Need inspectors' input on offering a new service

How do you feel about offering a service to your former home inspection clients where you check in on their houses while they’re out of town? The following is a draft of a marketing letter that we came up with.

The question is, what types of services would you like to do within this “Home Check” service, and, possibly more importantly, what services would you exclude?

For example, are you willing to do a “safety check,” or would you bring in the paper and feed the goldfish, too? We want to frame this letter such that the homeowner isn’t misled as to what is encompassed in this service, in a ballpark sense. We can also come up with a checklist that specifies to-do items.

Thanks in advance for your input! :slight_smile:

Wow, what a great idea!

I already offer a service simular to this on my web site. It’s a Vacant Home Inspection aimed at the snow birds who lock up their home for a few months each year while they go north. However, I’ve never thought about doing it on a short term or daily basis. I’m not above picking up someones paper or feeding their fish, but my territory is large. I’d hate to think I have to drive over an hour each way to feed a fish and get a newspaper every day for the week. If your territory is smaller I think it’s a great idea.

Great idea for an add service.
Thanks for sharing!

Dave Park
Advantage Inspection

That’s funny, our “snowbirds” are the seniors that lock up their houses and go south to FL for the winter… :slight_smile:

I’ve have the same issue with a large area. I think the potential is there, but getting it to be profitable is the question. A lot of insurance policies require a home to be checked every 3 days unless you pay extra for it to be “vacant”.

I can see it woring best if you can line up a few places in the same area on the same day. But I can also see a lot of driving around getting keys and returning keys…great for someone with a large density/small area population.

I offer it too, but have never had any calls for the service. Most of the time, neighbors watch the house, since they are closer than you. Click on the services tab of my web site.

id see this turning to feed my dog and walk my dog, next thing you know they are pissed because their dog chewed something up and somehow its your fault.

Also perhaps shovelling the driveway and walkway, then the mailman slips and falls.

Thanks, Eric – I took a look at the blurb on your website (great website, BTW!), and I see that your services are general and customized. Can you tell me what sorts of things you’ve actually performed by way of this type of inspection?

I agree that there’s the potential for the prospective client to misunderstand or over-expect what such a service entails, which is why we’d like to design the letter (and accompanying checklist??) in such a way as to avoid that at the outset. Can you folks weigh in with what’s okay and not okay to include in terms of specific to-do’s to help us get a handle on it?

Nice to know that Eric is available for feeding Fishy, which is awesome, as long as he runs to the pet store and replaces him when he inevitably croaks while the owner’s on vacation. I think the Honor Guarantee might even cover that…!^)

Correct me if I am wrong but the Honor Guarantee would only cover this if the inspector steals the fish.

Oh, I was thinking in terms of “losing” the fish… :wink:

This Service would not be something I would chose to offer myself, but if others like it then it should be pursued.

I am looking forward to the Logo though. :mrgreen:

Yup… Vacant Property Monitoring

Good stuff, Joseph – thanks for the link!

Kate, I have been trying something like this out in my area for travelers and people who own shore houses. I will be almost like a concierge to them if they like. I will fill the fridge with what they like if they want, test the systems of the home, ect. If there is a problem, I will solicit three bids for their approval and oversee the repair.

So far, my marketing is only a page on a website, but we are coming into the season where I could get some calls.


Wow, Drew – you’re an example of someone who’s willing to go all out. I think the services offered depend on the inspector and the local market.

Please let me know if you get any calls and what services you’ll be supplying!

There are a lot of people who would rather be on the golf course than maintain their home. I thing a “maintenance inspection” is a tough sell. If there were a “property management” type service which included inspections, that would be easier to put out there. This service would have monthly or even yearly contracts.

Something to think about.

Thanks for everyone’s input and for providing links to your sites where I could get some more ideas.

Here’s the text of the revised marketing letter:

I added one bullet point that I didn’t see elsewhere: power outages.

I’ve sent this letter to our legal counsel so that he can come up with a contract template that we can put on the site to accompany the marketing letter template. Again, if any of you have any working contracts or any input regarding specific contract language for this particular service, you can post your comments/links here, or you can email me directly.

Thanks again for your contributions! :slight_smile: