This guide walks you through proven, modern techniques of generating big appraisal business in a market largely controlled by AMCs. Stand out from the bland competition, brand your business and become the go-to appraiser in your area.
Until a few years ago, the most effective way to get your name out there and generate good appraisal business was networking.
Say you got in the good books of a reputable mortgage broker and in turn, they referred your service to a colleague looking for an appraiser a few months later.
If you provided quality work, it spoke for itself and got you a steady flow of orders just by client referrals. Being a part of a few professional organizations like Appraisal Institute, CREW, MLS and other real estate associations kept you relevant in the fast-paced industry.
The market has evolved a lot since then.
Ever since the Truth in Lending Act imposed stricter rules for appraiser-lender interactions, AMCs started wielding most of the market share in major cities across the US.
Lenders gave their business to the middlemen that had a huge pool of appraisers and promised credible reports that adhered to the TILA and Dodd-Frank terms.
Getting bigger orders outside these AMCs became tougher- and still remains that way for many.
How do you gain a stronger foothold in your area and get banks, REITs or brokerages to order from you directly?
By reaching them where they are most active today- online.
Why Your Appraisal Business Should Be Online
Gary F. Kristensen, a residential appraiser at A Quality Appraiser insists that an online presence is crucial to generate business outside of an AMC in a world that’s rapidly shifting to screens for everything.
People are rapidly turning to online sources to get residential and commercial loans- why? Because it’s just more convenient and lets them scour through hundreds of options, reviews and ratings in one place.
Lenders, seeing the rising trend, have taken their business where the borrowers can find them- which is why you should be online to reach them too.
Online conversion rates (sales) for financial services has never been better, why not leverage it to get a well-deserved piece of this cake?
Source: Industrial Marketer
Besides, it’s not long before the statutory coronavirus lockdowns make every borrower, and therefore lender, go digital.
How Appraisers Use Digital Marketing to Grow Their Business
Trying to bring in orders offline is a huge hassle you’re already familiar with.
Attend real estate events, hand out business cards, make hundreds of cold calls only to be ignored in a market where every appraiser is chasing the same lead.
The internet gives you a chance to build real business relationships that make you a trusted authority in your line of work.
It exposes your business to prospects not bound by location or other physical constraints. Networking is an absolute asset in the appraisal business. Imagine endless chances of connecting with just the people you want, generating sure-fire sales through it and eventually putting the whole sales process on autopilot- all the while becoming the go-to appraisal firm of your area.
If done correctly, online channels can help you achieve that.
Now, before setting up a website or social handles, jot down a clear marketing plan. This plan will be your roadmap to build a brand and get appraisal orders in an endless maze that the internet can be- it will give you clarity and direction.
Here are some tried-and-tested techniques your marketing plan can include:
Leveraging Online Communities
There are communities like National Association of Mortgage Lenders (NAMB) where your target customers group up to stay on top of industry trends and help each other out with common business problems.
A great way to position yourself as an appraisal expert online is to join these communities and provide valuable insight.
When members (lenders) watch you give stellar advice and be helpful in the community, they’ll trust you with their appraisal needs when you eventually pitch to them.
All the while your competition is busy making sales calls that go nowhere.
Getting Direct Sales With Digital Advertising
Digital Marketing channels like Facebook, Google and LinkedIn know a lot about your target customers.
..and not just their location and age.
Think everything from interests, pages they follow, what they like and dislike, groups they’re a part of and much more.
This helps them give you, an advertiser, tools that let you show your offers to exactly the people you want.
Do you have a first-time discount for property dispute attorneys based in Salt Lake City and want them to see it only when they’re looking for an appraiser on Google?
Head over to Google’s ad manager and it lets you show your offer to only these folks.
This is also why Google Search is the second most popular B2B advertising channel- you can appear before customers with a pristine offer when they need your service the most and only pay for those who click on your ad.
Source: Ironpaper Marketing
It gives you a chance to reach your customers in the right place at the right time with an offer you know for sure they are interested in
Capture, Convert & Measure
No matter which channel you choose to advertise your appraisal services, these three tiers will always define a marketing strategy that really works.
● Capture their attention with an ad that addresses their pain points
● Convert them from a curious onlooker to a hooked lead ready to order from you
● Measure how well your marketing efforts have paid off- this one’s especially important because it shows you the numbers. Are you breaking even on the marketing spend? Are you making a profit or are actually losing money on them?
Measuring helps you pinpoint exactly where your marketing is going wrong and saves you from dropping cash on an ad that isn’t working.
But how do you measure your marketing efforts?
Google Adwords and Facebook Business Manager let you analyze how many impressions, clicks and conversions your ads received. This is helpful to understand how you can improve going forward.
However, it boils down to how much business those ads get you. Return on Investment is the most metric you should be tracking.
You can easily keep track of the R.O.I. by knowing how many orders came in from your digital marketing campaigns. The Anow Connect smart dashboard lets those interested customers place their order through a quick 10-second form tailored to your brand’s identity.
Once you roll out the ad and link it to Anow Connect, interested visitors start pouring in and placing their orders directly on the platform- it works like a well-oiled machine with the right audience.
Done right, digital channels can help you not only get consistent sales but also gain the confidence of lenders in your area for the long haul and eventually become the go-to appraiser lenders can turn to without needing to get middlemen involved