According to the 2019 Appraisal Income Guide, high earners in the industry excel at finding new clients. Appraisers who are pros at obtaining new clients and soliciting business earn over $51,000 more per year than appraisers who fail in this area. So, what are some of the best ways to get new appraisal customers? We recently asked our appraisal community, “What’s the MOST successful way to obtain new business, in your experience?” Here’s what they said.
What’s the MOST successful way to obtain new appraisal business?
1. Getting onto approved rosters (40%)
Survey respondents identified “getting onto approved rosters (lender, AMC, FHA, VA)” as the number one way to get new appraisal customers and bring in business. Rosters may be especially important for those who are just starting out.
“When I first started appraising I went to each [AMC’s] web page that had an active license in my state and signed up. While there are a few I wish I had never heard of, this has generated most of my business starting out. As time goes on, I have started working on the other ways to get clients like marketing on Facebook and Linkedin, networking with others in the business, and taking classes to expand my knowledge.”
2. Referrals from past clients (19%)
Referrals can be a reliable way to generate new business no matter what industry you’re in. the appraisal industry is no exception. 19% of survey respondents agree that the most successful way to obtain new appraisal clients is by gaining referrals from past clients.
“I have lived in the area for 60+ years and have a good standing with the local lenders.”
3. Developing a niche specialty (15%)
Developing niche expertise can be a great way to stand out and succeed in the appraisal world. 15% of respondents say that specializations are the best way to drum up new business. This article gives insights into which niche specialties appraisers are most interested in pursuing in 2019.
“Developing a niche in the appraisal industry sets you apart from the ordinary appraiser, and developing multiple niches can yield extraordinary results by giving multiple opportunities for a great return.”
“Specialized knowledge in niche markets when the techniques used are not typical can be a great way to build a unique business.”
More ways to get new appraisal customers
In addition to the top three survey responses outlined above, appraisers cite online marketing (10%) and networking in the community (8%) as effective ways to bring in new business. They also say it’s a good idea to gain referrals from other professionals, like real estate agents and divorce and estate attorneys—especially for non-lender appraisal work.
“Person to person interaction is more effective than just being a name on a list. If customers can put a face to a name, then you are more likely to be placed on a lender’s approved list.”
“Marketing online means free and paid advertising, and reviews. These are critical to my business.”
“Blogs, speeches, and articles featured can help to promote non-lending business and attract private clients.”
“As agents are in touch with multiple people, I let them know I am available for non-lender work too.”
“Prominent divorce and estate attorneys can provide a reasonable, consistent stream of additional appraisal work for those appraisers with the proper know-how.”
What do the experts have to say?
We recently asked some industry leaders to chime in on how to get new appraisal customers and how to thrive in 2019. Experts agree that the best ways to generate new business include developing niche specialties, networking, and leveraging online marketing tools. They also urge appraisers to diversify their client lists, branch out into non-lender work, and get onto the FHA and VA approved rosters.
“Now is the time for appraisers to upgrade their skills, and develop niche expertise such as luxury homes, high-efficiency homes, relocations, divorces and estates, or expert witnesses. And get on those FHA and VA rosters!” – Jo Traut, Chicago-based residential appraiser and Appraisal Curriculum and Content Specialist at McKissock