An XSite is so much more than an online billboard for search engines. If you want to give your business a boost in 2009, try one or more of these features you can only get in an XSite.
by Matt Krodel, Appraiser XSites Product Manager
Matt started at a la mode back in 1992 as a programmer. He’s spent most of his years managing our customer service department and has taught at 50+ a la mode seminars and conventions across the country. Matt has recently taken over product management for Appraiser XSites. Matt lives in Oklahoma City with his wife and daughter. In his spare time, Matt enjoys cooking, playing keyboards in his 80’s cover band and jogging at the lake.
oo many appraisers mistake a website as a mere yellow pages ad or online billboard when the reality is a website should also play a key role in how you service your clients and run your business. Since we're smack dab in the middle of our 23rd successful year in business, let's point out 23 ways an XSite will help you be successful, too.
If you were going to build all these tools from scratch, you’d spend tens of thousands.
1. Send out automatic late payment notices. The sooner you let someone know they're late, the sooner you'll get paid. The XSellerate component in an Enterprise XSite ties into the XSite invoicing features to automatically send a polite e-mail you can customize on a timeline you specify.
It's a well known fact that the longer you wait to collect on a late invoice, the lesser your chances of actually getting paid. XSellerate ties in with XSites Business Management to send automatic late payment notices so your clients don't forget they owe you for your services.
2. Let clients pay with a credit card. Your XSite's credit card processing makes it convenient to pay. You can even enter a payment from the field using your cell phone. And because it's all tied into your invoicing system, payments are instantly reconciled. Standalone, disconnected payment systems simply can't do this for your business.
3. Run accounting statements and reports. The XSites Business Management reporting engine lets you easily create reports to track orders and productivity. You can also use it to create printed statements that can be physically mailed or sent as a PDF straight from your website.
4. Let clients view their order history and redownload PDFs . Ever have a client lose a report PDF and ask you to resend it? An XSite takes the hassle out of that situation by letting clients log in securely to redownload the report themselves. This saves you and them valuable time.
5. Sync orders and contacts with WinTOTAL. Orders entered in WinTOTAL sync with your XSite and vice versa - including order updates and status messages. Even if your clients won't order online, just enter it in it's not a problem because their order can still be uploaded and tracked online without anyone doing any extra work. Your contacts are synchronized, too, so you can include your clients in marketing campaigns sent through XSellerate.
6. Connect to a dozen or more national clients. XSites are bundled with report delivery plugins that make you compatible with national clients such as RELS, Fiserv, PCV/MURCOR and any client requiring AI Ready.
7. Let clients enter orders online or fax them to your site. XSites let clients enter their own orders right into your management system. For clients that still want to fax, you can supply them with a special bar coded cover page that goes to our toll free DirectFaxTM servers which route the fax to your XSite new orders list. You also get notified instantly so you can respond. Clients can also attach files such as the sales contract.
8. Let clients and prospects get to know you. Putting pictures of you and your staff on your website shows you're real people and gives visitors a certain comfort level. And the built-in staff profiles feature makes it easy to display your staff directory, with a bio and qualifications.
9. Eliminate unnecessary status phone calls. Since your clients may dislike making the calls as much as you dislike handling them, why not cut them off at the pass by using the statusing features in your XSite to send them a proactive heads up on things like the appointment date and time.
10. Deliver any size appraisal PDF and get a delivery receipt. Are extra pictures required by lenders causing problems with e-mailed reports? Our SureReceipts technology, included with your XSite, sends clients a secure link to the PDF they can download and save, no matter how big. You even get a receipt when they download the file!
11. Get full fee orders from the Mercury Network. Mercury provides HVCC compliant appraisal ordering and management for your clients and is the best alternative to AMC's that take too much of your fee. An XSite is required to do business on Mercury.
