Real estate appraisers are often independent contractors in charge of running their own small business. Although it’s not always necessary for an appraiser to employ full-time, in-house staff to perform day-to-day business functions, appraisers can benefit from the services and expertise of three types of advisors to help ensure the success and growth of their business.
The Marketing Consultant
Hiring a full-time marketing employee would present an expensive, long-term commitment for a small appraisal business owner. But a marketing consultant works by the hour or project, so they are paid only for work as needed.
Appraisers are busy out in the field for appointments and just as busy preparing detailed appraisal reports when they’re back in the office, so new marketing efforts to help expand their company’s reach and widen their client base become second priority or fall off the to-do list completely due to lack of time. Marketing consultants typically work with a variety of companies and industries, are informed on the latest print and digital marketing trends and strategies, and can make precise recommendations to help small businesses achieve their marketing goals … even within a small budget.
The Website Developer
Appraisers need to have a polished online presence in order to attract new clients and establish a professional reputation. Designing a quality website that’s customized to a business’ needs, as well as those of the site’s visitors, often requires more time and effort than free, do-it-yourself website-building options provide. Appraisers can enlist the services of a website developer on a contract or project basis to build the most efficient website for their small business.
Potential clients in need of appraisal services first will search the internet for options. Appraisal businesses with poorly designed, hard-to-find and/or difficult-to-navigate websites will not be taken seriously. A website developer will have specialized skills in web design and coding, search-engine optimization and recent advancements in web technologies.
When running an appraisal business, using do-it-yourself accounting software may help monitor general costs and income. But the benefits of working with a good accountant extend far beyond basic number crunching.
Accountants can bring a new level of insight on everything from what type of insurance is best for the business to expansion, i.e., how more office space and potential new staff will affect overall operating costs. Accountants also can provide assistance with tax-related issues, such as compliance and tax planning or auditing, should the need arise.
Appraisers: what type of business advisors do you rely on to help ensure the success of your small business?