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I wrote the following bit and am about to post it on my website. I have gotten good advice from the members here in the past so I wanted to run this by you all. In actuality, even though I address three different parties, it's all aimed at sending a message to buyers.

So what's your opinion on piece like this having an affect on business?

My message to those involved:

To the buyers:

Take your time choosing an inspector. It’s your pick, not your real estate agents. There are many inspectors out there of varying quality and motivation. I don’t know about the others but I do know about me. When you hire me, I work for you and your best interests. I’ll not waiver my responsibilities to you in order to build a relationship with the real estate industry agents. Some inspectors cozy up to agents in order to get more referrals. I’m not one of those inspectors. Although my determination to serve buyers best interests can make my relationship with agents challenging, I’ll take the challenge and protect the buyer any time it presents itself. I’m not a product of the real estate industry. I built myself and I’ll stand beside you.

To the sellers:

There is no perfect house. Some have more issues of concern than others, but there is none without its flaws. Well, maybe there is but I have not found one yet. The good thing is, almost everything can be fixed. I am sure there are things that the buyer does not know about your house, things that the buyer should know. The house is there to tell a story. It will talk to me and I will convey the message. It’s as simple as that. You may learn some things about your house that you didn’t know.

To the agents:

I appreciate your referrals and I respect your position. However, if an inspector who takes his time and does a thorough job is a problem for you, please do one of two things.

1. Recommend some other inspector.

2. If I am the inspector on a property of your listing, please be aware that you have my respect to begin with. To maintain that respect is not difficult. I know that your industries ethics require you have the client’s best interest in mind as well. Understanding these facts and responsibilities makes for ethical and friendly business relationships.

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John, just my two cents but I would remove the aggression against the agents. Yes we do have problems with some of them but I have learned two things.

1) Agents doesn't use the internet to look up HI's so your message will go unread. You may be aiming at the agents with this, but I think it will mostly land on potential customers only.

2) The message implies you might already or have had a conflict with agents. Although this is your personal feeling, why put aggression on the site where you are trying to sell something. Most potential customers are unaware of the feelings between HI and agents and this could confuse them, i.e. "Has this HI done something wrong?

I'll also add, as I'm sure others may too, not all agents are bad. And if you can hook up with one of the good ones, why chase them away before you meet them.

The sole purpose of the website is not to justify something, explain anything or even teach people. It's primary goal is to SELL your product, plain and simple. You can achieve those other things too but not at the expense of selling your product.

Just to be clear, I agree and like the statement, but I don't think it's something that needs to be on the website.

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I don't think the statement to the agents is attacking them. I think it's to the point, honest and respectful.

Look at my intro again. I stated that my intention is not for the agents anyway. The entire bit is intended for buyers. If anything I treat a particular type of inspector with skepticism in the piece more than attacking the agents.

I appreciate you opinions but please understand, the point is not to attack agents at all. If anything, it tells them that I am aware and wont be swayed. I think its respectful. I could be wrong but you havn't persuaded me that I am.

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Any potential clients, that are actually reading a couple words on an HI's site, are already cautious (smart) enough to not blindly accept an agent's referral for an inspector.

You only have a few short statements to get a potential client's attention. Those statements need to get that client to say "That's it - no more looking. This is the only guy/gal that can inspect my new home".

On a similar topic, why do so many HI websites start by explaining the need for an inspection? If they're visiting an HI's site, I'm quite certain they're already committed to getting an inspection!

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Originally posted by AHI

I wrote the following bit and am about to post it on my website. I have gotten good advice from the members here in the past so I wanted to run this by you all. In actuality, even though I address three different parties, it's all aimed at sending a message to buyers.

So what's your opinion on piece like this having an affect on business?

Not to be harsh, but you've got a load of spelling, punctuation, grammar and syntax errors in your text. IMHO, that's an immediate warning to an educated customer, reeltor, etc. that there's a problem with the writer. Professional folks need to get rid of these blemishes before they get to high school.

If you're determined to use this message, hire a professional editor (you could find one at a decent ad agency) to re-write your text. It'll probably cost you less than the pay for one inspection, and it might just get you more work.

Oh, two more things:

1. I don't think reeltors read HI promos. They just hire the HIs who they think will go easiest on the house (and make them money). But if a reeltor is going to read your promo, make sure it's pro-quality promo. Otherwise, you're advertising that you make a lot of mistakes.

2. I'd drop that tired/lame "there is no perfect house" line. Anybody with any savvy will see right through that.

WJid="blue">

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Originally posted by inspecthistoric

On a similar topic, why do so many HI websites start by explaining the need for an inspection? If they're visiting an HI's site, I'm quite certain they're already committed to getting an inspection!

