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Five Appraisal Report Writing Platform Must-Haves for Better and Faster Production

September 10, 2020 4 mins

Appraisal report writing, once a process that relied on manual data entry and cutting-and-pasting blocks of information from a variety of sources, has advanced and evolved to make the process faster and smarter. Report writing platforms can offer a lot of bells and whistles, leaving even the most experienced appraiser unsure of what he or she truly needs to become more efficient and still produce high-quality reports.

We are here to help! Check-out our list of five appraisal report writing platform must-haves appraisers need to work smarter. Each of our must-haves meets a few key qualifications. First, they are flexible, meaning they will easily fit right into your current workflow. Second, they easily align with Excel and Word, making the experience familiar for appraisal professionals. Third, they save time, allowing appraisers to do their best work, faster.

1: Curate a perfect property record

The process of creating property records used to be manual data entry, typically into Excel or Word, which was time-consuming and prone to human error. Additionally, manual data entry makes information difficult for appraisers to access if specific information is needed at a later date. Lease data, comparables, or income/expense data is dynamic and can change quickly.

To curate the perfect property record, appraisal report writing software should have the ability to easily import and export data into existing or new templates. It should also offer users the flexibility to use data to create property records exactly how they want and need to, even if 

users are creating their own custom fields.

2: Create custom worksheets, tables, and fields in your model to support your valuation

We often hear that property valuation is a unique combination of art and science. You need accurate data for creating an opinion of value (science), but generating an appraisal is a finely tuned process cultivated from experience (art). That’s why appraisal report writing software must provide customization and flexibility so that users can create worksheets, tables, and fields that support their specific valuation methods.

To help with this problem, consider using software that provides templates. The templates should be completely flexible so that appraisers can edit or create according to their specifications. Just the same, the ability to create custom calculations in your worksheets can save time and reduce errors. 

3: Make copies of analysis grids and effortlessly apply data from separate parcels, building, or unit types

Robust analysis is at the core of a strong property appraisal report, making report writing software that supports easier analysis essential. Thorough property analysis often reveals several ways of understanding property value. For example, a property with multiple parcels may include parcels that can be valued entirely differently than the others. Analyzing this type of property and developing multiple scenarios should not be a challenge. When choosing appraisal writing software, look for one that can easily make copies of analysis grids. You should be able to use them in a multitude of ways to show value and analysis of what could be done today, as well as what the property would be complete. 

4: Automate to quickly insert fields and tables in Word reports

Appraisal report writing typically requires rapid turnaround time. This makes features that improve accuracy while saving time critically important. When making a copy of map fields, appraisers should not have to manually find and replace fields on Word reports. Again, this is time-consuming and error-prone.  

When choosing an appraisal solution, look for one that allows users to insert fields into Word and automatically merge uploaded data collected from Excel linked fields and tables. If your report requires hundreds of tables, the ability to automate and streamline this process (rather than manually find and replace custom data for Word reports) is a huge time saver.

5: Text library customized for your specifications

An autotext library, similar to a feature in Microsoft Word, that allows you to automatically fill in text sections of your database and templates is a must-have. Additionally, your library should allow you to categorize autotext specific to regions or project types. For example, you should have the ability to curate regional analysis and drop in text that’s been saved in your database for designated regions. This includes the ability to instantly fill-in widely used definitions, biographies, and descriptions.

Look for a platform that allows you to database whatever you need from a region and save as autotext as unique to that region. You should be able to automatically insert autotext into reports exactly as needed, and it should always be accessible according to your needs. This includes everything from definitions, property descriptions, profiles and more.

The solution for streamlined and flexible appraisal report writing 

Commercial real estate appraisers around the country rely on LightBox’s appraisal report writing solution to develop quality reports quickly and efficiently. LightBox’s report writer offers an intuitive user experience and delivers immediate ROI. Users produce accurate, reliable reports faster with automated processes and immediate access to information. 

Contact a representative to learn more about how LightBox helps appraisers deliver quality reports faster than before.

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