Though there is no doubt that a majority of property valuation continues to be done manually and so when we talk about automating the front of property valuation quite a few eyebrows are bound to rise. However, whether we may agree or not there is no do denying the fact that online valuation is slowly gaining in popularity as more number of people are finding out the benefits associated with online property valuation. Though it might be still in its nascent stage it will not be long before it becomes more of a norm rather than an exception. This is because there are some obvious advantages associated with online valuation that are quite obvious to be ignored.
The biggest advantage associated with online valuation is that can it can help in reducing time for customers. Most of the customers are into jobs or doing small businesses. Hence time is not on their side and most of them are literally racing against time. Under such situations it would not be a bad idea if these customers are offered online valuation. It will go a long way in helping them to stop making repeated visits to the valuation companies in their bid to get the valuation reports on time.
Another big advantage with online valuation is that it adds a lot to the comfort levels of customers. There is nothing more cozy than uploading documents online instead of making trips to the valuation companies negotiating thick traffic and spending lot of valuable time. From the customers point of view too there is lot of benefits which are again too obvious to be ignored. For example online valuation removes the need for manually receiving the documents from the customers, filing it and other performing other such clerical jobs. Since the documents will be available in the digital format, it makes access of the same easy. The human resources that is saved by such online valuation can be put to better use by diverting the same to more efficient and productive uses.
Apart from the above online valuation also helps valuation companies to build better reputation and goodwill. This will certainly rub off to newer prospects and it will be only a matter of time before the floodgates open as far as fresh customers are concerned. However, this would certainly call for making all arrangements to automate the backend. Automating front end without taking care of the back office would be akin to putting the cart before the horse.
Achieving high levels of success is not becoming any easier. This is because of increased levels of competition in this field. Further the market in general is also going through ups and downs more frequently than ever before. This is also causing apprehensions in the minds of customers, especially those who look at real estate as a source of investment. Over the next few lines let us try and look at some ways and means by which we can effectively take on competition and move our business from one level of success to another.
As a real estate valuer it is important for us to understand the fact that the buying habits of customers keep on changing. It is applicable for all products and services including real estate valuation. Time is a big challenge for most retail customers of today. Either they are tied up to their jobs or their businesses. Hence, they hardly find any time for other activities. Under such circumstances, it would not be a bad idea to offer them online valuations. This will make their life much easier and save them to trouble of repeated visits to the valuers’ office in pursuit of the reports and returns.
While offering online valuation might look easy on paper, when it comes to actual implementation on the ground it is quite difficult. This is because of many reasons. Just automating the front end and capturing details about the customer and the properties concerned is not enough. There is also the need to ensure that the back end is also taken care of. Automation of backend is important or else it will be a case of placing the cart before the horse.
Apart from offering value additions to customers, there is also the need to look at other ways and means to network more efficiently. Valuation business at the end of the day is a service. So, the more numbers of prospects you are able to reach out to, the better will be your business opportunities. Towards this objective it is very important to understand the importance of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and so on. Once you make your presence quite aggressively in these networking sites, it will only be a matter of time before you are able to rope in more number of customers. Taking memberships in chambers of commerce can also help your cause in more ways than one.
Running a valuation business is not as easy as it was a few decades or even a few years ago. There have been changes in the way valuation business is being done and also the way customers perceive this business. It is therefore important for valuers to find out ways and means by which they can move their business from one level of success to another. It might call for thinking out of the box, having a relook at the entire business model or even trying out new marketing methods and techniques just to name a few. However, at the end of the day, the final objective must be to add more value to customers. Towards this objective, the time tested methods of customer focus, hard work, transparency, honesty and good business ethics still continue to be extremely relevant.
Now coming to specifics that can help in tackling competition, the need of the hour is to find out ways and means by which valuers can improve their networking capability and relationship building capacity. There are many ways and means by which this can be done. The internet without any doubt is the best place where networks can be efficiently built and new relationships nurtured. However, this process will not happen overnight but will take time and effort.
While having a website of your own is a good way to move forward, as a valuer one should ensure that there is enough traffic flowing into the website. This might call for taking the help of professionals. Further it would also not be a bad idea to go in for memberships with like minded institutions or organizations. Taking memberships in reputed chambers of commerce is certainly a wonderful way by which valuers can reach out to more number of prospects including some good banks and financial institutions. Offering online valuation is another way by which customers can move from one level of success to another. This is because online valuation is certainly a good value proposition for customers who are hard pressed for time. While being competitive on the price front is also becoming very important, as a valuation service provider you should know where to draw the line between price-effectiveness and quality of service. Last but not the least, improving turnaround times is also something that should always be kept in mind.