Over the past three years in training, MORE than a lot has changed. In 2006 we started experimenting with online training, or "webinars." Webinars quickly took off and to this day, the idea of taking class from the comfort of your office chair is still popular. Then, in 2007, when the market turned sour, we started bringing guest speakers into our webinars to teach "real world" business concepts to help offset the effects of the economic downturn. But we knew we could do even better than that. In 2008 we threw out ALL of our existing classes and wrote them all over from scratch so that they were all even more "real world" - tying together how to use our products with the current tactics that work in practice. Now, at the beginning of 2009, we're raising the bar again. In January we launched our first ever dedicated "class track system" (more on that in a minute). Within days of launching the WinTOTAL and XSite class tracks, it was clear that they were by far some of the most popular classes we've ever done online. As I'm writing this article, it's been little more than a week since our first Appraiser XSites track wrapped up and we're already hearing stories from appraisers who attended about how they used the tactics we laid down in those classes to pick up more orders.
In March, we'll run our live WinTOTAL and XSite webinar tracks again. And if you're wondering what we'll teach in those classes, I'll give you a hint. It's NOT just WinTOTAL and XSites. Our WinTOTAL track is as much about speeding up the reporting process, cutting costs, and "doing more with less" as it is about WinTOTAL. It also includes a relative newcomer to a la mode Training, the Advanced WinTOTAL class, where we show you how to automate those daily routines you've mastered on a report-by-report basis. So whether you're just getting started with WinTOTAL, are considering the switch to our free DaVinci sketcher, or are a WinTOTAL "pro" looking to improve your skills, the track is a fit. As for the XSites track, it is just as much about marketing your business as it is about setting up your website and e-mail marketing systems. For many appraisers, marketing is a relatively new concept - especially now that lender orders aren't as common as they used to be. To help you avoid some of the common pitfalls of learning how to market in new ways and in new markets, we've mixed in the essentials of good e-mail marketing, non-lender marketing, and search engine optimization. To top that off, we wrap the series up with the chance to get personal feedback about your website from the instructor in our Live Group Coaching class.
For those of you who can't wait until March to get started OR who can't commit to an hour of live web-based training each day in our week long tracks, don't worry. Except for the classes that only make sense being taught in a live setting, we actually recorded both January tracks. You can get them free and on-demand at
www.alamode.com/appraisertraining. Just click the Recorded Webinars tab and you'll see the numbered class tracks. On the other hand, if you learn better in a live setting where you can interact with the instructor, just visit our appraiser training page (same link as above) at the end of February and you can sign up for each series for free. And between now and then, if you have any ideas about how we can serve you better in training, just e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. It's ideas like yours that make it possible for us to constantly raise the bar.