Getting your certification and heading to work is only part of being a home inspector. Once you’re in the field, it’s up to you to become the best and most in-demand inspector that you can be. No one else will do it for you, at least not until you put in the legwork on the front end.
Here are 8 ways to get your name out there and start building the thriving company that you’ve always wanted.
1. Develop Business Relationships
Business relationships equal connections, and connections can lead to more business. When you have the opportunity to meet and network with professionals in the industry or property owners who turn a lot of real estate, it’s smart to be on a first-name basis. Professional home inspector organizations are great for networking, too. And always keep a stack of business cards handy to give out when you meet someone new.
2. Craft a Professional Image
Speaking of business cards, you’ll want yours to look professional. Although there are plenty of places where you can make your own, it’s worth it to spend a little money for an expert’s help. Many graphic designers take on small jobs, such as creating a company logo for you. You can use the logo on everything from shirts to stationery, and even have a magnetized logo for your vehicle door.
3. Get Involved in Social Media
Love it or hate it, social media isn’t going away anytime soon. The more you’re involved, the more people will know your name, and the more your business will have a brand image. You can place professional ads on Facebook, but don’t forget about the big professional social media site – LinkedIn. Create a profile and list your credentials. That way, when people search you online, they’ll find relevant information instead of vacation photos.
4. Build a Real Website
Websites and blogs are totally different creatures. Where blogs require regular updates with new information all the time, a website is static. It just sits there as an online advertisement for your business, but with a plus. A website can also give potential customers a way to book appointments, or at least ask for more information, at their convenience. As with graphic design, it’s best to let a professional create your website. They know all of the tricks that you don’t.
5. Follow up with every Customer
It might not make good sense to call and follow up after a home inspection transaction is complete, so says Inspector’s Edge. After all, how often does the average person sell a house? But not every customer is the seller. Sometimes the important contact is a real estate agent. Plus, following up is just good manners. Many inspectors don’t, so you can be the one who does.
6. Raise Your Rates
It might seem counterintuitive to raise your home inspection rates, but if you don’t value your services, who will? You don’t have to price yourself out of the market. Inspector’s Edge explains that there is perceived value in higher rates. And you’ll also need to stay ahead of inflation if you want a healthy business income.
7. Keep Current with Technology
Anything can seem overwhelming when you’re not accustomed to it. But once you master using lightning speed inspection reporting software with all of the bells and whistles, convenient tablet computers, ultra-convenient smart phones, and everything else that’s available, none of your competitors will have any advantages over you.
8. Look Your Best
There are some home inspectors who assert that looks aren’t important, and an old T-shirt and jeans are fine for the job. But if you were the home owner, which total stranger would you rather see on your doorstep? Would it be someone who doesn’t seem to care about appearances, or someone who looks tidy and has the know-how to get the job done? Respect goes a long way, and looking your best shows respect for your customer. InterNACHI has a great article on the topic.
Inspecting homes is only part of what a home inspector does. There are forms to fill out, licenses and insurance to keep current, and a client base to nurture. Inspecting is a well-rounded business, and you’re the only one who can build it up.
If you’ve been thinking about whether home inspection is for you, there’s no better time to begin. Because ICA School lets you work at your own pace, even your current day job shouldn’t be a reason to pass up the opportunity. Enroll now, and you could be on your way to building a thriving business in no time.