Holy Smoley Tom, havent these Florida people ever heard of quid pro quo? Time to change agents.
Bruce Gregory, InterNACHI Certified HI# 10120503
Florida Home Inspector 1167, Florida Mold Assessor 450 http://HomeandBuildingInspectors.com
“Age is a state of mind, however not yet a state of mine”. bg
In my experience it isn’t the old timers who have this corner sewed up, it is the cheap, minimally trained inspector. Some of these guys only do insurance inspections. I used to do a slew of insurance inspections but was informed there are guys out there doing them for less than half what used to be the norm. I can’t speak for your area but here the average person looks around for the cheapest home insurance they can afford, they go to the “insurance mart” type offices to get the cut rate basic policy from a carrier no one has ever heard of (Earl’s Insurance), probably without the hurricane rider or any flood insurance. These offices are constantly searching for cheaper inspections. I did not lower my rates so they do not call here much anymore unless they need one for their own home or a family member. I have heard there are some out of work contractors doing them. Last time I went to upgrade my phone the guy who waited on me was an out of work contractor. He wanted to know if I was hiring because he didn’t like working at the Verizon store with the preppy kids who usually work those places.
You face at least three big challenges in marketing to insurance agents. The first is the low price inspectors, enough said.
The second hurdle is that many insurance agents are members of networking groups such as BNI or one of the free groups. If the agent is a member of a networking group they will usually refer their work to the inspector in the group. In my expierence, the fee based groups have netted me the most inspections.
The third difficulty you face is there are inspectors out there who pay a refferal fee in some form or fashion to the source of the refferal. Again, enough said I’m not going to get into debating ethics or legalities, just stating reality.
These are by no means all the challenges, but should if you some insight.
In my experience if you provide quality inspections(done correctly) at a fair price with great service, you will prevail. Just ask some of my competition. The questions you have to answer for yourself are above, what is “done correctly, fair price and great service?”
Take a proper wind mit class(Nachi’s will be updated soon).
Answer you phone, smile and be friendly.
A fair price is what others are getting, that are doing the above.
Just know there are all kinds of insurance agents just as there are all kinds of inspectors. You have inspectors that offer wind mits for $75 and must compete on volume and others that won’t do it for less than $150 but offer top notch service. You have agents that only want the inexpensive inspectors for their clients and others where service is their top priority. No one inspector will be able to cater to all these agents’ different “needs”. Decide what type of inspector you are and then go after those agents looking for your particular offering. Be clear and upfront from the beginning. Some will be interested and some will want nothing to do with you. That’s fine. Remain polite and professional and as you visit agent after agent, it will begin to happen for you.
First, learn all you can about performing the inspection accurately.
Second, listen to the successful Insurance inspectors here on the forum. Bonner and John are two of the best.
Third, attend marketing venues that put you face to face with agents. DON’T bother them about how good YOU are. Listen to them. Be prepared to answer there questions. They know less than us. Insurance is a tough market…They will recommend inspectors they KNOW, LIKE, and most importantly, TRUST!