The same reason that lame 30-year-old InspectorSpeak still rules. The vestiges plague us even today. HIs go on and on about the stress of homebuying; there's no perfect house; I'm objective, thorough, I point out the positives and so on.

If you read 10 HI websites, you'll find the same "talking points" on most -- if not all -- of them. HI promo is woefully generic, mostly composed by folks who don't know how to write persuasively. Frankly, I don't know how a person could come across the average HI website and give any thought to actually hiring the guy.

The virus of the HI "profession" is that many -- if not most -- of the practitioners seem to think they're all coached up and ready to go as soon as they have a basic understanding of house parts, which would give them the skillset of a newbie handyman.

Most of the HIs I run up against have no inkling that they have to learn how to be teachers and writers before they can build a good base of savvy customers.

WJid="blue">

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Originally posted by AHI

I appreciate you opinions but please understand, the point is not to attack agents at all. If anything, it tells them that I am aware and wont be swayed. I think its respectful. I could be wrong but you havn't persuaded me that I am.

Just being honest back and not trying to be harsh, but what you intend to do is meaningless. Best intentions are worthless if the method you express those intentions are not correct. The mere fact that you had to explain them shows that what you intended was not conveyed in your draft, at least not to me.

Again I stress, your website is for one purpose only, to sell your product. To sell the product, like mentioned above, you have very little time to do it. By putting something there that can be misunderstood only adds to the possibility that they will leave your site before they say yes.

As it is, the vast majority of people who visit your website, at least at the beginning, have no intention of hiring an HI. They stumble on your site by accident or when looking for something else. Those that are looking for an HI, again as said above, have already decided why they need a home inspection. So no need to waste that limited time to sell them the same thing they already bought. Now you need to sell them YOU.

Of course, you must remember, this is your website, and no matter the response I or others make here, you must decide, and live with, what is posted on the site. Also, I truly believe that you must also ask people who have zero real estate affiliation as to what they think. They are your customers not fellow HI's. For example, a fellow HI might think a certain certification or organization affiliation is worthless or even a negative. But does the customer understand what it all means without the benefit of the same insider information? It's not deception unless it's a lie and I'm not saying to do that. But, if the best thing you can say about yourself now is considered minor to other HI's, it's still the best you can legally boast about. So boast.

I have learned a lot and value the lessons learned on this site, but I have, like you too should, do what is best for you. None of us are in the exact same situation or ace the exact same challenges. You can take the generalities of past experience, but you must decide what is best for you and not blindly follow the advice of just one person.

BTW, I also agree with the suggestion of hiring an editor. Not only will they fix the spelling and grammar errors, they can write it so a person, not in real estate, will understand it. After months of stubbornness I myself have thrown in the towel and admitted I ain't know prosper writter. My site is being completely redone by people who actually know how to do it. You may want to consider this from the start.

Think now, how many hours are you putting into the site? Your going to need to put a lot more in just to get it to what you think is right, then add on updates and changes. It may actually be worth the money now to not have to worry about it. Hopefully you'll be to busy to keep the site updated.

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I don't think it's a disaster and a nightmare, but I would drop the "To Agents" part as well. Even if you intend it for another audience, it really doesn't work for you (IMHO). Openly ignore agents and brokers, and that will reinforce the rest of your message of independence. I consider them incidental to my job, not the other way around.

The rest could use some revision, but the idea is right; connect with the potential client and make them want to call you first. It feels a little stiff to me; a tad formal somehow. Then again, I'm a redneck and my home page should probably start with "How y'all doin' today?". [;)]

Brian G.

Formality Is For The Opera [:-sing]

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As a group, you've all got me thinking about doing some editing.

On a similar topic, why do so many HI websites start by explaining the need for an inspection? If they're visiting an HI's site, I'm quite certain they're already committed to getting an inspection!

That make sense. I might dump part of my current homepage intro and replace it with a refined combination of paragraphs 1 and 2 that I posted above. The new paragraph will have elements of 1 and 2 but be directed solely to buyers.

As in the past, I'm glad I came here first. I figure if I can't put something up for scrutiny here, I shouldn't be posting to my website. There are many smart people here and this site is a great resource.

The sad fact is, there are too many RE ass kissers around here. I want to project myself as no BS, no fluf, tell it like it is. I need to stand out on my own and be different from them. If I can't survive in business my way, maybe I don't belong in this business. I havn't given in yet.

Thank you everyone.

