I know this is a little off the education topic, but I had a hard time finding an appropriate board to post on.
My husband (and I) is wanting to start a home inspection business. He has completed his inspection classes, and we are now getting into the nitty-gritty of putting our business plans together. In doing so, we’ve come across a bit of bump that we would like some professional insight on:
As someone who does some marketing in her career, I feel that it is very important to say exactly what you do in your business name. Therefore, one of the words that is in the name we like the most for our business is “Flaw.” Now I know that you do not want to have a negative connotation in your name, but then again, what does a home inspector do? Find flaws in what could potentially be the biggest investment in your life. We want our customers to be confident that we will find the flaws in this potential investment before they take the plunge. However, I also know that a realtor may blackball us simply for advertising that we find flaws - that we would be “deal killers.” So I guess my question is this: Would this name containing the word “Flaw” really be detrimental to our marketing, and to our business?
Thanks so much for your input!
It might be just me, but I would pick something a little more imaginative, like maybe using the city you live in as a portion of your company name, search engines pick up on things like that if you intend to have a website.
When you say flaw, like “Flaw Inspections” or Flaw Inspectors"
I don’t think you would be sleeping with any Realtors that’s for sure…
Actually, we were thinking something more like, “Flaw Finders.”
My concern with using the city we live in is that customers in the surrounding cities may not contact us if they see just that city listed. For example, “City Home Inspections.” Would the people in Village, and Town not call simply because they are a little outside of the “City” area?
You might think about it a different way: The inspector’s job is not to find flaws, but instead to describe the overall condition of the house. This will include some concerns, for sure, and it will also include some positive aspects. A “flaw” is an opinion, so that what one person sees as a flaw, another person might not. So it’s better to call them “concerns,” meaning that the professional inspector is concerned about this item. I suggest not using the word “flaw.”
I don’t know…“Ma & Pa’s Outlaw Flaw and Faux Pais Emporium” kind of has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? OK, maybe not…
The state you live in will receive high volume in Google regarding the keyword used for people searching, for instance “arizona home inspectors” receives lots of hits, regardless of the city, it’s a term used by many people looking for an inspector.
I would at least use a term/word in the name of the company which would be picked up by the search engines, “Flaw” would not be a keyword.
Anything with “home”, “inspector”, “inspection”, or “your city/state” and a combination of will get you to the top of the search index quick. Since most people look for an inspector on the net it will get your business rolling quicker.
Michael Boyett - Ha, that was great! You’re a poet!
For my 2 cents worth … think that particular Business Name would be Flawed …
… yes, as an industry, we do identify discrepancies … but the way to market **what you do **may not be to **bluntly state **what you do …
If you were going to sell Sushi … probally would not want to stress the “raw, dead fish” part of the product either …
Thats a good name
…and maybe use a diamond as part of your logo.
Just a couple of thoughts from your old uncle Earl.
That’s so good, did I come up with that?
OH MY GOD! You ROCK!!! That is AWESOME!!!
Thank you guys all so much for your input and your insight. We are so appreciative, and I hope we’ll be able to return the favor someday.
Please tell me my suggestion was your 2nd choice…
You are kidding, aren’t you?
We are in deficiency finding business and reporting on deficient items. I know of NO SOP that requires that good things be reported. Only bad. The rest just gets identified. Besides the Realtors have already told your client all the good things. Let them sell the house!!
How to loose client, (not Realtors as they come and go, your clients can be forever), referrals 101!
I think Flaw in a name might just be the catch and work.
Jerry Peck and I had the following in the yellow pages for years. Boy did it make the phones ring for both our companies.
** Your best friend and your Realtors worst nightmare. **
My SOP doesn’t require “good things” to be reported, but I have to describe the property. For example, I have to state the water source, the types of water piping, whether or not a deck and patio are present, whether or not storm doors are present, whether or not a crawl space or slab is present and how I inspected them, they type of roof design and the number of shingle layers, how I inspected it, the condition of kitchen cabinets, and etc. Finally, I have to state the overall condition of the property and the maintenance it has received.
So, my inspection reports are not simply a list of defects.
I reserve my report writing to display items that are in need of repair. I do however like to give my clients what they want. Their eyes never fail to light up when I verbally say things like:
Roof sheathing’s got a radiant barrier, that’s a good thing.
Roof covering is Architectural style and typically a 30 year roof, that’s a good thing.
Structure is ten years old but has two pane windows, that’s a good thing.
There is a bag of cash in the attic …
No John, that is when you find something seriously wrong with the house, keep your mouth shut and put a purchase contract on it later that same day, 10% higher than the asking price. That is if there is enough cash!
No, I’m not kidding when I say that I also report some of the basic (5-point) items that are in good condition. NACHI’s SOP doesn’t require this, of course, but I am free to exceed the SOP.
For example, if I find a roof that has been recently installed, properly installed, with no visible concerns, especially on an older house, I’ll say so. Or if the electrical system has been upgraded, I’ll say so.
Each inspector has the freedom to define his business the way that seems best. I’ve seen that my clients want an overall picture, not just a complaint list. They are not having an inspection just so they can go back and negotiate. They are almost always looking to the future, looking at the overall value of what they are buying. I can’t comment on value, of course, but when I mention some unexpected positive items, especially in an older home, then that gives the buyer a better perspective of the home’s value in their eyes.
An inspection is an education for the client. I’m deficient if I only give them a partial education. That’s how I have defined my business, for my client’s benefit. It has nothing to do with realtors.
Also, there’s a lot more discussion of this very question at this thread: