Automation makes the home inspection industry work a little quicker and probably adds a lot of efficiency, too. As a home inspector, you go in and get the job done, and then the customer gets the report in hand faster, too. But in all of this fast-paced, efficient reporting, where does that leave the customer, aside from walking away from the transaction as quickly as possible?
Are you missing out on building a relationship? And should you worry about a relationship at all? Probably yes, and on both counts.
Assembly Line Inspecting
The one thing that advancements in technology always promise is a better way of doing things. But better is a relative term. If you think about your job as only inspecting houses, then it makes sense that getting as many done in a day as possible frees you up to do more. You don’t have to think about the customer except for providing him or her with a great report in a timely manner, and then it’s on to the next one.
But where are all of those inspections coming from? Technology might help you work faster, but that’s only part of your job. The other part is getting work so that you have houses to inspect. And someplace in the middle is the customer, someone you can regard only as the source of one job or someone who could help you get more.
Old Fashioned Inspecting
The old fashioned way of inspecting might take a little longer, but it has a much more personal touch. ASHI President, Alden Gibson says at ASHI Reporter that in his experience, nothing beats developing a relationship with every customer, at least to the extent possible. Technology doesn’t prevent that, either. So really, it’s more a matter of priority than choosing modern technology or not.
The old way, as he calls it, lets him involve the customer in the inspection. He can make eye contact. Show the customer what he’s inspecting, and explaining what he’s found. The report serves as a permanent copy of the inspection, not as the only evidence that it existed at all. This might take more time, but it serves both jobs – doing inspections and getting leads.
Getting Critical Leads
If you were going to recommend any professional to a friend, who would that recommendation be? Would you refer a friend to someone you’ve never met and only spoken with on the phone and via email? Or would you be more likely to make that referral to someone you’ve spent some time with?
Referrals can make or break your home inspection business. Sure, some people might do a Google search and choose the first one that they find. And some might check out the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List to see whether there are any complaints. But when a friend says, “Call this guy, he did a good job for me,” that’s worth more than any random website or anonymous business rating.
Working efficiently isn’t unimportant, it’s just not the most important thing that you’ll do. Technology has improved the inspection business for you and your customers. But it’s not a substitute for good old fashioned customer service.
Use your software, and generate reports quickly. That’s what the market expects. But remember that every customer is an opportunity to generate goodwill, and hopefully keep your home inspection business growing.
ICA School helps men and women across the country get the training they need to start a thriving home inspection career. You’ll learn about inspecting houses, and get advice on how to grow your business. If you’re ready to start a new career, enroll now.