Don’t Settle: Simple steps for making more money in 2018 

Written by on January 18, 2018

We know how it is:

The new year: a time of reflection — and for most folks with their own business, it’s a reflection on last year’s profits. It can sting to look over the months where work trickled in from a slow tap — or remember times when lender-based clients low-balled the fees as the industry settled in for the winter months.

Just in time for Christmas, lenders seem to become the least generous. With data sets to comply with, underwriters to please, and tight deadlines to meet — these days appraisers are doing more and more work for less turnover.

It might feel like you just have to bear it in order to keep getting jobs, even if it’s at a cheap rate. That’s just how the appraisal business works, right?

No way. This year, don't settle for low fees, absurd deadlines, or unpredictable income. This year, make a change for the better. A change that’s all about increased, stable cash flow.

Here's what we mean:

Let’s talk about Jack. Jack is an appraiser, and like any other appraiser, he does as many orders as he can. He loves most things about his job. But some things he just can’t stand — like how the market tends to slow down in the winter.

Jack knows he’s being paid less than the jobs are worth. What’s worse, Jack regularly has an AMC taking a cut out of his profits.

But he’s heard lawyers and bail bondsmen pay more for appraisals than lenders — and they have work that doesn’t dry up just because it gets cold outside.

Jack decides he doesn’t want to settle for lender-based orders when he can earn more money with lower-maintenance clients. So, he branched into a new market, and now he’s reaping the benefits:

  • He only does the jobs he chooses.
  • He has a steady stream of clients.
  • He gets to set his fees and schedule.
  • He’s making more profit — and much faster than ever before.

Want to be like Jack?

Jack didn’t turn his business around overnight. He had to set some goals first, and spend some time achieving them.

Your goals are your guiding force. They may seem small at first, but they'll propel you forward to an appraisal business that doesn't rely on lender work.

When you're getting started, a simple formula to use is the SMART acronym. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Below are some examples of SMART goals:

Gain one new non-lender client each month.

Increase my contact list by 5% by June.

Raise my order fees by $5 each month.

What makes these goals SMART?

They're specific. They don't just say "gain new clients" or "raise fees". They have distinct numbers attached to them so you have something to work toward one new non-lender client, increase by 5%.

They're measurable. Stick to simple goals that you can easily measure. Gaining a new non-lender client each month doesn't involve a whole lot of data or metrics, so it's easy to quantify.

They're attainable. Make practical goals that you know you'll stick to throughout the year. Something like only do non-lender work in 2018 sounds nice, but it's obviously not realistic. Start off small.

They're relevant. These goals are directly related to the appraisal business, and they'll help you achieve your overall objective of increasing your income.

They're timely. These goals have specific dates each month and by June. That way you're motivated to achieve your goal by a certain date, rather than just letting it float to the back of your to-do list.

This year, put your goals to work.

Aren’t you fed up with settling for “it’s just the way the business works?”, AMCs sneaking up and chipping away at your profit, or getting paychecks that are less than your work is worth?

It’s time to be more like Jack. Set some goals and get away from the appraisal hamster wheel.

Goodbye, 2017. 2018 is here — and your New Year's resolution? It's all about profit.

Where do you start?

Conquering your appraisal goals like gaining new contacts and clients includes investing some time in a website. Being online is essential to running a profitable business in 2018.

But your clients aren’t looking in the paper or a phone book for what they need anymore. So check out our XSites. They’re custom-built with everything an appraiser needs to have an advantage in the market. And they're $70 off during February! Get yours today so you can get started on your 2018 goals.

Already have an XSite? Join us next month as Joel Baker teaches his new webinar series. He’ll go over all of the tips and strategies an appraiser needs to draw hordes of new clients to your XSite. Don't wait, register today!

Catch the second blog in our Don't Settle series here.