For the most part, yes. However, as Jerry Peck proved in Florida, and as I proved here in San Diego, one can control the pricing in a niche market if one is willing to work hard.
When I started offering different inspection choices, including my WALK inspections with START AT $49, my average inspection fee went up. I have no doubt that the fact that I was offering PREMIUM and TECH inspections, while too expensive for most people, certainly indicated a significant value to my services, which, in and of itself, showed the value of my STANDARD and BASIC inspections. When advertising commenced about my different inspection choices, Realtors who had never used me all of a sudden were calling me to have me inspect monster homes for their Clients. And monster homes have higher inspection fees, thereby raising my average inspection fee.
While I agree with Nick Gromicko to a certain extent that raising prices indicates value and can increase business, generally I’ve found it not to be true in our industry simply because the general public has no idea what value is in our industry. Ask them about the value between a Cadillac and an Escort, and they know. Ask them about the value between Wal-Mart and Nordstrom, and they know. But they have not a clue about value in home inspections between ABC Company and DEF Company.
Consequently, on a 1,500-SF home, when I advertised TECH inspections at $1,249 and PREMIUM inspections at $799, all of a sudden they saw the value in a STANDARD inspection at $499, whereas my competition is charging $299. And if a prospective Client wants that $299 inspection—ta da!—I have a BASIC inspection priced at $299.
Of course, simply advertising TECH inspections and PREMIUM inspections is not the thing to do. One should actually put together TECH inspection and PREMIUM inspection protocols just in case someone calls and requests one (Hi, Brett! ).