Whether you're a homeowner, loan officer, realtor, trustee, or appraiser, we've all thought it. "The weather report says it's going to be nasty, is the appraiser still coming?" For me the answer has always been "Yes". I have inspected properties in howling winds, pouring rain, and in the snow in near white out conditions. Maybe it's because I grew up on a ranch where the animals had to fed, fences repaired, and chores completed regardless of the weather, or how during my early years when I was working construction I wished I could work in the rain in order to keep food on the table during those lean winter months. For me, regardless of the weather, I don't cancel appointments, and neither should you. Here are four reasons why.
1. The homeowner/realtor's time is important. You had them commit to an appointment for which they have already taken time off from work, school, or did not accept another appointment. Canceling may cost them money, and even if it doesn't, it will cost them time, which is even more valuable.
2. Your client relationship is impacted negatively when an appointment is canceled. Canceled mortgage appraisal appointments lead to canceled loans (and canceled appraisals) approximately 40% of the time. Sometimes this is due to a borrower changing their minds on obtaining a loan but the vast majority of canceled appraisals are due to the borrower seeking a loan elsewhere, and that number is on the increase due to the instant availability of data on borrowers applying for home loans. When you cancel an appointment your client holds his/her breath and hopes another loan officer doesn't convince their borrower to switch to different lender.
3. The weather forecast is rarely right. How many times have you shown up for an appointment and despite the gloomy forecast, there was no rain at all? Or how many times have you arrived at the subject property when it was forecast to be cloudy but not raining, yet it was pouring, but since you're there you inspect the property in the rain? Here's something to consider. The weather forecast will be equally wrong about whether it will be raining, or not, at the time of your appointment.
4. Technology has made it easier than ever to appraise in inclement weather. Gone are the days of jammed up tape measures, soggy sketches, and rain blurred notes that read like Marie's good-bye letter to Navin in "The Jerk". By using a high quality laser measuring device, a small tablet or large phone, a rain slicker, slip on boots, and a little patience, you can inspect the exterior of almost any structure without compromising the integrity the appraisal.
As a business owner I know you understand the need to keep your clients happy. But more importantly, before you cancel an appointment, consider how that may impact the appointee. Be considerate of their time, and treat them how you would like to be treated. For me that means being there when I say I am going to be. Even if sometimes it means I end up wet and cold.