7 Steps to a More Profitable and
Better Appraisal Business in 2020!
Everyone wants to have a more profitable and better business but knowing what steps to take can be unclear.
And with so much change going on with the appraisal profession it can add to the confusion.
The practical and simple steps I’ve outlined in this report can help you cut through the confusion that can leave you stuck and uncertain about what to do next.
Each step can help you and when combined can truly transform your business.
I have experienced their power firsthand, in my own business and in those of the Appraisers I coach.
And I know they can help you have a more profitable and better business as well.
The 7 Steps to a More Profitable and Better Appraisal Business
Step #1 - Get Better Clients!
This is one of the biggest boosts you can get and it will breathe new life into your business.
Your success is more dependent on having good clients than anything else. They are the lifeblood of your business, so it only makes sense to get the best ones you can.
Get rid of the ones that drain your energy and replace them with better ones.
AMC’s that are owned and operated by Appraisers and are evolving with the profession are among the best to work with.
Look for ones which provide support, have user friendly platforms and offer a variety of products, including alternative valuations.
You can do direct bank and private work to diversify or break out of the AMC circle completely.
My clients are readily accessible if I have a question, value my work and are open to feedback and recommendations on how to improve things.
To them I am a valued asset, not just an approved Appraiser. And they pay well, in full and on time, so I don’t have to waste time chasing money.
Which brings me to my next step...
Step #2 - Become a Go-To Appraiser
Stop being viewed as a commodity and be viewed as an asset instead.
Anyone can be an “approved Appraiser” but very few become what I characterize as a “go-to Appraiser”.
One is perceived as just another panel Appraiser, a commodity that can readily be replaced. The other is considered an asset who is far more valuable and treated with greater respect.
What’s the best and surest way to become a Go-To Appraiser? Find a way to solve a client’s problem.
For example, one of our members become a Go-To Appraiser one holiday weekend by being available when many Appraisers were taking off.
He had received work only sporadically from this client even after being on their panel for about six months.
But he figured with the holiday weekend they could now find themselves short handed, which could provide him with an opportunity to get more work and forge a stronger relationship.
You can imagine how happy he was when he received more orders that weekend than ever before! And his client was equally grateful for his help when they really needed it!
Since that time he has become one of their most productive and respected Appraisers averaging well over $10k per month in business with them.
But there are other ways to becoming a Go-To-Appraiser besides spending your holidays working.
You can take on difficult assignments no one else wants. They may require a little extra time or attention, but it will be noticed and appreciated by your clients.
Ask your current clients where they are busiest and need the most help. It may be with a new product that you can learn or it may be in an area outside where you normally cover.
I’ve found that simply asking clients where they are busy or need the most help can lead to the quickest increase in your income.
Helping your client solve a problem will elevate you in their eyes and the rewards can be on-going and substantial, particularly when business slows.
Aside from having great clients, becoming a Go-To-Appraiser is the best way to improve profitability and ensure long term success.
And it doesn’t cost you a dime.
Step #3 - Diversify your Business
This is important in any business and can even be a matter of survival.
Most Appraisers today are better off if their income is not solely reliant on doing traditional 1004 work.
In order to accomplish this, you’ll need to be open minded and gain the skills that will enable you to do different types of valuations.
For example, I was reluctant to do desktop appraisals and would often decline them if they were sent to me.
But overtime the data provided improved and I became more comfortable doing them.
This has given me an additional income stream to go along with my busy review business, and I’ve become more valuable to my clients.
Some of the best and most successful Appraisers today are proficient at doing both field and desktop work, as well as review work.
Appraisers have even told me that learning how to review has a dual benefit; it provides an opportunity to get paid to do reviews and it enables them to write better reports.
One of the most empowering things an Appraiser can do is become proficient at doing different kinds of valuations, which is especially important today, due to the increase in alternative products.
Step #4 - Identify and Develop a Highly Profitable Niche
This can provide you with an additional income stream or a full-time business.
This is my favorite one because when I changed from having a traditional appraisal business to focusing on review work it reinvigorated me.
It’s also the most profitable area of appraisal that I’ve ever been involved with.
But there are many profitable niches, beyond doing review work and some with even more potential.
For example, my cousin does Tax Appeal work during a 3-4 month grievance period each year, which adds substantially to his income.
He truly enjoys helping homeowners get their taxes lowered.
Another example is a colleague who specializes in being an Expert Witness, providing court testimony.
He loves to use his expertise to fluster even the most capable of Attorneys and help his clients win.
Other avenues to explore are working for attorneys and lawyers for estate or divorce cases, various types of State work including condemnation, acting Appraiser Special Magistrate or Subject Matter Expert or even working for the IRS, just to name a few.
Find a profitable niche that you like and you’re compatible with and you’ll have an opportunity to earn a lot of money.
Step #5 - Join a Community of Positive Appraisers
In a survey I conducted with the members of my Appraisers Success Group, many indicated that being part of a positive community of Appraisers was one of their top 3 reasons for being in the group.
They found it extremely beneficial in maintaining a good attitude and enthusiasm for their work.
Being part of a positive community will also keep you from feeling isolated if you are working by yourself, like so many of us. And will help you combat "lonely appraiser syndrome", a condition my wife is sure there is no cure for!
There are different types of communities you could join including online Facebook and mastermind groups, or in person meet-ups and membership groups like mine.
In addition, you’ll enjoy interacting with your colleagues and have the opportunity to learn from them.
This will also help you to keep-up with our changing profession and stay ahead of the curve by hearing what others are doing.
Membership in a quality group of like-minded Appraisers can by itself be a real game changer.
Step #6 - Have an All-In Mentality
One of the biggest reasons people feel stress, distraction, overwhelm or low energy at work is not because of the job itself.
It's because they feel like there's something more important they should be doing. Like that never ending to-do list and obligations.
Or even doubting your decision to become an Appraiser. No job or profession is perfect, they all have their challenges.
A way to mitigate that is by being present and engaged in your work.
Approach your work with an all-in mentality and you'll feel less stress at work which will help you feel less stress outside of work too.
You also need to keep the big picture in mind, especially after having a tough day!
This will help you have a more profitable and enjoyable appraisal business.
Step #7 - Make Health a Priority
Prioritizing health and emphasizing healthier habits are keys to having a profitable and lasting business.
It only makes sense that people who are mentally and physically healthy can withstand the challenges in life and business much better.
You've heard it said before, that time is your most valuable currency. However, I believe that energy is even more valuable, because without energy you can not fully capitalize on your time.
The more fit you are, the more energy you'll have.
Your health is your wealth. Your business’ success is dependent on you being healthy and able to operate at a high level.
Take care of yourself so that you can have a successful business that takes care of you.
Work with good clients and become a “go to” Appraiser. Diversify your business and gain the skills needed to do assignments other than traditional work. Working in a niche can set you apart and will also help diversify your business. Since so many of us work alone today it's important to be part of a group so that you that you can stay up-to-date and not feel left behind. Be "all-in" and keep the big picture in mind. And make health a priority, you’ll be more resilient and able to work more efficiently and longer.
About the Author
Ron Maloney began his appraisal career in 1982. Along with his father and brother, he owned and operated Classic Appraisals Corp for almost two decades.
Ron currently operates a busy appraisal practice and is passionate about helping Appraisers have more profitable and better businesses through his online training programs and monthly coaching membership.
Read more about Ron here.