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Marketing to realtors.


Anthony DiPonio
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Hi,

Walt Stoeppelwerth (I think that's how it's spelled) wrote a book entitled How To Make Money In Home Inspections or something like that. I used to have a copy, but it somehow grew legs and flew away 'cuz I've turned this place upside down over and over and it ain't here.

It could practically have been the marketing manual for the franchise outfit that I used to belong to - it was that close to how they did it - and that bunch is really good at marketing to the realtor sect.

I think HomeTech sells the book or you can check with Professional Equipment.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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You need to pound the pavement! Get out and visit the RE offices. The key is to get past the "Gate Keeper" at the front door. I simply ask if I can place some cards in the agents mail box's. This is subtle and not threating to anyone. If you can see an agent face to face this is even better. Ask for them give your name out. You have to ask for the business.

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Anthony,

I feel like I am following you around here.

I do happen to know your area VERY well. Going to all of the real estate offices has a side benefit for you. You will bump into the 180 or so other inspectors in our area so often that you will get to know all of their kids names too.

You are just going to have to give realtors a reason to refer you over your competition. Some of the things that have been commonly used are a big screen TV, trips, cash kick backs and gift certificates, "fair to the house" inspections and "non-alarmist" reports.

To stand out, you may have to do something a little unconventional too. I know one guy that literally dressed up like a clown to call on realtors, so don't do that, it has already been taken.

Also, you might try by-passing realtors and advertise directly to home buyers. You would be pretty much alone here. Who knows, that might work.

George

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Write your own newsletter, Include jokes and helpful hints. ask if you can put that in the box along with a card or brochure. My news letter has a "Ask the Inspector" column. Past clients and Realtors e-mail me questions, I answer them, If I use a someones question in my newsletter they get two movie passes to AMC. The passes are cheaper than tickets because there not good for special engagements. I try to use past clients questions when I can, I also do trivia questions. I am now getting known as the inspector that can answer your questions. Some Realtors will call me to ask about my competitors reports, but that's another story. I will try to attach a PDF file of one of my old newsletters for you.

Download Attachment: icon_adobe.gif PointstoPonder10-03.pdf

418.86 KB

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Anthony - Just a simple thought. Whats the best report type, whats the best marketing method, how long will it take to get a good business going, how many inspections can you do a week, what do most people complain about.

Quit talking and get out there and start doing it - then you'll have those answers. What works for me or Scott or Mike will very likely not work for you. These questions are all things they should have answered for you in whatever home inspection school you attended. If you didn't go to a HI school, you should stop talking and get enrolled somewhere and do so.

Dan Bowers (Kansas City)

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To echo Dan: Go out and make mistakes. Lose money, screw up! I'm serious. You can't get the answers from a message board, a book, or a Quija board.

When I got started, I did pretty much everything wrong. I have half a mind to return my first 200 inspection fees. It's a wonder that I didn't get sued 200 times.

What most people do not get (I'm prepared to take a bunch of grief for this) is that your ATTITUDE is more important than your experience!

Go out and make mistakes! BUT... be honest, be realistic, and be humble! Make sure that mistakes you make are new ones, not the same ones over and over. Take pictures of things that perplex you, and post them on this and other inspector boards.

There is a lesson to be learned EVERY DAY! Keep your eyes open, and your mouth shut! Don't talk like you're an expert, until you can back it up!

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Now gentlemen, surely there is good sense in asking questions and gathering information beforehand, at least to a point. In the end, yes, you have to take the plunge and make your share of mistakes, just as all of us have. Experience is definitely the best teacher, and the painful lessons are well-remembered...that's just the way of human beings. I can certainly agree with what Chris said about not repeating the same ones, that's important.

Brian G.

Attending the School of Hard Knocks [:-fight]

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Originally posted by DLRambo

Anthony - Just a simple thought. Whats the best report type, whats the best marketing method, how long will it take to get a good business going, how many inspections can you do a week, what do most people complain about.

Quit talking and get out there and start doing it - then you'll have those answers. What works for me or Scott or Mike will very likely not work for you. These questions are all things they should have answered for you in whatever home inspection school you attended. If you didn't go to a HI school, you should stop talking and get enrolled somewhere and do so.

Dan Bowers (Kansas City)

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Originally posted by DLRambo

Anthony - Just a simple thought. Whats the best report type, whats the best marketing method, how long will it take to get a good business going, how many inspections can you do a week, what do most people complain about.

Quit talking and get out there and start doing it - then you'll have those answers. What works for me or Scott or Mike will very likely not work for you. These questions are all things they should have answered for you in whatever home inspection school you attended. If you didn't go to a HI school, you should stop talking and get enrolled somewhere and do so.

Dan Bowers (Kansas City)

Dan,

Wow im sorry if I hit a nerve, the reason for all the questions is to get real world answers. I dont want to enter into a market and be a ankle biter or a whore to the realtors. I have had training ( I will leave the name of the institution out of this) and frankly it sucked. You know give us your money and we will show you how to make $800.00 per day as a home inspector. The formal training consisted of network with realtors dont be a deal breaker and you will do just great. I almost forgot they did show some basic elements of a home inspection that im sure my five year old son could complete. I do agree with you, I do need to get out there and make mistakes but I dont want the mistakes to be to enter into a market drop my drawers on price and do as many inspections as I can, get as many realtor referals as I can, hand the client a report and be gone. When I first ccame upon this forum I thought wow this is a great way to gain knowledge and if im stepping over the line please let me know and I wont post as much.

