Online Scheduling?

Does anyone have a strong opinion one way or another regarding Online Scheduling Apps? I MAY be adding it to my re-vamped site-----but only if you folks think its worth it? To me, even a short conversation with a client is better than a blind appointment…

Thanks!
Greg
A-Team Home Inspections
Portland, OR

Not a fan of it.

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I’ve looked into it and it seems tough to pull of but have talked to other inspectors that absolutely love it. If it worked I get the appeal but, as you elude to, it can be problematic. There are just so many possible problems with the client (or whomever is ordering) giving inaccurate size/age/location/property type info and screwing up your schedule.

Some programs have the ability to show basic inspection time slots and an agent can book one but then you must catch up for the info. I like that but have had a tough time getting agents to utilize it. They seem much more anxious to just call/text/email.

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Thanks for this Matt! With all the variables that go into ‘keeping the customer satisfied’, I’m leaning towards sticking with tried and true CONVERSATIONS…I need more info than time & address anyway, so it will still take a call/text…

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Online scheduling can have it’s drawbacks, but a lot of people prefer it. People do door dash, order from Amazon - etc. Its an entire generation of people that don’t want to call to schedule. We get 1/3 of our inspections at any given time from online scheduling. You will never know the work you miss when you don’t have it

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Very valid points. It is becoming the norm to avoid human contact for a variety of reasons. I think it would be wise to incorporate online scheduling but to also answer the phone.

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on line scheduling give you 24 hour , 365 day coverege, very difficult to compete with this on the phone, I often need to do a follow up ( but not always). I have only used it a few months, but believe it will become a big part of my bookings, you should absolutely get this

Inspector Toolbelt has online scheduling that works real good. Ian didn’t mention that in his reply.
@irobertson
@garnold2
Look up his site.
did my website also

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As stated by me many times, to each, their own. I’m too ‘old school’ for this. The clients reach out to me via referral or my website, which has my contact info or direct from the site. I don’t quote or book without first talking to the client by phone or text. Even through text, I’ll still call them prior to the inspection to verify.

Yep! Old School Tom. No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…leaving all that bit space for those who use it.

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I don’t really have a strong opinion, but it does present some challenges for 1-man show inspectors like myself. I have a large service area as I am not directly in a metro area. How do you prevent someone from booking a 1:00pm inspection 60 miles north of your office, when you are doing an 8:00am inspection 60 miles south of your office the same day? What if both inspections are century homes that will take 4 hours, not including the client consultation? Just too many ways for a lone ranger to get into scheduling trouble in my opinion.

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I agree.

I think it needs to be an “inspection request” not a scheduled inspection, with a note that says you will receive a confirmation phone call.

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100% online. I need to confirm the inspection first, if necessary or details they input are incorrect I let them know. Rarely if ever have problems with it tbh.

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Thanks @jgilbert10 !!!

I’m not a fan. I feel I need full control over scheduling and quoting prices. Too manu opportunities for mistakes otherwise.

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Intersesting point Ian----it really IS a generational thing, even with my agents!
Thank you!
Greg

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Thanks Brandon----I think ‘geographic conflicts’, particularly in Minnesota, could be exciting. I’m thinking if I MONITOR the calendar I can avoid the conflicts…true in your case??

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Paul!

Valley of The Sun!! Thanks for this! At 70, Im doubling down instead of retiring - spiffing thngs up a bit for the millenials - online only seems good with some serious oversight and eventual callbacks.
We shall see…
Thanks!
Greg

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I’ve looked into it enough in ISN to know that you input zip codes and size/age parameters to keep from being spread too thin. It looks like a large amount of work to setup to say the least. And then, of course, you’re dependent on the person ordering to give accurate info. With all the new home sites (Zillow, Redfin, etc.) a lot of houses automatically populate the size/age but there are still a ton of unknowns that could screw us. Things like outbuildings, maybe something has been converted to a tri-plex, etc. Also, many addresses don’t come up. I agree it would be tough. 100 years from now I imagine inspections will be done online (hell, we will probably all have forgotten how to speak by then and will just text).

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It’s sort of the ‘new norm’… a lot of clients/customers/agents prefer not to have to call/talk to someone, just order. Plus, many times the orders come in late into the evening/night, because that is when they are catching up on their work. We have found to very helpful to have both a scheduling button on our website and a mobile shortcut (app) for agents. Our available openings for the next 10 days are listed and they can select which they prefer. The appointment is only scheduled into an open appointment slot. The inspection is not finalized until a human looks at it, edits/adds information and confirms it. We have agents who won’t use anything but the online versions, and some who prefer to call/email/text to set up theirs. We take them all! :slight_smile:

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I use it. Doesn’t see a ton of action, but it is convenient. I see about one a week and they are able to see my schedule and pick a date and time I have already selected. I confirm the appointment. Normally when I confirm, I give them a call and just ask them to look over the email confirmation and agreement and if they have any questions about the home/ general concerns.
The only time it’s been any hassle is when the client books a home that occupied and the seller doesn’t agree with the time. But I already have that client, so it’s just a simple time adjustment.