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Cob Webs


a46geo
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I couldn't help but notice all the cobwebs over here on this topic.

Here are a few things that worked for me:

1/ Mind set. I made up my mind that the home inspection business can be run just like any other business in my town. So I looked around at what other business were doing.

2/ Advertise: Newspaper (Q $ A form), billboard, cable TV, radio, truck lettering, newsletters, sponsorship of local sports teams, join the local chamber of commerce, Lions Club and Rotary Club. Mall displays, yard signs, a booth at local home improvement shows and bulk mail flyers.

Advertisement must be consistent and always include a reason to call you. Like "before your new home warranty is up".

3/ Farm (cultivate) the heck out everyone you ever met. Family, friend’s neighbors and most of all every single past customer needs some kind of contact every other month to keep your name and what you do fresh in their mind.

This contact can be a snail-mailed or email newsletter, phone call or even just a card. The contact should also contain some kind of useful information for them. Like how to clean and store used paintbrushes.

You really can generate all the business you can handle without ever stepping foot into a real estate office. In fact, after not too long, referrals from past customers (I don't call them clients) will keep you busy enough that you can stop advertising.

I forgot to mention, my advertising always included the hook .."For pricing, visit my web site." The whole idea was to get them there where I could REALLY advertise.

What does everybody else do?

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

Originally posted by a46geo

. . . What does everybody else do?

I keep my prices high and tell people that I can't fit them in till next week.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Jim no criticism intentended but my daughter reminded me while proof reading something I "writ"[:-graduat that the word "till" is spelled "untill". College brat.

Paul B.

PS: I do like the way you promote your business.

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Jim no criticism intentended but my daughter reminded me while proof reading something I "writ"[:-graduat that the word "till" is spelled "untill". College brat.

Paul B.

PS: I do like the way you promote your business.

Rotten kids. . .

Tell her that it's actually spelled, "until" with one L.

There's also this from dictionary.com:

Usage Note: Till and until are generally interchangeable in both writing and speech, though as the first word in a sentence until is usually preferred: Until you get that paper written, don't even think about going to the movies. ·Till is actually the older word, with until having been formed by the addition to it of the prefix un-, meaning “up to.â€
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Originally posted by a46geo

I couldn't help but notice all the cobwebs over here on this topic.

Here are a few things that worked for me:

1/ Mind set. I made up my mind that the home inspection business can be run just like any other business in my town. So I looked around at what other business were doing.

2/ Advertise: Newspaper (Q $ A form), billboard, cable TV, radio, truck lettering, newsletters, sponsorship of local sports teams, join the local chamber of commerce, Lions Club and Rotary Club. Mall displays, yard signs, a booth at local home improvement shows and bulk mail flyers.

Advertisement must be consistent and always include a reason to call you. Like "before your new home warranty is up".

3/ Farm (cultivate) the heck out everyone you ever met. Family, friend’s neighbors and most of all every single past customer needs some kind of contact every other month to keep your name and what you do fresh in their mind.

This contact can be a snail-mailed or email newsletter, phone call or even just a card. The contact should also contain some kind of useful information for them. Like how to clean and store used paintbrushes.

You really can generate all the business you can handle without ever stepping foot into a real estate office. In fact, after not too long, referrals from past customers (I don't call them clients) will keep you busy enough that you can stop advertising.

I forgot to mention, my advertising always included the hook .."For pricing, visit my web site." The whole idea was to get them there where I could REALLY advertise.

What does everybody else do?

Here's my take on it George, (by the way, thanks for bringing it up, Marketing is one of my favorite things about this biz)

1. I actually started off with the same mind set you have and had to change it over time. I had to define who my Clients were and then design ads that would target them.

2. I've tried most of those except TV, Radio, Mall displays (Mall ads here are too expensive for the return) and Billboards.

-Billboards located in good to prime areas will cost you $1200 to $2100 per month. Small billboards out in the boondocks average around $800 per month.

-Cable TV and Radiio. Haven't tried it, but it's next on my agenda.

-Truck lettering. Had little response to it when I tried it, plus my insurance guy wanted a lot more $$$ for have a "commercial" vehicle.

