I am setting up for credit cards with local bank. The plan I use is where you call in the credit card info from the car (or you can do it by internet back at the office). Cost is 2.5% plus 30 cents per transaction.
Bottom line for me: Cash flow is everything. Most of what I do is check at the door. . .I have gone to credit cards to get the rest to switch over. Since I do mainly mortgage broker business, I am looking for this to bring it a lot more orders. The reason is simple. When a deal falls out, the brokers typically take the fee for the appraisal out of the LO's paychecks. They hate that. But they continue to guarantee appraisals when customer does not have money for check at door.
I am going to do fax advertising with the offer that now they customer can pay at door. . .then roll in the cost of the appraisal into the loan by paying off the credit card. The LO rolls it into the loan as before, but is off the hook for the guarantee.
I only get ask about a half a dozen times a year if I accept credit cards. Since it would be such a small %age of my business I have not done it. There are on line companies who will set you up. I get more calls from people trying to sell me on accepting credit cards than credit card customers.
I thought I read in a different post that some credit card companies were no longer accepting appraiser business due to the high percentage of customers contesting charges when their house/property didn't come in at the value that they expected. I don't remember if I read that here, or heard it elsewhere, but it made some sense.
You can set up a Business account with PayPal and accept credit cards that way. The person paying has to have a PayPal account of course but that is simple to set up and unless they have changed they will give you $5 to sign up. So it's less than free.
No set up fee's or month charges for us. The payee would have to be on the internet is the only catch I see. So far no one has used it. But I don't push it either. Maybe I should?
Set up credit card acct early this year, not a major part of my business but it does help the cash flow. This coming year I will be more agressive about getting a credit card number, have entirely too many open invoices, biggest problem is LO who disappears.
You are exactly right. The whole point of credit cards and check at the door is to do away with late pay invoices. Some appraisers who deal primarily with banks will always be paid by invoice. But I do 40-50 appraisals per month all from mortgage brokers. Even the best of them will let some invoices go 60-90 days.
I have started requesting check at the door in all situations I can. I also test marketed the idea of credit cards with some new brokers. The pitch: your customers can pay by credit card, then you roll the credit card into the loan. The result is that the appraisal is financed in the loan, but the broker and loan officer are no longer on the hook if it goes south. An office manager at a larger broker said if I took credit cards, she would require all LO's to use me. . .she had had it with paying for appraisals on loans that don't close.
Bottom line: all appraisals are paid by the homeowner. . .either at door or in loan closing costs. Why are so many appraisers willing to wait 60-90 days to get paid?
I use NPC which is partially owned by National City Bank. NPC is the second largest CC processor in the nation.
There are difference pricing for the method you use. If you get scanners it is expensive. My plan is where I call the credit card info in on the phone, or send it via internet. I am charged 2.4% plus 30 cents per transaction on VISA/MC. . .3.5% on AMEX and [email protected] plus 8 cents on Discover. There is a one time set up fee of $400.00. Also, there is a monthly statement fee of $10.00.
I asked about the possibility of chargebacks as well. The company said that the customer had to prove they were billed incorrectly for the charge back tostick. Not "hitting the value" was not going to fly.
Bottom line. . . if your average appraisal is $300.00. . .would you pay $7.50 to get your money in 24 hours. . .guaranteed funds?
We are not just a service business. . .we are a cash flow business. Controlling cash flow is what grows businesses.