Appraiser Tech Tools Update – Webinar Recap 

Webinar Recap! We cover the tech tools in commercial real estate appraisal in this recap of our past webinar. Read more!
realquantum software reviews commercial appraiser tech tools
Jeff

Jeff

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Commercial Appraiser Tech Tools Update – Webinar Recap

McKissock published their Appraisal Income Guide in 2019 reporting that appraisers who adopt new technology tools earned over $44,000 more per year than appraisers who did not. Realquantum is always thinking about how to help commercial appraisers make their lives easier, work faster, and grow revenue. Remote and hybrid work are here to stay, and so is the constant threat of malware and ransomware – all while trying to deliver more work to clients while maintaining high quality.

In a recent webinar, Jeff Weiner, CEO of Realquantum was joined by Chase Pursley, CEO, founder, and lead engineer at Appraisal Inbox. Jeff and Chase are passionate about helpful technology and have little patience for bad products. They hosted an appraiser tech tools update. to share favorites to boost productivity in commercial real estate appraisal. Read our recap below and watch the full webinar here.

Key Discussion Topics

  • Mobility gadgets and apps
  • Communication tools (voice, video, email, messaging & scheduling)
  • Computer security
  • Time-savers
  • Report writing and database
  • Team management
  • Commercial Real Estate Appraisal Applications

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Mobility Gadgets and Apps

Mobile Gadgets

With many brands and types to choose from, mobile devices have become increasingly popular and useful in commercial appraising. During this live webinar, the audience was asked to vote on which mobile device they owned/favored –38% of the audience owned and/or preferred Android, while 62% owned and/or preferred iPhone.

While phones and tablets are important for day-to-day operations, commercial appraisers are now utilizing other mobile devices to boost efficiency. For example, drones are utilized to capture magnificent aerial images of property, broadening the appraiser’s perspective.

Apps

“With apps, the sky’s the limit,” says Jeff. When it comes to commercial valuation, detailed maps with information about properties and land requirements – like Google MapsApple Maps, and Waze – are essential. “Waze performs an excellent job with crowd-sourced traffic intelligence and re-routing,” Jeff comments.

While many office suites include a note-taking application, Evernote and SimpleNote are excellent alternatives. Both apps are extremely successful at syncing data across all of your devices, ensuring that you never lose a note.

Communication Tools

During the webinar, Jeff and Chase discussed the five important parts of communication that commercial appraisers rely on on a daily basis.

Voice

While phone and voice communication are important in most industries, commercial appraisers find these tools extremely useful while speaking directly with clients and colleagues.

  1. Dialpad – Easy to use, inexpensive
  2. Google Voice – Inexpensive, syncs well with other applications
  3. Truecaller – Has the ability to block spam callers using crowdsourcing data

Email

Another survey was distributed to the audience during the live session, asking which email applications they utilized. Here are the results:

  1. Microsoft 365 is used by 87% of the audience
  2. Google by 7% of the audience
  3. Packaged software by 6% of the audience

Like in the last session, Jeff and Chase advised the audience in the appraiser tech tools update to design their own email domain to match their company’s website domain. “I’ve talked to a whole bunch of appraisers that are still using personal email domains, like Gmail, Yahoo, etc. But, it’s a really good opportunity to make your company stand apart if you have your own domain” says Jeff.

Messaging

Looking for a quick and secure way to send messages between your colleagues and clients? Check out some of the examples commercial appraisers are using today.

  1. Slack – Inexpensive, able to connect other apps
  2. Microsoft Teams – Works well within Microsoft suite
  3. Google Message – Works well within Google suite

“An added benefit of using tools like Slack, Teams, etc. is that they are a bit more secure than text messages…” Chase goes on to mention.

Video

You only get one chance to make a first impression, so stay in touch with your clients by using one of the conferencing applications listed below.

  1. Zoom – Very efficient, especially when it comes to network bandwidth. Filters background noises well
  2. Google Meet – Easy to create a meeting and simple to use if you already use Google Suite
  3. Microsoft Teams – Built into Microsoft Suite of tools

Scheduling

When it comes to communication, scheduling is usually last. Appraisers require a quick and easy way to organize meetings without having to negotiate available hours with clients. Here are some of the top scheduling tools:

  1. Calendly – Creates meeting links based on your availability by connecting to your calendar. Also, adding your Calendly link to your signature block is a great way for your clients to schedule a meeting with you.
  2. SavvyCal – Another great tool, similar to Calendly.
  3. HubSpot Meeting Link – Good example of using your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to connect with contacts in your database.

Computer Security

Virus and Malware Scanning (many options)

Jeff recommends during the live session to “stick to the major brands” like Norton and MalwareBytes because most other companies are “advertising spammers.”

Password Managers

One of the most common questions around password management is, “What if the password manager gets hacked?” Jeff replies, “Is it safer for me to keep my passwords in a password manager where their business is to keep it secure? Or, is it safer to use the same password for every website? Definitely use a password manager in that case.”

LastPass is popular and simple to use. Unfortunately, it was hacked recently so we no longer recommend it. There are several alternatives. All the products create a new password for each website that is not “human readable”, and keeps all your passwords in their “secure vault”.

Training

When it comes to safety and security, the weakest link is still humans. This can be mitigated by providing comprehensive security training for your employees to avoid scammers and hackers from obtaining sensitive information from your firm.

For example, KnowBe4, an online security training provider, offers video training to you and your employees. It will even send out phony phishing emails to employees as a test, with monthly results on which employees fell for the false emails. For people who failed the test, the system will provide more instruction.

Cloud Storage

Because of the usability of products like Microsoft and Google, the use of separate cloud storage products is not something we recommend anymore. If you don’t use either of those products, third-party services such as Dropbox and Box.com are good places to store files.

Time-Savers

Automation Tools

While these tools may not be for every commercial appraiser, with the tools we cover below, you may be able to tie office goods together to “get another boost of productivity”. Appraisers can use these tools to automate back-office tasks such as moving items across goods, parsing an order email, automatically sending data to Google Sheets, and keeping contacts in sync across apps (Google contacts & MSFT 365). Below are some examples of these tools:

  1. Zapier (most well-known)
  2. Make.com (used to be called Integromat)
  3. N8n.io (great open-source tool)

Team Management

Appraisal Inbox

A single place for all appraisal orders to come in, assign inspections to team members, and track status. Appraisal Inbox creates a snapshot of what your business and order flow looks like and is useful for office and order managers, or anyone who figures out who’s available to go inspect a property.

Commercial Real Estate Appraisal

Realquantum

The only commercial real estate property database and appraisal report writing software that can increase individual and team productivity by up to 50% within 60 days. Realquantum is designed for appraisers such as:

  1. Valuation and Advisory firms: Realquantum helps commercial real estate appraisers eliminate tedious manual work and increase revenue by 50%.
  2. Public sector appraisers: From property tax assessment to eminent domain, Realquantum helps commercial real estate valuation professionals eliminate tedious manual work, collaborate seamlessly, and reuse data easily.
  3. Commercial lenders: Realquantum helps commercial lenders perform internal valuations that are fast, consistent, and accurate.

To learn more about Realquantum, schedule a time to speak with one of our subject matter experts here.

Please note! Realquantum and Appraiser Inbox do not receive any compensation for mentioning the products in this blog or the appraiser tech tools update webinar.

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