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John,

Lots of work yet to do on your site.

What is AHIT Certified?

Why link to NAHI? are you a member?

Why tell the world on your site you are not qualified, per Virginia, to do their inspection?

Why even mention making them "feel" good?

What do you inspect?

Who is going to ask you for boiler cds and books?

How do you like me - NOW?

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All of what Les said and:

I had to hunt for your phone number. IT NEEDS TO BE BIG!

I would get rid of the "Lifetime Storage for a copy of your report"

You need to get your state certification or don't say anything about it. That is unless you have to say that you are not state certified. This is real important and will keep your phone from ringing!!

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Originally posted by Les

John,

Lots of work yet to do on your site.

What is AHIT Certified?

Why link to NAHI? are you a member?

Why tell the world on your site you are not qualified, per Virginia, to do their inspection?

Why even mention making them "feel" good?

What do you inspect?

Who is going to ask you for boiler cds and books?

How do you like me - NOW?

Scott -

If you wear a pink tutu and let me call you nancy I'd marry you [:-sour]

jk, OK thanks so far, to answer some

yes I put in an app to NAHI , I had to to save more money on insurance

AHIT certified is the initial training I received.

State qualified - your right, I'll switch that to something else then, or remove it. But just o be clear, I put the "Not state certified" so I couldn't be accused of being mis-leading. Are you saying I should remove the whole standards parts or just the part where I say I'm not certified?

Feel good - gotta look over the site again, that sounds like one of those things I did at 4am one night

boiler books and CD's I assume you mean what they get in the inspection. I figured since most inspectors in this area advertise giving away materials I might as well too, otherwise they have more than me. And yes I do have them to give, lol.

But this is the kind of reviews I need guys. I've been staring at them for hours on end and I can't even see simple things any more. Thanks and keep them coming.

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Just a little drift.

Why would an inspector spend 4-500 on yellow pages, thousands on training, and then try to do their own site and be their own atty?

AHIT certified - does that mean Newcomer swatted you up side the head and now you are qualified to do inspections?

My opinion only: Write a good clear report and give it to them as soon as you can. Forget about all the other stuff. Only thing I have ever seen that made any sense was Tom Feiza's book and then only if the client was a first time buyer.

Know your job, do your task, get their money and respect them enough to drive away and let them make their own decisions.

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Cost - well thats a simple answer. The best quote I got was $2800. For $2800 I figured it was worth a try. Oh, and I do have an attorney and I never touched the yellow pages, I'm dumb but not stupid. There is a point though where you can't just keep throwing more and more money at it. Once I get an income stream, maybe but until then I have to pick my spots.

Newcomer, kinda sorta yes. But that is how I started. I state elsewhere where I was also trained 1on1 by seasoned inspectors. And it certainly doesn't take into account all the reading and self training I've done. But I can't claim 1 or 1000 practice inspections on a web page. I've also enrolled in the Alpha Real Estate college and I'm taking core classes there (if they can get enough people to fill a class). They are 9 hour classroom courses on subjects like plumbing, electrical structure etc.

But today, there is no other way for a person to try and enter the field. Unless daddy or uncle is an HI and looking to retire, few if any HI's wants to train anyone else in their market area. I've seen people that will do it for $, but then how many would you need? that adds up FAST! The only luck I've had is with out of state HI's, and even then I've had to leave the state for a week or so. Then there is the no-competition clause in Virginia. If I went to work for someone, I'll have to be unemployed for two years after leaving them to start my business. Thats a joke. Besides, in todays market, not many are hiring. Just having contract experience means squat IMHO. There are plenty of people with 10-20 years of contractor experience that are crap HI's.

I know you've stated in other threads there has to be a better way, and I can't agree more. But until there is, there aren't very many options, and people like Newcomer are taking advantage of that.

I know that wasn't a swipe at me per say, but the churn it out industry. If I had to do it over, and knew then what I know now, I would have done things very different which would include not going to AHIT. But since I did I might as well use that fact. Also, thats the only logo I have on there now, gonna add NAHI when accepted, VARIE when I get off my butt and actually join and maybe my insurance logo too. Plus any other logo that may apply later. But there is no other way to prove training right now.

Also, in reality, what does any logo do anyways? Well thats answered in two parts.

The inspector - Makes them more money because it gives the customer a feeling of satisfaction that the HI is well trained and regulated. Thus they are more likely to select you. Besides that, it does squat. No logo from anywhere will make anyone a good inspector. I never would have joined NAHI or ASHI or anyone else if was wasn't a simple money factor. Heck, my NAHI application fee is paid for just by the savings on my insurance.

The customer - A good feeling about HI maybe, but it gives them nothing.

