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Setting Yourself Apart from Your Competitors
by Isaac Peck, Editor
Chances are you are a competent, careful, and well-trained home inspector. Your clients know they can count on you to deliver a quality, professional home inspection on one of the biggest purchases of their lives, right?
From a sales perspective though, what sets you apart from other home inspectors who are competing with you for every deal?
In a market where you are competing with other experienced and conscientious home inspectors, being a well-trained, competent, and professional home inspector is the baseline. It’s a must to even get you in the door. But what is it that sets you apart and puts you over and above the competition?
Are you going to compete on price? The lower your prices, the more inspections you have to do to make the same amount of money. Besides, being the low-priced leader in your market is not the best way to position yourself as the best, most competent inspector in your area.
Are you a member of a Professional Association such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)? That’s good, but any legitimate competitor is going to also be a member of his or her local or national association, with extensive training and certifications—you name it.
Your Competitive Advantage
One way to set yourself apart from competitors is to offer something that the majority of home inspectors do not offer: a 120-day warranty.
Sometimes you only get one conversation with a potential client or one click to your website to close the deal. So, offering your clients a warranty that covers most of the home’s major mechanical systems, including the HVAC, furnace, thermostat, water heater, dishwasher, range, and more—is a win-win strategy for both you and your client.
In addition to coverage for all major mechanical systems, OREP’s 120-Day Warranty program through Complete Protection (CP™) also includes $1,000 of coverage for any Mold, Sewer or Water Line issue. The 120-Day Warranty also covers Framework, Foundation and Roof issues, up to $2,000 towards any deductibles paid towards homeowners insurance claims.
So not only are you a competent, experienced inspector, but you also offer a 120-Day Warranty that puts your client’s mind at ease and adds even more value to the service you provide.
The best part is that you can offer this 120-Day warranty for as low as $12.50 per warranty ($12.75 to non-OREP Members). You can build this into your inspection fee, or even include it in your “Gold” or “Premium” inspection packages—costing you nothing!
To recap, the CP™ 120-Day Warranty includes coverage for:
• All major mechanical systems (HVAC, water heater, furnace, range, and more!)
• Mold, Sewer, and Water Line coverage
• Framework, Foundation and Roof coverage (up to $2,000 towards deductible)
Angie’s List Super Service Award
The 120-Day Warranty program is backed by a warranty company that has been serving home inspectors in the United States and Canada since 2006. It is only one of two home warranty companies in North America to receive Angie’s List Super Service Award.
Additionally, the 120-Day Warranty Program includes the following benefits and enhancements that set it apart from other warranty products:
• NO age restriction on appliances or heating & cooling systems—other programs don’t protect anything older than 11 years old.
• NO limit on mechanical repairs—other programs limit repairs to just $500.
• Claims are handled over the phone—no submission of itemized claims for review before receiving service.
• Customer can call customer service 24×7.
• No exclusions for lack of maintenance, rust or pre-existing conditions.
• No deductible or copay—service calls are not covered under some other programs.
In short, a warranty “backs up” the quality of your service for clients and gives them peace of mind about their very important purchase. Your client gets a valuable warranty that helps cover the costs of any unfortunate system breakdowns after they move in, and you get a unique selling proposition (USP) that you can use to stand out from your competitors. Who would choose an inspection without a warranty when they could get the peace of mind for free?
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But it’s not just about giving the client a better experience or giving yourself a competitive advantage. Using 120-Day Warranties also makes for fewer headaches and less claims for you.
You read that right—offering 120-Day Warranties means you can now avoid the worst part of home inspecting—trying to satisfy unhappy clients.
There are no statistics on this, but probably 80% of client complaints about their home inspections are small issues usually covered under a home warranty. Imagine when your clients have a problem with something after they’ve moved in, they call the home warranty professionals to resolve it instead of calling you. Ah…
These professionals handle these issues all day long, quickly and efficiently. Are you smiling yet? You don’t get into any verbal “discussions” over what you are or are not responsible for. You don’t go back to the property numerous times; you don’t take out your checkbook. You don’t repair anything yourself and you don’t feel badly either, because if the issue is legitimate, it will be repaired/resolved professionally by the warranty company.
Additionally, a warranty can be the first line of defense before a problem is referred to an E&O carrier—solving the problem before it becomes one. No more losing sleep or valuable work/family time trying to resolve small, time-consuming complaints that plague every inspector from time to time. Issues covered under the home warranty are resolved directly by the pros at the warranty company—bypassing you completely.
And the process is simple for all involved. You receive straightforward marketing materials for your website and to provide to your client, including the warranty itself. To issue the warranty, you simply register it online with your client’s information. Once you register the warranty with the client’s name, it is activated for them and good to go. That’s it. If there’s a problem, they call the warranty company, not you.
Offering a low-cost, reliable home warranty will help you grow your business by offering potential clients a service your competition does not. The peace of mind a home warranty offers your clients makes your business the easy choice. Now you can spend your time home inspecting and marketing, not resolving complaints. Yeah!
So differentiate yourself from the competition and remove nuisance problems from your plate by adding a home warranty to your inspections. Visit OREP.org/warranty and enjoy a special offer: Buy 10 Warranties and Get 10 Warranties FREE. You will also enjoy free enrollment in InspectorAdvisor.com at checkout. InspectorAdvisor.com is the place home inspectors get their tough inspection questions answered fast! For more about the comprehensive OREP E&O program, visit OREP.org or call OREP at (888) 347–5273.
About the Author
Isaac Peck is the Editor of Working RE magazine and the President of OREP, a leading provider of E&O insurance for appraisers, inspectors, and other real estate professionals in 50 states. He received his master’s degree in accounting at San Diego State University. Reach Isaac at email@example.com or call (888) 347-5273. CA License #4116465.
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