What Your Appraisal Clients Want
December 19, 2019 |
So, you do your best on every appraisal. You take your time and do thorough research. You carefully analyze the data, support the adjustments, and arrive at well-supported value opinions. And discover that your best client is giving the bulk of their work to your competitor!
What’s going on?
Just take a moment and look at this through the eyes of your appraisal client, whether it’s a direct lender or an appraisal management company (AMC). What do they really want?
Here’s what users of appraisal services have to say:
1. They want COMMUNICATION
It’s that simple. Your appraisal clients want to know what’s going on with every order.
2. They want communication THEIR WAY
Find out how they want to hear from you, whether it’s updating their portal or website, or phoning it in. Then do it.
3. They want PROMPT COMMUNICATION
If they’ve called you, that’s your first signal that they wanted to hear from you earlier. You may solve this entire issue by simply updating them the way they want updated, early morning, every morning. Or as soon as scheduled. Find out when they want to hear from you, and how often.
4. They may want a play-by-play
Yes, it’s irritating to have to reassure your client that you did the inspection as promised. But if they have asked you, they want to know! Some appraisal clients may only want to know when your appointment is scheduled. Some may want to know that you left a message, and with who, and how often. Others want to be reassured that you’ve inspected the property and are working on the appraisal.
In the end, it’s a business decision whether the time it takes to maintain that client is worth keeping that client.
5. They assume they’re going to receive a sound, well-documented appraisal
It’s common for appraisers to gripe about low fees from demanding clients, and further to complain that as a result that client will be getting a sub-standard appraisal. Your clients, most likely, truly believe that the appraisers on their approved roster will adequately prepare appraisals and so do not assume that looking for the lowest fee means settling for a poor product.
The good news is that, as an independent fee appraiser, you have the right to choose WHO to work for and WHAT a customary and reasonable fee would e. And to accept work ……or refuse it…..on a case-by-case basis.
6. Not all Appraisal clients want the same thing
If your clientele consists entirely of lenders and AMC’s, and you don’t routinely prepare appraisals for any other purposes, it may be time to explore working for other clients. If you’re tired of the daily grind of quick turnaround times and status updates, perhaps It’s time to market your services elsewhere.
Find appraisal clients that don’t need 48-hour turn-times. Estate work, bankruptcy or foreclosure appraisals, and divorce appraisals are likely to have much more reasonable time requirements.
Find clients that don’t need lots of attention. That pay promptly or perhaps even routinely pay retainers. Find out who they are and what they need.
Take a hard look at what your clients are asking for, and decide what is reasonable, and what doesn’t work for your business model. Making these types of decisions is a proactive way to run your business, rather than being reactive. Run your business in an intentional way today!