They are just like the BBB and other logo's. My cabinet contractor was a BBB member, Virginia Contractors member, Contractors for Christ and a slew of other worthless organizations. Didn't stop her from taking my money (and a few others) then disappearing. Those logo's or the organizations behind them didn't save my $9000, nor will they help her when she is caught and prosecuted on the multiple felony warrants out on her.

I know you want to fix this situation. As a new HI and someone experiencing exactly the things you talk about, I'd love to help in anyway I can. Including taking advice on how to better enter the HI business.

BTW, I know how the internet is. Not arguing, or accusing you of anything. Just plain talking.

Hrmm, lol, I took that little drift to bit far.

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Originally posted by Les

My opinion only: Write a good clear report and give it to them as soon as you can. Forget about all the other stuff. Only thing I have ever seen that made any sense was Tom Feiza's book and then only if the client was a first time buyer.

Know your job, do your task, get their money and respect them enough to drive away and let them make their own decisions.

Y'know, the above paragraph is a dang fine mission statement. Sums up good HI work perfectly.

Best I can tell, there are no useful marketing "gimmicks" for an HI. Joining orgs doesn't help. BBB doesn't help. A web site decorated with logos from questionable vendors/schools/etc. doesn't help.

Building a bad web site hurts. Creating bad biz cards, flyers, etc. hurts.

Placing excellent ads in print and broadcast media helps, but only if the HI sucessfully targets the right demographic. Target the wrong demographic, and it's a lifetime of pleasing dark-side reeltors and working for underfunded buyers who have unrealistic expectations.

There may be a few "Renaissance Man" HIs who can dazzle with all their PR, tech, and mental skills. But in my humble experience, the shortest path to success that doesn't include a nervous breakdown is the path that Les provided.

Les, print that up as fridge magnets, and sell it to HIs.

WJid="blue">

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A few suggestions:

1. Loose any links that direct people away from your site. If you want to have a link to info you host on your own site that's fine but don't direct potential customers away from your site.

2. Things that move irritate some people. They also can create a delay in the loading time of your site. The flash players and side bars and ticker tapes will likely do more harm than good since they can cause a loading delay, especially for those who don't have fast connections.

3. When I clicked "home" then "about us", it took me to a page about the template. It was nothing to do with home inspection.

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Links, I believe all of those links open new web pages, thus they haven't been taken away from my site. But I know what you mean, but sometimes a little is required no?

Agree on the flash into at the top, but loading hasn't been much of a problem, had my brother test it and he's on dial up and he said no worse than any other page.

About us and template page, yeah haven't finished that one yet, lol.

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Originally posted by sepefrio

Originally posted by Les

John,

Lots of work yet to do on your site.

What is AHIT Certified?

Why link to NAHI? are you a member?

Why tell the world on your site you are not qualified, per Virginia, to do their inspection?

Why even mention making them "feel" good?

What do you inspect?

Who is going to ask you for boiler cds and books?

How do you like me - NOW?

Scott -

If you wear a pink tutu and let me call you nancy I'd marry you [:-sour]

State qualified - your right, I'll switch that to something else then, or remove it. But just o be clear, I put the "Not state certified" so I couldn't be accused of being mis-leading. Are you saying I should remove the whole standards parts or just the part where I say I'm not certified?

A pink tutu? No way, pink makes me look washed out. Navy blue is better!

YES! Unless you are required by law in VA to say what or who you are then you need to say nothing until you get the State Certification! Do not advertise that you are not qualified and that is what you are saying! You are not misleading anyone, just tell the truth if asked.

boiler books and CD's I assume you mean what they get in the inspection. I figured since most inspectors in this area advertise giving away materials I might as well too, otherwise they have more than me. And yes I do have them to give, lol.

Why give anything away! When was the last time that you had a service company give you anything? Never! The clients could care less about getting a home maintenance book. It will be tossed in a pile and boxed away when they move into the home. Chances are that they will never look at it past the day that you give it to them. Same goes for binders. Email the blasted reports and save on your production and overhead cost per inspection.

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Hi John,

Because of your area you can probably get a good listing in the search engines (lack of competition). You will still get sandboxed by Google for 6 to 8 months because you are a new site. You can get around that by using the paid listing for the first year... inexpensive for your area I would think.

I really don't think you should try and sell yourself on your website by telling people how good you are or how much training or experience you have. It's better to build a site that instills confidence and looks like you are busy serving your already established clientele. I think the sell yourself approach can backfire... you are trying to prove your qualified... something busy experienced inspectors don't try and do.

