Those who have attended my workshops have noticed that I carry a peculiar object with me when I teach… a three-legged stool. It is a physical reminder of a concept I share regarding business.
The three-legged stool, though no longer common, is actually quite stable and practical. If you have ever used one, you might wonder why carpenters go to the trouble of creating a fourth leg for most chairs. Though the three-legged stool is solid, it does depend upon all three legs. If one or both of the other two legs are missing or weakened, the comfort, practicality, and safety of the stool is compromised. The integrity of all three pillars must remain intact for the seat to work.
Imagine, if you will, that the flat, seat-portion of that stool is your appraisal business. Do you know what parts (or legs) are holding your business up? What are the pillars to your success? My appraisal business success has, for many years, relied upon three foundational legs: Technology, Human Resources, and Procedures
Technology is a necessary tool, not an inconvenient burden. I have been relying on mobile tools to help me gather information in the field for over 15 years. Furthermore, the equipment and infrastructure to run my ‘office' is state of the art. To me, going out without the right technology is like a home builder without a hammer.
Though technically the job could be done with a paper/pencil and a Pentium 4 computer, is it worth the hassle? Technically, a house can be built with a rock. Just recently, I upgraded my internet speed to the highest level available in my area. The cost was more than I wanted to spend, but I did not hesitate pulling the trigger on the decision. The milliseconds saved on every web page download and appraisal report upload will add up. The increased productivity gained from such an upgrade will pay off in spades each and every month.
Study any of the greats and you will find that none of them did it on their own. There is no such thing as a ‘self-made millionaire.' In order to realize true success, you must surround yourself with a team of talented and well-trained individuals who are as dedicated to your success as you are. The most important thing you can instill in your team is a sense of vision. They must understand your dream and commit themselves to helping you achieve it.
Of course, hiring the right people is tricky. Thankfully, there are many methodologies and proven strategies that can be used to reduce your risk of hiring the wrong person. Once the right individual is found, proper training and watchful management is key.
Many appraisers have had unfortunate experiences with hiring. Sometimes significant time, money, and effort is invested only to have that individual quit, need to be fired, or worse- become your competition. Though not foolproof there are strategies regarding employees that should be followed to reduce your liability, as well. However, business is not a smooth path that brings no challenges. Some of your biggest hurdles will come with human resources, but you cannot truly get to where you want to be (working less and making more) without it. Hiring, empowering, and trusting your team is key to your business's growth.
The way in which you run your business is often not considered to the degree it should be. How often do you stop to work ON your business rather than IN your business? What is working? What is not? How can you tweak your current processes to make things more efficient without cutting corners on quality? These are foundational questions that a successful business owner must answer on a regular basis.
The way you do things DOES matter. Streamlining your repetitive processes, though not fun and definitely not sexy, will make all the difference to how you do business going forward. Many appraisers complain that there is not enough time to do what needs to be done. I hear stories on a regular basis of appraisal reports being turned in at midnight on the due date or even days or weeks late. The way you outline and execute your day and week can change this.
Though each of these tools are somewhat separate from one another, they are all interwoven and dependent upon each other as well. The fact is, you cannot have one without the other and run the most efficient and effective appraisal business possible. Hiring the right person is only the first step. You must also train and manage them properly. You might have an iPad, but if you do not know how to use it in the field, it is good for nothing more than playing Angry Birds.
I hear from many appraisers that they just ‘cannot afford' to hire help or buy a $600 Disto. Though I understand their position, I do not look at it the same way. To me, buying the most updated technology or hiring the right person for the job is not a cost… it's an investment.
My success in business has not happened in a vacuum. The Three-legged Stool Approach has guided me for many years and will continue to do so as I make decisions going into the future. I am convinced that far too many of us live beneath our means. Relying on the right tools for the trade, talented individuals to make us look good, and systems to make it all work together is a big part of opening the doors of success in the future.
Now, go create some value!
To contact, find out more, or read recent articles from Dustin Harris CLICK HERE
Have any comments or would you like to submit content of your own? Email email@example.com