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Has Your Phone Begun To Ring Again?


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Hi All,

All of last spring, through the summer and into the fall I was hearing complaints from other inspectors about how slow things were. Often, I'd get asked, "Mike, what the hell is it that you're doing to get so much business? I haven't had a call in weeks." It was true - we'd been busier than we'd been in 10 years.

In each case, I just shrugged my shoulders and said that I didn't know, which was basically true, because I spend only about $15 a year on marketing - one ream of heavy card stock to print a year's worth of business cards myself is about all I spend.

Anyway, things were busy right up through the first AIG panic and all the way up until election day and then it was like someone had thrown a switch and had turned off my telephones. Since then and up until about 10 days ago, we'd gotten an awful lot of price shoppers looking for bottom-feeder prices, but had only done as many inspections as we used to do in two weeks.

About ten days ago the phone started ringing more frequently and we began booking more jobs again. So far, we've done more jobs in the past ten days than the previous two months and at the rate calls are coming in it looks like we might be back to normal soon if this momentum keeps up.

It looks like folks' initial nervousness over this foreclosure mess and tentativeness over interest rates might have finally eased.

Are any of you seeing this in other parts of the country?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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After the election I was lucky to see 3 inspections a week (whereas before it had been 5 - 6), then the last two weeks of December saw only one a week. However, since the beginning of January business has been significantly up, but only compared to the last quarter of 2008. So far my numbers since the start of the year are the same as last years, which are about 30% down from prior good years.

Chris, Oregon

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Yes, the phone is ringing more and I'm booking more inspections. One thing I have noticed, are the number of calls that are just price shopping. I use to seldom get price shopping calls, now it is just about every single one. I would say that they call back about 50% of the time to book an inspection.

I know that the number of inspectors are down by over 50% just in my area alone, so this has directed more calls my way.

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I want to believe that when this recession turns the corner or even if perhaps mortgage rates drop below 5% that biz will take off as if the people are just waiting to feel good again or feel compelled to get off their keister and take advantage of these once in a lifetime interest rates, but some of the old timers I have talked with say no, that there's been too much damage done accross the board.

Perhaps if we do see a jump in biz, it will be like Scott said that the number of inspectors are down.

Chris, Oregon

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This morning's news they were talking about interest rates that have dropped to 3.9% for first-time home buyers. If that won't get folks off their duffs nothing will.

By the way, the fisheries are hiring for the spring run. It's a 4-5 month shipboard contract with free room and board. Mind-numbing repetitious work at a conveyor with all kinds of hazardous slicing and dicing equipment all around. Nice chunk of cash at the end though if they find the fish.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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...By the way, the fisheries are hiring for the spring run. It's a 4-5 month shipboard contract with free room and board. Mind-numbing repetitious work at a conveyor with all kinds of hazardous slicing and dicing equipment all around. Nice chunk of cash at the end though if they find the fish.

How did Yung react when you explained how she would be spending her spring and summer vacation? You didn't just tell her she was going on a cruise, did you?

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Ha,

Good One! Can you imagine spending 12 hours a day surrounded by fish guts and smell and then coming home to your wife after 5 months? I bet it takes weeks to get that smell out of one's nostrils. Still, if this economy doesn't start getting a whole lot better a whole lot quicker, I might just invest in some clove oil and ......

OT - OF!!!

M.

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