Corporate has a look to it as well... it's always has a white background (pick another template). A home inspector website could really consist of one page... keep it to a few pages and simple in the beginning and you will be able to finish it (you don't need a drop down menu). Contact information should be at the bottom of every page.

If you have a logo on your truck, take a picture of it as well as a couple of yourself doing the inspection (clients can see what they are getting). Your flash banner cannot be read by search engines either and it is where you should have your company name and area (the first text on the page) and it should be in a larger font.

Links are fine but they are for he search engines (link exchange) not the clients. The link to that page should be a the bottom of the page not the top.

BTW: We charge $795.00 (2 or 3 inspections) for inspectors’ websites.

Michael Brown

DevWave Software Inc.

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Originally posted by Scottpat

Why give anything away! When was the last time that you had a service company give you anything? Never! The clients could care less about getting a home maintenance book. It will be tossed in a pile and boxed away when they move into the home. Chances are that they will never look at it past the day that you give it to them. Same goes for binders. Email the blasted reports and save on your production and overhead cost per inspection.

Because Les was only slightly off. I wasn't slapped, I had boxes of maintenance manuals and CD dumped on my head then told I was ready to inspect. I figure since I have them I might as well give them out. Then again I have zero intention to ever buy any more so if I advertise them, people would then expect them.

NAVY BLUE! Are you after a retired Navy mans heart? Will it have gold trim? [:-dunce]

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Michael

Hrmm your not the only person to say that really. A buddy of mine told me, Dude, KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid)

I think Les was hinting at it too

You bluntly say it.

My thinking was, competitor A has 5 pages, thus I need 6 type thing. But in reality, I doubt most people will use my site as a repeated site of information. They want to find a HI and be done with it.

Thanks for the input guys, this is exactly why I asked. I'm gonna take a step back and look at the project as a whole again taking your opinions into account.

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Michael gave you abt $314.27 worth of info!! Here is Michigan you could pick up pop bottles and pay for it!

I am working (read asking dumb questions) on a huge website for a national org and I have learned a whole bunch. We have a single person that does a little work on ours every day. It is getting better, but still needs attention often.

Ya see the problem is that many old farts don't need the site and they are nearly compulsive about not having one, never once thinking about the younger guys in the office. Maybe something like the university professor that tells the student "If you want to know everything that I know, then read the book!" The problem is the professor continues reading the "book", so Johnny never catches up!

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Just to make sure when you say.......

Because of your area you can probably get a good listing in the search engines (lack of competition). You will still get sandboxed by Google for 6 to 8 months because you are a new site. You can get around that by using the paid listing for the first year... inexpensive for your area I would think.

Are you referring to AdWords?

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After further review, let me gently suggest:

1. Take down the website and don't put it back up until it's finished. Right now, it's just plain unusable. That will only hurt sales.

2. Hire a real enough professional website designer to make the website look good and work well.

3. Hire and a real enough professional writer to fix the many errors. Right now, the website is just plain unreadable, and is probably doing more harm than good.

When I've helped folks with websites, brochures, etc., I've asked those folks to give me just a bullet list of things they want to say. I tell 'em not to try to write their own text, because fixing non-pro-written text is an almost-impossible job.

WJ

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If I take the site down I won't be able to test things that need to be tested. I'm not to worried about how it looks as I haven't passed out the site info yet (except here) and I still won't show on any search engine, just too early. So I don't think it's hurting anything. Monday is my planned launch date and I have no intention of pushing it back any further, even a poor site gets more business than no site.

Agree with the spelling errors. Most are from typing at 2am. But I just found a cool program to help spell check the site. 99% are more typo's than errors and I cleaned up a bunch today.

Inspyder InSite 1.4.1 at

http://www.freedownloadmanager.org/down ... _software/

BTW Ken, not slamming ya or getting back or stupid stuff like that, just thought it would be cool to look, so I spell checked your site. In your meta tag for description you spelled inspection wrong, on 15 different pages. The description helps with search engines and spelling errors there can hurt.

We do complete residential home inspections for home buyers and pre-sale inspectins for home sellers.

Again folks, I appreciate all of your suggestions, and keep them coming for the life of the page, thats cool. Your intentions are to help, not insult, I understand that. But also please understand, that after listening to your reasons, I may decide not to do it. I'm the one that will feel the effects and it's my responsibility. I use your input to make a decision, but I don't just do what everyone says. Thanks again.

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Originally posted by sepefrio

If I take the site down I won't be able to test things that need to be tested.

If you used MS Frontpage / Expression Web (I'm sure many other web development products) you can build and test all without having the live application published.

Reach out to Michael Brown (DevWave) for support as well. He posted above some good data. He can't work for free, but he is good and helpful.

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