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Well It's That Time For The Infamous Who's Slow Thread

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Franco2

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Massachusetts
Well lets have it guys and gals. Who else is slow? Up until the beginning of October I was running at a good 15-20 assignments per month and was declining work. October I had 7 and at this point of November have completed 3. You can actually hear crickets in my office and watch tumbleweeds roll by.

Another question I have for you guys is at a time like this, do you start to mass register onto AMC lists, hit up attorneys and local banks? I haven't been in this situation for a while and never really bothered to market as I've had 3 steady clients that would give me as much or more than I can handle for 1 person.

What are your strategies for more work. Let's hear and share some ideas.
 

Vermonter

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Vermont
Nope. Pretty steady here...actually busier than usual for November and especially Thanksgiving week.

Signing up with as many low quality clients as you can will just keep perpetuating the cycle. You will be overwhelmed during the busy times and you'll still be in the same boat during the next slow period.

Believe it or not, working for a few quality clients will keep you more consistent.
 

Franco2

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Massachusetts
Nope. Pretty steady here...actually busier than usual for November and especially Thanksgiving week.

Signing up with as many low quality clients as you can will just keep perpetuating the cycle. You will be overwhelmed during the busy times and you'll still be in the same boat during the next slow period.

Believe it or not, working for a few quality clients will keep you more consistent.

I know it's a popular consensus around here to believe all AMC's are low quality clients. But, the 3 I have allowed to be my priority clients where narrowed down from 20 AMC's that I originally applied to back in 2013, when I went off on my own. Throughout the past 4 years i've got numerous requests from many of these 20 and I finally narrowed it down to whom I believe were the bast, most fair, highest paying and least naggy of them. To for the past 2 years I've served only these 3 9% of the time. I also have some divorce attorneys I work for and a very solid local bank, but the assignments from them are far and few. I do understand that a lot of AMC's suck, but at times like these who would you get work from? Some more divorce attorneys who already have their handpicked appraisers they work with? Would you not try to research who are the best AMC's and try to sign on to thier lists. Should I perhaps get back in touch with the other 17 companies I signed up with and let them know that I am now available for work> Just trying to gather ideas. What are your ideas of good clients. Please explain. I'm open to any suggestions.
 

TRESinc

Elite Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Ohio
things are slowing down here as well but they always do this time of year.

unfortunately this is NOT the time to start looking for new clients. when it slows down clients don't have as many orders to send out so they are not looking for more mouths to feed. the time to go after new clients is when things are very busy and they need more appraisers.

i would guess maybe now would be a good time for divorce work as the holidays add lots of stress to people's lives. i feel kinda wrong for that sentence...
 

bnmappraisal

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2011
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
and never really bothered to market as I've had 3 steady clients that would give me as much or more than I can handle for 1 person.
Solo here too. I'd suggest keeping your options open to more than 3 main/steady clients. Although the steadiness can/is good, in times like this (slow) that is generally the burden.

Personally I think it's a tough balance between steady/busy and clients. You have your steady/reliable clients until they slow down. You don't want to take on 20 different clients because you may be turning down "too much" work from certain ones (a one man shop can only do so much!)

Right now I have about 8 "steady" clients (probably about 60% of my book - some AMC but mostly direct) and then another 2 or 3 clients.(about 20% of my book - again AMC and direct) and then random private clients (about another 20% of my book - agents and private individuals)

Back to your OP, this month has been slower for sure, but diversifying and having a wider client range has kept me in the black this month. I've only completed 8 assignments so far this month, but 3 have been private and 2 of the others are from the "2 or 3 clients" (another 20% of my book) ... my main "steady" clients have been slow(er) this month as well

All that being said, it took me a while to be "ok" in declining assignments, but once I did, I realized I didn't actually lose business.
One of two things happened: Either they said something like "Thanks, we'll catch you on the next one" or "Ok, then for how much/when can you do it?"
For the 2nd many times I'd receive the assignment for the new assignment conditions (fee and/or extended due date)
Good clients (even some AMCs) appreciate what we do
 

Tom Woolford

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
It usually slows down this time of year, but I intentionally slowed it even more due to tax reasons. For the first time, I'm shutting down for 2/3 of December. I need to build a new computer and probably do some CE. I imagine there will be some long naps in there too.
 

Vermonter

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Vermont
What are your ideas of good clients. Please explain. I'm open to any suggestions.

IMHO, local credit unions are the best clients.

I have 3 CUs and 4 local banks that are my primary clients. They all direct order and are very easy to work with but I prioritize the credit unions above the rest. They give longer turn times, never balk at complex fees and are less interested in funding sketchy loans so they want an honest opinion of value. They also provide the most consistent volume.

Private work from my website and word of mouth rounds out the rest. Estate, divorce and FSBO work has always stayed pretty steady.
 

Digger88

Elite Member
Joined
May 11, 2010
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Virginia
yea its slow here as well. get 4 or 5, inspect them and get them out than wait a day or so for another 3 or 4. in march i had 32 in process, lol.
 
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