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Is Your Appraisal Volume Seasonal?

by Administrator on May 8, 2017 Business Operation 310 Views

Most of us (appraisers) live with variable demand that is caused by the ups and downs of our local real estate markets.  If you are a residential appraiser you get busy when school lets out in April or May and then the volume abates when school starts in September.  The same cycle affects real estate salesmen and bankers alike.  Depending on who your regular customers are you may go into November and December very slow each year or if you have different clients you may not see that much of a change.

Of course, it's easy to tell you that if you had a more diverse customer base that you would not have those seasonal swings, but in some places that seasonal activity is some of the only activity that occurs during the entire year.  For those in the northern climes the cold weather and snow freezes out most real estate sales.  That's why for some the real property appraisal business is effectively a part time business.

Commercial appraisers often benefit from the pre-April 15th IRS filing date since many appraisal customers have to put their finances in order to file their federal income taxes.  So, it might be a frozen waste outside but if the appraisal report needs to be done to file taxes it's time as an appraiser to put on a heavy coat and do the inspection.

Having appraised property in Michigan and Wisconsin I can attest to the effort that it takes to get assignment done in the Winter months.  Most difficult to appraise are remote vacant land parcels.  They can be difficult to get to during Summer months but they can be much more difficult to get to with 5' to 10' of snow on the ground.  There are times when you just can't say "I will do it in the Spring" because the need for the appraisal report is immediate.  Things like civil litigation, condemnation, probate, corporate transfers and insurance claims don't wait for weather.  If you can't get out and look at a property the client may find someone who can. 

If you are in the southwest you probably don't have as many weather related issues although you may still have some areas with snow and some sires that are quite remote. 

It's not that difficult to look back over the past few years and count your appraisals by month.  If you don't know how many appraisal you did in each month over a few years how could you possibly know if your work is seasonal?  You may know your volumes just because your market is that small and predictable, but otherwise it might be worth taking your time to take a look.  If you do more than one type or appraisal, like commercial and residential, you may want to look at how those assignments are broken down as well.

I have even mapped the locations of my appraisal assignments using a mapping program.  I thought it might be interesting to see if more of my work was done in one portion of Clark County than another, but my assignments have surprisingly been all over the County and not specifically focused into one segment.

There is nothing wrong with having a seasonal volume except that you may have your business slow during some months of the year but that may give you the opportunity to actually take a much needed vacation.  Having a slow time can either be a god send or a nightmare depending on how the rest of your year has gone.  One way or the other its better to know, by reviewing your volume, if its going to happen to you over and over.  Analyzing your revenue history isn't rocket science and it doesn't take that many years to see a pattern.

For more appraisal information contact Glenn J. Rigdon MA, MRICS, ASA is a Las Vegas / Henderson Nevada based appraiser who can be contacted via email or via his business website known as Appraiser Las Vegas  (, or you can also click on “Contact Us” on the home page of this website or visit my public profile at LinkedIn at

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