Commercial Appraiser Website Beginners’ Approach

Why is a Website Important? Learn more about what impact having a great website can have for your business.
commercial appraiser website
Jeff

Jeff

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Getting Started

In the last blog, we recommended that in order for appraisers to maximize their brand presence, they really need a quality website. A quality commercial appraiser website is one that was created or updated in the last 3 years, and that works well on both a desktop web browser or a mobile device. So, where to start? The impression that many have is a website is either A. something that will cost thousands of dollars and take months to complete, or B. my niece in high school can put one together in a weekend for basically no money. For a small business professional, both are wrong. Sure, it’s possible to spend thousands and take months to complete. But for a 1-3 person company, that’s overkill. Instead, here are a few steps to create a simple, professional-looking website for very little money. It will only take one rainy weekend to get it done, and there are a ton of resources available on the web to help.

Why is a Website Important?

  1. You need clients.
    a. Unless a commercial appraiser is on substantial lenders’ lists and has so much repeat business that they’re turning away work, they need a website. It’s the Yellow Pages, a business brochure and product catalog all rolled into one.
  2. You need to tell people who you are.
    a. When a new appraiser’s name is considered by any client, they will do two things immediately: first they will look you up on LinkedIn, then look for your website to see what specific services are offered. If you are not there, or have an outdated site, that’s a negative first impression.
  3. You need to say how you are different.
    a. There are a lot of appraisers to choose from, and it’s critical to stand out and explain the kinds of services offered and your unique strengths. Otherwise, you are just a name on a list.

A Commercial Appraiser Website Layout

To create a good impression, a commercial appraisal website needs to look professional, but doesn’t need to be elaborate. Here are the sections important to include. In fact, they can all be on the homepage:

  1. Quality “hero image” (that’s the first large image on the page) with a headline
  2. Business name and brand statement. Who you are and what you do.
  3. Differentiator: In a few words, what you do that makes you unique and different.
  4. Services offered: What types of commercial appraisal work and/or other related services does your company provide?
  5. A testimonial: This is a short quote from a happy customer. Bonus points if that person is well-known in the market.
  6. Contact information.

Building a Commercial Appraiser Website for Novices

There are a variety of companies that make the process of building a website easy for someone who doesn’t code.

  1. This blogger created a great tutorial. His “build it in 60 minutes” claim is far-fetched, but the resources are all conveniently in one place here.
  2. GoDaddy is a huge web services company with many tools. This link provides templates specific to real estate.
  3. Wix.com is a structured website building environment for small businesses owners that don’t know how to build websites. For Wix real estate-focused templates, click here.

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Reserve a Domain Name

Any one of the sites listed earlier will help with creating a domain name unique to your commercial appraising company. Create one that is easy to type in and contains your full business name. That way, potential clients can do an easy web search, or just type in the name. However, do not just take the free version that these sites provide. It will be something like “jacksonappraisalservice.wix.com”. Pay the few dollars to get your own name. Those free versions will also leave a lot of branding on your site which just tells the world you’re cheap.

Professional Photography

The web is a visual medium, so good photos make a HUGE difference. Fortunately, it is not necessary to hire a photographer or buy a lot of images for your site. The website builder products have many photos to choose from. Avoid ones that have groups of people; they always look staged. Stick to pictures of the property types you appraise or the local skyline. If more photos are needed, a great place for free photos is Unsplash.com. The “hero image” for this website is from that site, found here. A word of caution—don’t just take photos off the internet. First, that is against the law. Second, some photographers work with services that search the internet, looking for the photographer’s distinct watermark and will take legal action. Using the builder site and Unsplash are easy and safe options.

Do Get Professional Photos of the Team

The one place where paying for photos is smart is for the team. Don’t go to the JC Penney photo studio or “Glamour Shots” in the mall (…are they still around?) Instead, hire a local photographer who does family and senior portraits. Take the pictures outside a property type relevant to the appraisal services. Follow the photographer’s advice on what to wear. Really, only one shot of each person is needed. It’ll cost a few hundred dollars, but it will be worth it. The photographer will make you look your best. Research shows website visitors have much greater trust in a business relationship when they can see the owner. Use that same headshot in your LinkedIn profile.

Here are some good examples of commercial appraiser websites:

Following these steps will raise the profile of any commercial appraiser and make it easier to bring new work into the firm.

Ready to see how you can be more successful and efficient?  realquantum was created by appraisers, for appraisers, to save them time and make them money. Sign up for a demo today.

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