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Posting Inspection Fees on your website


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Does anyone post inspection fees on their website?

I know this can always be done later, just wondered if it was good to show this up front or handle per inquiry.

(None of my local competitors do, just for reference)

If this has been already discussed, please steer me to it.

Scott

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It has been.

Consider this. Another who participates here, witnessed me calling a client back with the price after selling my service, booking the appointment, and hanging up from what started as a typical "how much" inquiry. I simply forgot to quote the fee during the initial call.

I've done it a number of times.

People don't buy prices. Posting pricing on your site might be the best way to keep someone from making a call to begin with.

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When I first started in the biz I advertised my fees - no longer. By not advertising it gives me flexibility to adjust the fee based on various factors I'll obtain during the phone conversation such as distance, age and location of home. When I really busy in the middle of summer, my fees go up, when I?m really slow I can adjust my fees down. Sometimes I'll get calls and for whatever reason I really don't want the job so I'll quote a really high fee. We all get call from price shoppers, by forcing them to call to get the price it gives you the opportunity to talk to the customer and perhaps sell yourself a bit and pick up some jobs you might not have gotten otherwise.

The last brochure I created did about 3 years ago I simple had a line that ?Inspection fees are based on total finished square footage of the home and start at $...? I?m in the process of updating that brochure and one of the changes I?m making is removing any mention of fees. I like having the flexibility to adjust my fee as I see fit.

I don't get crazy with it, I pretty much know what I'm going to charge for an average home within a given distance and that is what I charge for the large majority of jobs I do; however, when circumstances change (over 3000 sq ft, over 75, 100, 150 years old, etc) my fees change.

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I know many if not most here insist that it's better to not list your prices in order to force a call. I'm sure they feel that their success rate in converting calls to booked inspections validates their view, but I wonder how much business they miss out on, simply because people like me cross them off their list without contacting them.

Personally, I hate to be sold anything. In fact, I don't allow it. If I'm shopping online for a service, price is just one of the variables that I'll use to compare different providers. A site that didn't at least provide a range or ballpark figures would be dropped down at least a notch or two in my comparison. I MIGHT call for pricing. If I did call and ask, but was given a sales pitch instead of a direct answer, that would be the end of the call.

My prices are on my way-outdated, neglected, corrupted, soon to be replaced site. I'll also have the prices on my new site, but the link to the price list will first open on a page dedicated to outlining my price vs value. As of yet, I'm clueless as to how I want to go about that.

Here's an article on putting prices on your web site. The comments that follow are more interesting and informative than the article itself.

http://smallbiztrends.com/2011/12/afrai ... icing.html

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Thanks for the responses!

I am concerned about pricing and even have that yet to nail down.

Selling my self and the company I represent, is something I'm very comfortable with.

A published price may put me in a bad spot and the last thing any of us want to do is to try to get more after the fact and quickly loose a client.

Thanks for all the help!

Scott

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Joe, I sell the job all the time without a direct hard sales pitch. If someone wants to know the price, you need to know a little about the house and location in order to price it. That information can lead to a long conversation about stuff with the house the caller is concerned about. The house could end up being in a town you're very familiar with, etc, etc. Then the caller says "Ya Know What, you're the first inspector who actually had a conversation with me. The other guys just gave me a price, and that was it. So let's book it".

You've sold them the inspection without answering the price question initially, and the price is the last thing you discuss.

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Joe, I sell the job all the time without a direct hard sales pitch. If someone wants to know the price, you need to know a little about the house and location in order to price it. That information can lead to a long conversation about stuff with the house the caller is concerned about. The house could end up being in a town you're very familiar with, etc, etc. Then the caller says "Ya Know What, you're the first inspector who actually had a conversation with me. The other guys just gave me a price, and that was it. So let's book it".

You've sold them the inspection without answering the price question initially, and the price is the last thing you discuss.

Perfect. Better said than what I wrote. It's not about hard selling anything. It is about People dealing with people.

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My point seems to have been missed. A percentage of people searching on the internet won't make a call to find out pricing. You are writing off that potential business.

Neal, I see you give an average price. That would be enough for me to call to discuss specifics.

Gary, to be frank, if I was in your area shopping on the internet for a home inspection, the lack of any inkling of what you might charge would have me moving on to the next site. There is no way I'd make a phone call to find out what I feel could be provided to me on the site. I may be part of a minority, but I'm sure I'm not alone.

Did you guys read that article and the comments that followed it? It's really eye-opening.

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It's a mistake to not have some information about pricing on one's site. Websites are supposed to be informational; price is important information.

I've got a general guideline that allows me wiggle room for accommodating specifics. That way, folks have some idea what they're getting into.

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My point seems to have been missed. A percentage of people searching on the internet won't make a call to find out pricing. You are writing off that potential business.

Maybe some in this biz target only the percentage of folks that aren't looking for a bargain.

What would the decision to target a non-bargain hunting clientele have to do with whether or not to post prices on your site?

You're saying those who won't call to find out pricing are the ones looking for a bargain?

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Publishing price guidelines doesn't necessarily mean pitching to bargain hunters.

All it means is someone is trying to provide information. Sooner or later, folks are going to ask about price; they always do, and it doesn't mean they're trying to beat anyone up....they might just want to know the fee.

