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What's your most effective marketing tool?

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Kathy in FL

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
Now, I'm not interested in word of mouth...or relationships...I mean something you can buy with Visa. What's been most effective for you? Business cards? Car magnets? Your website? A billboard? Your yellow pages ad?

You just don't see much appraiser "advertising" and I'm wondering if it's because it just isn't working...


Kathy in FL
 

jtrotta

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
most ads I've seen are in the yellow pages 8)

we never advertised, up to this year; I've placed one ad & will see :)
 

David S. Roberson

Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Yellow Pages are a good investment. And I don't mean a typical line ad. Put it in bold red and make it stand out. I know for a fact my ad brings greenback dollars to my billfold every month.
 

Jeff Horton

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama
I will third that, so far Yellow Pages. I have looked for good marketing ideas and so far I have drawn a blank. Direct mail with brochures has a 0 return so far.

I am putting together a CDrom business card and have high hopes on this making me stand out. Will let you know if this works.

The next best thing I have heard of (and I plan on doing this) was notepads. I have forgotten who told me about this but it was on this forum and recently. 5.5" x 4.5" with company name and contact info. Send these to potential clients. Then they pass them on to their clients with notes on them.
 

Larry Lyke

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
I've not done this because I don't have to, BUT if I were going to be soliciting new business other than by the telephone, which I've done some years ago with very good results, I would:

Go to the state Web site that lists all licensed mortgagees in your state and select the ones that interest you by virtue of their location, etc., and call them on the telephone or call on them in person.

You can do 95% of an in-person sales call beforehand and get almost all the information you want to know by calling their company. They WILL tell you information.

Then a call in person dressed for success as a business professional (for your area or region) with a briefcase or everwhat.

You only need to plan 10 of these calls at maximum. When they meet you in person and see what a delightful, presentable person you are and look over your excellent quality work samples, you're in.

OF COURSE, you will stop at #4 when you have received some work or commitment. After all, how many of these Clients can you service. As you know, it's extra work to get a Client up and running smoothly -- so that in the future all you have to do is do good work for them to keep them on track.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
I have printed over-sized postcards in bright yellow. Gives the basic info with name and phone number LARGE. Use 8.5 x 11 template that has 2 on the page, have it printed on light weight post card stock and cut in half. These can be handed out with 5-10 order forms or you can mail them. I haven't done this for quite a while but, some used to put them on the wall by their desk. When I first started my 'by line' was "Quality Appraisals... On Time". Now it's "When Quality Counts". I just don't market to those that only want a quick turn time since they don't seem to care about quality.

If you are going to put anything in the mail, the oversized very colorful postcard has the best return. Be very careful with yellow pages as it can be very expensive. The 1/2" or 1" in-line boxed ad is the best value. Keep it clean and simple. Check with your state for advertising laws! I spent about 6 years (1988 - 1994) in advertising (1 in yellow pages) and learned all the return statistics.
 

Charlotte Dixon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
I stock up on lots of Dixon Appraisal Service pens. Last year I put together a trip to the White House for a club I belong to. As the people boarded the bus they each received a baggie with a schedule for the day on red/white/blue stationary, brochures, maps, a flag, and a Dixon Appraisal Service pen done up in a red/white/blue patriotic theme. Once in awhile I'll provide pens for groups having a special dinner meeting. They usually have little bags at their place settings and my pen goes in there. I order those pens from a company that advertises....Buy 100 Get 100 Free.... and I change the barrel design often. I provided winter design pens for some clubs having holiday events, and I just provided pens, with the barrel in a spring flower design, to a garden club. I'm amazed at how my pens get around with my phone number on it, and I receive lots of work because of this method of distribution. Per year, pens cost me much less that what I charge for one appraisal. I've received probably 30-40 jobs/year from these.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
Thanks, Charlotte. This is a form of advertising that I've been seriously thinking about, didn't know how well it worked though. I will probably do this soon now. Good to know that it works.
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
I am in a small town out in the middle of the desert, only 30,000 population in my county, 150-175 miles from the big cities. There are only four lenders in my community. The two that have local control over appraisers will not hire me because I am too "conservative". The other two have to have their appraisals ordered by the main office in a big city miles away--who back me on every appraisal I complete for them. So--my marketing strategy is getting listed on every FREE internet list I can find, membership in the Chamber of Commerce and the yellow pages (both provide additional internet presence). As a result I completed work for over 100 different clients last year from all over the country and have been busier since I came "home" than I was in Phoenix, the 7th largest city in the country. So I think the internet is the way to go!! People are shopping the internet when they finance or refinance now days. Also because of the country wide client base I have developed, I get referrals from a lender on the east coast to a lender on the west coast who then refers me to a lender in the midwest--and around and around the referrals go! And with that many clients, I can be as grouchy and grumpy as I want to be. I will be 66 next month and I have decided that is how I will slow down--I will yell at every lender who even remotely asks for comp checks, created sales, go out of area to "make value", etc, etc. Send them copies of USPAP, Fannie Mae Guidelines, appraisal board decisision, etc to back up my tirade.
 

J. Parker Graham

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2002
Advertising works best when directed to the proper resource person. Most secretarys know the inside and outside operations of the business better than the managers or owners. (sorry dudes) therefore direct your advertising to the secretarys.

Get some emery board, cardboard finger nail files, printed up with your logo and advertisement and pass them out in person. Your firm will always be on their minds as they do their "filing". Business cards have a way of getting tossed, but the emery boards will be around a while.

Living Large in Detroit,

J. Parker Graham
 
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