Marketing and new business

Hello Group,

New member here trying to wrap my arms around the idea of home inspection as a business. Working through the state website (Florida) and InterNACHI (plus the advice of a forum member) I’m getting a pretty good handle on licensing and running a good inspection. I have a question on the business side that I would like to elicit some advice on.

I’m wondering about successful marketing efforts and acquiring new business, especially as that relates to start up. It certainly makes sense to make the rounds to the local real-estate offices and I know a solid website and social media page will be critical, but what other tactics are you having success with? What efforts are you engaging in that actually brings in business? To the successful HI’s out there…what turned the corner for you that brought you from start-up to success?

I have looked for answers to this in the forum archive, but haven’t found a lot on it. I have been working my way through the InterNACHI start up course here: and I’m also reading Nick Gromicko’s free book on HI Start Up, some great stuff in there. Just thought I would open the discussion up to the group.

Has anyone tried offering free courses to local realtors/agents? I wonder if they would have interest in free lunch and a 30 minute course on spotting common problems or something…trying to figure out how to maximize my time and hit as many leads as possible. What other groups would make good leads? Mortgage brokers? Anyone had success reaching buyers directly?

Apologies if this has been gone over, if I try this I really can’t afford to fail, just too many folks depending on me. Trying hard to research and develop as fool proof a plan as possible.

If anyone in Central Florida (or even a bit further out) would have me as a ride along I’d sure appreciate it.

Thanks for reading through,

A free lunch… who doesn’t like that? Especially REA’s. Only talk about how you’re not scary, will always ensure their happiness, & that you will not kill any deals and you’ll be a Successful Home Inspector in no time…

Join InterNachi and then perhaps we will share or industry secrets with you!

Fair enough Jeffrey. :slight_smile:

Just trying to gauge if this is right for me really, but fair enough.

I’ve seen things like that work in the past, this just feels like an odd space in that your actual consumer finds you through the realtor who has an obvious interest in not seeing any road bumps.

I always liked free giveaways…maybe have a door prize or two for the folks that show up.

Understand, and good for you to see that “membership has it’s privileges”!

My advice for you based upon your opening post… if you are serious that you want to give home inspecting a whirl… try to get a position with an existing company. Learn the craft and get first hand experiences. It IS NOT what many people think it is. If you do not have trade experience, it will be that much more difficult for you to adjust, but not impossible. Equally important, do you have sufficient funds to afford basic tools, software, licenses, insurance, etc… PLUS to provide for your family with your minimal income for 3+ years? Many don’t!

Good luck.

I’ve pretty much decided to give it a try, and I do plan to join InterNACHI, I have to take the 120 hour class and exam and they seem to be the cheapest (and maybe best) way to get that done. I also realized there was a marketing forum that I’ve been overlooking since it’s locked to me…sorta skimmed over the stuff I can’t click on.

I feel prepared to learn HI, I’ve invested in real-estate in the past assessing my own deals and making repairs, I’ve built one house form the ground up, held a low voltage contractors license and worked as both an electrician and carpenter…all with mixed levels of success. I have managed to keep shoes on the kids and food on the table. :slight_smile:

I own the basic tools, after speaking with a member here I think the missing equipment is something I can afford, I own a pick up to haul myself around in.

As to living off meager earnings for the next few years…well, that’s the rub isn’t it! I have a stable, though profoundly frustrating, relatively low paying, dead end job I’m going to have to give up at some point. Trying to make that job work over the last few years has renewed my determination to make it on my own. I think more than anything I just want to rise or fall based on my own merit not the whims of folks above or around me (within the organization). I’m sure that’s a familiar sentiment of the entrepreneurial types around here.

I’m a lot less worried about performing the work than I am about finding the work. My hope is to refine my plan as I work through the 120 hour course. Launch before the end of the year when I expect things are naturally a bit slower (are many of you busy through October-January?). And hopefully by spring have enough contacts and work that I can realistically begin to contemplate an exit strategy from the day job. I will have to work around my position, but I think there is enough inherent flexibility for me to do that.

