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Want to Attract More Agents? Teach, Don’t Sell
by Jamison Krugger, Preferred Systems
Most successful home inspection companies rely on a steady stream of referrals from real estate agents to build and grow their businesses. Developing good relationships with local agencies can be the key to the long-term success of a home inspection company.
If your goal is to attract more agents to your company, the first thing you need to do is figure out how to position yourself in front more agents on a regular basis. The problem is that you are not alone in your desire to attract more agents to your business. Real estate agencies are bombarded daily with calls and visits from home inspectors, mortgage brokers, title companies, home stagers, home warranty companies and many other professionals who want to do business with them.
There are a wide range of marketing and sales strategies that many of these companies use to get attention. They include regular office visits to deliver marketing materials, drop off and re-fill candy bowls, or schedule presentations. While some companies have achieved success with these strategies, they have become less effective over time as a result of everyone copying them. When you approach agencies with these types of gimmicks, you are often viewed as just another salesperson. Your marketing materials will typically go unnoticed or end up in a big pile with the others on the way to the trash bin.
One way to stand out in your market is to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. Change the conversation that you are having with local agencies by focusing more on what you can do for them instead of what they can do for you.
Teaching Creates Value
Instead of spending your time talking to agents about who you are and what your company does, offer to teach them something valuable that will help them in their business. Remember, you are the expert on home inspection, and you have a wealth of useful, relevant information that can assist them in helping their clients. The more an agent knows about home inspections, the more value he or she can bring to clients. Agents who are knowledgeable about home inspection issues can better assist their clients in dealing with potential problems that can occur during a real estate transaction.
When it comes time for an agent to make a referral to a home inspection company, who are they more likely to send their client to, a stranger who shows up in the lobby with a brochure and a business card or someone who just spent an hour or more providing valuable information that has helped them become a better agent?
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Earn the Trust & Loyalty of Agents
Earning the trust and loyalty of agents takes time. It is not something that happens overnight. In order to earn trust, you need to consistently demonstrate that you are not only knowledgeable, but you are the type of person that an agent can feel comfortable sending their clients to.
Education can be used to buy you the time you need to earn that trust. You need to spend some time interacting with agents to build a deeper connection. Each time you get in front of a room full of agents and teach them something, you earn a little more trust. With that hard-won trust, some day- when they need to recommend a home inspector, they will think of you first.
Overcome Your Fears of Public Speaking
Teaching is not something that most people feel comfortable with initially. It takes some practice and a little time to get over any fears that you may have of public speaking.
Getting up in front of a room full of strangers can be intimidating. The most important thing to remember is that you are the expert and there is a good chance that you will know more about home inspections than anyone else in the room. If you need help overcoming your fears and you want to learn more about how to become an effective speaker, there are many courses available online. A quick Google search for “public speaking courses” can get you started.
Once you are comfortable speaking in front of a room full of people, you will possess a skill that can separate you from your competition.
Getting Started with Teaching
The next thing you will need to start teaching is a topic and presentation. There are a wide range of important home inspection topics that agents should be familiar with.
A few examples include: the basics of a home inspection, common home defects, lead safety, mold, radon, heating systems, home energy options, greener homes, septic systems, structural issues, home safety, home appliances, newer homes, and key areas to observe.
It is also possible to teach on other topics outside of home inspection. If you are knowledgeable on other topic areas that you feel could help agents either in business or in their personal lives, you can certainly offer courses on those topics as well.
The more presentations that you have available the better. Each presentation represents another opportunity to go back and connect with more agents.
You have several options for creating a presentation. With your existing knowledge and all the information available to you online, you can build a custom presentation on any topic you feel passionate about. This will take a considerable amount of time, but it will be well worth it in the end. It is also possible to find an existing course and modify it to suit your needs as well as your presentation style. Regardless of which option you choose, don’t forget to add some humor and a few personal stories to lighten things up and keep your audience engaged.
Continuing Education Credits: Your Secret Weapon
If you are going to invest your valuable time educating agents about home inspection, the most important thing you can do is get certified by your state to teach continuing education courses. Every real estate agent requires a specified number of continuing education credits to maintain his or her state license. Agents meet these credit obligations by completing continuing education courses.
If you can get approved as a certified continuing education instructor in your state, you can bring great value to local real estate agencies. By offering to give presentations that include continuing education credits, you will instantly separate yourself from your competitors who are merely attempting to sell their services.
Education is a powerful tool that can help you establish great relationships with real estate agents and elevate your business to the next level and beyond. You can do the legwork to get qualified yourself or get some help. Preferred Systems, Inc. offers a turnkey program called InspectionMarketer that will provide you with everything you need to start teaching continuing education courses. Preferred Systems will get you approved as an instructor in your state, provide you with pre-approved courses, and give you access to a cloud-based administrative portal for managing every aspect of the program. OREP insureds/members enjoy a discount.
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About the Author
Jamison L. Krugger is the Director of Education Systems for Preferred Systems, Inc. and co-founder of
InspectionMarketer.com. The Inspection Marketer Program is a turnkey service that enables home inspectors to establish a continuing education program. Preferred Systems handles all paperwork and administrative tasks including instructor filings, course filings, course offering notifications, credit filings for agents and ongoing customer support. PreferredEducation.com or (814) 434-9080.
Note: The Summer 2019 issue of Working RE Inspector is mailing now to over 20,000 home inspectors nationwide. OREP Insureds enjoy guaranteed delivery of each print magazine and many more benefits.