Skyrocketing foreclosures are bad news for the economy and for those who are losing their homes. But they're also an opportunity for appraisers, since almost all of these foreclosures will need an appraisal. On another sad note, the divorce rate in the US is still around 50%. Most of these divorces don't settle the house, so they also need an appraisal.
It may seem callous to go after these markets, but these clients needs your help. Someone is going to do these appraisals. Are you or is the appraiser down the street? Here's how to get started.
DEVELOP A LIST
Along with referrals, searching online for local divorce attorneys and CPAs will yield qualified contacts. Government sites often have free license directories, too. You can also contact a database company to buy a list. You may be shocked to see how inexpensive mailing lists are, and how much valuable data they contain. The key to keeping costs down is only to use a list that's targeted to the right specialty and a particular city, county or even zip code.
USE E-MAIL AND DIRECT MAIL
You can use the ads in XSellerate and set up your campaigns to send automatically on any schedule you choose. (To learn more about XSellerate, click here.) Make sure to put together web pages showcasing your specialization. Then, send the ads often. You never know when they will need an appraisal. Keep in mind that it's necessary to become known as the expert. So, in all advertising, invite potential clients to your website. To bolster your credibility as an expert, feature valuation statistics and explanations about why the foreclosure rate is up.
FOLLOW UP IS CRITICAL
Unlike many lenders, attorneys are most interested in credibility and professionalism should you be called to testify. Meanwhile, accountants are concerned that the value of the property they put in trust is accurate. When you introduce yourself, emphasize that being meticulous and accurate are your goals.
Since attorneys and accountants are often too busy to take calls, always follow up with their assistants. When you talk to them, find out if they need appraisals, whether they use specific appraisers, and if they saw your marketing. If not, ask if you can send more or drop some materials off. Then, follow up with a handwritten note thanking the assistant for answering your questions. Few vendors send notes to assistants, so they may remember you when it comes time to order an appraisal.
We hope these tips put you on the fast track to tapping into the rising need for foreclosure and divorce appraisals. After all, if you don't go after this work, your competition will.
Editor's Note: For fully automated and effective appraisal marketing, try XSellerate. Click here to learn more about it.