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I stopped by the county realtor association to submit an application for affiliate membership. Its all part of trying to get my name into circulation and what not. They list your name in the directory and there are various other perks.

While at that office I was approached by a woman who is an officer of the state chapter of another realtor organization. She invited me to participate in a fund raiser that includes a silent auction. She suggested that I might consider donating a home inspection service to be included in the auction.

The more I think about it the more it seems like a good idea. It's practice at inspection in a real world environment and getting my name out there. Sure it will cost me time but it wont cost me actual dollars. There will be many real estate related professionals at the event.

I think I'll go for it. What do you all think? Anything I should be concerned about? I will be specific about what the donated service includes such as;

1 free general home inspection on a house not more than 2500sq ft. which is located within my service area of the State of Maryland.

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Originally posted by AHI

I stopped by the county realtor association to submit an application for affiliate membership. Its all part of trying to get my name into circulation and what not. They list your name in the directory and there are various other perks.

While at that office I was approached by a woman who is an officer of the state chapter of another realtor organization. She invited me to participate in a fund raiser that includes a silent auction. She suggested that I might consider donating a home inspection service to be included in the auction.

The more I think about it the more it seems like a good idea. It's practice at inspection in a real world environment and getting my name out there. Sure it will cost me time but it wont cost me actual dollars. There will be many real estate related professionals at the event.

I think I'll go for it. What do you all think? Anything I should be concerned about? I will be specific about what the donated service includes such as;

1 free general home inspection on a house not more than 2500sq ft. which is located within my service area of the State of Maryland.

Years ago I did a few of those and I regretted every one.

If the benefit is for a worthy cause (they usually are), donate something else.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Ditto brother Katen. Give them money, or even a jarful of that agent-bait candy. Anything but a free inspection.

I "donated" an inspection when I was younger and dumber. Got me a stalker is what it did. Crazy Mary. Took me months to get rid of her.

I say keep business in its own little pocket. And, every RE agent contact will suck out a just a leetle bit of a new HI's soul. The effect is cumulative. Better, I think, to buy ads in a publication that targets the same demographic you're hoping to attract.

WJ

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I have had mixed success with doing this. It does get your name out there. I don't think I would do one for a group of realtors though. I donate inspections for the silent auctions for a local abused women's shelter organization. The org then uses me at half price to inspect property they are purchasing as shelter homes. My company name goes on all of their brochures etc., and I have done several inspections for employees, and several discounted inspections for single moms refered from the group. All in all, that has been a rewarding experience, helping out people that need it. BTW, of the seven inspections purchased at the charity auction, only one of them has actually scheduled an inspection. Make sure you put an expiration date on the certificate for the purchased inspection. Usually a year is good. Also, make sure you right your own description of what you are donating, including that it is NOT an appraisal or a guarantee. I have had a couple of calls for appraisals from people that bought the inspection at the auction. I hope this helps!

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I think that you would at least have to keep in mind who would be paying for the inspection at the auction. If it is an auction attended by realtors, they will be the ones paying for it and may "remind" you of that at the time of use.

On the other hand, I have no problem donating for a good cause, just be sure that the certificate states exactly what is included. I always stated that it would be for a home inspection up to 2500 sq./ft. only and that other services (WDi, Radon, Etc.) were available if they desired them at an additional fee. I also posted the value that the certificate would carry. Have the certificate numbered and hand sign the certificate so that you can keep track of it and prevent any duplicates.

Try to attend the auction, at least briefly, and throw a stack of business cards and/or brochures in front of the certificate.

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While I hate to go against the advice of the seasoned veterans here, I'm still leaning towards doing it. I am new and I need to get the ball rolling. If that means I need to suck up a tad then so be it. It looks like the feedback on the idea is mixed anyway. If I don't play then I certainly wont win, right?

As far as loosing my soul to the RE's, I have plenty of hardy soul to spare. I may give a little soul in the beginning but it will fortify my soul for the long term. They wont pull me over I promise. Having said that, I do need people to give me a chance.

We debated this issue before. As far as I'm concerned, the inspection processes are my game and I am calling the shots. If a tangle happens mid stream then fine, in the end when the dust settles I will still have my integrity and my customer, whoever that may be will have a decent product in my report.

I will just communicate my honest findings, whatever they may be, and let the chips fall where they may. I am not interested in making a ton of money really fast. I am interested in establishing a stable long term business. I learned many of the mind sets needed for that success right here from you members and some of those lessons were learned through dis-agreements.

Steady as she goes....

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For me it would depend mostly on the cause. I was asked to donate by a realtor once, to benefit their state organization. I declined. I knew perfectly well that organization did not work in my best interests, or my client's. If it had been for St. Judes, Katrina relief, or something like that, I probably would've done it.

Brian G.

Donate To The Needy, Not The Greedy [:-thumbu]

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ok its time for me to fess up. The first appointment thread I have going, well that appointment was derived from this free inspection I had donated to the fund raiser. I shouldn't say fess up because there is no lie anyway. The only thing is I didn't actually get paid for my first appointment.

It was an eye opener for me. A great learning experience. It allowed me to stick my toe in the water and test things out. The next job I will be getting paid for and things will be in much better perspective.

So am I glad I donated the inspection? Damn straight I am!

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It doesn't hurt to give back if the cause is good. Just remember the liability is the same whether you got paid or not, so take it seriously.

I save my 'donations' for first time home buyers or others who are having a really hard time getting into a house. If the Realtor gives me a sob story, I want to know how much they are discounting their commission. I never offer to inspect at no charge or at a reduced rate until after the inspection.

The people who really need it are pretty easy to spot. They are the first out with the wallet, trying to pay with some combination of cash and check. It's a nice feeling to tell them at the end of the inspection that there is 'no charge today' (I don't know if it is a $400 feeling, but it's close).

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Ditto on the liability being the same. Although I didn't get paid I still took the job very seriously. The only thing different was on this particular inspection agreement, the line indicating the charge read N/C.

You want details Bob? This is all I will say. I know I am not an expert and maybe I never will be. I do know that I have personal integrity. While not being an expert but having integrity, the whole thing put one heck of a test on my gut. It took 3 days for my nerves to settle down. Please tell me that will improve.

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Originally posted by AHIWhile not being an expert but having integrity, the whole thing put one heck of a test on my gut. It took 3 days for my nerves to settle down. Please tell me that will improve.

Yes, it will improve.

Its not everyone who sticks their neck out and puts it on the line for anyone to cut off.

As someone said; he who sticks his neck above the crowd gets the most tomatoes.

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Originally posted by AHI

You want details Bob? This is all I will say. I know I am not an expert and maybe I never will be. I do know that I have personal integrity. While not being an expert but having integrity, the whole thing put one heck of a test on my gut. It took 3 days for my nerves to settle down. Please tell me that will improve.

It's just first-date jitters. You'll be fine on the next one. Mine was a 104-year Mexico-inspired stucco-clad behemoth with a flat roof and the original converted-to-gas boiler. The perimeter of the roof parapet was boxed out to look like some kind of hacienda and topped with the original stamped-steel imitation clay tile roofing, complete with pin-holes everywhere. Plaster ceiling falling down in one room. Furnished throughout with the original Stickley furniture and photographs on the walls to prove it. I spent so much time furtively admiring the woodwork on the furniture that it's a wonder I remembered anything about the house.

Sigh, those were the good ol' days.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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