Home inspection marketing can be considered one of the most significant factors in starting a home inspection business, but can also be one of the most complicated. Marketing will ensure home inspection business growth and profits. Marketing can be costly and frustrating. A successful home inspector is a business owner utilizing proven home inspection marketing tools and methods in order to promote the services that they offer to potential clients and referral sources. Understanding your competition and finding your specific niche in your market is going to ensure your success. Here are a few tips to follow to guarantee your home inspection business is prominent from the rest in a competitive market.
- Make a comprehensive business and home inspection marketing plan and stick to it! A good marketing plan is a document that enhances your business plan and brings together all your market research so that you can work out exactly where your business is going and how it is going to get there. Your home inspection marketing plan should include: objectives, details of the current market, a full analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and last but not least your plans for achieving your objectives. This plan should be flexible and able to be adapted 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 home inspection marketing plan it is possible that you are not taking full advantage of all the ways to reach your target audience.
- Get out in front of people on a weekly basis! 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 frame. Any activity has to grab the prospective client’s attention quickly as the window for interaction is very small. Whatever you do, first grab their attention and then maintain it long enough for them to engage in the message you are conveying. Keep 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. Marketing is a lot like farming; you need to plant the seeds and harvest the crops.
- Manage your time effectively. Proper time management allows you to take some measure of control over your marketing. Pre-planning your marketing activities will help your days become ordered. Set a goal as to what you want to achieve daily, and go for it. This will help you be more in control of your destiny. Time management also helps with productivity, confidence and it can make your daily tasks more fun. Most importantly, time management gives you the ability to meet your goals. It is nearly impossible to meet your home inspection marketing goals when you fail to properly manage your time. Something always comes up, or you spend too much time on frivolous tasks, eating away time that should go toward meeting your goals. Remember if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
- Be organized! Keep your list of prospects, clients, and contacts organized. The most efficient way of doing this would be to use computerized software and 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 leads and the most productive leads. Take knowledge in how much money it’s costing you to find a lead in your market, and how many leads it is taking you to find a customer. Keep your database clean and accurate. Become a fanatic about list hygiene.
- Know your local market! Knowing your local market will help you establish what you need to do in terms of pricing, competition, or what your specific niche is going to be. Get to know the realtors in your area. Collect flyers and brochures of other inspectors in your market. Check the phone book, check the internet, check professional home inspector association websites, and ask a Realtor 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 reports? Are they delivering their reports onsite or 1 – 2 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 w/ Realtor 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 home inspections remember to 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.
- Give people something to talk about! The most effective way of marketing is not under your control. Word of mouth marketing is the best way to get your name out there. When performing a home inspection go above and beyond from start to finish. Create a positive customer experience that exceeds the customer’s expectations that will cause your customer’s to say “Wow!” Make your company worthy of referrals. Decide what it is that you want people to say about your service, provide 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.
- Be aggressive! Aggressive marketing should take 20-30 hours out of your week if you are a full-time inspector, or 5-7 hours if you are part time. Meet with as many realtors as possible. Give out 5 – 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 2-3 open houses per week.
- 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!