Congrats! You just became your own boss and started down a highly profitable path. But now what?
Becoming a professional home inspector sets you on the path for a lucrative career. Once you’ve set up shop and insured against claims that could potentially take a devastating financial toll, it’s time to get proactive about building your home inspection business. Marketing can seem like a time-consuming—and costly—prospect, but it certainly doesn’t have to be.
How do Home Inspectors Get Clients?
Home inspectors get clients by forming partnerships with realtors, investing in marketing, and getting referrals from satisfied customers. Here are some tips from EliteMGA for how to grow your home inspection business, even with a minimal (or no) marketing budget:
Understand your Competitive Landscape
Research the competition by visiting their websites and reviewing their ads to better understand your local market and consumer expectations. The good news is that the home inspection industry is expanding creating more opportunities for new home inspectors where they don’t have to directly compete with the well-established inspectors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of home inspectors will increase by 10 percent in 2026.
Find Partner Realtors
Network with area realtors in person, by phone, and online, as they are a great source for business referrals. According to a survey conducted by Porch, 88% of homebuyers used home inspection services for their most recent home purchase. Therefore, realtors are connected with your customers, home buyers, and can refer your home inspection services to their clients. You can join area realtor associations and boards for good networking opportunities.
Become a Member of a Home Inspection Association
Join a local or national home inspection association, such as InterNACHI, to optimize your visibility within the industry. Home inspector associations should have local chapters near you. They offer help with branding and marketing, cultivate advice from established inspectors, and most importantly offer continuing education credits and specialty inspection training.
Establish Your Brand
Design a memorable logo and create a simple website with details about your services, experience, and pricing. Illustrate what sets you apart from other home inspectors in your area. Print up professional business cards with your logo, website, and contact information clear and readable. Carry them everywhere and give them out often to everyone that you meet. You never know who could give you a referral in the future or might need your services themselves. Additionally, when inspecting a home, leave your business card with the seller if possible. They are hot leads!
Start business pages on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to build a web presence. Use these social networking pages actively for social media marketing, sharing useful information for realtors, homeowners, and home buyers looking for a home inspector to establish your expertise.
Invest in Online Advertising
Pay per click is a great way to reach a large potential audience of leads. You can use Google Ads, Bing Ads, and Facebook Ads to target home buyers, sellers, and realtors within a specified geography. Online advertising requires some investment, but if managed correctly, you can convert leads into clients and partnerships successfully. Another benefit of online advertising for home inspectors is the data to measure how your advertisement is performing and track your ROI.
Offer Complementary Services
Align yourself with partners and vendors whose services you can offer to your clients help manage your risk. RecallCheck and 90 Day Warranties are a good start.
Send Out Press Releases
Find reasons to send out press releases in local media and online outlets—if you share something newsworthy, you can also talk about your services for free publicity. PR Web and PR Newswire are good resources to create and distribute press releases that will also build valuable links for your website.
Join the Online Discussion
Participate in online forums and message boards related to home buying and selling (not to spam people but to get your name out, share your knowledge, and bolster your reputation). Join discussion forums and message boards online to answer your potential clients’ and partners’ questions. This can also build a brand for yourself as a knowledgeable and helpful home inspector.
Build a Positive Reputation
Manage your reputation online by keeping track of what people say about you on reviews and social networking sites, such as Yelp, Google My Business, and Facebook. You can use constructive criticism and respond professionally and fairly to comments when possible. You can also ask your clients to write a positive review if they were happy with your home inspection services. More people read reviews before purchasing products than ever and the same goes for home inspection services. It might even be worth it to offer a coupon or discount for a positive review. Always treat customers respectfully and delight them with your services. Enthusiastic word of mouth is the single most effective way to grow your home inspector business.
Start a Newsletter
Send out a free monthly or bimonthly newsletter covering home inspection, realty, and related topics. This will keep your network of contacts engaged and keep you top of mind for referrals. Additionally, the newsletter can establish you as an expert in your fields further improving your brand image. You can add special offers to your newsletter recipients and social networking followers to incentivize them to keep engaging with your content.
Learn Effective Time Management
Stay organized to manage your time effectively and keep track of your contacts, clients, and leads. Inspection Support Network (ISN) is a great business platform to do this. You worked hard for those contacts and leads so don’t let them slip through the cracks. Make time for relationship building every week to manage your time effectively.
Find a Mentor
Find a mentor to help guide you through the process. InterNACHI offers mentorship programs to help new inspectors to learn the ins and outs of the business and help established inspectors to earn continuing education credits.
Now you are equipped with a variety of free and paid marketing options to help you grow your new home inspection business. Don’t forget to fully protect your business with home inspector insurance. Learn what insurance is required in your state and surrounding states before you begin on your first inspection. Contact EliteMGA to speak with one of our experienced staff about E&O insurance for home inspectors.
