Steps to take New Client

I am a new Home Inspector that will be in the field shortly. I am trying to find the best way to take in a new client. Essentially, I would like to create a step-by-step SOP for taking in new clients to provide consistency while being efficient at taking on multiple clients. My goal is to have it start at the initial phone call all the way to the end of the transaction.

The phone rings… What do you do next?

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Welcome to our forum, Phil!..enjoy participating. :smiley:

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Say Hello, how can I help you? :+1:

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Kevin, I used to say; “Hello, I can help you” while standing up with a smile, of course.

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If you make a script, you will sound scripted.

Try to steer away from fee’s in the initial part of the conversation and develop a relationship.

Here are the questions I ask, usually to keep them busy while I’m looking up the home.

Congratulations on your home purchase
What is the address?
How old is the home?
What is the foundation (crawl, basement, slab etc)?
What is the approx. square footage?
Is the home vacant?
Are the utilities on?
Will this be your personal residence or an investment property?
What are your major concerns with the home?
(this is important because you can now begin to set expectations on what a home inspection is)
Then finally, give them a price.

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I agree! Bring enthusiasm to the conversation. This will let them know you love your job and you will bring that enthusiasm to the project.

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Related…

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I appreciate the feedback. I am not trying to make a script since I know how robotic those can sound. I would like to get the steps people take from getting the first phone call until the report is sent out (or what you consider the end). I was thinking something more along the line of:

  • Answer phone and say Hello
  • Gather information about the house
  • Gather information about the client
  • How did you hear about us?
  • Email “Client Agreement”
  • Do Inspection
  • Send Report
    Etc, etc, etc.

I’m sure I am missing some things.

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IMO it’s good to have a script to keep things in order, at least until you get your cadence down.

Answer phone and say hello, how can I help you.
What’s the address of the property to be inspected? Look property up online to get most of the basic house info needed such as age, public utilities etc.
Are there any outbuildings? pools? you would like inspected…
The fee for the home inspection is $XXX and this price also includes the Termite inspection.
Would you like to schedule an inspection?
Great, how’s Tuesday sound? Great.
We also offer Radon Testing, are you familiar with Radon? it’s the second leading cause of lung cancer…
We also offer lateral sewer scope inspections, which if problematic can lead to many thousands of dollars in repairs.

Get Client Info.
Get BA (buyers Agent) info.

Book inspection online through ShowingTime and get SA info

Send confirmation emails to client, BA & SA.
Send Client PIA to sign online.

Do the best inspection to your ability, put together report and send to your client and BA.

Make yourself available for any follow-up.

Keep report for at least 5 years, personally I still have every report I’ve completed the last 19 years stored electronically.

If you’re client was happy with the inspection service you provided them, not only will they be back the next time they buy a house, but they’ll also tell their family and friends about you and your great inspection service. :grinning:

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Having sold the job and discussed price you want to have them text you their full name (as it will apear on contract) and their email. You can then write the contract and email it to them for signature or review. This is the FIRST phone call and usually the only one before the inspection. Text to assure no spelling errors.

After you do what Robert said, you want to take steps to make sure the house will be ready for inspection.

  1. who will unlock the house for you.
  2. who will tell the sellers when you are scheduled so they can male plans to get out of your way.
  3. is a realtor involved? will they open the door for you, send you a keybox code, or do you have to go to their office to pick up a key, or will the homeowner be there, or leave a key under the matt. I’ve done it all these ways and more.
  4. who will let the seller know that you need access to the electrical box, the attic entry, the crawl space entry (these are locked sometimes)
  5. if a vacant house, who will make sure utilities are on and the alarm system is off (or get the code for the alarm)

I wrote a list:
What to expect before, during and after your inspection.
If you veterans have any helpful input on things I could do different, please help me out. We help eachother.

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I have a sheet with the info I need to collect from the buyer…name, cell #, email, address of property, their realtor name, inspection types ordered, concerns…. I look up the property to record the house info I need (stories, square footage, listing agent, and year built) I also have a place to record for contacting the listing agent to have my requested day/time approved. Once confirmed, I record that both agents & clients were notified by email and the contract was sent….this happens automatically in my set up. Then I invoice the client and record it on my sheet and file the sheet in my folder that goes with me. All communication is recorded on that sheet, and goes in my inspection report. Hope that helps. A “check list” will ensure you don’t miss anything. Sometimes you are juggling 6-7 inspections at the same time and need something to organize all your info.

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As do most veteran inspectors.
I posted mine here a couple/few months ago, as did some others.
No time to post it again now, but a quick search of this topic should reveal them.

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The problem with a systematic list is that the person on the other end of the phone won’t always give you things in the same order. When people (often agents) call to order an inspection they start throwing info at you in whatever order they feel like. And when talking to buyers every call takes on a life of its own. Some start by asking about an aspect of the house, others want to know your schedule, some want to know prices, some want to “interview” you. Trying to steer the conversation to fit what you want can come off as rigid.

Like any conversation in life I just see where it goes and try to read the people as best I can so I can help them feel comfortable with me and the process. As for needed info it’s pretty basic - buyer/agent name, property address, date/time, emails and phone #s. I’ve found getting people to email in the info really helps cut down on misunderstandings. I also just started inspecting in Maui and I can’t pronounce, spell or remember 90% of the street names :slight_smile: Having an easy to remember email address is really helpful to pull this off. For example, I’m mauihomeinspector@gmail.com - Agents and buyers love that since it’s easy to remember.

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Things have pretty much been answered here. The one thing I do is ask them to send me by text or email their information: Name Phone #, Email and address of the home so I do not write something down wrong when speaking to them over the phone. (this will help avoid problems along the way) I also ask them if they have an agent and if they want a copy of the report to go to their agent, "As I work for you and do need your permission to forward Your inspection report "…(They like that). Also as far as quoting a price, If I’m at the desktop when they call, I will bring up the property on the county website and or Zillow when talking to them, there I can verify sq. footage…and "Oh and I see it also has a pool and large Second garage, Casita…etc. I like to quote them an accurate price, so if there is any doubt I will tell them that I need to do a little research and will get call them back with a firm price. (I have never raised a price after telling them what it will be.) Although sometimes when I get there I find that it has a crawlspace and wish I could up charge. In our area very few crawlspaces and the ones that do are usually in the areas with expansive soils and I over time know where those neighborhoods are. I try like heck to determine if it has a crawlspace before quoting a price, and then charge if they do.

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Here you go.
Most of this form can be filled during a basic conversation. Whatever isn’t, I either ask the potential client directly, glean from the property listing, or just ‘wing it’. I rarely ever contact a realtor directly for information unless if is absolutely necessary.

2022 Appointment Worksheet.docx (36.0 KB)

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1 on 1 with realtors. It helps to build confidence between the two of you. Visiting offices today doesn’t work with covid shutting down offices. You don’t get the true 1 on 1 with realtors because they are in the office to get work done. Visiting open houses has that opportunity to speak with them without distractions when they are alone. I also find they feel at ease with someone there (coming from an area where 2 realtors were killed when alone in a house).