Ever wonder why some home inspection businesses boom while others just chug along, barely getting by? Part of it is knowledge and professionalism. The importance of your skills and work ethic can’t be overestimated. But doing a good job is only part of it.
As a business owner, you’re in charge of everything. That’s a lot of responsibility. But it also gives you a lot of freedom. You might not elect to use every option that’s available to you. But knowing what you can do, and what others are doing, helps you design a business strategy that works.
Here are 5 ways that you can improve your business, starting today:
#1: Educate Your Customers
Many customer complaints stem from misunderstandings. A quick Google search turns up a host of articles that assert issues with inspectors that might not be valid. It makes sense, because customers usually have no idea what home to expect. So the only way to protect yourself is to educate your customers.
Something as simple as an informational handout sheet or static page at your website should help. That way, customers know in advance that you don’t tear into floors to find asbestos and can’t issue estimates on repair scope and cost of defects.
#2: Meet Real Estate Professionals
Referrals and leads are the name of the home inspection game. Unless you work with someone who buys and sells a lot of real estate, you won’t have a lot of repeat customers. Referrals give you a steadier stream of work. And one of the best ways to get them is developing a relationship with the right people.
Real estate agents and banks see a steady stream of buyers who need inspections. Past customers are another good source, since friends ask friends for advice. Hand out your business cards and treat these people like business associates. You might not get more inspections today. But when their usual inspector isn’t available or a friend buys a house, there you’ll be.
#3: Represent Your Business Online
Your customers are used to finding what they need online. Whether it’s looking up the phone number for pizza or finding the closest home improvement center, the Internet is fast and easy. With a website of your own, you’ll be easy to find, too.
Websites aren’t as intimidating as they might seem. WordPress, for example, has several free and low-cost templates. And PC Magazine has an updated list of the best places to buy your domain name (for example, YourInspections.com). The best reason to have a web presence? Your competition already has one.
#4: Use Social Media
You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating. Social media lets you reach hundreds of thousands of potential customers, and it only takes a few minutes a day to work it. You don’t need to be online 24/7. You only need a place for customers to interact with you and share your business with their friends.
Facebook is the social media giant. And according to ZD Net, they’re joining with Shopify to make monetized, business social media easier. Soon, your customers could find you and schedule inspections from social media.
#5: Always Keep Learning
If your state doesn’t have continuing education requirements, an inspection association that you belong to probably does. But even if you’re not a member of any group, continuing education is how you stay on top in your industry.
ICA School works with Quality Education Group to offer CE courses for inspectors in Wisconsin, Tennessee, Oregon, Indiana and Illinois. You can also find CE providers through state licensing boards and the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).
Your knowledge and skills are only part of what makes a thriving home inspection business. It takes dedication, some business savvy and the willingness to learn and try new things.
At ICA School, we teach you about marketing and other business essentials so that you can have a well-rounded company that keeps on growing.
Still just thinking about becoming a home inspector? We’ve got what you need. Get a free course demo, and see firsthand what makes ICA different and better.