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Hang in there, John. The general rule is that it takes five years for most businesses to develop a reputation and generate a large-enough customer base so that the business becomes self sustaining.

I remember when I started out. The phone wouldn't ring for a couple of days and, like an idiot, I'd press the speakerphone button just to make certain the bloody thing was still working.

Now, the phone rings like mad and I actually lose business 'cause I often can't schedule a gig within a buyer's ten- or fourteen-day timeframe.

As for generating business, you may want to try something that worked for me. When you wrap up with a client--it's important that you begin with something positive--tell them that you have lots of building and construction experience, but that you're new to the inspection business. Tell them you'd really appreciate it if they'd tell their friends to give you a call when they're buying a house.

Point is, people often assume that, just like the McDonalds on the corner, you're in business so things are working out for you. They don't think to pass your name along to their friends unless you plant a seed in one of their synapses.

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The same reason that lame 30-year-old InspectorSpeak still rules. The vestiges plague us even today. HIs go on and on about the stress of homebuying; there's no perfect house; I'm objective, thorough, I point out the positives and so on.

If you read 10 HI websites, you'll find the same "talking points" on most -- if not all -- of them. HI promo is woefully generic, mostly composed by folks who don't know how to write persuasively. Frankly, I don't know how a person could come across the average HI website and give any thought to actually hiring the guy.

That's the Catch 22 with websites.

I try and keep mine brief, clean, and simple. Trouble is, most website optimization folks tell me I've got to load it with content, links, and lots of text so the search engines rank it better.

After the basics, anything else to say is just what you've described, Walter; generic and boring talking points.

I'm open to adding more content that people would actually want to read. I'm just not very creative that way.

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The sad fact is, there are too many RE ass kissers around here. I want to project myself as no BS, no fluf, tell it like it is. I need to stand out on my own and be different from them. If I can't survive in business my way, maybe I don't belong in this business. I havn't given in yet.

That's good, John. Re-write it a little and you'll have what you're looking for.

My input: Don't start with "For the Buyer". There's like a 99.9% chance that ONLY the buyer will ever see your site. Talk directly to him.

Lose the agent bit and the seller bit. It takes up room you could devote to the buyer. Your client.

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A good editor is priceless. Maybe a trusted writer around here could help you for free, a fee, or an IOU, to tighten things up.

At the very least, read everything out loud from your site to pick up mistakes, awkwardness, useless sentences, etc.

You have to hook with your home page or nothing else matters. From your site:

"In today's world, home inspection is an important part of a real estate transaction."

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I edited the piece. It is now directed only to buyers.

From my homepage, I'm thinking of dropping the following:

In today's world, home inspection is an important part of a real estate transaction.

I am here to provide this beneficial service to you. Call me and we can talk about how my service can help you feel more comfortable in your home purchase.

You can learn a great deal about the home inspection process by reading the pages of this website. When you are ready to talk or schedule an appointment I am here to serve you.

I will insert this:

Since you are reading this, I assume you are looking to hire a home inspector. I suggest that you choose one carefully. There are many inspectors out there of varying quality and motivation. I don’t know the specifics about the others, but I do know about me. When you hire me, I’ll work for you and your best interests. To you the buyer, my responsibilities are in providing accurate and thorough information about the home. This is my primary goal.

Some inspectors sugar coat things in order to cozy up to agents and get more referrals. I’m not one of those inspectors. My determination to serve buyers best interests can make my relationship with real estate agents challenging. I’ll take the challenge and protect the buyer every time. I’m not a product of the real estate industry. I built myself and I’ll stand beside you.

Some houses have more problems than others and there are none without some flaws. The good thing is, almost everything can be fixed. The house is there to tell a story. It will talk to me and I will convey the message. It’s as simple as that.

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Originally posted by randynavarro

I'm open to adding more content that people would actually want to read. I'm just not very creative that way.

Well, here's something to consider: Although I don't intend to give any writing lessons (earthly preview of Hell), I could do something like this: Sell reprints of my "housey" columns (I own the copyrights) to certain HIs who'd pay the going rate for reprints.

I'm not soliciting. I'm just sayin'...

WJ

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Originally posted by Mike Lamb

A good editor is priceless. Maybe a trusted writer around here could help you for free, a fee, or an IOU, to tighten things up.

As I said long ago and far away on another board: I'll cheerfully teach HIs how to create high-quality promotional materials and truly professional-quality lawyer-proof boilerplate.

Just soon as a busload of highly-skilled HIs shows up and paints my house.

WJid="blue">

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It's been a good exercise and I thank you all for your time. I think this bit here will do better for me than the one I had previously posted on my homepage. Even though my original idea wasn't the best, it has turned in to something better. I switched some things around, took some suggestions and came up with the following.

