A complete home inspector training program should provide the right balance between technical and business knowledge to set you up for success as a home inspector. In this post, which is the first of two parts, we take a look at some of the best ways to build your home inspection business.
Provide Value to Your Clients
While it’s important to offer professional, responsive service, it’s also vital to provide great perceived value that exceeds your client’s expectations . Here are a couple of examples: Take the time to offer free technical support and advice whenever your clients need it, not just during the inspection. Clients really appreciate receiving ballpark repair costs on items noted during your inspection. It’s hard to make an informed decision without this information. This can be a differentiator for you, since many home inspectors do not provide ballpark costs.
Offering real, tangible items to your clients is another great way to add value. For example, Carson Dunlop includes a Home Reference Book valued at $59, a $50 GOTJUNK gift card, and RecallChek valued at $25 with every inspection. The Home Reference Book, as you can see below, offers a valuable resource for your clients both during the inspection and in the future.
Make Yourself Available to Your Clients
If you miss a phone call, you may miss the chance to perform an inspection. When people need an inspection, they usually need it on very short notice. If they can’t reach you immediately, most clients will call the next inspection company on the list. Set up an online scheduling system so you never lose an inspection. Online scheduling systems on websites are available 24/7, and some reporting software, like Horizon, has a very useful scheduling tool built right in. The scheduling tools make sure you get the inspections and also reduce the amount of time you spend booking inspections. This is a big help in growing your business and your revenue.
Provide Helpful Solutions
While home inspection is based on identifying issues, this is not what your client wants. More issues mean more stress for the client. Instead of simply identifying issues and their implications, attempt to provide helpful solutions as well. For example, below is an image from the Home Reference Book, showing common problems with knob and tube wiring:
While images in your reports make the problem easy to understand, the client may not understand how to fix it. Think of yourself as being in the solutions business, not the problem identification business. While you don’t want to be writing specifications, you should always be pointing the client in the right direction to make sure they can probably address the issue quickly and cost-effectively.
Offer Seller’s Inspections
Approximately one third of all the inspections we do at Carson Dunlop are for sellers. Sellers make the inspection report available to prospective buyers, helping to ensure that deals don’t fall through after the house has sold conditionally. Problems often arise between the buyer and seller when the home inspection is done after the negotiation. Houses sell faster and for more money with a pre-listing inspection. You can also provide the prospective buyer with an on-site review. Plus, remember that many sellers will be buying another home, so you are likely to get another inspection!
These are all excellent ways to grow your home inspection business, and in Part Two, we’ll look at even more. Basing your business on strong technical and business training gives you the foundation you need to build an outstanding inspection practice. Carson Dunlop offers training in all the key areas for success. To learn more and download a free chapter of our training program, click here.
Don’t forget to join us for Part Two!