Should appraisers have a blog?
The real estate appraisal profession has gone through a lot of changes in the last 5-10 years. Increasing regulations, changes in how appraisers and banks communicate, and the proliferation of appraisal management companies have changed how we do business. Our cheese has been moved multiple times.
Some appraisers have chosen to leave the field for other work that is more stable and that pays better. Other appraisers have found ways to make mortgage appraisals work. They have accepted scope creep and the constant nagging of appraisal reviewers who require us to make nit-picky changes to our appraisal reports. Many times, the very information they ask for is already in the report if they’d only take the time to read them.
Yet another group of appraisers has chosen to not perform appraisals for mortgage lending because of the very reasons I have just mentioned. Instead, they choose to concentrate on non-lender work, such as performing appraisals for divorce, estate planning, bankruptcy, pre-listing appraisals, PMI removal, and even for buyers who pay cash but still want to make sure they are getting a good deal.
A blog can help you get your message to the masses
In the days prior to all the change appraisers could concentrate on just working on appraisals. Work was plentiful and once we proved ourselves to our clients we really didn’t have to worry about marketing because work would continue to roll in. Currently, the assignment of appraisal jobs is not so much about doing a great job but instead, it is about who will do the quickest appraisal for the lowest fee.
Because things are not like they use to be, appraisers have had to be very resourceful and resilient professionals. For those choosing not to continue down the mortgage lending appraisal path, we have had to find ways to market our non-lending appraisal services to the masses.
One way to do this is to communicate our skills and abilities to clients who need them through the use of digital marketing. This includes social media and blogging. My focus today will be explaining the top reasons real estate appraisers should have a blog. For those non-appraisers reading today I would like to say that these tips can help anyone who provides a service and wants to get the word out about it. If you have anything to add please leave a comment below and we’ll keep the conversation going.
Top reasons real estate appraisers should have a blog
- Informational- Having a website helps the public know what you do. Most people only know that appraisers perform appraisals for people when they are buying a home or refinancing their mortgage. They are unaware of the other non-lending appraisal services we perform like pre-listing appraisals, divorce appraisals, estate planning appraisals, appraisals for PMI removal, bankruptcy, and even appraisals for cash buyers. By making them aware of what you do they will know who to call when they need your services.
- Helps you get found by people needing an appraisal- Years ago when people needed a professional to help them with their problem they would look in the phone book. Can you think of the last time you used a phone book? Me neither. People now use Google to find everything, including real estate appraisers. By having a blog, you will be included in the search results provided by Google. If you are an appraiser and have an informational blog you will be ahead of about 99% of other appraisers in search results because most appraisers don’t have a blog, which is good for you if you do since your information will show up before theirs.
- Helps establish you as an expert- By providing answers to common questions you can show the public you are an expert. This is how I approach my blog and I have found it to be very beneficial to agents, homeowners, and mortgage professionals in my area. I learned how to do this by listening to Marcus Sheridan who saved his struggling pool business by becoming the go-to guy to have pool questions answered. If you want to learn more about how you can utilize this approach you may want to read his new book “They Ask, You Answer“. You can find it on Amazon.
- Helps you get information to the public about things happening in your profession- In addition to answering commonly asked appraisal question on your blog, you can also inform the public about changes in the profession. An example of this is when the Home Valuation Code of Conduct was sworn into law. I was able to let readers know how this would effect how appraisals were performed. This also occurred when TRID was created. Keeping readers up to date on what is happening will keep them coming back to your blog because they know they will be able to get the latest and most accurate news from you.
- Provide real estate market updates- Appraisers are in a unique position to share relevant and helpful market data to the public. We perform market studies every day on the areas we appraise in. Why not share this with your readers? Anytime I am in a neighborhood that has a lot of good sales data I will create some graphs and share this information on the blog. People want to know what homes are selling for in their neighborhood as well as whether prices are increasing, decreasing, or holding steady. This will help them find value in your blog and whenever they need an appraisal or know someone that does they will call you or pass your name along.
- Use as a platform to enact change in the profession- Appraisers can use their blog as a platform to bring attention to current issues affecting appraisers. By providing a story from the appraiser’s perspective, readers can get a more balanced understanding of the news topic and consumers can make better-informed decisions or at least form an opinion by looking at multiple perspectives.
There are many more reasons to have a blog, whether you are an appraiser or any other business owner for that matter. Do you have a blog? If so, what benefits have you found that you can pass along to those who don’t have one? Please leave a comment below to help those trying to make a decision about whether they should start one.
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