Talk About Bribing Agents To Visit Your Website

Found this ad in the local online real estate association newsletter

Good idea for an association ,but not so much for an individual Inspection outfit.

Why is it a “good idea” for an association to attempt to attract used house salesmen…particularly, by providing them with “gifts” rather than promoting the skill and expertise of its members?

The housing market has tanked and the time has come for us to unchain our profession from the salesmen who hijacked it. We are more than a commodity to be doled out at the whim and whimsey of a part time salesman selling only two houses per year, or less – as 80% of them do.

What good is an association that continues to prostitute its members like whores?

It is time to be frank and honest with the public and to actively warn them of the conflict of interest that comes from hiring the inspector furnished to them by the person who gains, financially, from their purchase of the home. It’s the right thing to do…albeit, an unpopular thing to say on a message board where so many inspectors depend upon salesmen for their work.

If a homebuyer is going to use their salesman’s recommendation for a home inspector, they should at least ensure that their salesman is a top seller and is not depending upon each sale to pay his bills. When the house that they are buying is 50% or 33% of the total number of houses that salesman will sell all year…it is not reasonable to expect him to recommend a thorough inspector or one who is likely to find all that is wrong. He will recommend an inspector just like the lender he will recommend…some one certain to see that everything goes “smoothly”.

We know it…but few will say it, openly. Thanks for this thread and the opportunity.

Hey I agree, but marketing is a different issue.
Logic is boring and prizes are fun.

Because that Assoc has already successfully marketed that their Members have the requisite Skills and Expertise. :wink:

Kinda like Nick’s New Marketing strategy, trying to convince everyone it takes less than 3 CMI’s to change a Lightbulb. :cool:

Good post James, I am with you 110% :cool:

I thought about countering their ad with a CMI ad, but then I wouldn’t be offering gifts to the real estate agents. You think they’d try sending us gifts so that we wouldn’t kill their deal :mrgreen:. Further in the newsletter, you see other Inspection companies sponsoring the agents annual installment dinner gala and sponsoring their educational classes. What a shame.

Desperate times, for some, call for desperate measures. Salesmen need to sell houses and the inspectors that build their businesses on these referrals need them to sell houses, too.

After investing all of this time, money and effort into schmoozing salesmen to refer you to me as a client — how likely am I to NOT be concentrating on this investment, in addition to the likelihood of future referrals, as I choose the way I describe my discovery of termite damage as I write your inspection report?

Recent story from an agent that I have done several inspections with.

“There is a company out there that is doing home re-habs and repairs on homes that banks own. Most all of these homes have been received to the banks via the foreclosure crisis. They have the homes “inspected” by contractors, the contractors do repairs, then the banks state to agents that the homes have been “evaluated” and “repaired”. Most of these homes are being sold by agents via bank owned realty companies, and sold “AS IS”. They then tell the buyers that the homes have been evaluated and repaired, and no home inspections are needed by the buyer.”

Our services are needed now more than ever, but how do we find these buyers and explain to them about defects in these AS IS homes? Agents, banks, lenders are not. They just want the home sale, and the revenue it generates.

One thing is certain…

We don’t get this important information to the consumer through the real estate salesman.

This is why organizations such as the one this thread is highlighting are not only harming the profession and its members by perpetuating a fraudulent conflict of interest…but is also harming the consumer, as well.

This is not the 2005 housing market and the rules have changed. We need to change with it, IMO.

We all need Houses to be sold.

Where does one draw the Line exactly??

Ipad? Warranty?? Alarm Company Discount?? Free Home Inspection Book? Heck I have even heard we have a Program here that will even help Realtors sell Houses Faster by doing Sellers Inspections.

I had a Lady call me last week about not wanting to use the Inspector her Agent recommended. I told her Agents have been known to recommend me, and I could not in good conscience condemn the Inspector on that alone. (I have also been black listed form entire offices,)

The woman then went on the tell me the recommended HI was a Woman and that she did not like that idea. I told her I know some very good Female HI’s here and mentioned a Name or two of ones I personally know to be good (IMO) HI’s.

It was one of the Women I know, I told the Lady, I thought she was a good Inspector, and but it was her decision to make.

