Appraiser Spotlight

Now that the XSites Desktop’s Energizer plugin is well established as an effective, proven means of creating a website that’s more search engine optimized, all I need to do is go down our list of XSites ranked by Energizer score to find some great sites.

My latest search for a spotlight customer landed me at HendricksAppraisal.com in San Antonio, Texas. Owned by Doug Hendricks, this site had all the right stuff: Local information about his service area, a beautifully customized home page with great content, an active blog and a clean, simple layout. It was near the top of Google’s natural search results too, which is common for sites with high Energizer scores. After a minute or so of browsing Doug’s site, the XSites Desktop live chat tool popped up and requested a chat session — something I don’t see a lot on our customers’ sites. It obviously got my attention. Through the chat, I informed Doug I was looking for a company for an AppraisalPress “spotlight” article and asked if he’d be able to help us out. It’s free press, so why not?

Doug’s staff was incredibly polite when answering the phone and the custom “hold music” was a nice, professional touch. You only get one shot at a first impression, and the team at Hendricks Appraisal made a great one.

“Naturally, the HVCC and the economy have made things a little more difficult.” said Doug. “We’ve been doing more work for AMCs now, where it used to be directly for lenders. To balance things, we’ve been going after more legal clients for litigation, expert-witness and divorce work with phone calls and e-mails, often utilizing XSellerate content.”

“We generally get two or three orders a month from CPAs coming though the website, too. You know, we’ve had a website for years, but recently we’ve discovered the potential it really has for us to get new clients.” And he’s right. The web is where business takes place today, and having a website isn’t the same thing as having an online Yellow Pages ad. It’s perhaps the single most powerful marketing and business tool you have at your disposal.

Doug’s favorite feature on the XSite, besides its ability to help capture new clients, is the Client Login area. “Providing clients a place where they can download the final PDF or go online and check for status is a must-have for any appraisal business. The status updates clients can see are so effective at reducing unnecessary phone calls.”

Lastly, I asked Doug about his long term plans. “I like appraising because I get to be on my own in the field but also get to be social sometimes with staff in the office. There are numerous small banks like the clients I’ve worked closely with for years that now need HVCC-compliant appraisal management — they can’t always do it in-house and traditional AMCs won’t work because they require volume. To meet their needs, we’re launching a regional AMC so these smaller lenders can work with a trusted company that’s used to their processes.” At that point I reminded Doug that the Mercury Network could very well be in his future since it’s a low cost way to find and manage appraisers that aren’t necessarily your staff plus get all the benefits of the XSites technology.

Thanks, Doug, for taking time out to talk to us. We wish you the best of luck in 2010.

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