I’m starting to evaluate where things are and where I can grow. As we say in this house, there are two seasons, winter, and getting ready for winter. As part of my inspection business, getting ready for winter is a time to evaluate where I can add services for next year to improve my income stream.
Last night I attended the Commercial Inspection Course up in Boulder at HQ. Made a long day for me, an inspection at Forbes Park in Fort Garland (West of La Veta, South West by about 2 hours from Pueblo), then straight to Boulder (about 4 hours), get home at midnight and wrap up the inspection report, but it was WELL worth it.
I started this inspection stuff with NO construction experience, and was VERY leary of Commercial Inspections. I KNOW it’s not the same as home inspections, but the size of one was intimidating. Thanks to Nick’s class, I no longer fear the beast that is Commercial Inspecting. This winter, when things get slow, I’ll start building my team and learning what I need to learn so I can evaluate those SME’s well, and if all goes right, I should start Commercial Inspections in the next few months!
Let me tell you Pups something I have learned over the last 20 years providing this home inspections service. I started out with just a basic HI and later started providing Radon and Mold inspections and then I added IR along with commercial inspections.
My biggest mistake was not providing a full package. I left a ton of money on the table by not providing termite, pools and sprinklers. My best advice is to add as many Auxiliaries as you can achieve training for.
My father has over 33+ years of commercial construction experience, and to this day he is still not 100% confident, 100% of the time with this stuff. The key just comes from always increasing your knowledge and learning as much as you can, and with that you’ll feel more confident.
One thing I thought about reading your post is how it could be a good idea to develop a system to purposefully shift some more business development efforts during those off-season months to procuring commercial inspections. I’ve seen some inspectors actually erroneously increase their marketing budget during those off-season months in an attempt to maintain the number of home inspections they were doing between April and August, but you’re really just spending more and either converting the same amount or even less.
Has anyone had any success with focusing more on specific types of inspections during the slow season for residential inspections without seeing a decrease in revenue?
It’s a good thing you put “some inspectors” in there because I have also seen some inspectors actually smartly increase their marketing budget during those off-season months, thereby maintaining the number of home inspections they were doing between April and August, and actually increasing the conversions and gaining more income because the other folks weren’t marketing or decreased their marketing. I was a prime example of that last trimester being equal, and a couple of times (see below) even better than the first 9 months.
I had great success during the last trimester by marketing with the children in mind; after all, it was the school-is-in-session season. For example, here are two taglines that got me a lot of business:
“We use a team of inspectors so you can schedule your inspection on a school day and we’ll be done in time for you to pick up your kids when school lets out!”
“With school in session, the weekends are important to your family. Schedule your home inspection on a weekend and bring the children with you. We don’t mind!”
“We work whenever there is daylight, including major holidays and major sporting events. So if your team is not on television and ours is, we’ll be there for you! That’s what replays are for.”
Throughout my 15-year home inspection career, we always did at least two inspections every Saturday and Sunday during football season, on Halloween, Thanksgiving Thu/Fri/Sat/Sun, Christmas Eve/Day, New Year’s Eve/Day, Super Bowl Sunday, Final Four, World Series, whatever.
Helping people was much more important to me than the day of the week or what sports were on TV.
One thing anyone in this thread can pick up from what Russel did is that he simply catered his marketing for his already existing services to a holiday or some special circumstances. He positioned his services in a way that felt important to people… it hit home versus all of the other inspectors who weren’t considerate of “real life” and just focused on the actual inspection.
When you think about it, EVERY other industry is very much aware of the seasons/holidays and current events, and they use it in there marketing all the time. Especially retail and hospitality. There’s no reason a home inspector can’t do the same thing.