Every appraisal is a golden opportunity. A job interview you need to ace to have any chance of winning the business. And if you can increase your appraisal to list ratio, it will have an immediate, positive effect on your income.
But if you've been in real estate a while, it's easy to just go through the motions with each appraisal opportunity. My goal in this guide is to inspire you to level-up by adding a few key steps that can take your service to the next level.
Step 1: Listen to our podcast explaining 5-star appraisals (33 mins):
Click here to listen on Spotify.
Step 2: Brainstorm what your world-class appraisal would look like
In this guide, we'll show you our 5-star appraisal process (complete with checklist) but you should take time to design a customer experience that is personal to you and your business.
Block 30 minutes out of your day. Turn off your phone and imagine your perfect 5-star appraisal process. Let your mind wander. Don't think about practicality. Write down everything you can think of. Spare no expense. What steps would you take to impress your clients and make them feel special if you had all the time in the world?
Step 3: Pick the easiest ideas to add to your business
Now look through your list and think about what you can easily add to your existing process that you aren't already doing. You don't have to do everything, start with what's practical and add more later if you can.
Step 4: Turn it into a checklist
Design an appraisal checklist for your business and use it for every appraisal opportunity. Have your manager or a colleague hold you accountable.
Hint: A 5-star appraisal process starts long before the appraisal meeting. There should be multiple points in your process to establish trust and credibility before you knock on the owner's door.
Another hint: Most agents spend far more time worrying about what price to appraise the property at, rather than thinking about how they can add value to the owner's journey and provide an exceptional level of service.
The Agent Monday version
By way of example, this guide includes our Agent Monday approved 5-star appraisal process. I used this in my own business when I was selling and I'm confident it gave me a big advantage over my competition.
The best part is - anyone can implement these steps. It's not about how much of a swift-talker you are. You can increase your chances of winning the business by following a proven process, going the extra mile for your clients and doing things that make you stand out from your competition.
5-Star appraisal experience:
- Target a 30-minute response time to appraisal request phone calls and emails if received between 8 am and 6 pm on business days. Responding by phone call is preferable.
- Questions to ask the owner on the phone: Do you have time for a quick chat? How long have you lived there? Reasons for selling? Tell us about your property? What renovations have you done? What was it that made you call us?
- Book the appointment. Proactively suggest 2 times that suit your schedule. Read the following guide for tips on setting appointment times in a way that shows owners you are sought-after and successful:
- Reward referral source (if applicable) with a small gift.
- Send an email to the owners confirming your agreed appointment time. Send a calendar invite, too.
- Deliver a pre-listing kit. target same-day delivery (if appraisal request received between 8 am and 3 pm on business days). This could be as simple as a nice box of fudge and a handwritten card. For more ideas, check out this guide:
On average, most salespeople have a 2-3 day gap between receiving the initial appraisal inquiry and the appointment itself. This is an opportunity to establish your credibility. During that time:
- Email the owners: “Here are your property’s details on property-guru, are these correct?” Allow them to tell you if the floor area is incorrect etc.
- Email: “Here is some info to have ready for your appointment with Andy…” eg. Recent rates invoice, consenting info, plans for any future renovations, receipts for recent work, past valuations.
- Email: “Have you checked your home’s value on the most popular online valuation websites? Homes.co.nz / Trademe property insights / Oneroof." Add links to the email. Make sure you as the salesperson are familiar with what these online valuation sites are saying.
- Prepare your appraisal document in advance of the appointment. Just leave the price range to fill in following your meeting.
- Order a copy of the title (deed), plus the flats plan & lease agreement (if cross-lease) before the appraisal.
- Lookup clients on Facebook and LinkedIn to find out what they do for a job and if you have any mutual friends or shared interests, and to give you ideas for discussion points during your meeting.
- Text owners on the day of the appointment confirming the time of your meeting. Make sure it still suits them.
- Take with you: Owner questionnaire, an example marketing calendar, an example vendor report. Your point of difference sheet. Have nice biscuits to take along too. If you really want to impress, take treats for their dog (if applicable) and small toys for the kids.
- After the appraisal appointment: Phone owners the following day to check in. Email them a debrief with a summary of key points discussed during the meeting. You mentioned the following as being important to you...
- Brainstorm how you could proactively help them solve problems. Did they have a job on their to-do list that one of your local contacts could help them with? Make appropriate introductions.
- If there is a second meeting, fill in your listing authority while at the property (or in advance). Ask for another look around the home at the start of the second visit.
- Deliver your 'Thank you for the appraisal' gift.
- Bonus Step: Send your owners the Agent Scoring Matrix
Don't be overawed by the number of tasks covered. Add what you can into your own business, even if it's only one step. It could be the difference that helps you win a listing!
If you have feedback on this topic, please get in touch. We love hearing from you.