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International Clients and Client Protection

by Administrator on Feb 16, 2017 Business Operation 313 Views

International clients are becoming more common for real property appraisers as money from other countries finds its way into the United States.  Global investment sales are becoming significant in some markets and they are actually dominating others.  So how do appraisers find their way to securing assignment from international clients?  Sometimes it's simply the oldest method around, the word-of-mouth method.  If you are known in your community or your advertising and promotions reach the right people you may find that you are talking to a representative of a global buyer or a seller. 

As all appraisers know there are more reasons to appraise real estate than for sales.  There are times when companies just want to know what the value of a property or properties are for rental, taxes or for many other reasons.  If you get an assignment from a company with many real property holding you can potentially increase your business. 

What's different about completing an assignment for a global buyer or a global seller?  Appraisal methods don't change, there are few if any differences for an appraiser that relate to who hired them.  You usually have a personal contact and your appraisal is directed to an officer or officers within the multinational corporation.  It may be that the company is well known, it may even have a household recognized name but it may have its headquarters in Paris and do business in 50 countries.  If the company you are doing an appraisal for has "International" in its name that is usually a give-away.

I have found that the more I disclose in writing (in my qualifications statement) or on the Internet who my past customers have been the more my competitors have used those sources as a contact list to solicit them.  There is one thing that you can depend on in the real estate appraisal business that your competitors will go out of their way to try to destroy you if they think they can get away with it. 

You may also think that when you get on the phone with another appraiser you are talking with someone who you can trust, but if you disclose one piece of information about an assignment or a client of yours that they know they will use the information against you, you can count on it.  I have lost business because appraisers who I thought were friendly stabbed me in the back when they had an opportunity.  The best policy is to keep any and all business related information, whether confidential or not, to yourself.

If you secure one or more corporate clients don't use them in your "past client" on your qualifications statement and control yourself by not telling friends, family, brokers or colleagues know who they are or what you have done for them.  It's difficult enough to secure an important client you don't want to lose them after only a few assignments because someone can't stand the fact that they are working with you.  Most of your contacts don't care why or how you got a client, when they hear you have them they just want them for themselves or they want someone they know to have that business, anyone but you.

The best clients are those that the data miners and you "colleagues" looking to divert your work elsewhere just can't find.  You didn't disclose them in your "past clients" lists and if you did those looking for your business can't find them because the decision-makers who love your work are almost impossible to find.  I have had some clients who haven't been ferreted out by competitors for decades.  It's amazing how long a business relationship can last when there isn't some third-party trying to destroy it.

I have found that a client can appreciate the quality of your work, even to the point where they will compliment it, but they will have no qualms about dumping you as a service provider if someone puts a bug in their ear.  If your competitor calls and tell them that you mentioned their name when researching the fast food market that may be enough of an excuse for some clients to foreclose your relationship.

For more appraisal information contact Glenn J. Rigdon MA, MRICS, ASA is a Las Vegas / Henderson Nevada based appraiser who can be contacted via email or via his business website known as Appraiser Las Vegas  (, or you can also click on “Contact Us” on the home page of this website or visit my public profile at LinkedIn at

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