I do a lot of traveling. Too much if you ask my wife. I enjoy traveling and seeing new cities, but dealing with airports, rental cars, hotels and the like gets old. Sometimes I travel a long distance, but much of the time my travels are somewhat regional. I am not a huge fan of Vegas, but it seems that I have business there at least 3-4 times per year. Now, the City of Sin is only about 9 driving hours from my home, but I usually fly. Every time I go through the process of getting from here to there on an airplane, I ask myself why I don’t just drive. Dealing with commercial flying is never a worry-free task. You must pack in a certain way, find a place to park at the airport, check in 2 hours early, wait, board the plane, wait, stop for a layover (there are very few direct flights from my hometown), wait, re-board, wait, catch the tram to the Strip, wait. Did I mention all of the waiting? It just always makes me wonder why I don’t avoid the challenges and simply hop in my own car to make the trip. Of course, the answer is obvious; time savings.
Though it takes me less than 10 hours (stops included) to get from my front door to Excalibur in Vegas, that is still much longer than flying there on a 450 mph jetliner (waits included). Of course, there is also the fringe benefit of being able to do other things while I am traveling by airplane that I do not have the luxury of doing while behind a steering wheel.
By now, most appraisers who know of me equate the Appraiser Coach title with Mobile Appraising. I have been a huge advocate of using tablet computers at real estate appraisal inspections for years. However, it is not unusual for me to get several emails a month ‘informing’ me that tablets/iPads do not save any time in the field. As one recently put it, “I can inspect a home much faster using my trusty old paper and pencil.” Well, this does not come as much of a shock to me because it also takes me longer to use a tablet in the field (and I have been using a computer at inspections for over 15 years)! The time savings comes when you get back to the office and do not have to retype everything from your field notes.
Just as it is easier and less hassle to hop in my own vehicle and head to Vegas, I do it because of the time it saves me on the overall travel. Furthermore, the added benefit of being able to work while I travel is akin to the benefit of increased quality you will experience using a tablet or iPad in the field.
Now, go create some value!