Pricing your services partly determines whether or not your business will ever turn a profit. It’s also one of the most challenging aspects of starting a new business. Chances are, you have at least a basic idea of what certified home inspectors in your area charge for a general home inspection. And if you’re like many new inspectors just starting out, your fees will fall somewhere in that range.
But what if you charged a bit more? Would you drive away business? Or would you reap more rewards?
Low Rates Don’t Always Help Your Reputation
Do you want to be known in the industry as Crazy Larry with the Crazy Low Prices? The inspector with the cheapest rates approach might send customers your way, but it could hurt your reputation. It probably won’t impress real estate agents, and you’ll rely on them over the years for referrals.
The Association for Consumer Research explains that when in doubt, consumers tend to use pricing as their guide for quality. Few industries have more doubt than home inspecting, as consumers only deal with inspectors a few times in their lives.
Higher Rates Tend to Imply Quality and Instill Confidence
If your prices aren’t just on par with but slightly higher than your competition, you could generate enthusiasm about your company. If your inspections are top-notch, you’ll back up your pricing with undeniable evidence. Reuben Saltzman of Structure Tech Inspections says that’s their approach. They charge a little more, but back up their rates with measurable performance. But put in market research hours before committing to a too-high pricing structure that might backfire.
ACR goes on to explain that consumers often assume higher prices equal a better product or service. Again, lack of industry knowledge about quality in home inspections puts consumers in a decision making position with few facts to go on.
Your Time, Tools and Expertise are Valuable
As a small business owner, your days of a 9-to-5 job are probably over, at least for a while. There’s a lot to be said for the peace of clocking out at the end of a day. But for people with an entrepreneurial spirit, the tradeoff is often worth the extra effort. Just be careful not to sell your talent short.
The hours and money invested in new equipment, such as drone technology, are valuable to home inspection customers. The time you spend marketing, blogging, writing good reports and building out lunch-and-learn sessions with local real estate agents is valuable. Your home inspection skills are valuable. What you add to the industry is, you guessed it, valuable.
It’s an age-old problem that many new business owners struggle with, especially people who sell a service and not a retail item. Your services are more closely related to your talent and, accordingly, your value as a person in the home inspection industry.
You probably won’t set sky-high rates that only elite home buyers can afford. That would cut your market considerably. But when deciding on a fee range, remember that to consumers, your fee range speaks to the value of your home inspection work. Live up to their expectations with high-quality work and you can set rates that make being a certified home inspector worth it.
Ready to start your new career as a certified home inspector? Enroll now and learn at your own pace.