Top 5 Tips For Appraisers Working From Home

Helpful Tips For Appraisers Working From Home

working from home

Do you work from home?  Do you work well from home?  Many appraisers, including myself, work from home, and depending on how you look at it, it can be a blessing or curse.  The blessing comes from not having to commute, for sure, as well as the cost savings in rent and other expenses.  It can be a curse when you experience the isolation of not being around other co-workers where you can bounce ideas off of them or when you fall victim to the “going to work in your pajamas” syndrome.  Thankfully I have not fallen victim to the last problem but I do sometimes allow myself to lose focus.  And I will have to admit that I do miss discussing problems that may arise with other appraisers that may have a different way of looking at something.

I scoured the internet to get some ideas about how I could work more productively.  I picked some of the best to include in this post.  I hope they help you to work better from home.

  1. Set regular hours and stick to them– I really have to work on this one.  As appraisers we have to work when the works there, which means that one week we may feel like we are working around the clock and the next week the pace is slower.  We sometimes get in the work mode and its hard to shift gears-even when it has slowed down.  My take away from this is to not spend unnecessary time on the computer  if the workload is not there.  By planning, we can utilize our time better, and spend more time with the family at night.
  2. Keep a list of what you want to accomplish– I sometimes don’t take time to plan my day and set goals for what I want to get accomplished, I just jump right in.  A good idea I ran across is to write down three lists of three things.  The first list is the things you will do today, the second list is the things you would like to get done but don’t have to, and the third list is the things you have to do at a certain time-like appointments or phone calls.  I thought this was a great idea.  I got it from the website zenhabits.working from home
  3. Use online social networking as your virtual water cooler– I have experienced this in working at home and at times use this method.  The important thing is to not let it get out of control.  You don’t want to jump on Twitter or Facebook to socialize and network and two hours later regret the time you have wasted.  It can help you kill two birds with one stone: taking a moment to relax your brain and do some networking.  If you need questions answered, or want to socialize with other appraisers there are several good Facebook forums you can join.  Members there can answer questions you may have or just share appraisal war stories.
  4. Separate work from home- This can be a problem if you don’t establish a schedule or if you don’t let your family know your work hours.  I am pretty good at this but can always improve.  Most of the time I don’t get sidetracked into doing “home” work but it is something you want to be aware of.
  5. Stay organized– You know what they say: “cluttered desk-cluttered mind”.  I try to keep a clean desk but when I am busy, stuff can get piled up.  I definitely notice a change in my ability to plan my work better when my desk is clean.  By taking time to keep it organized it may help you think better.

This is by no means a complete list of “tips and tricks” for appraisers that work from home, but I thought they might be as helpful for you as they were for me.  By following these suggestions and others I hope that working from home will continue to be a blessing.  Do you have other tips on productivity or working from home?  Let me know if you do.

If you need to contact me please call me at 205.243.9304, email me, or connect with me on Facebook.


  1. Kathy Tallman says

    I too, love working out of my home. I have been doing so for approximately 13 years. In the beginning I would work in my pj’s but then found I would be really into work and I would have to go meet a borrower. So, I now get up and do by workout, shower, have breakfast and hitting the computer about 7:15. I don’t let anyone know that I am in the office that early that way I can get a few things taken care of before I start the work day.
    I have made a habit of making myself a “to do list” at the end of the day so I will know what I have to get done the next day. Desk is always cleared at the end of the work day.
    Breaks are sometimes hard to work in but I have started taking them more and more.
    As for having someone to bounce ideas off of, I have a couple of good appraiser friends that I call. It is always nice to get another opinion.
    Nice blog page keep up the good work.

    • Thanks for all the helpful tips Kathy. It’s good to hear from someone that has been working from home as long as you have. I am sure you have tried different things and narrowed down those that work well for you. I like your idea about doing your “to do” list at the end of the day for the next day, it’s great advice.

  2. Tom, I love this blog post! You are definitely right, a home office can be a blessing or curse! I work from home as well and think your 5 tips are the main things I do. The newest thing I have started to do is to occasionally change the scenery. Sometimes I forget how great it is to work from home or have a mobile office, so I pack up my laptop and work from a coffee shop or bookstore for part of the day. I find I am more productive that day and enjoy my home office more the next day. One thing I do now is not stay in pajamas, even if I am in the office all day I still get up, shower, etc just like I was going into an office. I also try to give myself breaks during the day. It’s easy just to work nonstop, but a 5 or 10 min break every now and then seems boosts my productivity.

    • Thanks for the comments Bryan. I like your idea about going to a coffee shop or bookstore to work occasionally to get different scenery. I am going to make it a goal to do that within the next week.

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