Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What’s in a Profile?


I was recently talking with Tom Helms, ISA CAPP about our new website. Tom, who is a strong marketer, felt the new website was an excellent new tool for our members, yet in our discussion we also felt many ISA members were not taking full advantage of all offered options.  The new ISA website can assist our members in marketing their appraisal practices and gaining new clients.  According to our website analytics, the ISA website is getting nearly 30,000 total page views per month, with 6,000 coming to the ISA home page, and 2,700 moving on to the Find an Appraiser page.

The new website has been active since January and the responses from most ISA members, as well as non-members have been extremely positive.  Just the other day at the outstanding Foundation for Appraisal Education/Quinn’s seminar, an ASA appraiser mentioned how she liked the new ISA website and particularly liked the easy “Find an Appraiser” search functionality.

The latest site options which enhance an appraiser’s online profile and ability to gain new clients include the profile pages, the member spotlight, and news.  When we had the new ISA website designed, one of the main interests of the board was to not only promote ISA but to enhance the accessibility and profiles of our member appraisers. After all, ISA has many of the best personal property appraisers, and we wish for all website visitors to be aware of this and to easily locate them through our search function.

When developing the online member database and profile pages we wanted to make the search as accessible and easy as possible for the end user.  On the home page is a simple appraiser search box by location and key word.  But that is only half of the equation; once the visitor/potential client searches, and a list of appraisers is returned, the selection process begins. Information listed in the member profile area may make the difference between making contact with a potential client or not.

Have you updated your profile with an image, links to your website, LinkedIn profile or Facebook page?  Have you completed the bio section, and are you aware of the ability to include hotlinks and even some minor HTML code to enhance your profile page?  Visit your profile page to ensure all of your contact information is updated and correct. List multiple contact points such as phone, cell, website, email etc.  Many members have updated their profile pages, while unfortunately many have not. If you have not done so, you are probably running at a disadvantage to those who have.  If you have not updated your ISA online profile, I recommend you search through some member profiles that have been updated with images, links, contact information and HTML and compare.  If you have not updated your ISA member profile for the Find and Appraiser search, you might wish to ask yourself the question, if you had the option to call between two appraisers, one with an incomplete profile, and one with a complete listing taking advantage of all of the options, listing information, hotlinks, etc. who would you call?

The Member Spotlight function is a text box in the member profile area and when completed will place your content and image on a random rotating basis on the ISA home page as well as many of the secondary pages of the website.  It is easy to do, just type a few short sentences into the Member Profile test box on the members profile background page and save, and the website does the rest.  Imagine many of the 6,000 visitors to the ISA home page seeing your image and specialty area and clicking through to your full profile.  Again, this function of the website was developed to promote our member appraisers, it is free and is available with your membership at the ISA, ISA AM, and ISA CAPP levels.

Under the News tab there are four options, ISA News, Member News, Member Updates and the Calendar.  The news tab was also developed to promote ISA members.  The Member News page contains special news about our appraisers. Currently listed are member’s accomplishments and media notes and publicity.  We have news about new jobs, profiles in the media, videos, and lectures by our members.  I encourage ISA members (and don’t be modest) who have newsworthy achievements to submit to ISA staff for posting on the website.  Additionally, if you have a blog or newsfeed you would like to promote on the Members News Feeds page, please send the link to ISA staff.  We currently have 6 blog feeds, but can accommodate many more

The overall website is seeing nearly 30,000 total page views per month, the ISA homepage is averaging around 6,000 views per month, and perhaps more importantly, nearly 2,700 of those monthly visitors click through to the Find and Appraiser search.  With those types of numbers (and it is the ISA board’s desire to keep the visitor numbers growing), can you afford not to have a current and updated member profile on the ISA website?

Please feel free to contact me or ISA staff member Tom Radde at tradde@thesentergroup.com, if you have any questions about updating your profile on the ISA website.

Todd W. Sigety, ISA CAPP
President, ISA Board of Directors

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