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