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Old 05-06-2002, 11:38 AM
Debra's Avatar
Debra Debra is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Tennessee
State: Tennessee
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 1,141


I'm ready to go out knocking doors to try and get new business. I called one banker that I know and they want a cover letter along with a copy of my appraisal license etc. Does anyone have a good sample cover letter that I could go by? Any advise on getting new business in town? Up until now I've been working with appraisal management companies and a few out of my area banks. Thanks Debra
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Old 05-07-2002, 12:08 AM
Doug Smith, SRA's Avatar
Doug Smith, SRA Doug Smith, SRA is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Southwest Montana
State: Montana
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 999


Jumping through the hoops completing a potential client application in the appraiser selection process is sometimes seen as a difficult task, often put off to the last minute. The application process, however, becomes less daunting to an appraiser if seen as simply an extension of marketing your practice. The key to marketing always is first understanding the customer. The application process, then, is simply presenting information that meets the needs of your customer, your potential client.

It may seem somewhat counter intuitive that e-mail is improving the writing abilities of appraisers. At least such terms as "pursuant to your request," or "please find enclosed," are phrases not frequently found in the e-mail messages I receive. In e-mail messages, we speak directly, succinctly, making the point of the message the order of business. The terse economy of our e-mail messages sets a good example for letter writing. Writing an effective letter to a potential client is one of your marketing tools. It introduces both you and your practice to the potential client. An effective letter starts with a short introduction summarizing the reason for writing, then proceeds to a logical body of information and concludes strongly. Write a letter as you would an e-mail message and leave out “pursuant to your request, please find, etc.”

When it comes to making application to join a lender's panel, you're doing no different than a person applying or full-time job. With this in mind it is important to remember three important agenda items of anyone interviewing to fill a job.

Those seeking to fill a position have three basic questions:

1. Can the applicant to the job?
2. If the job is offered, will the applicant accept?
3. Will the applicant fit into my organization?

In the application process everything presented should be directed to the three questions. Call them the information chutes. To complete the application process your material chucks information down one of these three chutes.

Certainly a well-written resume, your license, and your experience address the important issue of whether you meet the standards of the client. The tone of your letter, however, and the enthusiasm shown by a response sometimes outweighs all the information that you send. Your application package must convey the message you want the client’s business and you will respond to their needs. In tone, your letter should be friendly, warm and leave no doubt you would be a good fit on the lender's panel.

Some lenders provide an application and a list of requirements. These should be filled out completely and have as much of a professional look as any appraisal report you present. That may require you to keep that old typewriter operational. In marketing it is always the best practice look your best.

The next step is to prepare your presentation package. Your package should be like a sandwich. The top slice of bread is your cover letter. The cover letter needs the most attention. Often the first impression turns out to be the lasting impression. Your cover letter should have everything in your package in summary form that can be of absorbed in the space of time of less than 15 seconds. In the first three sentences, introduce yourself and let the reader know this is your application package. In the body of your letter, use bulleted information summarizing your experience, education, equipment and capabilities. Remember, you only have a few seconds to make an impression. Bulleted phrases can be absorbed in a glance. End the letter warmly showing some enthusiasm for applying and directing the reader’s attention to the rest of the package.

The meat of your sandwich consists of your application, your resume, and the requested copies of any other information. Don’t forget to include your coverage area. Enclose a completed W-9. That inclusion conveys you are ready to start. The final slice of bread of your application package is your reference section. The lender will want to know if you fit into their organization and more than likely will contact some references. Therefore lend some assistance by laying out your references, as you would in a resume. List the information about your reference, address phone number fax number and probably in keeping with the times an e-mail address. But go beyond the simple list of your references. In an adjacent column summarize your dealings with the reference. This gives the person handling the application process the reason to call the reference and the information given becomes a discussion reference point. Lastly send out your sandwich wrapped in a package that conveys the urgency and enthusiasm of a person truly interested in obtaining employment. Again look your best by typing the address label or even sending the application by overnight mail.

The application made to join a lender panel is the culmination of your marketing effort. It is your singular opportunity to make the first impression in business relationship that may pay great dividends in the future. Approach the appraiser selection process as an important extension of your marketing efforts and always look your best.

Suggested Letter:


Thank you for accepting my application for approved appraisal status with XXX. I am enclosing a copy of the items requested for review.

I am also enclosing a copy of my resume, State Certification and copy of my Errors and Omissions Policy and Bond. I am on the FHA Register. A signed W-9 is also enclosed.

In addition to the requested information, the following is provided about my practice:

*Up-to-date software - Polaroid ACI (Lighthouse™ Standard) and A La Mode WinTotal, EDI Capable, PDF Capable, HUD module, Electronic Signature

*Camera, Kodak DC290 reducing form preparation time

*Full time office assistant

*Pentium Computers, Scanner, HP color printer, modem, Internet Connection, e-mail and Website (http://www.

*Microsoft Office: Word and Excel; Corel WordPerfect and Paradox

*Member of XXX Board of Realtors, XXX Board of Realtors and XXX County Realtors

*Full computer access to MLS, Flood Maps and county tax records

*Education and Continuing Education current

*FHA-FHA Register #XXX

References are included on the following page. Thank you for the opportunity to submit my application for appraisal approved status.
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