Growing a home inspection business takes a lot of education, a lot of hard work, and a never-ending commitment to market yourself to the masses. But in an unsteady economy, it might take something more; something that really sets you apart.
That doesn’t mean the catchiest slogan or the cleverest logo, although those things don’t hurt. What you need is a niche; a specialty that you do better than anybody else.
It’s Not Just Any Niche That Does It
Picking just any niche won’t do much good if the community that you serve doesn’t need it. That sounds awfully basic. But new businesses of all varieties fail because the owner didn’t research his or her market.
Finding your specialty takes investigation and some time. It won’t be the same from one location to the next, so hardly anyone can tell you which is the best specialty to pursue. One good source might be real estate agents. They see deals fall through for various reasons, and can explain what lenders look for and home buyers worry about the most.
Don’t forget homeowners, since they are another rich source of prospective customers, and you can reach a lot of them at home shows. They are already invested in a house, and probably have at least a few issues that they want to know more about. Inspections aren’t limited to people who are planning to buy.
How Specializing Helps Grow Your Business
No industry is up all the time. There are seasonal highs and lows, and the market ebbs and flows for other reasons, too. But even when the last housing bubble burst and the market stalled, some inspectors stayed busy.
When people just aren’t buying, Working RE magazine says your niche keeps you in the game. Home hazard inspections for lead, radon, mold and asbestos are always important. So are specific inspections for issues such as hurricane safety. Severe weather and fires don’t care what the real estate market is up to, so branching out into FEMA disaster inspections can also help your business grow.
Marketing is something you’ll always do, even once you’re well established. With more than straightforward home inspections in your list of skills, you’ll broaden your target audience. And in that audience are more people who can send you more leads from other directions.
A Specialty Makes You the Go-to Inspector
What’s better than being a busy general inspector? Being the go-to inspector for issues that other inspectors aren’t knowledgeable enough to take on. Specializing makes you an expert, at least once you’ve got enough training, time and experience in it. Inc. magazine says to do one thing and do it best, and that’s where you’ll really shine as an entrepreneur.
As an expert, you’re regarded as one of the few, and perhaps the only, inspector around who can fulfill a need. Do you live in a region where log cabins are common, such as the Great Smoky Mountain resort area? You could be the best darned log cabin chinking specialist around. Homeowners, real estate agents, and home buyers will explain to their contacts that they needed a service, and that you were the one who did the job right.
There’s a reason why some professionals in any industry can set their own rate and call their own shots. When you have the one thing that everyone needs, and you do it better than anyone else, you’ve got more control over your business and your future. And the longer you do it, the more highly regarded and easily recognized you’ll be.
Finding your niche is the hardest part of specializing. After that, it just takes dedication, study, maybe new certifications and an apprenticeship. All of these things are worth it, even if you have to look outside your area to learn in order to bring that skill back to where you live and work.
With a niche, you are different. And different is good. You’re not just one of the pack, but one of the leaders. That’s when your business will really soar.
Are you still just in the dreaming stage of becoming a home inspector? Get a free course demo today, and see what makes ICA School different and better, too.