Have you ever had too much to drink, only to later find yourself promising, "I'll never drink again, I promise, just make this nausea/headache/upset stomach/etc. go away"? (As a youth, of course...) And then, not long after you survived it, the memory of both the discomfort and that promise quickly faded away? Many appraisers are going through that very thing right now. (pq)
"I swear if I get through this market downturn, I promise I'll keep on marketing so I'm never this scared again of not being able to pay my mortgage/car payment/alimony/etc." Yet not surprisingly, here we are in this "refi mini-boom" and many appraisers who have been marketing as fast and as furiously as possible for the last year have slowed down or stopped entirely. Because there's a steady stream of orders coming in for the time being, they've turned their backs on their long term marketing plans that are the only way to ensure long-term stability and success. Have we learned nothing? How short can our memories be?
It's important to remember that marketing is a daily thing. Not just on the days you feel like it or the days you think you need it. Nobody with a consistent, long-term marketing plan that's carried out daily finds themselves in a downturn and thinking, "I really should be marketing myself." Why? Because for years they've been marketing their businesses, whether the times are lean or fat. They have a pipeline consistently bringing in new leads, and their existing client "relationships" aren't based on doing $120 1004's with a 2 hour turn time.
In 2008, did you ever say to yourself, "I really should be marketing my business"? And then did you? And then once the cash register started ringing again did you take even one day off from your marketing plan? Don't do it. Don't give in. Don't be your own worst enemy. Don't develop a short memory.
It's a fact that the more marketing you do, the more business you'll generate. And of course the opposite is true. And it's important to remember what marketing really is. Sure, it's partly the process of actively trying to draw clients to your business to engage your services. But marketing and advertising are different, although often thought to be one and the same. To use an analogy, marketing is being the farmer who fertilizes the soil and plants the seeds. Advertising is reaping the crop that's grown as a result of your marketing.
Marketing is about creating positive impressions about you and your business. Everything you do is marketing, and it requires that you do it daily. Some days you may create marketing campaigns with XSellerate. Some days it may be writing an article for your local paper on current market trends. Some days it's working on your phone etiquette, or making a more professional business card. The point is, it's something done daily to generate positive impressions.
This refi mini-boom is fantastic, and a much needed shot in the arm for thousands of appraisers. But it may not last long, so it's a good test of your marketing discipline and resolve. If you've slacked off on your marketing because you've gotten busy, pick it back up. This is not the same appraisal industry as the 80's, 90's, or earlier this decade. Technology has changed, clients have changed, clients' expectations have changed and the way we communicate has changed. You can't assume the ways you found work in the past will bring you work in the future. It's just not realistic. So don't back off of your marketing. And don't develop a short memory. Market your business every single day, whether you think you need to, or have the time to, or not.