Thanks,

Tony

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Hi Anthony,

No, you're not asking too many questions. You're just asking the same questions that all of these guys have asked others at some time or other - only their questions were probably spread out over a longer period of time.

Don't let Dan throw you. Based on reading his stuff for the past four or five years, I know he's a little bit of a curmudgeon - as are most of us in this business - but he's good people. Curmudgeons tend to be a little testy every once in a while. Don't worry about it. Just keep on asking questions, but make sure that you are listening closely to the answers.

He and the others are right though. You have to take that plunge sooner or later. Once you do, a lot of the questions will answer themselves. Once you do, you'll realize why so many guys come into this business, stay only a little while and leave, 'cuz it doesn't matter how much you know, you'll never know enough.[:-banghead]

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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  • 1 month later...

If you want to know how to market to agents you might try logging on to an agent website and asking them. I'm an agent but am really an investor in disquise so don't blast me fella's I'm with you, I don't like'em either.

Here's one way to get the biz, offer an agent that you haven't already endeared a free home inspection ONCE! Believe me they will use you on that basis, just make it a condition that they meet you at the property to accompany them on the inspection, now you have the opportunity to educate and endear them to you while doing a thorough inspection.

This will work wonders and if you undercut the going rate by 5 or 10 bucks then the agent can legally say this inspector is very good but charges less, this doesn't put the agent in a position to have to play favorites or get accused of steering they just let the homeowner or BUYER decide and that cheaper price of 5 bucks is all it takes to get the nod.

The final straw to lock down the deal is a nice bound report delivered within 48 hrs and you could own some territory.

That's this agents view, take it for what its worth. Dan Auito

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Originally posted by Anthony DiPonio

What are the best methods for marketing to realtors? is it easy to get into their weekly meetings? Are they usually receptive to new inspectors? is it effective to contact them individually or should you contact the office manager and drop off brochures?

Thanks

Tony

Tony,

Bear with me, I'm typing this with my nose. My wife had to restrain me when I found your post. She duct taped my hands behind my back and stuffed a sock in mouth. I would love to respond to your question, but the censor would delete it as soon as it hit the screen. Instead I'll just post a link for you.

http://ablehomeinspection.com/conflictsofinterest.html

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Why Dennis, What ever fore is the matter with you?

He is right, I tried it. I even combined the two suggestions. I am now booked solid for the next 6 1/2 weeks with free inspections where I will hand over a $10 bill on each.

I can even see myself getting to the place where I can work evenings, weekends and holidays. That is until I run out of $10 bills.

You have got to get with the times man. Wise up.

George

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Anthony,

When you walk into a real estate office ask for the Broker. When she comes out tell her she is the most beautiful and thin women you ever saw and offer her a box of chocolates. Then tell her if you werent a faithfully married man she would be first on the list.

When we first started Ron was doing the real estate marketing routine. Valentines day (this makes me sick now even writing about it), he dropped off chocolate candy hearts to an office where the smallest realtor was 250lbs.

Thank god those days are over!!

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Ellen,

You are the most beautiful, thin avatar that I have ever laid eyes on. If it were not for that big lug Ron, I would send you candy.

But Anthony has left the building. He went with me on an inspection a few weeks ago. We also met for lunch and talked once. I have not heard from him since. (No I did not bite his head off)

Frankly, I think he is too honest and too knowledgeable to get off to a quick start in the HI business. He use to build US Embassy buildings all over the world for (I think) General Dynamics. He is no slouch and I doubt that he will ever step foot into a brokers office for any other reason than to buy a house.

Just thought you should know how I feel about you and I threw Tony in as a little diversion for Ron.

George

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Originally posted by E. Burns

When you walk into a real estate office ask for the Broker. When she comes out tell her she is the most beautiful and thin women you ever saw and offer her a box of chocolates. Then tell her if you werent a faithfully married man she would be first on the list.

Oh Man, I'd be tempted to do that just for fun, except they all know me already. That means they don't like me and they know I don't particularly care for them either. Too bad, it would be a hoot!

When we first started Ron was doing the real estate marketing routine. Valentines day (this makes me sick now even writing about it), he dropped off chocolate candy hearts to an office where the smallest realtor was 250lbs.

Now that's marketing! The double-whammy, food and symbols of affection! Brilliant! [:D]

Ellen, I see that old schmooze George [:-grumpy] is trying to horn in on my territory. Tell him darling, tell him I'm the only one! [:-love] He may send you candy, but I can MAKE you some candy (I do it every Christmas).

Brian G.

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Originally posted by Brian G.

Ellen, I see that old schmooze George [:-grumpy] is trying to horn in on my territory. Tell him darling, tell him I'm the only one! [:-love] He may send you candy, but I can MAKE you some candy (I do it every Christmas).

Brian G.

That's it! Back off or put up your dukes. I wont, I say I wont tolerate any interloping.

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Originally posted by a46geo

That's it! Back off or put up your dukes. I wont, I say I wont tolerate any interloping.

Yeah, yeah. I know you're scared, even your apostrophe's are running off (wont). Besides, I interloped first, you Georgie-come-lately. [:-dev3]

Brian G.

So Unlike That Uncouth George Fellow [:-tophat]

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