I usually don’t answer calls from out of my area code. I let it go to voice mail. 99% of the time it’s a vender trying to sell me something that I don’t want. If someone from outside of my area code leaves a name only and not the reason for the call, he doesn’t get a return call. True, I may lose business from that 1% that are looking for an inspection (usually price shopping) but I can live with that. Also I don’t answer my phone at an inspection, only from family members.
I bet you had a lot of pissed off inspectors, answering the phone during an inspection, only to be another vendor or phony price shopper.
Interesting. At least 75% of calls from outside my area are people booking inspections. If they are price shopping and you are not converting, then you need more phone training. I always answer the phone at inspections. I won’t necessarily talk long, but I let them know I am on an inspection and will call them back shortly. I lose very few but it also depends on my mood the what I “hear” during the first few seconds of the call.
If I am looking for a service and it goes to voice mail, I call the next company. No calling back. Areas and inspectors are all different.
Maybe you should concentrate on growing your own home inspection business Billy. The contractor pro thingy didn’t work for you and there are a lot more contractors out there than home inspectors. Think about it. You’re doomed to fail.
Try this perspective Steve…
A man from St. Louis (with his young family) is relocating to another state in hopes of garnering a better position with his company, and a better way of life for his family…
He has three options to remain with his present employer…
Kapowsin, WA a suburb of Seattle with a backdrop of Mt. Rainier
Owatonna, MN a rural town in the flatlands/farmlands of the frigid Upper Midwest
Delmar, NY a suburb of Albany, NY… 'nuff said!
Now… who do you feel has a better chance of getting his “out-of-area” call?
Note: For myself, “Out-of-area” should actually read as “out-of-state” (except northern Iowa). I answer all calls from within my and adjoining area codes (7 area codes). All others are “unknown” and are delegated to voicemail.
If I did that I would lose 75% of my inspections.
I answer all calls.
Thus the beauty of being self-employed… you make the rules for your own business. Every area is unique, as indicated in my example.
You are absolutely correct.
In my area you would loose a ton of business if you let out of area calls go to voicemail. I even get alot of calls from people who say they live in St. Louis but their phone has a totally different area code not even related to MO. It really does come down to how busy you are. No reason to answer the phone all the time if you have you’re plate full I get it. But if you want the work then you really need to answer your phone out of start or in state.
100% of calls are answered. I even have an overflow system installed. If the secretary cant get to the call it forwards to a call center. People want to speak to a PERSON, in my opinion. Even if they leave a message, that’s OK I think they feel better to at least know their call is being answered.
Here is how I decided to add that system, it is VERY simple. I just watched MYSELF and MY actions. If I have to leave a message I typically hang up and call another company and figure if I do that, than most probably would as well.
I don’t want a “press one” for this and a “press two” for that…I want to TALK to someone, even if they can’t answer the question at least I got to talk to a human being, who speaks English and can take a competent message. I get that message within 1 minute via text and can decide how to handle accordingly…
Different strokes for different folks…
You are a expert at home inspections. No doubt. I read alot of good info you put out. But when it comes to knowing me or if I will succeed your better off walking into a dark cavern without a flashlight. Negative people like you just fuels my fire. Out of 500 I contacted so far I have a ton of interest and according to what I read and what I have learned from Texas I have thousands more to choose from. Sky’s the limit old friend.
You’re losing it. You’ll need batteries for your flashlight soon Billy.
I agree 100%.
Most people, unless it’s a personal referral, will keep calling different businesses until they get a live person to talk to and book the inspection.
I was missing out on a lot of business for years. I had a personal secretary/girlfriend for about a year, that was a mistake… I have been with ACC going on 3 years now. They answer my calls from 9 AM to 7 PM Mon-Fri & half a day on Sat.
I understand you will be in direct competition with ACC. What do you have to offer that they don’t? Let me add, for me, price has less to do with the equation than the quality of the service provided.
I wish you success with your new endeavor.
Thanks for the wishes Kevin. To answer your question… Knowledge. I live and breath just like you do. I know exactly how a home inspector thinks. We are not just a call center. We are home inspection perception experts who listens to your desires and executes your business as you would “not us”. My techs are trained by me monitored by me answer to me and my clients can always get to me anytime day or night. I’m much like Dom at times. I go to bed 1 or 2 and up by 7 or earlier ask Pete we talked until 1 or so the other night. I personally set up all accounts myself by calling you directly. There is no set up fees involved. We work together until you’re satisfied 100% and then I start representing your company just as you would. At $99 a month $20 a book, the opportunity to address a free inspection business coach, and not to mention we can drastically change your company image by creating a new website/logo which will be optimized for major search engines.
Your image is my image and rest assured we will work extremely hard to keep both of our images in tact.
lol We shall see.
How can you? You’re blind.:p:p
You’re no competition for ACC. They’ve been in business for years and are the industry leader. They’ve implemented some recent changes which will greatly improve our client’s image of our office operations.
Awesome Linus. If they work for you keep it going. No need to recreate the wheel if your happy. As for no competition that’s what people thought here and local in my area when I first started my inspection business. Linus I wouldn’t start this business if I didn’t think I had a chance at success. I’m not out to get rich, I’m out to help my family “you guys” and I’m out to employ people who really need jobs the most. That’s always been a life passion of mine. Owning a business runs deep into my family roots.
Thanks for the reply Billy.
For now I plan on staying with ACC. As you know they are either in the process of or have already implemented Cornerstone II. I personally really like the system and the way it “talks” to the ISN, and the ISN “talks” back to it.
They are also implementing a new system, where if they call back a client, REA or who ever, my name & number will show up on the caller ID, so it looks as though it’s coming from my office.
I’m just curious, have you established your hours of operation yet (hours your staff will be answering the phones)?
ACC is a tough one to beat in many, many ways. And as I stated earlier, I would rather pay more for a higher quality of service than not, I think most others would as well, so keep that in mind going forward.
I wish you the best, give 'em hell Billy.
Thanks a million Kevin. I appreciate the inside scoop and I’ll have to check into caller ID feature pretty cool. As for cornerstone I used ACC as well and to be honest I don’t understand a need to invest in separate system like ACC has when all you have to do is create a professional order form template (fill in the blanks during the order) and send it to the client via email. As for ISN I’ve been using it for awhile now and all we need is your systems user name and password and we’ll keep everything updated for you. If your new to ISN we’ll even set it for you free of charge. One thing I would like to see ISN implement is a automated reminder email in the event your contract has not been signed before your inspection takes place. I will be talking to Dan about that. As for hours we are 8am-9pm Mon-Fri and 8am-4pm Saturdays Central Time. Any other great ideas shoot them my way.
PS… After looking at hundreds of websites what many need to focus on is image/website. Without it unless you’re well established and don’t need one ACC or Inspector Office Pro will do you very little good.