My missing link is drumming up the business…it has been a weakness in past endeavors as well. At least I’ve identified my biggest hurdle right? :slight_smile:

Jeffrey has a point, in that, the membership section has a marketing forum.

But in the “is it right” I’d say, much like any business, you have to really love it to make it work.

I certainly see why so many think they can do it, and then end up leaving the industry all together.

I do not, have not, and don’t intend to EVER directly market to realtors!

That is all I’m gonna say on that matter!

I became a home inspector for two reasons: (1) there was no licensing for home inspectors in California (still isn’t) and (2) there is an extremely well-defined target audience for marketing: Realtors.

So here’s my comment:

You might have to join InterNACHI to get to that link.

Alright fellas, it’s official, I’m a proud signed up member of InterNACHI so I’m ready to learn the secret handshake. :slight_smile:

Mods, if this thread would better fit on the closed side under marketing I’d appreciate the move.

Thanks everyone!


Begin a new thread introducing yourself, and include a link to this thread. It may take a few days for others to respond to yet ‘another’ newbie, but they eventually will. In the meantime, go to the Control panel (top left of this page) and fill in all of your profile information so others will know your area of operation for best feedback. Get a feel for the ‘Search’ feature as it already contains virtually every scenario that you will ask about… multiple times over!

Good luck!

And I was just about to tell you that you can get 6 months free membership. Too late. :frowning:

where were you this morning? :slight_smile:

It’s looking like money well spent, no regrets.

Mike, do you have a website yet? If not, get your domain address and get a website started asap… doesn’t matter how minimal or weak it is, just get it live ASAP. Work on it once it’s live. Reason is… it will sit in Google’s “sandbox” waiting to be indexed for up to a year or more before it will become significantly visible (results pages 1-10). As more and more of your business will come from the public searching the internet for you, this is critical! Search this MB for ideas of how to decide what domain addresses work best to get you business! Setting this up properly ignoring the “vanity addresses” will go a long way to your success. Bottom line… everything you do online should be geared towards optimizing your SEO! Just ask that Rotte guy!


That’s a great idea. I notice that your website isn’t even the name of you or your company…I assume that’s to maximize SEO? Makes sense, if I’m looking for a home inspector in Owatonna I bet you pop right up.

The Rotte guy agrees :wink:

Michael, a lot depends on your personal skills, ability and motivation and I don’t mean technically but in the marketing and promotion aspect. Plan on it taking longer then anticipated and costing more then you budgeted. Start now on marketing and use every reasonable means possible as there is no magic bullet. A web site will get you so far, blogging a little farther, direct mailings work but take time and require repeated follow up mailings. Focus on the RE agents to start with and when ever possible get some face time. Tell them you here, remind them your here and then tell them again.

I disagree (kinda)…

Your website will be your gateway to all internet marketing. Internet marketing needs to be consistent and takes time to develop and also to get stable results.

Realtor marketing is “FLASH in the pan” marketing with results that can and will fluctuate daily depending on if you pissed anyone off yesterday!

Get your basic website up and running first. You’ll have plenty of time to schmooze the agents on your way to Starbucks, on the way to the grocery store, after dropping the kids off at soccer practice, on the way back from the “Do Drop Inn”, on the way from…

I agree that a website will be the gateway to all internet marketing. However, the cool thing about the home inspection industry is that it has an extremely well-defined target audience of people who needs us daily: Realtors.

Market well to those Realtors and I guarantee you that you’ll have more business than you can handle. Then you’ll hire another person. With continued marketing to those Realtors, you’ll have more business than the two of you can handle. Then you’ll hire another person. With continued marketing to those Realtors, you’ll have more business than the three of you can handle. Then you’ll hire another person. With continued marketing to those Realtors, you’ll have more business than the four of you can handle. Then you’ll hire another person. On and on and on.

I really don’t understand home inspectors who don’t want to market to such a well-defined target audience of people who need us. That’s just plain weird.