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What Are Key Concerns Of Attorneys

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Suzanne K Hansen

Sophomore Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2002
I'm putting together a letter to some local attorneys and I'm wondering what key elements of appraisal services might be concerns or interests of the attorneys.

What elements should be highlighted?

How would the aspects be ranked?

eg.:

speed

cost

local

...????

Thanks,

Suzanne
 

Bill_FL

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
Susan,

Turn time is rarely an issue with attornies.

An attorney is going to be looking for an appraiser who can provide a credible appraisal and who can go into a court room and explain what they have done and defend their appraisal. They are rarely concerned with cost or time. They want accuracy.
 

Jeff Horton

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama
I have to second Bill's comments. I have only done a couple of jobs for attorneys but I am actively marketing to them. I have a good freind that is an attorney and another lady I know is a legal secretary. One of the best things they said to do was in your letter (don't bother to call) include a couple of Rolodex Cards. From what I gather most live by these. When they need you, you want to be easy to find.

I just mailed a report on a house to any attorney. The legal secretary's found me on the Internet. So remember the secretary! The attorney actually called and checked me out though.

Accuracy and someone that can handle being grilled on the stand in court are probably the two big things. They want knowledgeable people and they want someone that can handle the pressure. I have been to court on two and the other side wants to discredit you or cast doubt on you report. I have not had a really hard one yet (attorney) but if you get an attorney that really knows appraisals he can make you look like a fool if your not careful.
 

TEL2002

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Louisiana
I'm putting together a letter to some local attorneys and I'm wondering what key elements of appraisal services might be concerns or interests of the attorneys.


Suzanne,

We are also doing the same thing. Someone mentioned on another thread...
(1) The old attorney already has his/her favorite appraiser, market to the brand new lawyer. (Try to find that list from your state bar assoc.)
(2) Frequent contact, brings you closer to the top of the pile. Send periodic mailings, if your name becomes familiar, maybe they will call you when they need an appraisal.

Remember...most lawyers only need the occassional appraisal. Always get your money up front...no invoicing allowed when dealing with lawyers. If the case is cancelled or delayed and they have not been paid, they dislike paying you first. (This latter part is from my brother...an attorney.)
 

TEL2002

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Louisiana
I forgot to add..............

I just received a mailer from the phone company, it was 2 Rolodex cards in one. This was printed on perforated card stock, the smaller (4x2.25) Rolodex card was inside the larger card (5x3). Just punch out the card you want for your own Rolodex file. Pretty slick.

If you made this up in the form of a post card, you could cut your postage expenses, while getting your message out to everyone.

This same card could be mailed to RE Agents, Insurance Agents, LO's, etc.
 

Jeff Horton

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama
Originally posted by TE Lawrence@Apr 21 2003, 06:23 AM
This was printed on perforated card stock, the smaller (4x2.25) Rolodex card was inside the larger card (5x3). Just punch out the card you want for your own Rolodex file.
I have not seen those. But at Staples I found blanks you could print and I also found cards with plastic cover made to slip your business card into. Since it was cheaper and I all ready had a stack of business cards thats what I did.
 

Suzanne K Hansen

Sophomore Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2002
Wow! Good ideas!!

I just checked the internet for the postcard/business or postcard/rotary cards and found both. Staples has them, Office depot has some, and Desktop Publishing has them for purchase off the internet at a better price!!!! http://www.desktopsupplies.com/index.html

As to attorney concerns, it seems that a common need is to be able to withstand scrutiny and questioning. How often do appraisals for attorneys end up in court or with some form of deposition required?

What about estate attorneys or trust attorneys?

What kind of other elements might be appropriate to highlight? reliability? accessability?

Thanks,

Suzanne
 
W

walt kirk

Guest
Approximately 1/3 of my business is with attorneys, mostly bankrupcy and estate work. I have found that the best way to market to attorneys is with references from other attorneys. You might want to consider listing some of your current attorney clients in your letters.
 

Suzanne K Hansen

Sophomore Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2002
Walt
I can imagine that for established appraisal businesses, reference is the best way to market, but for new shops such as mine with no attorney references so far, I need to find a way in the front door. Taht's why I'm looking for help from the forum, from you guys who've been there done that. Any foot-in-the-door ideas?

Suzanne
 

Bill_FL

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
Suzanne,

Do you own an home? Did an attorney close it? There is your foot in the door. Call that attorney. Tell him/her that you expanding yoru business. Tell him/her that you have done some work for attornies, but that you would like to do more. Ask him/her the questions you are asking us. What is important to them. By the time you have gone through several questions, the attorney will be impressed that you care what is important.

Use any reason what so ever to intorduce yourself to other attornies.

My wife, (and office manager) met an attorney at the gym she works out at. He was the only guy taking an areobics class. He and his wife were there together. They got to talking, because she recognized his name from some of the settlement checks we had received. Long story short, he calls one day and has a client that wants to remain anonymous. Looking at some land and wants me to appraise it. Conditions are that I can not look in MLS to see what it is listed for, can not see the contract. My appraisal was well under asking/contract price. It was a nightmare for about 6 months, but I came out good in the deal. I got a thank you letter from the buyer.

Over the next year, I started getting lots of attorney from him and others. All said it was because of that deal. That they and their clients wanted real appraisals. It is funny how one chance meeting at an areobics class turned into a steady source of business. Yes, I even appraised several homes for the attornies personal purchases before they made offers. One attorney had a client call me. They had an offer in on a house. They were new to the area. The attorney lived on the same block as they were buying. He told them he could not offer an opinion on the value of the home they were looking at, but to call me. They said, we all ready have an appraisal and it came in fine. He again told them to call me. The house had been on the market for several years, listed about 50% over market value. They cruise into town, look at 2 homes and make a full price offer on it. A number maker hit the number for the broker. I didnt. They withdrew the offer. In the next 3 months, they got serious about 4 homes. They called me to appraise all of them. Then they made the offer on the one they wanted after reviewing all of the appraisals.

I do not think I am that different from most of the people who post here. This seems to be a very ethical, very thorough group of appraisers. However, we all know there are the numbers guys out there that couldnt hit the broad side of a barn without the LO telling them were the barn was. The attornies dont need those people. They need people like who particiapte here.
 
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