Welcome to the website of Arundel Home Inspection LLC. Thank you for stopping by.

My name is John Dirks Jr. and I provide professional home inspections and radon testing in central Maryland and the surrounding areas of Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Annapolis.

Since you are reading this, I suppose you are looking to hire a home inspector. Take your time choosing an inspector. It’s up to you to find someone who will do the job right. There are many inspectors out there of varying quality and motivation, and not all will put your interests first. I don’t know about the others, but I do know about me. When you hire me, I’ll work for you and your best interests; beginning to end.

I won’t waiver from my responsibilities to you in order to build relationships with others in the real estate industry. Some inspectors cozy up to agents and brokers in order to get more referrals, by not looking very hard, and by writing nice, soft, worthless reports. I’m not one of those inspectors. I’m building my business with the help and trust of clients, and I’ll stand by you if you hire me.

I write a custom narrative report for every inspection job. I’ll write my findings down in plain English so that you can easily understand them. The good thing is, almost everything can be fixed. What gets fixed and who does the work are things that you will negotiate with the seller through your agent.

If you have any questions about my services or website, please do not hesitate to contact me. I hope you find my site helpful and informative. As soon as you are ready, I’m waiting for your call.

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So what's your opinion on piece like this having an affect on business?

Rather than declaring by your own words that you are a good inspector dedicated to the interests of the client, I think that you would get better results by demonstrating how John is a good inspector thru pictures and video on your website.

I have wondered why more HI websites aren't full of you tube videos of themselves in action discovering problems.

When I worked as an engineer, one of the VPs of engineering was always saying "Well, the proofs in the pudding!"

It's something I have been wanting to do for a long time at my rinky dink site.

Chris, Oregon

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Originally posted by Chris Bernhardt

I have wondered why more HI websites aren't full of you tube videos of themselves in action discovering problems.

Done right, it could be a great way to hook buyers, but it's way too easy to do it wrong, as you can see in the examples below.

This is our old friend, the "piece of Mind", I-work-for-the-agent bozo:

[utube]

[/utube]

This one is just plain bizarre. It might be funny if shown to fellow inspectors, but a buyer looking at it could only conclude that the guy is either a fool or clumsy as hell. Who wants a home inspector who is either of those? The only saving grace is the John Fogerty soundtrack:

[utube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUTrYdKXXXk[/utube]

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Originally posted by AHI

It's been a good exercise and I thank you all for your time. I think this bit here will do better for me than the one I had previously posted on my homepage. Even though my original idea wasn't the best, it has turned in to something better. I switched some things around, took some suggestions and came up with the following.

Welcome to the website of Arundel Home Inspection LLC. Thank you for stopping by.

My name is John Dirks Jr. and I provide professional home inspections and radon testing in central Maryland and the surrounding areas of Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Annapolis.

Since you are reading this, I suppose you are looking to hire a home inspector. Take your time choosing an inspector. It’s up to you to find someone who will do the job right. There are many inspectors out there of varying quality and motivation, and not all will put your interests first. I don’t know about the others, but I do know about me. When you hire me, I’ll work for you and your best interests; beginning to end.

I won’t waiver from my responsibilities to you in order to build relationships with others in the real estate industry. Some inspectors cozy up to agents and brokers in order to get more referrals, by not looking very hard, and by writing nice, soft, worthless reports. I’m not one of those inspectors. I’m building my business with the help and trust of clients, and I’ll stand by you if you hire me.

I write a custom narrative report for every inspection job. I’ll write my findings down in plain English so that you can easily understand them. The good thing is, almost everything can be fixed. What gets fixed and who does the work are things that you will negotiate with the seller through your agent.

If you have any questions about my services or website, please do not hesitate to contact me. I hope you find my site helpful and informative. As soon as you are ready, I’m waiting for your call.

Hire the editor for cryin' out loud. You're still serving up grammar, syntax, spelling and punctuation errors, in almost every paragraph.

It's a good way to get "nexted." Not a good way to fill a customer with confidence.

WJid="blue">

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Hire the editor for cryin' out loud. You're still serving up grammar, syntax, spelling and punctuation errors, in almost every paragraph.

It's a good way to get "nexted." Not a good way to fill a customer with confidence.

WJ

Walter, you are one tough cookie and I like that. I can't find any spelling errors in there. Can you point them out? As for syntax, could that be a matter of opinion or style? I'm just curious about your expert opinion. Of course, I suppose you've already given it by telling me to hire an editor.

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