-Lions Club, Rotary and the COC was a decent source of referrals. However, making the meetings became a chore and interfered with my inspection schedule when I was a one man show. Now that I have a few guys working, I'm considering picking that up again.

-Sponsorship of Little League team. Tried it once. Don't know if I ever got an inspection from it, but it gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling watching those kids play ball and seeing my companies name on the jersey's. The Sponsorhip fees are getting ridiculous though. I might as well buy a minor league ball club!

-I've tried newspaper ads including ads in the local Thrifty Nickel and Penny Shopper. Wasted advertising but you have to try.

I believe that if you're going to be independent of the Agents, you'd better know your Clientele and know how to target them.

For example, it took a while, but I realized that the Penny Shopper/Thrifty Nickel was reaching the wrong clients. The general readership of those papers (at least in this area) are not the ones buying $500k homes and willing to pay $500 for an inspection.

Now if I was advertising brush hogging or dozer work or $125 inspections, that would be a great readership to target.

Just look at the other advertisers in those papers. You don't see high end landscapers advertising in them, but you will see the guy charging $20 for a lawn mow.

I've had very little success with print advertising. I've tried the RE rags and newspapers plus a couple of HOA newsletters. I do get some return with a couple high end magazines in Houston (again, know who your Clientele is), but it's nothing to write home about.

The web and direct mail marketing works wonders for us as well as referals. However, now that more and more web savy inspectors are coming along, it's getting a little crowded at the top. They keep me on my toes trying to stay near the top.

Yellow Pages and BBB book suck and are too expensive.

George, you ought to have some T-Shirts made up. "Women want me, Real Estate Agents Fear Me"

[:-scared]

I'd be interested in seeing how other inspectors in smaller markets market their business.

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

Jim no criticism intentended but my daughter reminded me while proof reading something I "writ"[:-graduat that the word "till" is spelled "untill". College brat.

Paul B.

PS: I do like the way you promote your business.

Rotten kids. . .

Tell her that it's actually spelled, "until" with one L.

There's also this from dictionary.com:

Usage Note: Till and until are generally interchangeable in both writing and speech, though as the first word in a sentence until is usually preferred: Until you get that paper written, don't even think about going to the movies. ·Till is actually the older word, with until having been formed by the addition to it of the prefix un-, meaning “up to.â€
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Hi Don,

You are absolutely correct, you have to know your market. With cable TV the ads are really quite cheap. I found the do-it-yourself, home improvement, house detective shows don’t yield much. But the news and brainy shows like Nova do work quite well. For the mall I mean set up a table and sit there and talk to people. That DOES work and it only cost me $175 for 3 days that produced 5 inspections at $395 each. My radio campaign on the other hand on fizzled.

As far as the truck lettering, I already pay more for commercial insurance. But take a look at why you might need commercial insurance, (tool coverage in my case).

I a not sure about the team sponsorship either but the idea was name recognition.

After you become known well enough, people just automatically call you. It is an unconscious thing I am told.

The newspaper ads either have to be target specific or super generic. I got this from Chris P. I advertised in an area with a lot of new subdivisions for “warranty inspectionsâ€

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George,

I sometimes believe that Inspectors think it's cheaper to market to Agents (which, in the short run it probably is). For a lot of new inspectors, being a home inspector is their first business. Many have no idea how to market or don't want to spend the $$$ it takes to market directly to the consumers.

They just don't understand that marketing is a long term investment. It doesn't cost money to advertise, it pays. We've all thrown money at marketing ideas that didn't pay. That's just business. It happens.

I suppose for many HI's who rely on Agents to feed them, it's like Crack, they just don't want to kick the habit bad enough.

By the way, the avatar is annoying! It's also out of focus....lol Is there suppose to be subliminal message in that?

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Originally posted by Donald Lawson

George,

By the way, the avatar is annoying! It's also out of focus....lol Is there suppose to be subliminal message in that?

"Nid="size6">ew Aid="size6">nd Cid="size6">lueless Hid="size6">ome Iid="size6">nspector"

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