3 Home Inspection Marketing Tips Guaranteed to Double Your Business
Becoming a home inspector is easy. On the other hand, becoming a great home inspector is tough. Actually getting inspections is the toughest part of the gig for many inspectors. I have some great home inspection marketing tips and strategies for you though. If you hate Realtors, and think marketing to them is beneath you, skip to the bottom bonus strategy. That’s the one for you.
For the rest of you, I feel your pain. I have been doing inspections for 10 years and I own one of the largest home inspection companies in the Richmond area. It wasn’t always that way. My first year I did only 67 inspections. This year we should do just over 1800 inspections. We are literally growing during this market where many home buyers are waiving inspections. It’s tough, but we are doing it.
Realtors are the Key
The most efficient way to market is to focus on Realtors. After all, Realtors get to your potential clients first. They have already developed relationship with them. Realtors recommend the best lenders, closing companies, and home inspectors to their clients.
Most new home inspectors don’t have money to spend on google Adwords, and Facebook ads. Even if you do, face-to-face marketing needs to be part of any home inspection marketing plan. It’s the most effective way to increase your number of inspections and your bottom line.
Let’s jump into the three marketing strategies that will double your business.
Home Inspection Marketing Tip #1
Bring Value to Open Houses
If you’re anything like me, just the idea of visiting an open house makes your stomach turn. I am not social. I don’t like being in front of people. So face-to-face marketing is not in my comfort zone. However, your growth will only occur when you are outside your comfort zone.
Comfort is the enemy of progress. Our bodies have a desire to feel safe and protected. Unfortunately, for some of us, a fight or flight response activates at the thought of face-to-face marketing. I promise you won’t die from visiting open houses, though.
Critical points for visiting open houses
- Do not talk about how thorough you are. No one cares.
- Do not interrupt the Realtor if they are busy. They are also there trying to get new clients.
- Bring something of value. The photos below are examples of what we bring. Make it seasonal. In the winter, bring something warm. In the summer, bring something cold. Be thoughtful.
- Always include a coupon. Realtors love special offers. We use scratch-off coupons. You can see how we make them in the video below, and you can purchase the Scratch Off Stickers HERE.
- Always grab business cards. You will need these later.
- Don’t just drop the bag and leave. I call this ninja marketing (when you sneak in, sneak out, and no one knows you were there). Instead, be genuinely interested in getting to know them. You might need to remind yourself that you are genuinely interested in them before you go. Ask them how the open house is going, how long they’ve been in Real Estate, what they did before etc.
- Don’t worry if they seem annoyed by you. Some people are just like that. Move on. There will be at least one person excited about it for every person who is annoyed that you stopped by.
The Gold is in the follow-up
We have gotten lucky a few times. We show up to an open house, and the Realtor needs an inspection and books one right away for the next week. However, this is one in about 200 or less. In most industries, you need to follow up with your leads. Remember, never bore them with how awesome you are and why they should use you.
- Add the Realtor on Facebook and other social media when you get home.
- On Monday or Tuesday, message them. Ask them if they got any solid leads at the open house. Most know they aren’t going to sell the house due to the open house. So they are usually collecting leads. Many new real estate agents host an open house for the listing agent in exchange for any leads.
- Invite them to like your Facebook page and post on your business page every day. This is a great way to demonstrate that you are a professional home inspector.
- Ask them if you can send them a sample inspection report. Most Realtors want to see your product before they will recommend you.
- In a month or so, you could follow up asking if the house ever sold.
The results will not happen overnight. Expect a few months, and rarely, even a few years before they will schedule. It WILL work, though. You will see results. The key is following up and keeping your business page active to keep your company fresh on their mind.
If you have a newsletter, you could ask them if “they mind being sent monthly home maintenance tips (or whatever your newsletter is about).” However, don’t just ask them if you can add them to your newsletter. If you don’t have a newsletter, it is a good idea to start one now.
There are tons of ways to follow up. Just make sure you have a solid follow-up plan and a way to track it.
Tips for making the scratch off cards
Here is the back of the card
Here are the scratch off stickers we use (If you purchase pre made scratch off cards it will be significantly more expensive)
Home Inspection Marketing Tip #2
Guess the Defect Banners
The story behind the guess the defect the banner
I was sick and tired of dropping off chocolate and marketing materials at real estate offices. Make no mistake, there is a direct relationship with how much chocolate you give Real Estate Agents and how many inspections you will book. It’s disturbing, but it’s true.
The annoying part of the chocolate drop offs is that you don’t know who ate your chocolate, you don’t know if they know that you’re the one who brought it. There is no way to follow up with anyone who eats your chocolate. It is elementary.
My marketing manager and I spent days going back and forth on new ideas. We had specific criteria for our new marketing strategy:
- It needed to be trackable. We wanted to be able to know how many agents were engaging with what we placed in the office
- Capturing information was key. We needed a way to follow up with the agents who engaged.
