Does Your Company Have an Option to Book Online?
Did you know that up to 90% of home inspections for some Horizon companies are booked online?
In today’s busy world, customers expect businesses to accommodate their schedule and be available when they need them most. This is especially true in the real estate industry, where homebuyers are on a short deadline and need to book their home inspection immediately – even if that means at 3AM.
Thankfully, with online booking systems, business hours are quickly becoming a thing of the past. You can now accept home inspection bookings without having to be available 24/7.
This article shows how easy online booking is and how it will take your business to the next level.
The benefits of booking online
Many homebuyers do extensive research online and will select a home inspector based on their website. In fact, many young homebuyers will not pick up the phone and speak to someone, even for something as important as a home inspection. With an option to book online, your website looks more professional and visitors can book their inspection instantly. The experience is satisfying, and people get a booking confirmation right away.
Your business is also accessible 24/7 365 days a year. The convenience is significant, for both clients and real estate professionals. A good online booking system is fast and easy to use. This is very important for agents who do not want to waste time on the phone.
Book more inspections. The best online booking systems are tied into your scheduling system and the booking can be confirmed immediately.
Lastly, an online booking system saves you administrative time. It also saves time for your clients and agents. There are fewer phone calls and emails for everyone.
What is my booking availability?
Take control of your schedule and set your own hours. Set realistic hours and include a contact number for inquiries about special times or other services.
You need a website
The only prerequisite for a Horizon user is a company website. Horizon provides online booking for free, although some software companies charge for these services.
As an added benefit, Horizon users that do not have a website can take advantage of a 6-month free promotion through Inspectors Edge.
Your call to action
Be sure to consider your call to action on your website. Online booking systems typically start with a Book My Inspection button. You should have the button near the top and bottom of each page. It should be visible no matter where you are on any page. Clicking the button opens a new page or frame on the website and takes the visitors straight to the booking interface.
Be sure to let people know
You can point people to your online booking system in brochures, flyers, business cards, presentations, emails, on-hold messages on your phone and any other promotional content you offer.
Don’t forget mobile devices
Make sure your online booking system is mobile-friendly and responsive to the device being used to browse, as many clients and agents will use their phone or tablet to look at your website and book online.
Consider the booking experience
Consider the booking experience and keep it simple. Avoid frustration and losing people with several screens or too long a form.
Although it can be set up to gather lots of data, be mindful of the user’s time and effort. After the initial online booking, the home inspection company should call to fill in any gaps, offer additional services, etc.
Whether you take the long or the short approach, make it easy for users. Every time someone stops and wonders what to do next, you risk losing the sale. When people are not sure how to answer a question, they may give up and go away.
Provide a lifeline
Include a phone number on each screen, so people can call you if needed.
Test, measure and revise
From a marketing perspective, you should not have to guess which booking approach is best for your market. You can try various forms to see which works better for you. Horizon measures how many people who started to fill out the form completed it. The goal is to have 100% completion, of course.
Horizon logs how many steps were completed in the booking process. This helps identify sticking points where people leave, so you can refine the experience moving forward.
An online booking system can enhance your professionalism, help you book more inspections, and provide a positive experience for clients and agents. It is an indispensable tool for building your business.
If you are serious about growing your home inspection business, try Horizon inspection software free and get all the tools you need to succeed – including an integrated online booking system!
Alan Carson, an ASHI member and Past President, is the founder of Carson Dunlop, one of North America’s most prominent home inspection firms, and a pioneer in Home Inspection Software.