Jump to content

soliciting


John Dirks Jr
 Share

Recommended Posts

Lets just set the RE's aside for now. How about lenders and investors? How much of the HI market comes from their end? I figure it would be easy enough to find contact info for lenders in the yellow pages and the like. What about investors? How would a new inspector like me find the right kind of people in my area to solicit?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So dig out the yellow pages, make some calls, talk to some secretaries, and send some letters. Then stop by and visit them with a copy of your sample report and some business cards. Go for it.

You'll get some. You won't get others. But if you aren't inspecting, you need to be marketing!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by AHI

How would a new inspector like me find the right kind of people in my area to solicit?

Buy a long-running, attractive ad in a popular local publication that targets the demographic you're trying to reach. In my humble experience, the upscale professional demographic (doctors, lawyers, college profs and such like) were the customers I wanted. Taken as a group, they value intelligence and honesty, and they understand limitations.

WJid="blue">

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by SonOfSwamp

Originally posted by AHI

How would a new inspector like me find the right kind of people in my area to solicit?

Buy a long-running, attractive ad in a popular local publication that targets the demographic you're trying to reach. In my humble experience, the upscale professional demographic (doctors, lawyers, college profs and such like) were the customers I wanted. Taken as a group, they value intelligence and honesty, and they understand limitations.

WJid="blue">

Its funny but I invision myself as maybe being intimidated by working for a lawyer. After reading the opinion above maybe I need not be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've heard of inspectors that were not willing to work for attorneys and I have known several reeltors that I never hear from that refer me when they're working with an attorney/buyer.

I say work for whoever rings your phone because they can all hire an attorney in one phone call.

In 10 years I have passed on exactly two inspections. Each of the two were calls from blatant, clearly obvious, assaholics. I just couldn't see myself spending half a day with either of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by AHI

Originally posted by SonOfSwamp

Originally posted by AHI

How would a new inspector like me find the right kind of people in my area to solicit?

Buy a long-running, attractive ad in a popular local publication that targets the demographic you're trying to reach. In my humble experience, the upscale professional demographic (doctors, lawyers, college profs and such like) were the customers I wanted. Taken as a group, they value intelligence and honesty, and they understand limitations.

WJid="blue">

Its funny but I invision myself as maybe being intimidated by working for a lawyer. After reading the opinion above maybe I need not be.

Maybe it's just me, but I loved the lawyers. Unlike regular citizens, they don't even read the contracts; they just sign them. That's because (a) the last thing they want to do is sue somebody on their own behalf and (b) they know that if a lowly HI really screws up, they can stomp the guts out of the guy in court.

Just about every lawyer who hired me complimented me on my contract, which I wrote pretty much by myself. (My lawyer blessed it). Several offered hints and tips for making it even better.

Doctors are great customers. They know that things go wrong without warning. They don't have time to complain to an HI about something they can solve with one phone call.

I got lucky when I started my business. I bought a house in an old streetcar suburb, which was getting gentrified by a whole bunch of college profs (Vanderbilt's just up the road), young doctors and young lawyers (the big hospitals are within a mile of my house). These folks were my first customers, and they were great about sending me referrals.

My all-time favorite cientele were the lawyers who sent their daughters to Vanderbilt, and hired me (because of lawyerly word-of-mouth) to inspect the houses and condos that they bought for their daughters. When lawyers hire you to take care of their daughters, you know you've got an OK rep.

Oh, those lawyers sold those houses and condos when the daughters graduated. They made piles of money.

WJ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote by wj

"Just about every lawyer who hired me complimented me on my contract, which I wrote pretty much by myself. (My lawyer blessed it). Several offered hints and tips for making it even better".

I would like to compliment you on your contract so just send it to me. I will have a peek, ponder a bit, then send you a reply of acceptance. I aint no attorney but just do it anyway.

arundelhomeinspection.com

BTW, how do I cut a slice from a paragraph and have it appear in quote form? I know how to quote the whole post but how do I do just part of it?

whoops... arundelhomeinspection@comcast.net

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BTW, how do I cut a slice from a paragraph and have it appear in quote form? I know how to quote the whole post but how do I do just part of it?

Hi John,

You copy the bit you want to quote. Then to use the cool buttons you must use the "reply to topic" method of responding. Hit the quotes symbol and insert the bit copied text between the code brackets that look like this w/o the periods [.quote] insert text here[./quote]

Or you can just type the code around what you want quoted. The same code works for colors of text...again w/o the periods [.red] [/.red]

italics [.i] italics here[./i] , bold is b in the brackets etc.

The command in the bracket is the command to start the red or the quote or th italic... whatever. The [/ backslash is the command to stop.

So, to quote the text that I quoted... it'd look like this w/o the periods

[.quote]BTW, how do I cut a slice from a paragraph and have it appear in quote form? I know how to quote the whole post but how do I do just part of it?[./quote]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe it's just me, but I loved the lawyers. Unlike regular citizens, they don't even read the contracts; they just sign them. That's because (a) the last thing they want to do is sue somebody on their own behalf and (b) they know that if a lowly HI really screws up, they can stomp the guts out of the guy in court.

