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I am a new Home Inspector in Ohio trying to get a start. I have passed the National Home Inspector Examination, taken an online training course and have years of experience inspecting government buildings. I have a website and have visited many realty offices promoting my business and I advertise on Craigslist. Nothing is working. How did some of you get started and convince realtors to start putting your name in front of buyers as a possible choice? Any info would be appreciated. Thank you.

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Agents who have the best interests of their clients at heart will not tend to recommend a new inspector to them. Agents who are likely to recommend a new inspector do so because they think that they can manipulate you. Therefore, it's counterproductive to market to agents when you're first starting out. Let the better ones come to you after you've established a reputation.

In the meantime, join your local Chamber of Commerce and get to know the other small business owners in your area. These people are hubs in the community. Be sure that they get to know you and know what you do. Buy your business cards and promotional materials at a local print shop. Become a regular at the local diner. Shop at the mom & pop stores instead of the big chains. Learn who owns these places and make sure that they know who you are.

Smile.

Leave your card with everyone you meet and deal with - the checkout person at the supermarket, the teller at the bank, the cop on the corner. Make sure that everyone you meet in your day to day life knows who you are and what you do. Volunteer for Habitat.

Smile.

Make sure that your vehicle looks good and get attractive signage for it. Then keep it clean and drive nicely. Leave it parked in conspicuous locations. Get signage on your wife's car as well, even if it's not used for inspections.

When you get up in the morning and you don't have any inspections scheduled, put in a full day of work anyway. Make it your goal to introduce yourself to 20 new people that day and make sure that they remember you. Give away business cards like confetti.

Smile.

When you do manage to snag an inspection, turn satisfied customers into part of your sales force. Ask them to recommend you to friends and family who are buying homes.

When people start to remember your name, they'll need to find you. Make sure that your website is top notch and that it's easy to find. Don't use a template website.

Set your prices in the middle of the pack. Don't price yourself out of work but, more importantly, don't be the cheapest guy in town.

For crying out loud, stay away from Craigslist. You don't want to be listed with the stolen merchandise. People who shop for a home inspector on Craigslist are morons and you don't want morons for customers.

Know when to shut up. Don't bore people.

Smile.

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I am a new Home Inspector in Ohio trying to get a start. I have passed the National Home Inspector Examination, taken an online training course and have years of experience inspecting government buildings. I have a website and have visited many realty offices promoting my business and I advertise on Craigslist. Nothing is working. How did some of you get started and convince realtors to start putting your name in front of buyers as a possible choice? Any info would be appreciated. Thank you.

Sanitize a recent home inspection report of yours and use it to sell your services.

If it's not an impressive looking report, go online and look at other sample reports from around the country. Use this information to improve your own report, then try again to sell it.

Marc

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You are addressing realtors on your website. I would take that down. Focus on buyers heavily. Make your message encourage them to pick up the phone.

BTW, if you copied any text from other places on the web, that will really hurt your SEO. Rewrite in your own words any text that you copied.

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Be THOROUGH on your inspections and HONEST to your clients. Never lose sight of the fact that you work only for them.

Send a confidential survey to clients after an inspection as well (I used free Survey Monkey when I was doing them). Gives you great feedback on good and bad that they may not tell you to your face. Also provide a home operation manual or similar to clients with your card attached. Had many repeat clients that referenced that as part of the reason they only came back to me, and was also highly commented on in surveys.

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What Kurt wrote.

Go to a meeting of North Central ASHI or the Ohio Chapter of ASHI, stand up and announce that you are willing to work for peanuts and sign a non-compete contract. Someone in Cleveland or Lake county is got to be looking to expand eastward.

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Work for someone else for a while. Seriously.

I agree.

Another way to be financial successful is to marry someone rich.

I just read a funny quote that a friend posted. " I am going to retire and live off of my savings, What I'll do the second day I have no idea."

Good luck with your new business.

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Well, I'm the token homeowner here (I just hang around because this is a great group of folks), but I'll jump in and comment. Sorry if it seems negative, but it is my first impression of your web presence.

When I search "home inspector Orwell, OH 44076" you end up on page two. Listen to John, you need to be on page one.

Jim has provided a wealth of information - listen.

When I do get to your web page as a home buyer I don't get a warm fuzzy feeling. I do see that you have sections for "Realtors", "Buyers" and "Sellers", but as a buyer I'm clicking on all three to see your story. In the "Realtor" section you say "I am a new Home Inspector" so you have just lost me as a customer.

