No B.S. Review of the Popular Home Inspectors Marketing Ideas
As if the home inspection business weren’t hard enough, with all of the musty attics, damp basements, cracked walls, and cramped crawl spaces you need to investigate, the idea of finding new work just adds to the to-do list. After a long day in the field, you really don’t have the time or energy to figure out the best way to market your company.
First of all, there is a dizzying array of information about marketing ideas for home inspectors. Secondly, they all cost money that you don’t necessarily want to spend, especially if you don’t have faith in the payout. And thirdly, each business is unique, and it is difficult to determine which marketing idea is best for your particular business.
Some people swear by realtors while some say that old-fashioned flyers are the only way to go. Other home inspectors gravitate towards Google Ads or search engine optimization. And how about a lettered truck that advertises as you drive?
With all the choices out there for advertising, and not really knowing where to turn to for honest down-to-earth answers, the analysis below should help you make some choices that are right for you.
LEAD GENERATION COMPANIES
There are a few different business models used by the lead generation companies. The most common works as a digital marketplace which connects homeowners who need work done to home inspectors in their area who want to do the work. They find leads, and then it is up to the home inspector to finish the deal.
The process is very easy to get started with most companies. They generate all the leads for you, so it takes the footwork out of it for you. You can just sit back and watch it happen.
There are several disadvantages to using these services. You have to deal with a lot of bogus leads. Leads are usually sold to 5 other companies. These services are cost prohibitive. Some top players sell their home inspection leads at $35-50 dollars each, and most leads don’t turn into jobs.
ONE YEAR BUILDER’S WARRANTY INSPECTIONS
Utilizing a Builder's Warranty Mailing List is a clever idea because it sets you apart from other home inspectors. This advertising strategy has you contacting homeowners whose one year warranty is about to come due in order to give them a home inspection to find anything that their builders home warranty will cover before it expires.
This is a highly targeted audience and can garner you some great leads. Unlike other forms of marketing, there is very little competition. This strategy gives you full control over your own financial gesture and is a great way to find some home inspection work on your own.
With this strategy, it’s extremely important that the list of customers whose warranty is expiring is very accurate.
Google Reviews is an easy way to get more work based on quality work you have done in the past. By contacting former customers and asking them to write a Google review, they are actually doing free advertising for you. Future customers read reviews as an initial way to find home inspectors, so if you have some positive reviews, you will get some business!
This marketing technique is free, and that is always easy on the budget. Additionally, if you get 5 star ratings, that will boost your lead generation and ultimately lead you to more paying jobs.
This cannot be the only marketing strategy that you are using because you cannot force people to do a review for you. It could also work against your if not managed correctly; you need to be able to handle negative reviews with a positive attitude and show the future customers that you are trying to make things right.
PPC Advertising, or Pay Per Click, is an extremely targeted form of marketing that has you only paying for the times that people click on your advertisement. By using Google Ads, you can start booking jobs in as little as 24 hours.
PPC advertising has many advantages for home inspectors. You can get some really hot leads very fast. You have full control of the cost, and even with a PPC management company running your campaign, this can be very affordable. Unlike SEO, PPC advertising is extremely targeted, and you are only paying for the people who are actually interested in your product.
This can be difficult to do in house if you do not understand PPC because there are a lot of intricacies that go along with it. If you don’t understand what you are doing, it is possible to lose money rapidly in this way, so hiring an agency that specializes in the home inspection niche is highly recommended.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process by which you can improve the searching engine rankings and traffic to your website.
SEO could be cost effective in the long run as long as you give it 6-12 months to get going. SEO generates quality leads because you can tailor it to exactly what you want and end up at the top of the search results.
SEO takes a long time to get going, and even if you do everything right, the algorithms can strip you from the front page in an instant. Additionally, geo targeting opportunities are very limited.
REAL ESTATE OFFICES
This marketing technique involves visiting real estate offices and offering your services. Realtors need to provide their customers with a list of prospective home inspectors, and if you have impressed the real estate office, you can make the cut.
Since customers tend to trust their realtors, as long as you can get through the initial difficulty of connecting with realtors, you should be able to gain some referrals this way. This can lead you to a larger circle of people who turn to you when in need of a home inspection.
The disadvantages are that realtors have to share at least three names of home inspectors, so you are still competing against others. Also, realtors sometimes expect you to cut their customers a deal, which will ultimately cut into your bottom line. The conflict of interests is another thing that most home inspectors are concerned about.
In case you are having trouble meeting real estate agents in their office, or they are working from home, touching base with real estate agents at their open houses is another strategy.
By stopping in at an open house, you eliminate the gatekeeper, and you are able to meet a real estate agent in person. If it’s slow, some realtors will also be a little nicer about the interruption.
This requires a lot of time and energy, and you really need to bring a gift for the realtors as well. Another disadvantage is that you won’t always get a warm welcome.
This is a quick, easy way to connect with a realtor since you can make a phone call while you are driving to your next home inspection. However, it is hard to get the job unless you are the cheapest home inspector around. Realtors don’t like to refer people they don’t know.
This strategy requires no money upfront. A phone call is easy to make, and you never know what you will find at the other end of the line.
If you are going to do some cold calling, you need to have a thick skin. Many real estate agents will look down at you for cold calling and will not be very interested in recommending you if they do not know you.
MEET UP GROUPS AND NETWORKING EVENTS
There are many networking opportunities and meet up groups in your area, and attending these is an easy way to see a lot of people at the same time. Put your best foot forward and make sure you make a fantastic impression.
Networking events are a step up from cold calls, especially considering how people will trust you more because the setting is more friendly. And even if you don’t get any new jobs, you are bound to meet some new people.
This is such a big investment of your personal time and money, and since it is not very targeted, meet up groups do not tend to net many new contracts right away.
Every time you scroll through Facebook, you see some sponsored ads. Since people spend so much time scrolling through Facebook with family and friends, the hope is that they will take a look at the ads.
This could work in the long term if you are patient and your content is stellar. When people continue to see ads, they start to trust you.
Unfortunately, these ads are not very targeted to home inspections. Facebook Ads offer poor lead to conversion rates,as most people are just scrolling through Facebook to check in with friends and family. You need to set a monthly budget to be in front of a lot of people, and it can get expensive since it is not targeted.
WORD OF MOUTH
Just like it sounds, when you do a good job, people tell their friends and family. And then they tell their friends, and they tell their friends. Word of mouth is an excellent way to seal a new deal because people want to trust their home inspectors.
This is a great combination of low cost and high return. When people trust you, they will sign on the dotted line, and you will end up with more business.
You cannot rely only on word of mouth because even if you are great and your past clients love your work, they do not have an endless supply of people who need home inspections.
There are many different ways to find new clients, and you should bring your best work and best attitude as you meet them. The bottom line about marketing ideas and gaining more home inspections is that this is all based on relationships.
You need to remember that you are in the spotlight. Whether you are reaching out to real estate agents, working with a marketing team to make your PPC work for you, or showing up at an open house with a big box of donuts, the way you treat people matters. You need to do a great job to start with in your initial home inspections, so that word of mouth about your workmanship and friendly demeanor gains you more business.