Hey everyone; decided to reach out to the community on this topic, I can’t believe I haven’t yet.
I've been an inspector about 10years. Before COVID I had been growing my business really well with great success. I had steady growth each and every year until covid. 2020 I was down about 30% then 2021 rolled around.. well this year I'm down about 55% from 2019 (my best year). I get 85% of my business from agent referrals, agents that have known me and my business for years. I have a pretty good networking and marketing plan in place and I stay in touch with everyone on a regular basis without being too overwhelming.
Lately the phone just is NOT ringing, sometimes for days, no web site inquires, super slow. I have reached out to 100s of agents via personal phone call and I am being told its not me but the last 10 months most buyers are now forced into waiving their inspections in order to get chosen to buy the house. I do market a post inspection to most of these clients and honestly most don’t take me up on the post inspection.
I went from what I deemed a very successful inspection company to just barely getting by.
Am I one of a few? Are we all suffering? How can we fix this? Have anyone found a solution to help that they can share?
Jason, business has been slow but steady for me. I am working on Healthy Homes courses in my down time. I am reaching out to agents and trying to do meet ups in person or Zoom every week. Covid gave my business a boost, but I generate quite a bit from FB. I look for it and I network. Social media is one of the best ways for me to get business even though I am not good at it. I have been getting a lot of referrals from Clients and Agents so that’s been great.
Offer walk-through inspections to buyers that think they have to pass on home inspections. I have had to be flexible on scheduling as well to get people in when they are available. Keep on keeping on!
Thank you for the help.
I’m old school to the fact that I’m not on any social media platforms. Only relied on agent referrals and for years worked out great. So it looks like I need a social media presence for sure!!
Is anyone being told that inspections are being waived? In NH there are literally 30 buyers to every seller. People are moving to NH in droves.
They are offering $50-100k over asking plus waiving inspections and appraisals to secure the purchase!! It’s been going on for nearly a year.
Morning, Jason. Hope you are well and in good spirits today.
Everyone I know is going through this cycle. Personally, I am making a good living and inspecting 4-5 days a week on average…
People purchased homes without inspections before. Nothing new about that.
Interest smart/wise/savvy purchasers are hedging due to covid-19 and what may lay ahead for financial reasons. These people get homes inspected.
There is a greed fest going on in big business sucking money anyway they can. Supply and Demand remember. Don’t fret. The cycle will change for the better. There are always ebbs and flows in the real estate market.
Try advertising ancillary inspections. get the brain thinking out side the box.
Things will pick up, Keep your chin up and continue marketing the way you have, and branch out, try something new (like FB as Julie suggested). As the market changes with the times your marketing methods should also. Perfect opportunity to take some new courses.
Guess I was just spoiled over the years. There were a few years I had to turn away business as I was booking 10-12 days out, doing 2-3 inspections a day, 6 days a week. This type of business since covid has since disappeared. Definitely time to make some changes.
We went through that phase already. It is still present, but not as widespread. Many sellers still don’t accept inspection objections, but I encourage Clients to at minimum do a walk through to know what is going on with a house that they got 10 minutes to look at. I remind them that I am a Certified Master Inspector so I am trained on what to look for. I recommend a Home Inspection to document for them safety/health concerns to address with their Agent and the seller should they so choose.
I have a few hundred real estate agents that I’ve told I am willing to meet their clients at their showing and offer just that. Unfortunately I have not received many opportunities for this service.
Is it your social media presence that’s allowing you to get these calls to do walk through with them? How else would you aquire a customer to hire your service?
You might consider what an impediment to the sale a home inspection (even a walk through) can be. The best compliment I got from a Realtor was when he said he couldn’t use me because I find too many things wrong. Right away I know this Agent doesn’t have his client’s best interests at heart and also that he can’t negotiate a sale (I thought that’s what he was hired for?). The point I’m trying to make is simply that Realtors are not your best marketing opportunity.
Make yourself more visible on the internet (search engines). Buyers who want an inspection look there first.
Hey Bob, I wish I could say that’s how it is here in my area. Many buyers here actually expect their agents to recommend the best. I try to be on the top of that “3 recommendations” list. A few Agents I work with set it all up per the buyers request. Now I need to go and improve my visibility in search engines.
It sure is social media presence. When I meet with Agents over tea/Zoom, if it comes up in the conversation, I mention walk-throughs as an option. I always try to express the need for a Home Inspection 1st.
I have acquired clients through my website also.
Bob you know something, you’re right! I am told I’m a very thorough inspector. Why would they want me there to do walk through or a post inspection to find issues after the fact… I figured that was the case. I definitely need to find other avenues for leads. Thank you
Jason you can get some free SEO right here on this forum by filling out your signature.
And here is how:
SIGNATURE: Click on your face in the upper right hand corner of this page. Then click on the bell. Then click on preferences. Then click on profile and scroll down to signature and fill out the information that you want to appear under every post that you make. AND LAST, scroll to the bottom of the page and click SAVE CHANGES.
It’s been pretty tight for the last couple years with the general scarcity happening in most places. While there are some people skipping inspections I don’t personally see or believe it’s as bad as what is talked about here most of the time. Most people are too smart of pass up such an important part of buying a house. Also, most agents are smart enough to realize what a HUGE chunk of liability they are taking on being part of their buyers skipping the HI.
As for marketing, you really should get some social media marketing going. I’m like you and don’t really know/understand how it all works but I have someone do it for me. It’s basically the replacement for the Yellow Pages ad that we all had 20 years ago. I pay $500/mo and get several posts and videos a week across several platforms (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) and follow-up requests for reviews. I get a lot of comments from agents about how good my stuff looks so I know they are seeing it. It’s all about keeping yourself at the front of their mind.
At a minimum get a personal FB page and reach out to realtors and become “friends”. This will allow you to see all their posts and trust me, they notice when you “like” their new listings, blogs, etc. As an example I recently got a super-successful team of agents back that stopped using me years ago (over something totally petty that they were ridiculous about) just by “liking” their stuff and getting in front of them.