I had to search your page to find this "Alpine Home Inspections LLC is currently serving Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and neighboring counties." As a buyer in the area I have no idea what cities are in those counties. Be a little more specific on what area you cover. Do you go to Sandusky? How about Bowling Green? (OK, I'm cheating, the wife is from Toledo and went to BGSU), but I think you get the idea. You know the area; I don't - I'm just moving here.

The references button which is prominent on your home page says "This part of my website is still under construction. Thank you for your understanding.". This tells me you don't have any. Loose the button until you do.

Your pricing page confuses me. Plus for this, minus for that. Give me something I can sink my teeth into or ask me to call you for specifics.

I just purchased a home six months ago. You can ask the guys here, I worked hard at finding an inspector. Immediate turn offs for me:

  • A less than professional web page.
  • A non working phone number
  • Slow e-mail response
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Well, I'm the token homeowner here (I just hang around because this is a great group of folks), but I'll jump in and comment. Sorry if it seems negative, but it is my first impression of your web presence.

When I search "home inspector Orwell, OH 44076" you end up on page two. Listen to John, you need to be on page one.

Jim has provided a wealth of information - listen.

When I do get to your web page as a home buyer I don't get a warm fuzzy feeling. I do see that you have sections for "Realtors", "Buyers" and "Sellers", but as a buyer I'm clicking on all three to see your story. In the "Realtor" section you say "I am a new Home Inspector" so you have just lost me as a customer.

I had to search your page to find this "Alpine Home Inspections LLC is currently serving Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and neighboring counties." As a buyer in the area I have no idea what cities are in those counties. Be a little more specific on what area you cover. Do you go to Sandusky? How about Bowling Green? (OK, I'm cheating, the wife is from Toledo and went to BGSU), but I think you get the idea. You know the area; I don't - I'm just moving here.

The references button which is prominent on your home page says "This part of my website is still under construction. Thank you for your understanding.". This tells me you don't have any. Loose the button until you do.

Your pricing page confuses me. Plus for this, minus for that. Give me something I can sink my teeth into or ask me to call you for specifics.

I just purchased a home six months ago. You can ask the guys here, I worked hard at finding an inspector. Immediate turn offs for me:

  • A less than professional web page.
  • A non working phone number
  • Slow e-mail response

Best advice ever.

Marc

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To all that answered my request for advice. Thank you! Much of what was stated I am already doing but evidently I need to continue and increase my frequency. The numerous comments about my web page are revealing to me that the site is not nearly as good as I had thought. I am working another part time job to get by until home inspection picks up and I do not have a lot of cash to put into advertising. Thanks for all your comments. I will implement them and come back to this forum in a few weeks.

CM

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More Getting Started information requests. I have been contacted by an organization called Home Adviser. They offer to supply me with home inspection leads for a monthly fee and a fee for each lead. Does anyone have experience with them? Are they reputable? I currently have zero leads coming in. Thank you.

Craig

It's a bunch of crap. Don't fall for it.

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More Getting Started information requests. I have been contacted by an organization called Home Adviser. They offer to supply me with home inspection leads for a monthly fee and a fee for each lead. Does anyone have experience with them? Are they reputable? I currently have zero leads coming in. Thank you.

Craig

They are using PPC to get inspections (like booking.com and hotels).

I can setup adwords or bing/yahoo ads for you or anyone else in your own name and account if you want. I also have the spend 100 and get 300 free coupons... but you have to spend the 100 within 14 days to get it (new accounts only). A brand new website isn't going to make it to page 1 in a competitive area unless you use PPC. Your website still has to be compelling enough to get them to convert though.

Michael

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  • 2 months later...

This is great.

Can you guys look at my stuff? I'm looking for the gloves off approach, let me hear it!

Www.aboveandbeyondhi.com

Thank you in advance for your help.

Dutch.

Your website uses the words "Us" & "We" quite a bit, yet you only tell us of Dutch. Why don't you talk about the others in your company?

Why do the first couple paragraphs of your home page seem like they're worded to make real estate salespeople comfortable with you?

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Would you say to make things more personable, such as me specifically? I always thought of the "company" but I guess it's just me. How would I sound versus we?

The intent of the front page was to make the home buyer comfortable. That we, or I am there to look out for them, and represent them. Too generic? Any recommendations?

I'm no marketing or sale person, just a guy who realized that it's vital to have good marketing. That's why I decided to ask the experts here. I did all the work myself, and it's my first time on this type of a journey. Thank you Jerry for writing so quickly.

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Also check your website from time to time. Check with different operating systems and different browsers to make sure it renders properly under all conditions. After reading some of these responses (excellent advise by the way) I went to take another look at mine, and it's all jacked up. No telling how long it's been like this. Guess this will be a long night.[:-weepn]

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