- It needed to SUBLIMINALLY advertise about our services
The guess the defect banner was born
Since the Realtors need to scan the QR code we can track exactly how many agents have scanned it. Now we know it works.
We added a pop up to grab their information when they scan the QR code. This has NOT had a great conversion, but it has given us some contact information to follow up with.
After they guess what’s wrong in the photo, there is a link to a blog post that explains more about it. This has about 80 percent click through rate. Good Realtors want to know more about the houses they are selling. As they are reading our blog about the defect, it is a subliminal message about how knowledgeable we are.
As a BONUS it gives me some SEO (Search Engine Optimization)POINTs
How to make the Guess the Defect Banner
There are a lot of steps, and I am going to try to make it as easy as possible to understand.
- You need to make and install the quiz on your website. I used the Quiz Maker plug-in on my website. You may need to contact your web developer to do it.
- I made a blog post on my website explaining the defect.
- Then, went to QR Code Generator and generated a QR Code for the page with the quiz.
- Next, I used the PopUpBuilder plug-in to create the pop-up banner to grab their info.
- I made the banner on Canva.com. I currently use Canva for all my designs. If you are not good at designing you can hire someone or use Fiverr.com
- I printed the Banner at VistaPrint. The $35 one is better, as the $25 one is too small. I only did one at first to make sure it works. If you’re not convinced, order one. You can’t go wrong for $35.
- We set the banner up at the offices.
- We still drop off some treats and scratch-offs, but the Banner is really where the money is at.
What happens when the QR Code is scanned?
Don’t forget to follow up with the Realtors who fill out their contact information in the pop up! It doesn’t need to be a discount if that’s not your style.
Home Inspection Marketing Tip #3
Realtor Office Education Presentations
This is the classic, tested and proven method to absolutely getting the results you want. Real Estate Office presentations put you in front of the Realtors you want to work with. It really is a double edged sword though, so be careful. You have a much larger audience than at a open house. If you do great, you may gain a few new referral sources. However, if you do poorly, you will also have a lot of agents that know not to call you.
If you haven’t noticed, it’s not my style to go around telling people how awesome we are. The Realtor office meetings are no different. The important thing is to bring value. I teach them about things they want to know. Examples of past presentations I have done are :
- Home Inspection Jeopardy with an interactive Jeopardy PowerPoint with all the sounds and animations
- 10 Common Home Inspection Defects that Don’t Need to be Scary
- How Blogging Can Help You Generate Leads
- Radon 101: How Radon Affects Your Real Estate Transactions
I bring value and spend the last one minute telling them a little bit about my company and what we bring to the table. As always, I hand out scratch off coupons.
My latest topic is very relevant to the current market:
That’s correct. I teach them about what to look for before waiving the inspection. It may seem counterintuitive to teach Realtors how to NOT get a home inspection, but I promise it isn’t. It’s a lot of information, and if anything it reminds Realtors that they are not qualified to inspect homes, and they are really putting their clients in a bad situation of they waive the inspection. Maybe it’s reverse psychology? I don’t know.
How to get invited to offer a presentation at a Real Estate office
If you’re following the first two strategies, you are meeting a lot of Realtors. Some will just outright invite you to their office. If not, you are developing relationships with some agents. Ask them “who is in charge of the office meetings?” They will tell you. Once you know, here is the question we’ve been asking for years that almost never gets a negative answer’
“Can we feed your agents at your next office meeting?”
Who the heck says no to free food? Not Real Estate Agents and Brokers. Do not bring Dunkin Donuts. I repeat, do not bring Dunkin Donuts.
Remember when I said this strategy is a double edge sword. If you have a…”rough” personality, or you bring cheap stuff for them to eat, they will associate you with being a cheap home inspector. Be likeable, be pleasant, bring premium food, and BRING VALUE.
BONUS Home Inspection Marketing Tip
Get an Absurd Amount of Online Reviews
Get an Absurd Amount of Online Reviews
Maybe marketing to Real Estate agents isn’t really your style. I think you are really limiting yourself, but I still have a tip for you. Blow up your online Reviews. Your online presence is only as good as your online reputation.
When you have more online reviews than your competition, you build street cred, get noticed more, get more website traffic, and deal with less price shopping.
This screenshot was taken 4 seconds ago from our dashboard at Blipp Reviews. We currently have 1500 online reviews. Over 1000 of them on Google. They even cracked the code for getting us some additional reviews on Yelp.
The best way to get a client to leave a positive review are to go above and beyond. Most of our reviews mention that we were on time, thorough and efficient, and that the report was delivered quickly. This is service customers want.
I have outlined some of the best marketing activities that will get you getting new customers fast. It’s hard work though. Stop thinking of yourself as just a licensed home inspector. You are also the manager of marketing and outside sales.
You legitimately have all of the marketing tools you need to build a successful business. Break it down into daily tasks
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