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10 Quick Tips to Grow Your Home Inspection Business
By Chris Chirafisi, Product Manager at AHIT
Home inspection marketing is one of the most significant factors in the success of a home inspection business. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most complicated. Putting effort into marketing will help ensure that your home inspection business grows. It takes effort and knowhow. Here are 10 quick tips.
1. Marketing: A successful home inspector is a business owner who utilizes proven marketing tools and methods to promote the services they offer to potential clients and referral sources.
Understanding your competition and finding your niche in your market will help ensure your success.
2. Roadmap: Few people get to their desired destination without a plan.
Make a business/home inspection marketing plan and stick to it! A good marketing plan is a document that brings together your market research. This helps you figure out exactly where your business needs to go and how it is going to get there.
Your plan should include objectives, details of the current market, a clear-eyed analysis of your strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and challenges and, last but not least, your step-by-step plan for achieving your objectives. This plan should be flexible and adaptable enough to meet the changing conditions in the market. A good marketing plan will save you money in the long run by cutting out unnecessary expenses, while at the same time, presenting you with new opportunities. If you don’t have a good marketing plan you may not be able to arrive at the destination you set out for.
3. Face-to-Face Marketing: Research shows that face to face marketing is one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to get your name out in the market.
Face to face marketing is cost-effective for reaching large numbers of people in a short time. Any activity must grab the prospective client’s attention quickly, as the window for interaction is short. Grab their attention and try to maintain it long enough for them to engage in the message you are delivering. Continue getting out in front of people when money gets tight, as this is a low cost and effective way to market yourself. Opportunities are out there, you just need to find them.
4. Website Presence: A website is an essential and cost-effective way for potential clients to learn more about you and your company 24/7.
Consider a website that has video capability. It is much more dynamic and consumer friendly. Last but not least, social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn groups is another great way to get your name out there.
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5. Manage Your Time: good time management allows you to take some measure of control over your marketing.
Pre-planning your marketing activities will help order your days. Set a goal as to what you want to achieve daily and get at it. This will help you control your destiny. Time management also helps with productivity and confidence and it can make your daily tasks more fun. As the saying goes- your tomorrows depend on what you do today. Most importantly, time management gives you the ability to meet your goals. It is nearly impossible to meet marketing goals when you fail to properly manage your time. If you let it, something will always come up or you will spend too much time on tasks that are more fun or less significant, eating away at time that could go toward meeting your goals. Remember if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
6. Stay Organized: keep your list of prospects, clients, and contacts organized.
The most efficient way of organizing these days is through the use of computerized software. Set up reminders for follow up calls, meetings, letters, appointments, or anything important you may have out there. Use this software to track which sources, ads and letters are producing the most productive leads. Take note of how much it’s costing you to find a lead in your market, and how many leads it takes you to find a customer. Keep your database clean and accurate. Become disciplined about keeping it organized and up to date. Try Googling programs that offer “drip marketing,” or an automated and usually turnkey way to reach out and follow up to prospects on a regular basis.
7. Know Your Market: knowing your local market will help you determine your pricing, competition and your niche.
Get to know the Realtors in your area. Collect flyers and brochures of other inspectors in your market. Check the Internet, professional home inspector association websites and ask the agents/Realtors for a list of preferred inspectors in your area. Know and evaluate your competition. What report format are they using? Are they using computerized reports or paper? Are they delivering their reports onsite or one-two days later? Are they using digital photos to give the client a visual description on what they are buying? Does your competition have all the insurance that you do, such as E&O insurance with Realtor/agent indemnification and general liability coverage? Are they as professional as you? Did they go through a formal training program prior to becoming a home inspector? Is their pricing fair? When pricing your services focus on trust and professionalism. The quality of your service counts. Remember to verbalize that quality to your client. Add value to your inspections versus reducing the price. People buy when they are comfortable with what they are purchasing regardless of price.
8. Word of Mouth Marketing: It Works!
Word of mouth marketing is the best way to get your name out there. When performing an inspection go above and beyond from start to finish. Create a positive experience that exceeds the customer’s expectations and that will cause them to say “Wow!” Make your company worthy of referrals. Decide what it is that you want people to say about your service, provide a quality service and most of all treat people with respect. Give people something to talk about and ask them to spread the word. Word of mouth marketing fuels success.
9. Kick Butt! Successful marketing can take up to 20-30 hours out of your week if you want to be a full time inspector (five to seven hours if you are part time).
Be aggressive! Meet with as many Realtors as possible. Give out five to 10 business cards per day. Join Realtor associations or boards. Go to business luncheons, and provide breakfast or lunch to targeted real estate offices. Stop in at five to 10 open houses per week.
10. Stay positive! It is very important to stay positive through any and all obstacles that you may encounter through your life and career.
Seek help and support from family and friends and you will reach your business goals before you know it!
> You can also increase referrals from friends and colleagues with word-of-mouth marketing tools, like How to Operate Your Home.”
About the Author
Chris Chirafisi, a licensed home inspector in three states, has built two home inspection companies and has performed more than 4,000 inspections. Chirafisi is currently a senior trainer and product manager at AHIT, the largest home inspection training company in North America, with over 70 training facilities. AHIT also offers InspectIT, an industry leading reporting software.
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