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Contacting clients after a dry spell

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Tim Schneider

Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
We have all had clients who for whatever reason stop ordering, with no explanation as to why. What are your tactics for contacting them after a dry spell? How long do you wait? What do you say/ask? Thanks.
 

ockyappraiser

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Kentucky
nothing says "take me back" like a dozen Krispy Kremes.
 

Patti Jury

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Colorado
I don't...They have my contact info if they need it.

I have found that usually if they dropped me it was because they found a "Skippy" to do what I was not willing to do for them....ie..comp checks, make value, ignore issues, etc..

I have had several clients call back after a few years...when they woke up to the fact that they needed an "honest" appraisal.

If they dropped you and you are ethical....than..it's not about you...it is about them and the way THEY conduct business...

JMHO of course!
 
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Mztk1

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
I'm with Patti.

I had a mortgage broker client for about 2 years who took on a new LO who just gave me grief on every issue. I went out to see 3 houses in a row that were falling down and each one I stopped, called and said, hey this place is uninhabitable. Turns out another appraiser followed me up and finished each one saying the properties looked okay for lending purposes. The LO doesn't know different. The other appraiser says I am nuts and it is in the LO's interest to agree. I'm out, the other appraiser is in. Like Patti said, they got my number.
 

Esox

Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
Tim, I'm pretty straightforward. I call the main person I had been dealing with and tell them I am just touching base. "Haven't heard from you in a while. Boy the market's tough, isn't it? Have there been any changes in the ordering process, etc? Any problems or complaints about my work?" I don't pretend. They know they haven't ordered any appraisals, I know they haven't ordered anything. Why BS?

It's a little nerve wracking leading up to actually dialing the number, and especially when you already know the answer, i.e. your value estimates weren't working for them.

If that's what they tell me, I never get angry. I always tell them it was a pleasure working with them when we did do business, and they know where to find me if they need me. I say I understand they're frustration, but I have to do my job and can't ignore what the market tells me.

Surprisingly, it can turn into a couple of orders. I've found that it nudges some back my way because they have also had value "issues" with other appraisers and with all the scrutiny appraisals are now receiving, sometimes they would rather deal with my reports which are pretty well prepared (IMHO only of course).

Of course, there are times where they tell me, "sorry, you're out, somebody else is in". I thank them and move on.

I hate making those calls and often put them off. My wife and I have a running joke that if I start thinking about a client that hasn't called, and we can usually trace it back to a period directly after they received a certain appraisal, and we start talking about them, it's surprising how often they call with a request before I have to call them.

It's a positive mojo thing.

Kevin
 

Lawrence R.

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
South Carolina
I have always felt empowered enough to show up unannounced and stop by and let them know that I had appreciated their business in the past, and that if they would just consider me for overflow work that the current vendors couldn't or wouldn't handle, I would be glad to get it.

One guy said, you know, the guy who replaced you got 22 orders from us last month and hasn't even stopped by to meet us face to face...what's your fax number?

I get 3 orders a month now from that client. They are all tough, or undesirable, but you know what? I am up to it, I need the money, and pretty soon, all the assignments are going to be "tough" when your other appraiser is a cookie cutter specialist. The fees are better and I make them pay up front.

Before, they were a pretty big hassle--their demands were higher, I guess b/c they thought I should be grateful for the work they sent me.

Now, I am helping them--they are appreciative, which is to say that they are cooperative, like it should be.

All in all, I was glad they stopped using me, and I was glad as well to have them back under this arrangement. The whole tone has changed.
 

TJSum

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Maryland
Normally I would agree with Jim and Patti, but there are some LO that just don't have any loans at this time, and haven't had any for awhile. Many of them are hurting or getting out of the biz too. So if they were "good" clients, you might just wish to touch base with them everyone once in awhile, just to let them know you still consider them a client. Maybe you could "publish" a newsletter a couple times per year to email to all your good clients, just to keep in touch, that sort of thing.

Jim, whenever I run into a situation like you describe, I always email them some pictures as proof of what the real deal is, this way they know who the straight shooter is, and if they still hit the road, good riddance...
 

RSW

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Tim, I'm pretty straightforward. I call the main person I had been dealing with and tell them I am just touching base. "Haven't heard from you in a while. Boy the market's tough, isn't it? Have there been any changes in the ordering process, etc? Any problems or complaints about my work?" I don't pretend. They know they haven't ordered any appraisals, I know they haven't ordered anything. Why BS?

It's a little nerve wracking leading up to actually dialing the number, and especially when you already know the answer, i.e. your value estimates weren't working for them.
If that's what they tell me, I never get angry. I always tell them it was a pleasure working with them when we did do business, and they know where to find me if they need me. I say I understand they're frustration, but I have to do my job and can't ignore what the market tells me.

Surprisingly, it can turn into a couple of orders. I've found that it nudges some back my way because they have also had value "issues" with other appraisers and with all the scrutiny appraisals are now receiving, sometimes they would rather deal with my reports which are pretty well prepared (IMHO only of course).

Of course, there are times where they tell me, "sorry, you're out, somebody else is in". I thank them and move on.

I hate making those calls and often put them off. My wife and I have a running joke that if I start thinking about a client that hasn't called, and we can usually trace it back to a period directly after they received a certain appraisal, and we start talking about them, it's surprising how often they call with a request before I have to call them.

It's a positive mojo thing.

Kevin

What do you mean when you say, "your value estimates weren't working for them?":nono:
 

Esox

Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
What do you mean when you say, "your value estimates weren't working for them?":nono:

What it means there Mr. Finger Wagger is, I give them a well supported estimates of value, and those values don't "work" for them. They can't do their deals. Their loans fall through. Everyone gets upset. They stop calling.

That's never happened to you? Maybe you're "hitting" too many numbers. :nono:

Kevin
 

Thomas Fiehler

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Ohio
I had one long term client who stopped sending orders last year because my fee was higher then other appraisers in the area. Now, I do their quality control reviews and my review fees are higher than their appraisal fees. I have reviewed many and never had one with a value issue but never had one where there were not numerous errors (zoning, declining values, etc)
 
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