Lettuce and Tomato Cost More!
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…our health insurance is more than then it was last year, and our auto insurance policy increased as well…
There is a burger place my wife and I frequent here in town. All they do are burgers and you can pretty much get them any way you want with your choice of rolls and topping. They offer a vegan burger as well as many organic toppings. We each get a burger and split an order of loaded nacho fries and the bill usually is $25 and some change. The other day we went for burgers. The bill was $31.58. When looking closely, guess what, there was an upcharge for some of the toppings, mainly lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. When we inquired about the new charges, the manager explained, his food costs have increased about 7% over the past few weeks and the food service company announced they would be adding a fuel surcharge starting April 15th. He explained, in order to keep prices reasonable they decided to add a surcharge to some items to give customers a choice rather than going up across the board. He stated he knew customers would notice the price increase.
During dinner, my wife and I discussed the increased cost and realized we have experienced this before, about 10 years ago to be exact. Gas prices have been rising, our health insurance is more than then it was last year, and our auto insurance policy increased as well, even with no claims or tickets. The $20 oil change is now $23. There is now a $1.99 “network distribution fee” on our Verizon bundle for phone, internet and TV. Even more concerning, we have subprime mortgages and stated income loans again.
A while back Jeff Eisenshtadt, CEO and President of TSI Appraisal, now Amrock, made a public comment that consumers do not care about the cost of the lettuce and tomato that goes on a hamburger. This simply is not the case. As a consumer, I care; as a Real Estate Professional Appraiser, I care. Honestly, it is hard to believe anything this man states. His company was just found guilty of fraud and theft by a Texas Court.
After looking at my expenses to operate my business; fuel cost, insurance, internet service, cell phone, office supplies, etc. I realized it is time to re-evaluate the fees for my services. Maybe I will take a stepped approach and increase some of my fees for rural properties or maybe I will go up across the board. Regardless of which way I decide, or if at all, I encourage each of you to take a look at your business expenses and profit margins. It may be time for a change.
By Milton P, Certified Real Estate Appraiser