Desperate times indeed. :cool:

I market primarily on the Internet and to past Clients, Now. But I have marketed to Realtors, because they have been and still are traditionally the Gate Keepers. It is like Willie Sutton said about Banks.

I have another friend right here on the MB, that “Never” Markets to Realtors, I called him one day and he was busy at a Realtor Luncheon, where he was a “Member of the Board”, but he does not Market to Realtors ;)… It aint a Black and White World my friend.

To hear you tell it James, Licensing solves nothing, but Legislating the relationships will solve everything.

Jim,I am 100% with you in your post.
The problem I am having is how to get the message out to the buyers. There HAS to be agents telling the few buyers out there to either forgo the inspection, or use their guy.
I have 6 inspection websites that by and large rank well most are p.1 or listing 1. That is 30 keyword cities in 2 states that are covered. The only traffic I am seeing is for link exchanges. If there were buyers looking for an inspector in my area they’ll find me. They are either nonexistent (different problem) or they are being controlled.

How do we stop the agents from controlling the deal?

The salesmen are going to control the deal, IMO. The seller is counting on it and the buyer is lacking the confidence to intervene.

But we are NOT a part of the deal. That is the key point that must be stressed.

The salesman has job to do…sell the house. Everyone…and I mean EVERYONE that he is going to recommend to the client to be involved in that process will be selected on the basis of making the transaction (1) close and (2) as smoothly as possible.

We need to market ourselves…and encourage our professional associations to do the same…as being the ONLY party involved in this process who is NOT a “part of the deal” and has no interest in its outcome. Particularly, we have no interest in how “smooth” the transaction is conducted.

We are a benefit to the consumer, in that regard…not his salesman. We cannot market the same way to both parties.

You know Gold Miners in California complained about not enough Gold to mine in the Late 1850’s.

If Houses are not selling, you can have a Million Web Pages and you still will not make a living.

You need to be in a Target Rich Environment, or have another Job.

Brian, this is why conversations on this board go nowhere. I have the second job. I am not complaining, my statement is an observation. I have way too much invested in this profession to give up.

There are no more “Target Rich Environments”. The '03-'05 market (which many of the members here started in) is over and may never be back. Hell, I know guys in my area that have no idea what marketing is. They started in the market where you could just shout from your doorstep that you were an HI and the phone would ring. I don’t begrudge them, I just want to sever the relationships they have with their used house salesmen friends.

I am trying to target FSBOs in my area to hopefully build a good, independent client base. I don’t know if it will work or not, but maybe I can have an agent free environment. Who knows.

Too many people James, IMO, think that now they are a HI it will be all rainbows and Unicorns. Some markets may not sustain very many HI’s for some time. Some Markets may never support a Full Time HI. That is just how it is.

I am busy, it is busy here. Houses are really really cheap.

I did not mean it as a slam at you or anyone in particular.
I do not now, nor have I ever been known for my Social Skills.

Call me if you want. 480-205-1103

I agree! I wasted my first 6-8 mos. with that notion. Reality has set in and now I tryto manipulate the reality to work for me.

I just missed your call reading you post.I left you a voice mail.

All things do not encompass all areas. I do a ton of work for Realtors. They are not financially strapped and have dedicated their profession to being professional and serving the client in the best way possible.

We all don’t live in BFE where the difference between a house being sold or not means paying ones mortgage that month. The Realtors want only a few things from me. #1 is accuracy. I can call as much out how many times I need to, but it better be wrong. #2 service. Kiss the clients butt until the deal goes through and after.

I tell every Realtor when a deal doesn’t go through, they seldom by a cheaper house. They just realize what that price range gets them and decide on more expensive houses. My area is 80% seasonal. These people buy houses cash and BIG money houses. It’s not cost, they want service.

To lump people in a rat cage based on some small mid west town and then try to lump us all into that cage is wrong.

My sample report is on my site, why isn’t yours? So damn good people will steal it?

True. Florida is going through that, right now.

But then, it is no different with real estate salesmen. In some cities in my state (and, I presume, in others as well) there are more licensed agents than houses for sale. Most of them…more than half…are full time beauticians etc.