GUEST AUTHOR: Ms. Lore DeAstra, MBA, SRA, CDEI, ACB, CL has been involved in the real estate industry for over 24 years as a commercial and residential real estate appraiser, instructor, investor, sales person, and property manager. She has written many articles and courses, published nationwide. Her mission is to improve the real estate industry by offering practical information for real estate professionals and consumers. To contact Ms. DeAstra, please send an email to Lore@continental-appraisal.com.
Since last spring, most appraisers have been on a roller coaster ride unlike any other.Now that the HVCC has sunset, have you thought about your next steps? After all, this is a great time to plan your goals for 2011, while thanking your current and previous customers. First, you will need a target, right?
Diversification is the key to survival and prosperity in the new real estate world. This article gives you easy ways to set measurable goals that will increase business to diverse target markets. As a result, you will keep an eye on your goals, help others, and increase your income. Start where you are, really?
Questions to ask:
How much more business do I want? Set a realistic goal that is measurable. For instance, “I want to increase our appraisal business 20% within the next 12 months” The easiest way to accomplish a goal is to break down the task into believable steps.
As shown, you will need to complete two additional appraisals per month to increase your business by 20%. Breaking down the task into small increments makes a daunting task believable.
Are you willing to spend ten minutes a day to increase your business? Start small so you can obtain effortless victories such as one phone call a day. Earning new business has a 10% success rate, while referral business has a 65% success rate according to Tom Hopkins, the most successful sales trainer in the world.
Who do you contact? Open up your database and contact everyone you know who fits your target market such as your attorney, banker, accountant, insurance agent, sales agent, or friends/neighbors.
What do you talk about? According to Hopkins*, “Never begin any selling cycle until you have taken a few moments to put yourself in the shoes of the other person”. (* Tom Hopkins, SELLING FOR DUMMIES. Foster City. CA. IDG Books Worldwide, Inc. p. 15.)
For instance, ask them how they are, and how can you help them* per assignment or based on an hourly rate such as:
- Attorney: Appraise properties involved in estates and trusts.
- Banker: Appraise or review properties in their portfolio.
- Accountant: Appraisals for tax or trust purposes.
- Insurance agent: Appraise real estate via cost approach for their policies.
- Sales agent: Measure homes for their listings, complete a pre- listing appraisal, review their Competitive Market Analysis, or offer to answer questions at a sales meeting.
- Neighbors: Complete a market analysis of their home for tax and insurance purposes. If you are competent, offer to compile an energy audit for a small additional fee to help them save on utilities bills.
* Make sure you apply the competency rule according to USPAP.
Bottom line: you will receive a better reception with less effort by contacting people who are familiar with you and your work. If you are like me, rejection is demotivating.
Are there any meetings that your target markets will attend? Search in your area for functions this year and 2011 based on your target market. Functions might include conferences or luncheons attended by real estate sales agents, appraisers, attorneys, paralegals, bankers, accountants, government agencies, or mortgage companies.
What else can you do?
- Deliver candy attached to your business card to everyone in office.
- Do you blog? Offer to mention them and their company.
- Send an eCard to those in your contact list.
- Use the social media sites (Facebook©, LinkedIn©, MySpace©) to keep in touch, advertise or send information that interests your target market.
- Ask your target market who they can refer that will benefit from your services.
There are many books, classes, seminars and others available nationwide: many online that will help you with various topics. You may learn a new skill and earn continuing education (CE) at the same time. As your confidence and script improves, so will your pocket book. How do I know? While writing this article, I made three phone calls that took about half an hour. Within a few days, I received an appraisal assignment from a referral. Besides the extra income, it was easy and fun to re-connect.
Take a few minutes, NOW, to determine the type of clients you have, who you want to work with, and how you can diversify while developing mutually beneficial target markets. Many of the software programs used for our bank accounts compile a report in seconds. Determine a believable amount of money you want to earn and let your fingers go crazy! Who knows, you might even enjoy catching up with folks you have not connected with for awhile.
Last, if you pass along your success stories to: Lore@continental-appraisal.com , I will compile a follow-up article that is a win-win for everyone. Make sure to let me know if you would like credit, or not. Thanks!'
AUTHOR: Ms. Lore DeAstra, MBA, SRA, CDEI, ACB, CL has been involved in the real estate industry for over 24 years as a commercial and residential real estate appraiser, instructor, investor, sales person, and property manager. She has written many articles and courses, published nationwide. Her mission is to improve the real estate industry by offering practical information for real estate professionals and consumers. To contact Ms. DeAstra, please send an email to Lore@continental-appraisal.com.