I’ll tell you a funny story. When I was selling real estate back on the Main Line, the homes were huge, expensive, old, and often had slate roofs. The inspectors I recommended were awesome, but weren’t slate roof experts. Whenever I had buyers of a home with a slate roof, I’d secretly call the local roof company and schedule a roofer who specializes in slate to come over about an hour into the home inspection. My buyers would be perplexed when the roofer arrived with his big ladders. They’d ask me what was going on. I’d tell them:
“This is a big, old house that you’re buying. After you move in, you’re going to find things you aren’t happy with that the inspector didn’t notice. You are going to call me and complain. But when that call comes, I’ll know it’s something minor and not a roof that needs to be replaced. I’ll know that because I hired a slate roofing company with my own money to look at the roof for you.”
Now I can’t reveal how embarrassingly inexpensive it was to have that roofing company drop by, but I will say it was pocket change.
Anyway, it worked. I never got any complaint calls (even when my clients moved in and discovered a defect). What I did get are calls from people referred to me by my previous clients.
Agents build their referral business by finding the best professionals to help them protect their clients. And you don’t find those professionals on a preferred vendor list which is nothing more than a list of paid advertisers.
And it’s just not who is on the list that is the problem… it’s who is MISSING from the list that is just as much of an issue. If the best inspectors refuse to pay to be on that list, the consumer is not only steered toward the bozo paid advertiser… but also steered AWAY from the best inspectors in town.