As 2019 winds to a close, let’s take a look at some of the top appraisal posts of 2019. These posts fit neatly into five categories: Interesting, Better Appraising, New Developments, Productivity, and Appraisal Issues. As a bonus, I’m including two excellent 2019 articles on productivity!
Without further ado, here they are!
Sometimes an article piques our attention not just for the informative content, but for the entertainment value. “Appraising in Alaska,” written for Appraisal Buzz by Bob Henrickson, gives a fascinating view into the exciting and unique work life of an appraiser in Alaska. Henrickson’s description of his travels via small plane between glaciers and fjord and across ice fields and snow is captivating. This article stands out as one of the most intriguing of 2019.
New developments in the appraisal world, or at least developments which moved front and center during 2019, are addressed in three of the articles: drones, hybrid appraisals, and Zillow.
In the article, “Drones Take Flight for Appraisals,” Lamar H. Ellis III and Jeffrey Miller, writing for Appraisal Buzz, explain the arrival of drones and the acceptability of utilizing this appraisal tool. USPAP requirements and FAA regulations are explained, as are the potential benefits of implementing this new tool into an appraiser’s toolkit.
While hybrid appraisals have been around for a couple of years now, the subject is still front and center in the appraisal world. Capilla’s article presents a fresh look at hybrids, attempting to ameliorate any confusion and fears over these unwelcome relative newcomers. Capilla also presents the unsurprising (to many) news that some states are beginning to question the viability of hybrid appraisals.
The final article in our “New Developments” category addresses the accuracy of Zillow’s valuation claims. In “Two Things to Understand About Zillow’s Accuracy Rate,” Ryan Lundquist, writing for his Sacramental Appraisal Blog, breaks down the accuracy of Zillow’s valuation estimates.
By explaining the meaning of median, the error rate which Zillow cites, as well as Zillow’s questionable methods of using “the most recent Zestimate,” Lundquist presents an article which clears up any confusion to the reader about Zillow’s claims. Is Zillow as accurate as it claims? Read the article and find out!
Both of the articles under the “Appraisal Issues” heading are written by Ryan Lundquist and posted on his blog, Sacramental Appraisal Blog. Lundquist frequently addresses current appraisal issues, and including only three of his articles (there’s one in the previous section too!) in this post was a challenge!
The first article addressing appraisal issues, “The Problem of Giving Too Much Weight to Previous Sales (Or Not Enough),” gives a clear explanation of when to consider previous sales and when not to. Most appraiser will appreciate the clarifications and points made in this Lundquist article.
The second article to address appraisal issues, “How Might Rent Control Affect the Housing Market?,” delves into a problem which affects appraisers in only a handful of states but is important enough to include here.
This in depth article sheds light on an issue that may leave appraisers in the affected areas scrambling for answers.
The largest of the article categories, Better Appraising, contains six articles from a few different appraisal blogs.
The Appraiser Coach, Dustin Harris, has three articles (which lead into podcasts) which made our top twelve. The first article, “Customer Service Detective Work,” gives a short introduction to an excellent podcast, “Picking Up on Subtle Hints.” Customer service should be at the core of any business and Harris makes a good case as he reminds appraisers that customer service is good business.
The next article, “Practice Essentialism in Appraising,” gives appraisers good advice about cleaning out the nonessentials in their lives. Harris points out, ” When you focus on only the essentials…you’ll be shocked to learn how much more you can do in your appraisal office.” This article leads into a podcast as well, “Essentialism in Your Appraisal Business and Your Life.”
Harris’ third article to make our top twelve is “USPAP an Questions in Confidentiality.” What appraiser can’t use more information on following the intricacies of USPAP? This article gives clear instructions on following confidentiality for USPAP and leads into Harris’ podcast, “Are You Inadvertently Breaking Confidentiality Rules?”
The fourth article under our “Better Appraising” category is brought to us from McKissock. “25 Common Errors in Appraisal Reports” gives a to-the-point list of errors to watch out for, without any fluff or elaborate explanations. This article could even be printed and used as a quick reference when tidying up a report!
The last two articles that I’ll include in this heading come from DataMaster’s In The Weeds blog.
“Confidentiality in Appraising: Definitions and Guidance,” written by Marty Hamilton, expounds on which parts of an appraiser’s work file are confidential and which parts aren’t. Hamilton gives examples of how to communicate to clients while honoring the confidentiality of the work file. As a bonus, this gem contains some intriguing stories which drive home the point!
I had to include “Ten Resources for Real Estate Appraisers.” This article contains a rich supply of resources for appraisers (far more than ten actually). From social media groups and appraisal associations to helpful newsletters and blogs for appraisers, this article houses a good collection of resources for appraisers.
And now for our bonus articles, two gems on productivity! “5 Life-Changing Productivity Strategies (Find more Time & Feel Less Stressed!),” written by Palak Shah for Bigger Pockets, hands you five clever strategies that can be immediately implemented!
From elaborating on how the 80/20 Rule (the Pareto Principle) works to our benefit in day-to-day life, to giving your days themes and outsourcing/automating tasks, this detailed article will get you started on any improvements that you’re looking to make in your productivity goals.
Our final article, “How to Be More Productive at Work (9 Strategies to Increase Productivity),” written by S.J. Scott for DevelopGoodHabits.com, gives you nine invaluable tips for increasing your productivity at work.
Scott addresses how to control emails (and not let them control you), find the right noise level, deal with meetings, multitasking (don’t do it!), handle interruptions, and more! Scott also provides some tools to try if you’re tweaking your productivity goals. “Regardless of your situation and the demands on your time, with a little bit of creativity and careful planning, you can carve out time for the things that matter most!” (Scott).
That’s a wrap on 2019! All of these articles stood out to me in one way or other. Of course there are many more fantastic articles that were posted this year, and I can’t wait to see what 2020 brings the appraisal blog scene!