WJ

It's funny. I used to be afraid of the big bad lawyers, but my experience is almost universally the same. They DON'T read the contract. The last home I did for one had so many flaws that he could not sign off and get out of there fast enough. My contract could have stated that I was going to send a runner to collect the keys to his Mercedes at 1:00 pm the next day and he wouldn't have known it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...
Does anyone have any advice on visiting open houses and approaching realtors there and the best way to do that - I'm brand new at it and am a little nervous about how to go about it.

On your knees with a box of donuts while wearing sunglasses and holding a cane.

If you're new and inexperienced just tell the agents the truth and that you realize you should write in non-alarming language.

Of course it's much harder if you intend to be ethical. Looking for an agent that wants you to do a good job on the inspection is like searching for water in the desert.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I started out, I mass mailed brokers and agents. I didn't visit, and now in retrospect, I'm glad I'm didn't. I was too stupid back then to make anything other than an awful impression on anyone except their dog.

If you're not working, spend your days reading this forum, either a 'topic by topic' or 'author by author' approach. Build your knowledge, your boilerplate and your understanding of the basic concepts of this business. Forget about how much time you invest in your reports for now. Make each one your very best regardless of how long it takes. Reading the forum, struggling harder to improve your report....same benefit.

As for investors, doctors, lawyers, etc, my experience is.....they find you. You find the rest.

Marc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

Here's an approach I took when I was a rookie. It wasn't the approach approved by the headquarters but it worked.

Walk into the open house, approach the realtor, introduce yourself by name and tell the agent that you are a home inspector. Hand the agent a card and say to the agent, "I just stopped in to introduce myself. I know that you've probably got inspectors that you regularly refer to your clients and that you don't want to add any more to that list. Nonetheless, I dare you to refer me to just one of your clients. If you do, I bet you'll be replacing someone's name on that list with mine. Well, I've gotta go. Have a nice day."

Don't try to hard sell them, don't hang around to talk, don't hand 'em any 3-fold brochures - none of that - just dare 'em and get the hell out of Dodge.

If they want to talk, make an excuse to get out of there. You're too new to be able to talk to them yet without falling into one of their well worded traps designed to find out whether you're a deal killer or a soft soap artist. Leave 'em guessing. Some will toss your card, some will keep it and not call you for a long, long time, some will be intrigued and refer you right away.

When you get that referral, ignore the body language and wording they use to try to influence what you are saying and just do the best you can for the client. If the agent is ethical and honest and isn't looking for a soft soap artist, you'll see future referrals without the need to constantly drop off gifts at the office - you truly will be on the list.

If the agent is a realtorzoid that expects you to kow-tow and be a toady, as soon as the agent realizes you aren't going to be the soft-soap artist that was expected, your card will go in the round file and you won't hear from that agent ever again - unless he or she happens to be the listing agent on a job that you do and someday tries to take issue with your report, or if the agent someday needs an inspection on his/her own home and was in fact impressed with the way that you did the inspection but didn't want you anywhere near his/her clients.

You can spend thousands of dollars and thousands of hours just to garner one or two referrals using conventional suck-up marketing practices; or you can not waste a lot of time and money and get your name - and the challenge - out there, leave them guessing and get the work from the curious ones.

You won't get a lot of repeat referrals - in fact most will be pissed at you for not paying attention to "the code" but you'll get enough work to to put food on the table until you become more established and your clients spread the word about you to their relatives, co-workers and friends.

Understand that you are going to have to be duplicitous; the majority of them when hearing your challenge need to get the impression from you that you're the soft soap artist they're looking for so that they'll refer you. Once you hook up with that client though, you need to be exactly the opposite. The agent will be pissed that you didn't turn out to be what he/she expected but you will have gotten the work. The ethical agents will be relieved that when they took a chance on you that you didn't turn out to be another toady that wastes their time trying to attach his lips to their bottoms.

Finding those agents that don't want a soft soap artist is like looking for a 4-leaf clover; in order to find more than just one or two, you need to press that card into the hand of many many more than you'd ever meet doing conventional marketing. Use a map and the Sunday paper to map out a route to open houses and skip those of the agents you've already issued the challenge to so you wont' waste time. Run the route and then if you still have time run a secondary route.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

It's interesting to see everyone's take on working for various professionals. Personally, I love working for lawyers. Can you really see one them trying to weasel out of the contract they signed.

It would go something like this:

Judge or aribitror to client, "So, you want this contract to be thrown out on the grounds that you didn't fully understand it or read it prior to signing. Remind me again, what is it you do for a living?" :)

Lawyers are the best... once they sign the contract, of course. After that they have to live by it... to a MUCH higher standard than anyone else. It's like one of us buying a house and trying to sue the seller for something.... forget it. You're not going to get very far.

It's your average everyday moron with just enough money to be dangerous that we have to worry about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...