October, 2014
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Marketing Corner


Marketing Corner... What Year Business Are You Driving…

Are you driving a 20 year old car? Most likely not. Yet many home inspectors are running their businesses like they were 20 years ago…even those that have only been in business for 10 years or less. Let me explain.

I speak to inspectors all across North America and I am still surprised they are still using marketing created 20 plus years ago. You see our industry has moved to the next level in maturity. However, many inspectors are not moving with it. In fact, many actually still believe that marketing is wrong – just like it was once thought marketing was wrong for lawyers or dentists. Yes we, too, are professionals and if you are not aware of it, in many cases we can make comparable pay or possibly more.

Anyway , during one presentation I share with inspectors, I touch on what they need in their brochures and business cards because it is completely different than what we needed 20 years ago.

You see, we used to say things like…”Get a home inspection for your protection” and of course the favorite phrase was “This is likely to be one of the largest investments you will ever make so make sure you have an inspection done to help protect yourself and know what you are buying”. Then we had a tendency to tell them we inspect the roof, foundation, heating and air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, and many of us inspect the appliances. Wow, this was revolutionary – people could actually get an expert to walk through the house and give them an idea of the condition of the home. I still catch myself sometimes saying …”We inspect homes and check the …so you will have an idea of the condition of the home you are buying and that will help you make an informed buying decision”. Some habits die hard.

Some of you even like to add that great picture of the house with all the parts labeled to indicate that we look at all of these pieces – so as one of my coaches said, the only difference between lettuce and garbage is timing. 20 year old marketing is garbage.

If you are still doing this – STOP – you are wasting your time and your prospects ’ time. Even more importantly you are wasting your money. We all realize that in today’s marketplace the majority of people now know about inspections and they can easily find out what you inspect – either in brochures of those inspectors that don’t get what I am saying or of course on the internet from their websites.

So this, my friends, is the secret to a successful business. You NEED to let them know why they should choose you.

You want to have at least 3 to 4 USPs (Unique Selling Points) that will set you above or aside from at least 70% of your competition and then you need at least (did I say at least – I guess old inspection habits die hard) one USP that is so unique that it sets you above 99% of your competition if not 100% of them.

The companies that are growing -- and some are growing at over 100% per year, and some are even multi-inspector companies -- are doing so because of one main reason and that is they have strong USPs.

So what year car are you driving? If it is 20 years old – then don’t be surprised when people (buyers) decide not to ride with you. Can you imagine a rental company that only rented 20 year or even 10 year old cars – a couple of companies tried it. They didn’t survive. In fact when I rent, I look forward to driving the latest and greatest…what do you give your buyers and agents to look forward to?

Here is a Bonus for ASHI members…

I have a website called www.BrochureMakeover.com, and on it are a number of suggestions of how to improve your brochure.

As an ASHI member you can have all the information for only one dollar...

To make room in your brochures you need to get rid of the following:

• Prices - if you give them prices in your brochure they have little to no reason to call you and this is the number one reason people call

• Fax Number - are you kidding me?

• Email - I know you don't understand this one...Just remember the only purpose of a brochure is to make the phone ring so you can schedule an inspection... your email doesn't help with that..

• Company Address – not needed

• Why a Home Inspection? Discussed above - need I say more?

• What a Home Inspection Includes - do you really inspect roofs, foundations and electrical... oh my... you are impressive - NOT

Fixing your brochure is easier than you might think. So before you waste a few hundred dollars on another useless piece of marketing, let's fix it.

By the way, there are people saying you don’t need a brochure. All I will say is their business is not growing as fast as our members. So be careful who you listen to. Listen to those operating a successful home inspection business – one that is growing every year.

Be Successful and Be Around and Study Those Who Are Successful...$$$

Mike Crow works with hundreds of inspectors across North America helping them to market their business and put systems in place moving their business to the next level. ASHI has determined that what he teaches can help you as well and has awarded him Platinum Preferred Provider – As an ASHI member you have a couple of unique opportunities to get more information for only one dollar. Go to www.ASHIbookoffer.com and/or www.BrochureMakeover.com to get all the above information and more for only one dollar – tell him that you heard about him in the ASHI Reporter. You can have more inspections on a consistent basis with these simple steps that no one has ever taught you before. If you don’t do this you will be behind where our industry is going – don’t let that happen.