5 things appraisers can do to get more business in the new year
Appraisers are facing an uphill battle from regulators in today’s market because of the increasing and burdensome requirements being asked of them. The introduction of the Collateral Underwriter later this month is one example among many . These increased requirements asked of appraisers typically occur in appraisals performed for federally regulated transactions such as when a home is refinanced or during a home purchase. An environment has been created where appraisers are being asked to do more work as a result of scope creep without a commensurate increase in pay.
One change I am making in my own appraisal business to reduce this is to pursue nontraditional appraisal assignments because these types of assignments are not subject to unreasonable underwriter scrutiny and Fannie Mae guidelines. Nontraditional appraisals include those done for divorce settlement, estate planning, pre-listing appraisals, and date of death appraisals. My strategy is to help educate those in need of these types of appraisals on the benefits of getting an appraisal as well as the processes and procedures I go through in doing their appraisal. Today I want to share with you 5 things appraisers can do to get more business in the new year in order to get more nontraditional appraisal assignments.
Those that read my blog on a regular basis know how passionate I am about blogging. After reading “Trust Agents” by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith several years ago I decided to start my blog. It has allowed me to share my knowledge about appraising and help educate the general public as well as real estate agents, accountants and attorneys about how and why appraisers do what they do. To the layman what real estate appraisers do has been a mystery, but by using my blog to answer questions I get from individuals I can explain how and why we do what we do during appraisal assignments. I’ve received appraisal jobs from homeowners and others that have read my blog and found me online by searching Google.
I have met numerous agents by way of my blog that I may not have met otherwise, and this has resulted in me developing offline relationships with them that have allowed me to become a resource for them. This has made it easy for them to pick up the phone whenever they have an appraisal question that I can answer. In return whenever they have a chance to refer an appraiser they have reciprocated by passing my contact information along to a homeowner that may need a pre-listing or estate appraisal. If you haven’t considered starting an appraisal blog you way want to look into it.
Speak at real estate agent offices
As I noted above I have been able to meet agents through my blog and these relationships have lead to the opportunity to speak at their offices during sales meetings. Most agents offices have sales meetings during the week and they are always looking for speakers that have helpful and useful information that agents can use. In some meetings I have talked about how agents can choose comparable sales for their CMA’s, to come up with a list price and at others I have talked about how to read an appraisal report, which is not always the easiest thing to do. Some meetings consisted of me just answering questions that they had about appraisal issues that they recently experienced. I think these meetings may have been the most valuable to them because it met a need that they had at the current time by me being able to provides answers to them about appraisal issues.
Be a guest on a radio show
I have been a guest on a local real estate radio show to answer questions for listeners to the show. During a talk at a real estate office I met a mortgage loan officer that was a co-host on a local radio show about real estate. They were looking for guests to discuss real estate and asked if I could come on and talk about appraisals. It was a great experience and it gave me a chance to help answer questions that people had that may not have known where to go to get the answer. Several appraiser colleagues of mine that live in other parts of the country have also had the opportunity to participate in radio shows as well and have nothing but positive things to say. It provides a chance to help those with questions and makes it possible to get your name out in front of a larger group of people who may need your services in the future. I’m sure that if you have this type of show in your area the hosts would be happy to have you on to discuss what is happening in your market.
Write articles or provide expert opinion for local news sources
This is one area that I have not participated in yet, however some appraiser friends of mine have and they have nothing but positive things to say. By using social media and networking with local writers for newspapers or online news sources you make yourself known as a local real estate expert, especially if you also have a blog where you frequently report on the local real estate conditions. Whenever reporters are looking for the opinion of a local expert to include in their articles your input can be a valuable resource. The information we analyze in our day to day business as an appraiser can be helpful to others and it can let them know that we are local real estate experts that can provide them with appraisal valuation services whenever they have the need. These media appearances can be shared on your blog or other social media to help extend its reach to others not in your immediate community.
Participate in a real estate agent seminar
In case you haven’t noticed the theme here, sharing our knowledge with others can be a powerful thing. Participating in a seminar sponsored by an agent can provide a way to help that agent get needed information to buyers and sellers. As I have previously mentioned, most people are in the dark about how and why appraisers do appraisals. By letting them know how appraisers operate they can be proactive in getting their home ready to sell and can learn what things appraisers look for and that add value. This can help them decide where they want to spend their money on that will give them the most bang for their buck. Working with an agent on this type of event can build relationships that can be beneficial to both you and them.
Have I left anything out? Is there something you do to get non-traditional appraisal business that I have not mentioned? Please let us know so that other appraisers can begin to build their nontraditional appraisal business.