12. Send automated marketing e-mails to clients. XSellerate takes the work out of staying in touch with clients. Even simple messages like a "Thanks for your order" or a "I haven't received an order from you in a while..." can go a long way - not to mention prospecting messages written to attorneys, CPA's, agents and consumers in your database.
13. Blog about your market expertise. Blogs updated regularly are guaranteed to get the attention of search engines, which can translate into site traffic. There's no easier way to post original content and create a running commentary on your market than to blog about it. Plus, XSellerate automatically e-mails your contacts when you make a new blog posting to get people visiting your site.
14. Chat live with clients and prospects. Add a "chat now" function to your XSite with XSites Desktop. Many people are more comfortable chatting online than calling or sending e-mail. It also notifies you when people hit your site, so you can start a conversation right then. XSite users can download XSites Desktop for free at www.XSitesDesktop.com.
15. Add custom lead capture forms on your site. A lead capture form on your XSite is more effective than a simple e-mail link. You can ask for specific information, even putting the questions in context with the web page they're on, get contact info, data for a price quote or other details to help you know how to reply. We also sponsor a monthly $1000 giveaway that's generated tens of thousands of leads for XSite owners by enticing visitors with a prize.
16. Educate clients with hundreds of prewritten and customizable pages. People expect appraisers to have an informational website. You're a valuable resource. You could write up pages about assessment appeal, condemnation appraisals, expert witness, PMI removal, etc. from scratch. Or, choose from the hundreds of pages our experienced staff have written and customize them for your business. We've also included informative videos, a news feed, mortgage calculators, local content and translations to Spanish and French.
17. Save and restore a snapshot of your site. With all the design options available, you'll want to change your site from time to time, such as during the holidays. The Snapshot feature in XSites lets you easily revert to a previous design.
18. Provide a ".COM" and e-mail for your entire office. Which is more professional - matt"at"okcfhaappraiser.com or MattAppraiser420"at"YourISP.com? An XSite provides you with your domain and 15 centrally managed e-mail accounts, so your entire office can have a company e-mail address.
19. Text your phone when you get orders or notifications. Nobody likes to wait for a response when they send a message. Getting back to people quickly is a hallmark of good customer service and boosts the chance of repeat orders and referrals.
20. Help get you listed on search engines. There are multiple aspects to getting on search engines and getting people to visit your site, and an XSite helps you every step of the way. First, XSites contain real tools that simplify the technical aspects of making your site search engine friendly. Then, the XSites Desktop software will "coach" you on marketing tasks you can complete to get more visitors and a better search engine ranking. Finally, we host several marketing webinars every month so you can get live training and marketing advice. When you have an XSite, you are anything but "on your own" when it comes to making your site a success.
21. Generate mailing labels from your WinTOTAL appraisals. Many homeowners wonder what their property is worth now. With a few clicks, WinTOTAL can export subject addresses to XSellerate which creates mailing labels you can print and stick on envelopes or a folded letter. It's a quick way to drum up non-lender business.
When you have both WinTOTAL and XSellerate, you can easily generate mailing labels based on all the properties you've appraised. Chances are one or more of the residents will want to know their property's current value or refer you to someone else.
22. Select from hundreds of customizable website design themes. The public expects a website to look good, and the themes available in XSites are sure to impress. You can take them as they are or customize them with your own images and colors. No technical expertise is required for you to take advantage of the hundreds of themes our graphics and technical gurus have created for you.
23. Send birthday e-cards to your spouse and in-laws. XSellerate’s personal campaigns won’t make you more money necessarily, but if you’ve ever forgotten one of these important days, you’ll recognize their value. Just enter the contact’s birthday into your address book, and XSellerate handles the rest. You can also set up campaigns for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as well as all other important holidays.
If you were going to build all these tools from scratch, you'd spend tens of thousands of dollars on web programmers. Fortunately, an XSite can be had for a fraction of that. (Actually, there are a lot of things nobody but us could do for any amount of money.) Put your XSite to work for you today.
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