Successful marketing isn't easy. Lukewarm messages will be ignored or not seen by decision makers in the first place. Overly aggressive messages might turn prospects off. You want to find that sweet spot where potential clients develop a positive perception of you and your services and decide to do business with you. You'll need to be prepared, professional, determined, and avoid some common mistakes. Here are three of them:
1. Expecting too much
Your message isn't always going to reach its audience right at the moment they need to order an appraisal in your coverage area. And the nature of your business is such that there are few marketing messages you could send to make someone who doesn't need an appraisal order one anyway. (One exception, for example, is marketing to homeowners who may want to know what their largest investment is worth.)
When you send marketing material to potential clients, don't expect the phones to light up right away. Getting your name, phone number and/or web address in front of prospects regularly along with an effective message will prime the pump for when they do have work. Stick to your guns: Don't give up on a campaign because nobody ordered an appraisal the day after you sent it.
2. Sending generic messages
Not all your potential clients need you for the same reason. Many have mortgage loans they're trying to get underwritten. Some want to sell a home without a real estate agent. Some need grandpa's real property valued as of the date of his death. Sure, there are appropriate messages to all of these groups. You're fast, affordable and reliable, right? Something for everybody?
But the more targeted your advertising, the more effective it will be. Your mortgage clients care about turn times and reliable values. A FSBO wants an accurate estimate of his sales price, and is less concerned about turn time. Grandpa's executor wants you to be accurate while turn time and fee aren't big issues.
3. Ignoring current clients
It takes far more time, effort and money to acquire a new customer than it does to keep a good current one. Your current clients should be getting marketing from you regularly. You don't have to reintroduce yourself each time. You don't have to offer them a deal and cut into your bottom line. All you need to do is stay "front of mind."
Think about everything you know about your current clients that you don't know about prospects. You know they're in a position to order your services. You know (hopefully) they're not flaky and pay their bills when due. If they've ordered more than one appraisal from you, you know they're happy with your service. Why not spend a big chunk of your efforts marketing to a client like that?
In the end, appraisers who are consistent, persistent and wise about targeting the right people with the right messages will greatly benefit from their marketing investments.
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