Non-Lender vs. AMC Appraisal Work

One of the hottest topics right now in the appraisal world is that of non-lender work.  I am probably asked a question concerning non-lender appraisals a couple of times per week, at least.  “How do I do more work for attorneys?”  “How do I go about marketing to home owners?”  “I want to work with more real estate agents, but I am not sure how to garner their trust.”  Okay, so that last one was not a question, but you get the point.

Non lender appraisalFinancial appraisal work through AMCs or local banks has slowed a great deal over the past few months.  Appraisers I speak to report a 10% to 40% decrease in lender work since November.  Why is this?  There are many reasons, but the biggest has to do with the interest rates and the fact that many borrowers are ‘refi-ed out.’  There are some home equity line of credit (HELOC) loans being made and some first mortgages, but the volume is in the doldrums compared to where it has been.  This has led many to look harder at non-lender work as a supplement or even a completely new business model for an appraisal firm.

Personally, I have focused on non-lender work for the past 12 months.  It is certainly a different approach than what we are used to with the AMC business model.  Rather than filling out application packets and sitting on the email hoping for new orders, you have to do a little networking, advertising, and name-dropping.  It is not for everyone, but I can tell you by personal experience that the efforts you put it will be rewarded in the end.  I have made several (mostly minor) changes to the way I do business that have helped me attract non-lender clients.  For example, I have completely updated and changed my website and blog.  I have begun speaking more to local groups of attorneys, Realtors® and other interested parties.  Heck, I have even run a few advertisements on the radio!  The results have been, well, rewarding.  On average we get 5-6 calls per month from clients we have never done business with before.  That is not just 5-6 new appraisal orders, but 5-6 new clients who can potentially bring us repeat business down the road!

Non-lender work is tricky, but this is to your advantage.  Many appraisers want to do more non-lender work, but they do not know how to go about it or are unwilling to put in the extra work that is required.  This is helpful to you because competition is minimal.  While other appraisers are watching their computer screen for the next $225 appraisal request to pop up, you could be out doing a litigation appraisal for $300 per hour.

Now, go create some value!

Dustin Harris will be sharing all of his non-lender success secrets in a hands-on workshop one weekend only at the end of May.

Click Here for more information

4 thoughts on “Non-Lender vs. AMC Appraisal Work”

  1. I have been focusing my efforts on building a non-lender based business over the past three years with a heavy focus on realtor clientele since last summer. An effective way of doing this is making contact with the marketing reps for local title companies. Most are looking to fill classrooms with real estate agents who want to be educated on various industry topics. This is where I come in. I offer, free of charge, courses and tips on “How to get a Fair Appraisal” and “Understanding Appraiser Comp Selection”. Since appraisals are hot button issues in the real estate industry, turnout for these classes range from 20-30 agents at a time. During each session I’m sure to mention my “pre-listing appraisal” and square footage verification/floor plan sketch services. Teaching a classroom full of agents positions me as the “expert” in the market and garners their trust in an unusually short period of time. This single effort produces 3 to 4 new assignments for me per week on average. Another suggestion to all appraisers: seek membership to multiple local networking groups like the Chamber of commerce or national organizations such as Le Tip or BNI. Each group is likely to have members in the real estate, mortgage, financial an legal industries. Surprisingly, In my area though, I am one of only two appraisers (in the sixth largest city in the country) who markets in such a fashion. It is apparently a marketing secret in the local appraisal industry for some reason. All of my introductions to title company reps have come from my networking efforts and have paid off big time! This next week alone I will be co sponsoring three more classes. All of which enable me to market my services and network with major local mortgage companies, industry professionals and mastermind groups. Just like “coach” says: you gotta go “create some value”!

    1. The Appraiser Coach


      Good for you! Wow, it is refreshing to hear from another appraiser doing these things. With a little effort, these activities really do pay off. By “pay off” I really mean “PAY!”

  2. Around 15 years ago I was asked to make a presentation to a business group on the local real estate market. That turned into an annual powerpoint presentation, then around five years ago I started making monthly updates available by email to anyone that requested them. At this point, I have around 500 subscribers, which include most of the banks, brokers, attorneys and accountants in the area. At this time, I’ve become the go-to person for real estate stats by all the local newspapers and other media. What this has done is give a steady supply of both lender and non-lender work with a lot of litigation and estate work. Here are links to my annual report as well as the monthly updates:

    Annual Report:
    Monthly Updates:

    Once you get a format laid out, you will find that it does not take that much time to do and your phone won’t stop ringing. The brokers will appreciate it because they will have an unbiased report on local market conditions to send to their clients.

    Jim Kelley

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