6 Positioning Blunders Appraisers Make Reviewed by Momizat on . Steps to Immediately Take Before Focusing on Marketing In this month’s article, Rod Burkert details six positioning and marketing blunders too many appraisers a Steps to Immediately Take Before Focusing on Marketing In this month’s article, Rod Burkert details six positioning and marketing blunders too many appraisers a Rating: 0
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6 Positioning Blunders Appraisers Make

Steps to Immediately Take Before Focusing on Marketing

In this month’s article, Rod Burkert details six positioning and marketing blunders too many appraisers are making with respect to building and growing a BVFLS practice.

6 Positioning Blunders Appraisers Make: Steps to Immediately Take Before Focusing on Marketing

I just passed the seven-year milestone of launching my coaching career. And I have to say (as someone else has previously said), “I know a thing or two because I have seen a thing or two.”

Here are six positioning and marketing blunders too many appraisers are making with respect to building and growing a BVFLS practice.

  1. Not Differentiating (Branding) Themselves

Most consumers of BVFLS services cannot differentiate one BVFLS firm from another. These consumers think all or most appraisers are the same. Why? Because most appraisers can’t or won’t articulate how they are different from their competition.

If appraisers cannot or will not brand themselves, how can they expect the consumer of BVFLS services to? Those “unbranded” appraisers are often selected by prospects based on the universal differentiator—price. This leads to practice commoditization, which is not a strategy for long-term success.

  1. Not Being Sufficiently Proactive

It is the nature of the profession to collect historical data and perform a valuation based on that data. This practice creates reactive behavior—waiting for the client to initiate a conversation about a particular issue. The problem with reactive behavior is that the client may not raise the issue or may be unaware of other concerns he should be aware of.

The real value of an appraiser is not in “compliance deliverables” but in determining what a client wants, learning where the client wants to go, and getting the client to the goal line as it relates to the valuation project at hand … or even a bigger picture.

  1. Not Charging What They are Worth

This comes from a basic misunderstanding of why clients choose BVFLS firms—over fees. Yes, clients balk over fees, but when they do, it’s most often because they don’t see the value of the service provided.

Pricing is an attitude. A firm’s fees express its conviction of what its services are worth to the client. If all the firm is doing is preparing a valuation with no recommendations, it should not be surprised if the client looks elsewhere next time. On the other hand, if the firm is adding the value the client expects and does this with every communication, the subject of fees comes off the table.

Firms need to demonstrate to the client that their objective is to be a partner in the client’s success. That approach earns them the right to premium-price their services. It makes no business sense to price services to compete with others who don’t offer the same value.

  1. Not Profiling their “Ideal Client”

Many appraisers are content to take any business that “walks in the door” with the ability to pay. No business can be all things to all people. Firms should let their professional staff and referral partners understand the type of clients they can and want to service effectively and profitably.

  1. Not Building a Referral Network

Many appraisers feel uncomfortable attending networking events. While they often claim they are too busy servicing (too many) clients, the real reason is that it takes them out of their comfort zone, they don’t see the value, and it has not been successful for them in the past.

This is a “What’s in it for me?” decision consistent with a firm-centric approach to doing business. Yes, while networking can result in revenue enhancement, the better mindset is how it will help their clients. Appraisers need to network with other professionals to develop beneficial relationships to introduce to their client base. This provides value outside of their core valuation competency. Clients will appreciate the extra level of caring, which will increase the likelihood of additional referrals.

  1. Not Understanding What a Trusted Advisor Looks Like

A trusted advisor is the pinnacle of the client/advisor relationship. According to the authors of The Trusted Advisor, a trusted advisor must show the client a degree of caring far beyond a vendor or subject matter expert relationship and must always put the client’s interest ahead of their own.

How do you earn this trust? Trust accumulates over time based upon the appraiser’s mission to partner in the success of the client. A good way to measure the success of a BVFLS firm is to measure and monitor the success of its clients. Has the firm helped them grow the business or become more profitable/valuable? That is a great way to attract new clients.

So what?

There is nothing more that I want than for you, dear reader, to have the kind of practice you love coming to and find success in (however you define that for yourself). And I know you may not particularly care for the kind of strategies and tactics that can help get you there.

But the cool thing is that turning around the above mistakes is not really marketing … well, maybe #5. It’s just executing the work you are already doing better by being more mindful about what your prospects, clients, and referral sources are looking for … and providing that value.

You know, the same kind of value you would want if you were a layperson having your business valued for the very first time.


Everyone has a different idea of what a successful practice is. The practice you want is personal because it is based on what “successful” means to you. I help practitioners focus on the strategies, tactics, tools, and tech to build/grow/scale their versions of successful practices. If you want some help with that, e-mail me at rod@rodburkert.com.

The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) supports the users of business and intangible asset valuation services and financial forensic services, including damages determinations of all kinds and fraud detection and prevention, by training and certifying financial professionals in these disciplines.

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