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I had a long response that vanished when posted, so I'll be brief.

A majority of our calls are for our availability. Price is very often stated well into the scheduling process, towards the end of the call. We're fortunate that we're dealing with a lot of folks that are not concerned about the cost.

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If none of your customers care about price, why not quintuple them? Why not charge $500 an hour? Why not $1000 an hour? Shit, if they don't care, have them set up an annuity.

Posturing and saying things like "my customers don't care about cost" is getting a bit fluffy. It's like the alcoholics that brag they only drink the good stuff......wait, that's another thread.......

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It's not about posturing. It's not about me. Remember I work with an awesome team that has worked for 28 years to get to this point.

Decades ago the owner of my company spent many days and nights travelling around to HI meetings trying to explain that the inspection world shouldn't be the same as contractor's world. HIs are supposed to be professional consultants, not a bunch of contractors fighting to be the lowest bid for installing shutters on Mrs. Jebusco's house.

It was quickly evident his efforts made no difference. It seems like the number one concern/blame/focus for lost business is still price. I was hoping to get that point across here. I've talked to a few of the founders of the home inspection gig about where it went. They're surprised and disappointed that every inspection fee isn't 4 figures by now.

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Seems to me that it's a waste of time and not a small bit of hubris for anyone to tell home inspectors how they ought to think or act as a profession.

For me, Hancaviz, Blum & Mitenbuler's posts ring with the loudest truths. After a few years, each inspector develops a pretty danged good idea of who their clientele is, and each can be trusted to come up with a site who'll attract them.

No site will grab every homebuying eyeball, so go figure out who your peeps are and then figure out how to get them to your homepage.

I never posted my price online for good reasons. Other folks post theirs for good reasons. There's no one, holy, catholic, and apostolic way to design a website, or any one of a thousand other things home inspectors do.

I think these threads are the most productive when people write about what they do, why they do it, and how it's working out for them.

I don't see anything particularly noble about having high fees, nor is there anything wrong with having a low one. We're all in this business to make as money as we can doing what we like, right? I doubt that folks who run five star restaurants in your towns spend much time griping about the appallingly low price of a Big Mac.

I always figured it was up to me to find my place in the market and exploit it as best I could.

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My fees are based on the size of the home, the complexity of it's systems, and are optimized to provide exceptional value. Says so on all my marketing... except the agreement I didn't fully scrub before posting to my site. It shows a $400 fee without any context. I may fix it someday but probably not, I have no intention of competing with the turkey down the road doing free 'walk and talks'.

I asked around and found out what my competition was charging and matched my starting fee to the most expensive guy's. If I hear someone is charging more my prices go up. If I'm starving my prices go down, a little-no more than I would discount for 'friends and family'. I deeply discounted a job once, I felt a little dirty working for so little. Never again.

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One thing not yet mentioned on this thread is that many buyers are suspicious of inspectors acting like used-car salesmen, trying to get as much money as possible out of a buyer. If prices are documented on a web page, the buyer feels more confident.

Marc

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Very interesting topic....always trying to improve the 'phone call'....and not lose it...many very valid points.....I think that I will add a pricing start point to my website and see how it goes.

I know I charge more than some, and some charge crazy Mike Holmes amounts...

Can't hurt to try.....gonna start this experiment soon....

Thanks guys

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One thing not yet mentioned on this thread is that many buyers are suspicious of inspectors acting like used-car salesmen, trying to get as much money as possible out of a buyer. If prices are documented on a web page, the buyer feels more confident.

Marc

Says who? The agents? [;)]

The whole idea is based on giving yourself a chance to be called in the first place. How you handle it after that, has nothing to do with this.

Maybe I give people way more credit than I should, but I'd like to believe most folks are smart enough to figure out what kind of person they're dealing with after a few minutes on the phone.

Adjusting prices due to variables might be seen as gouging to some and smart business to others. This is not a cookie cutter business.

NYS mandates any and all of our printed advertising, including pricing, remain in it's original form for one full year from the date of release. That alone is good enough reason for me to not post prices.

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One thing not yet mentioned on this thread is that many buyers are suspicious of inspectors acting like used-car salesmen, trying to get as much money as possible out of a buyer. If prices are documented on a web page, the buyer feels more confident.

Marc

Can there be a single inspector on this board or in this world who isn't trying to charge as much as s/he can for an inspection?

That doesn't make you a used-car salesman. It makes you a businessman.

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One thing not yet mentioned on this thread is that many buyers are suspicious of inspectors acting like used-car salesmen, trying to get as much money as possible out of a buyer. If prices are documented on a web page, the buyer feels more confident.

Marc

Can there be a single inspector on this board or in this world who isn't trying to charge as much as s/he can for an inspection?

That doesn't make you a used-car salesman. It makes you a businessman.

I explained that point poorly, Jim.

I do charge as much as I can but not on individual buyers. The formula I use now is over a year old. I don't change prices between seasons of the year or when I'm busy or slow.

Maybe it's just me but sellers of anything that haggle every penny boil my blood. I just wanna know how much for the dang thing, that's all, then I'll decide to buy or not. If they play games, I leave.

I work in the trust business. It's what I sell. Clients want assurance that I charge fairly without having to bear the burden of haggling.

Marc

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