Originally Posted By: Chris Norman
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Hey all,

Just wanted to share an experience I had this AM. I am a new inspector in my area so I have been passing out flyers with $$ off inspection fee coupons attached. I have inquired for some time around the area into fees charged by local HI and also types of reports etc. I seem to have set my fees maybe 25-50 dollars higher than others but feel that it is a fair price considering my type of report and the quality I know I can deliver.

Realtor called this morning, asked for a price and said that after my discount she could probably find someone who could do it for $15, yes $15 less and then quickly got off the phone. She didn’t even inquire about my credentials, experience or anything. Could it be just about the price?

My knee jerk was to call back and say I could lower price because I am just getting started but then thought better and felt I am giving good value for the customers buck regardless of what a particular realtor thinks. I do want the work but…

Any comments, takes or insight much appreciated,


Originally Posted By: dfrend
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First, double check your prices, maybe you are a lot higher (not that it is a bad thing).

Second, if you think your prices are fair, stick to them. Offer the money off, but don't cave.

Third, work on a pitch as to WHY your prices are what they are. Don't disclose the price till after you pitch the reasons. If you pitch it to sound like you are the best, they will be expecting the price to be higher. Remember too, that with all the high priced housing, many consumers WANT the most expensive inspector because they ASSUME he is the best.

Finally, realize that some agents won't use you no matter what for their own dumb reasons.

Daniel R Frend
The Home Inspector Store

Originally Posted By: rdean
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My initial reaction would be that this Realtor may have been just “kickin tires” and not really seeking an inspection.

I would have tried to switch the discussion to the property in question and if the discussion appeared genuine, I would of accepted the $15 issue as saying you could perform the inspection.

I would also keep my pricing consistent with the competition. Also avoid the subject of your being new to HI ![eusa_silenced.gif](upload://3cU7JLvJ6iG8zR8RiVNEerHfvbn.gif) !

Good luck

Originally Posted By: awatson
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The best advice I got from this board is its better to be cheap and working than sitting at home. You can always raise your prices after you are more established. I’ve actually worked a job for 1/2 PRICE because the realtor had the balls to ask for it and I didn’t have an inspection lined up for that day.

Originally Posted By: Blaine Wiley
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I have lost inspections over $5. You need to shop your competition and set your price accordingly.

I have always said that I would rather have all of $199 than none of $229!

If you are going to set your price above your competition, you will need to justify it. We all have great reports, great inspections, communicate effectively, etc. Why are you so much better that your price can be higher.

Be prepared for that question.

Originally Posted By: John Bowman
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My personal opinion,

If your location is within the limits of million dollar homes, don't worry about it you will get the work. If your loction is within an economically depressed area, worry about it. You had better be competitive with other inspectors or even maybe a little less until your name and reputation are recognizable. Once you have established yourself and of course proven your expertise, professionalism, etc. the extra dollars will not become an issue. Now, if your rich and can afford to sit idle, by all means stick to your guns and stay high. But if you need the bucks, you gotta bend.

One of my favorite sayings, "I hate to work, but I Love to eat".

Originally Posted By: Scott Patterson
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Don’t discount your rates! The moment you start discounting your rates you become a target from that point on. Low balling and discounting hurt those that are new more than anything. Established home inspectors will generally have the highest rates and clients that will wait for them to have an opening.

Sure when you are starting out you need to price yourself in a competitive range, but don't give the farm away. If you ask an experienced inspector they will tell you that every inspection that they ever discounted ended up causing them problems. I can't tell you why that is but it always works out that way.

What other profession discounts their rates? I really can't think of any.

If you are going to offer a discount you need to have a time limit and do it in the form of a certificate.

And please don't be the one to advertise the $99 or the $199 Home Inspection. Do you really think that a person can do this for long at this price and offer quality also?


Originally Posted By: Blaine Wiley
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Hey Scott,

Glad to hear I won't make it long at $199. Especially since the going rate in this area is about $175. I do miss the days in VA when I was getting $350.

You don't want to be the low guy, but if you are new, and everyone knows it, you won't get the business if you're the high priced guy either. Middle of the road is a good place to be when starting out.

Originally Posted By: rsummers
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Welcome to the Butte County market place Chris. Good luck on the Marketing to the local Realtors. Ive left 100s of brochures to just about every office in the Chico, Paradise, Oroville area with out a response from any of them. Ive been doing this since 2002 and still don’t get enough to quit my day Job but I come pretty close. I think Ive get about 10% of the local market on most weeks but some times I don’t. This week I got 4 Inspections and got 3 of those today but some weeks I only get 1 or 2. I’m not sure what your work experience is but there are a lot of GC that inspect and Inspectors with ICBO certificates. If you are patient and in-press the Realtors that do give you referrals you wont have to worry to much about price as long as your close.

Originally Posted By: jmertins
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guys…let me interject…Dropping off brochures does not work!! A realtor buys the inspector standing in front of them not the piece of paper tri-folded. you have to get in front of a realtor for 5 good mins. and leave some candy, spend $25 ON SOME $100,000 chocolate bars and tape a little note to it…like

"Is this your goal for the year.... lets earn it together"

Sounds goofy, but it works. NOBODY buys or refers a have to sell yourself. Basic Marketing. I'll bet you both the cost of the candy that if you hand out 20 bars and talk to 20 realtors you will have 2 inspections from at least 3 of them in the next 30 days. thats 6 more inspections for the cost of $30 bucks 6 inspections X $225.00 a average. That is a extra $1350 you didnt do ...all for $30 bucks in candy. and some good old fashion selling.

Originally Posted By: slanicek
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Great ideas. But for me, the brochuers work just fine. Actually, several of my regular customers (realtors that refer me) I initially got in contact with by some simple and FREE e-mails that I sent out. Later when I get to meet the buyers or sellers who order pre-inspections they pull out the brochure that the realtor gave them and start go over the bullet points I put down about myself and my services. Not to dis your candy bar idea, but IMHO the candy bar isn't going to get passed out to a buyer or seller. A brochure just might. That piece of paper is lying in wait in the realtors office and when the time comes it will continue to market for you.

Of course every place/person is different and the moral of this is do what works for you.