the office”. If you are working 7 days a week, then your time with family and friends will suffer. I don’t think that this is sustainable and without some balance and time away, the quality of our work will also suffer.
Time Management- Work Life Balance
Managing work-life balance is constant. I have found that by using my planner and my Google Calendar, I am able to be more thoughtful about how I spend my time. The beginning of the week I will spend some time looking at my tasks along with my goals. The tasks are then prioritized so that I can focus on the important rather than some of the things that seem urgent. I have also listened to Dustin Harris and Blaine Feyen who provide coaching services to help with being very intentional in how we use our time.
When I changed careers from being an elementary school teacher to appraising, I suddenly found myself sitting at my desks for extended periods of time at the computer. I began to slowly gain weight and feel very lethargic. I soon realized that this sitting was not healthy for me. It was important that I began to add intentional exercise back into my routine. My husband and I began riding our tandem back and I also starting to walk/run routinely. My energy level and ability to think and analyze was so much better once I did this. Many of my colleagues use standing desks and found them also to be very useful in preventing long hours of sitting.
I will admit that during the pandemic, we did not have good balance. Heavy work schedules and deadlines consumed our time and our regular exercise routined vanished. I am happy to report that we have started back to our regular biking and running. My Christmas gift was a new Pro-Form bike, similar to a Peleton bike and I have been enjoying cycling (virtually) in Italy this month! I would love to know what you do to stay healthy and fit!
Improving Our Skills
One thing I have learned in my almost 16 years in this profession is that you never “arrive”. There is always more to learn and the industry standards change. It is so important to stay informed about what is happening in the appraisal industry and how we can provide quality reliable services to our clients. Here are some of the ways, I try to stay informed and improve my skills and knowledge:
Webinars– George Dell has been offering free monthly webinars. George truly has a desire to help appraisers. I have learned something every time. McKissock has been offering free webinars. Sign up for their newsletter to be notified.
Podcasts– These are great to listen to while working or driving. For appraising I listen to
Social Media Groups– These are a great way to interact with other appraisers and learn from each other. My only caution in the groups is that they can be a distraction and they can get heated or controversial. Nonetheless, I have been able to connect with so many great colleagues and learned many things from them. Some of the ones I frequent are:
Industry News – Did you know that ANSI will now be the standard for Fannie Mae in 2022? What other changes are in store? Do you know when we will say goodbye to the 1004 form? Or when HUD updates the 4000.1? I subscribe to all of these organizations newsletters to help keep abreast of changes and news impacting appraisers.
What did I miss? What are your goals for 2022? I would love to know! Together we can make this next year the best yet. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter! This month we will be looking back at the stats for 2021!
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Shannon is a Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser and serves as the Vice President of the DW Slater Company. She joined David at the DW Slater Company in 2006. Shannon graduated Cum Laude from the University of North Texas with a BA degree. Prior to joining the DW Slater Company, she was an Elementary School Teacher for the Pilot Point Independent School District. Shannon is an FHA Certified Appraiser. Shannon is a designated member of the National Association of Appraisers and a member of the Association of Texas Appraisers. In her free time, Shannon enjoys spending time with her family, singing in a local church choir, and tandem cycling with her husband.