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I have started my initial marketing push and have visited a number of real estate offices in my area.

What is the trick to getting past the front desk?

I have made phone calls to the broker/owners of each establishment, trying to setup meetings, but no luck.

I know many of you do not cater to the realtors anymore, but just starting on my own, I have no choice.

thanks for your help

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It is hard to get past the "Gatekeeper", this is their job! I had to start back marketing due to moving to a new state, it ain't easy. What works for me is a warm smile. I then add a little southern genteel manners and politely ask the "Gatekeeper" to place some of my business cards in the back so the agents can pick one up if they need a home inspector.

I don't even try to get past the front desk, unless I'm invited to put my cards out. Also do not leave a large stack of cards, I leave about 10-15 cards. This then allows me to come back in another week or two to replenish the cards.

I have also found that sending letters addressed to the top producing agents and the very new agents, works well for me. I send them a very short letter asking for them to refer their clients to me. I include 3-4 business cards in each letter. I really think that a letter campaign is the most cost effective way. The key is to select the agents for the letters and just don't send them to every agent in an office.

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I think it's more productive to visit brokers' open houses.

The agents are usually bored out of their heads, because they're doing nothing but babysitting the open house for 4 hours while agents come and go - most without a word. Stop in, say hi, introduce yourself, hand 'em a card, and dare 'em to put you on their list of inspectors and try you one time.

When they want to know why they should do that when they already have a group of inspectors that they're happy with, tell 'em, "Because after you do, my name will be on that list and you'll be taking one of those other names off of it." Then get out of their hair, unless they invite you to stay.

You'll very rarely be invited to stay and talk, most will throw away your cards but about 10% will probably take you up on the challenge, more if you keep hitting the same ones week after week. Then, depending on what kind of agent they are. and what kind of inspection you do, they'll either keep your name on that list or they'll toss your card.

Either way, you'll have gotten one job from them and will have gained a little more experience in the craft. It's a whole lot easier than trying to get past the girl at the front desk or hook up with a broker who spends half his/her day avoiding home inspectors who drop in to beg for a handout.



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Another way to get past the guard is to walk in and even though you don't have cards in the back, tell her that you have some updated cards and want to replace your old cards that are in the back. She'll assume that you've been there before and will wave you on past. It hasn't failed me yet.

It will seem like a waste of time due to how many other inspectors cards are stacked up on the shelf but you still need to get them in there since you're new.

Some agents especially new ones will grab 3 and give them to their client to choose from and who knows that agent may like you and become a good money maker for you in the future.

Good luck, you'll need it with home sales slowing now.

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I was lucky I think and started out of the hole with a top producer that was refering me about 5 inspections a month. That got me meeting other realtors at inspections and familiarity with the gate keepers in differnt offices.

My real secret being a complete newbie at the time and got me in past the gate keepers was providing some degree of spanish speaking service. Mind you at the time I couldn't speak spanish and barely can now but it got me in a lot of doors.

It also helped that I worked as a real estate assistant for about 6 months and new a number of realtors already and was familiar with the RE culture.

One story I can tell you is that when I worked as a assistant to this top producer a couple of ladies from one of the local title companies would stop by about once or twice a week in the office to chat and offer thier companies services. At the time I felt kind of bad for them since my boss was in with another outfit solid. They knew that but came just the same and were still friendly as all can be. And guess what! When my bosses title company screwed up guess who he called? The two ladies who regularly stopped by with smiles, cards and some good will.

Keep passing out those business cards and just get to know them and eventually when thier inspector screws up, quits or moves away then you will get the call.

I think what Mike said is great idea. I have done that myself.

Chris, Oregon

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