I’m starting a new home inspection business and am not sure what some good realistic goals would be for the first year. Any insight into what a good goal to complete in the first year would be? ie… consistently performing one inspection per week by the end of the first year?
Your first months will be a massive struggle. It takes time for an agent to trust the new guy. I think I did about 6 jobs in the first three months, but soon thereafter picked up. I think one of my best successes was to thank the customer for the job, ask for feedback and also offered to send them a gift card from Amazon for $30 if they referred a friend and their friends told me. It grew quickly. Many folks buying a home (if younger) will be with friends doing the same thing. - It was just a technique that worked for me. I was happy to pay $30 to get a job from a referral. It was a small incentive, but after about 9 months did not offer the referral any more because I had been exposed to many agents over the time that liked the way I did things. - Random idea, but it worked for me. Amazon is easy as it is digital, and can be emailed and I am not aware of anyone that does not use it or have a friend they can give it to.
Keep grinding and if you are good, it will pay off and grow but it will take time to be busy full time. It took about 18 months to work into “busy”.
Also, get competent in ancillary services to have in your tool bag…Sewer Scope (if your area allows you to do it) set me aside from others. Radon, Mold, Pest Inspection…All other things to make more money on the same trip - but only if you are good at them and capable of it. It can be a nightmare if you mess these up. See what other may or may not offer in your area and try to set yourself up to be better or more valuable than them.
Also - practice…do mock inspections on your home and others and get familiar with your software. This is your ultimate end product and if it is a mess - no more business. If it takes you 2 days to spit out a report - you will kill yourself as agents and clients expect it to be turned around in a timely fashion. Get proficient at this as a priority before you worry about ancillary services. This is your bread and butter for being proficient
I also think it is huge that you get a decent web site and have the ability to have clients or agents book online. My website is pretty basic (quite honestly fairly shitty), but my software allows for this to happen. My regular agents can look up my availability and book without wasting my or their time. I also will direct clients that find me through the google search and call me to the website if I am on a job, so I can focus after a few minutes of talking…Just my 2 or 3 cents worth
Be aware that there are agents who refer the new guy. Those agents probably are unhappy with their current inspector recommendations. Pay attention and follow up with those agents; what is their motivation for referring you. Price? Report readability? Inspection thoroughness?