Appraisers and Technology: Survey Results
Written by Hunter Meek on September 10, 2019
We recently asked appraisers to complete a short survey focused on technology. We received 663 responses. Read on to see the results.
You’d be hard-pressed to find any industry that hasn’t been drastically impacted by the technological advances of the past 20 years. The real estate industry is certainly no exception. From mobile devices and software to file storage and more – almost every part of an appraiser’s workflow has been touched by recent technology changes.
- Has it helped or hindered?
- How much has it increased your speed and efficiency?
- Which specific tool has had the greatest impact?
- How important is data collection in the field, and how do you do it?
As you look through the responses to these questions, consider your own experiences. Do any of the results surprise you?
Has technology helped or hindered the appraisal industry?
Not surprisingly, almost all respondents said that technology has helped the industry. Consider the time savings, lower costs, information security, communication and collaboration, etc. What do you think?
Because of technology, how much faster or more efficient are you than when you first started?
The responses were distributed pretty evenly across all answers here. The two answers reflecting the biggest speed/efficiency increase (31-50% and 50%+) combined to make up nearly half of all responses. Think about how technology has increased your speed and efficiency. A quick digital search versus thumbing through piles of paper. Software shortcuts like TOTAL’s QuickLists that help you fly through form fields saving tons of data entry time. Consider TOTAL’s SmartExchange feature that gives you instant access to comparable property data. Mobile syncing gives you access to your reports, data, sketches, photos, and more – from any device. Our Titan Office solution helps you easily manage your entire business with invoices, automated status updates, payment processing and more. Where would you rate your speed and efficiency increase thanks to technology?
What tech gadget has had the biggest impact on your business?
With 41% of responses, mobile phone had more than double the next closest answer. Considering the question specified impact on “your business” and not just a certain aspect of it, this could potentially be even higher. Think about the calls, texts, and emails you now get while out of the office. What about taking pictures? GPS and driving directions? Mobile sketching? Bookkeeping? The list goes on! The majority of those who responded “other” specifically mentioned the Internet and appraisal software. Obviously, electronic formfilling, Internet access to data, and electronic report delivery are all crucial to every appraiser’s work.
How important is the ability to collect data in the field to you?
The response to this question about collecting data in the field is interesting. When analyzing responses, many of those who selected “not important” on this question responded to the “What tech gadget has had the biggest impact on your business?” question with answers of laser measuring device, digital camera, etc. Assuming those tools are being used to collect data in the field, it seems there may have been confusion about the question, or perhaps a preconceived notion of what data collection in the field means. Pictures, measurements, sketches, and observations should all be considered data collection that takes place in the field. Are you surprised that 30% of respondents said the ability to do this is not important?
Good technology improves your work and saves you time
We believe technology can, and should, make your job easier. When it’s done correctly, it saves you time, simplifies and speeds up your workflow, and improves the overall quality of your work – especially when it’s complemented by world-class training and support. That’s what we focus on with our appraisal solutions.
As we conduct more appraisal industry surveys, we’d love to hear your opinions. Click here to view the current survey and make your voice heard!