Questions Home Inspectors Can Expect to Be Asked from Their Clients
When a potential client interviews you and your quality of work, it’s important to set yourself apart from other inspectors and provide them with trustworthy assurance in your expertise and experience. Be sure to answer these types of questions honestly and concisely to alleviate any uncertainty as to whether you are the person for the job. After all, this is probably the biggest investment most people make in their lives and they are instilling considerable trust in you to help them.
What Sets you Apart from other Home Inspectors?
What is most important to homeowners and banks? Accuracy and thoroughness. It is also important to underscore that you have a great response time. Are you a member of any state or national home inspector associations? What designations have you acquired?
Did an Earlier Career Provide you with Helpful Inspection Experience?
This is your time to shine. For most home inspectors, this was not the first career choice. Explain to your client where you have learned your experiential experience and your academic experience. It is important they understand the value you, as an inspector, bring to the table.
If you Discover Issues that Require Repair or Replacement, Do you Recommend Vendors?
This is a discretionary response. Our suggestion is have 3 or 4 recommendations that the client can vet themselves. This will alleviate anxiety for the client, to know you know certified contractors that can help fix their repairs. Remember: It’s important these vendors are insured as well.
If your Recommendations are Hired, Do you Benefit Financially?
We do not recommend ever receiving financial incentives from your preferred client list. It always creates the fear that you are merely recommending vendors solely for your gain. Again, you are trying to alleviate anxiety, this will only increase the anxiety and distrust.
Do you carry Errors and Omissions Insurance? What does it Cover?
Of course, in most states, there is a minimum coverage requirement. For example, in Pennsylvania inspectors are required to carry no less than $100,000 per occurrence, and at least $500,000 aggregate. Selecting an insurance company such as EliteMGA that specializes in the home inspection insurance industry will help you better manage your risk.
Will you Email a Redacted Copy of a Recent Home Inspection?
Do you Perform Listing or Pre-Sale Inspections? If so, Do you Re-inspect for a Buyer at the Time of a Sale?
Explain your business model, and what services you offer as a home inspector.
Who at your Company Performs the Physical Inspection?
Oftentimes, the potential client was referred to you by either a real estate agent or bank. They do not know your company size or anything about you.
Do you Physically Access the Roof to Check the Various Inspection Points? If the Roof is too Steep, or Snow-Covered, How do you Inspect it?
This is dependent on your service offerings. If you have already explained what particular services you offer, then you probably won’t have to worry about this question.
How Home Inspectors Can Improve Their Professionalism and Win More Business
As a business owner, you have the advantage of being your own boss. You’re able to create your own hours, choose your clients, and build your business as you see fit. However, there are also some downsides to having your own business. Building your business means creating a good image for yourself. As a home inspector, you want to make sure that you are representing yourself and your business in as professional a way as possible. There are a few key steps that you can take in order to ensure that your professional image is helping and not hurting you.
Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Communication
Communication is key in every aspect of life, but especially so in the business world. You want to be sure that you are communicating with your clients effectively and clearly. Good communication can help you grow your business, even when delivering bad news to your customers. Trust and honesty is more important than ever in business communication today. On the other side, poor communication can lead to everything from small misunderstandings to major issues. Additionally, lack of communication can open a home inspector up to potential liability problems. Make sure you set customer expectations appropriately before major results are delivered through proper communications to avoid mistakes and errors. During the course of your inspection, write down everything so that you have all your notes ready when completing your reports. Ensure that you are protected from oversights by investing in home inspector insurance. Errors and Omissions insurance can cover you when miscommunication happens and protect you from liability issues.
Create Company-Branded Email Domains
Image is everything when you are in business. Professionalism is more than just how you act and dress while on the job. When you have your own business, branding is extremely important. One way that you can improve your company’s image is by creating company-branded email domains. Having a specific email address bearing your company’s domain name is an easy way to get your name out there and improve your professional appearance in the eyes of current and potential clients. Brand recognition is important, and building your email addresses around your own company name, such as firstname.lastname@example.org, will help ensure that clients recognize and remember your brand.
Tips to Improve Your Professional Image
There are several things that you can do to improve your professional image in order to build your business.
- Be cognizant of your public image. Keep your professional social media clean, don’t post controversial or inflammatory things, and invest in a company-branded email address to increase name recognition
- Remember the golden rule. Treat your clients the way that you would want to be treated. Keep any promises you make, be on time, remain professional even under pressure, and ensure that you are communicating in a clear and concise fashion. Always dress and act in a manner that puts your best foot forward and represents your company in a positive way
- Relationships are key when you are growing your business. Your clients will be your best advertisers, so treat them right and you will go far
- Plan for all possible occasions. Planning ahead can only get you so far, but insurance can help you fill in the gaps. Home inspector insurance can help protect you from errors, oversights, personal injury, and much more.
Professionalism is all about image. How you present yourself to your clients will determine how successful you will be. However, in business, there are always unknowns. Prepare for them by investing in home inspector insurance.