Dustie Amatangelo may not be a home inspector, but she provides marketing support for Florida Building Inspection Group (The FBI Group) in Tampa, FL. Before entering the world of home inspection, Dustie worked in retail management and for a newspaper, in advertising and marketing sales.
A few years ago, a friend introduced her to Tom Frey of The FBI Group. Dustie remembered, “Tom and I sat down to discuss the new position in marketing. He wanted a person to help him run candy bowls to the real estate offices and assist with scheduling.” Dustie seized the opportunity to explain the value she could bring to The FBI Group, given her background in advertising and marketing, and her connections in the local real estate community. They came to an agreement and formed a profitable working relationship.
Dustie explained her vision so well, Tom handed her a phone and the password to sign into Inspection Support Network (ISN), their scheduling system, and said “Go!” And off she went. She started calling on 10 offices weekly. Dustie stated, “It’s about building relationships because everyone does business with people they know, like and trust. Getting through the gatekeeper is the hardest part. You have to pay attention to the surroundings and pick up on any little tidbit you can, such as a new baby, a child’s sports team or a promotion. Also, mention any real estate agent who is doing business with you within the company. Find a connection to break the barrier and then you must be consistent. Always call on the office on the same day every week. Bring them pens, pads, candy, snacks, just something to leave behind with your contact info on it.”
The result? It worked and she hasn’t stopped since. It’s a good thing, too, because Tom took to heart the coaching he received from Millionaire Inspector Community (MIC) to grow his business. In July 2015, Tom was a one-man show. That September, he hired his first inspector. Today, there are 10 employees at The FBI Group. Tom, of course, leads the team, Dustie and a second marketing agent focus on business development, two administrative assistants handle scheduling and providing excellent customer service and five inspectors perform residential and commercial inspections.
One of Dustie’s roles is to create and schedule presentations on a variety of topics to educate real estate agents on the inspection process. One popular session is called “Inspector 101—What to Expect When Inspecting.” This training session educates agents on the types of inspections and the insurance reports needed in the home-buying process. Dustie also works with the agencies to create presentations if they feel they need more knowledge on topics such as mold, radon and wood-destroying organism (WDO) inspections.
Dustie’s advice to inspectors: “Delegating aspects of your business that you do not like to do or do not have time to do makes you a smart businessperson. Your first step is to find someone with a passion for marketing and hire them. One of the best places to look is your local chamber of commerce. They will know who the connectors are and they will help you connect with them. Imagine, if you will: You now have someone handling your marketing and scheduling your appointments, leaving you to focus on the client at the inspection. This will certainly increase your profits due to the referrals being sent your way.”
Dustie’s passion for the niche market of home inspection is palpable. She says, “I absolutely love what I do and I get to be the face of The FBI Group. I also love my community and create outreach programs around breast cancer, domestic violence and Easterseals. I find partners in our community like mortgage lenders and builders, and I like to have a little fun by hosting brokers’ bus tours, business after hours and
Dustie stated, “Most of our referrals come from real estate agents, so that’s my main focus. However, once you get going, mortgage lenders, insurance companies and remediation firms can be great source of referrals as well.” Wrapping up, Dustie said, “The human touch is missing is this digital world we live in today. Be Present, make Presentations and create those Personal lasting relationships. Give them what they want, a little bit of YOU!”
ASHI is a strong influence at The FBI Group. Tom strongly believes in the organization. He is a Master Certified Inspector and has been licensed since 2012. All FBI Group inspectors are certified through ASHI’s program. Dustie and Tom plan to attend InspectionWorld® in Orlando in January, so look for them there.