8 Common New Inspector Mistakes (and what to do instead)

Common home inspector mistakes

I talk to a lot of inspectors.

Hundreds a year over the past 5 years. From the brand new inspector to the largest company in the country (50 inspectors and counting).

I always ask 2 questions:

“What are you doing to grow the business?”

“What challenges are you facing?”

Here are the top common answers and mistakes I see new home inspectors making. And what you can do instead.

“I dropped off my card at offices”

I’m going to start with some tough love.

These get thrown in the trash.

This is dipping your toe in the water.

You need to jump in the pool.

If you’re going to make the effort to drive to an agent’s office, make it worth it!

Always think about human habits. When you get mail without any context or other exposure, what do you do? You probably toss it all away.

Agents are busy. Assume they are so busy they don’t have time to research who you are.

Leaving your card is putting the burden on them to give you business. Don’t make them work. That’s your job.

What to do instead:

Make sure you shake at least one agent’s hand. Email or call ahead of time to get 5 minutes of their time. Bring coffee. Bring a breakfast burrito.

Then ask them questions about their business. Ask the questions. And only talk about how you can add value to their process. It’s all about them.

And ask for their business card before you leave so YOU can follow up with them.

“Realtors have their guy already”

More tough love. This is an excuse and and victim mentality.

You are their guy. Say it.

You have to have this mentality if you want to succeed in this business.

Just because they’ve used the same sleepy home inspector for years does not mean they are completely satisfied with him/her

What to do instead:

Demonstrate value to these agents BEFORE they give you any business.

Can you send an article or video by you teaching them something?

Can you offer a free pre-listing inspection for one of their sellers just to show them your beautiful Spectora reports? (Remember, a lot of agents still use old school guys that are PDF only)

Show them the Repair Request Builder and ask for feedback. Ask if this tool would save them time.

Share a story of how you communicate with your clients and if that aligns with their philosophy.

Also – FIND NEW AGENTS! They don’t already have an existing relationship. Ask brokerages about how they train new agents and see if you can get in front of them for a training session. Make a specific Google Slides deck just for new Realtors. Bring breakfast and make the presentation strong on “we’re building this together” language.

“I’m in a small town and it’s the good ole’ boys network”

These are tougher to crack.

Smaller towns tend to have more loyalty due to history and lack of options.

How do you hack loyalty? How do you gain it quicker?

You have to read each agent in these situations.

Are they a business-minded, value-driven type of agent? Then they might take to all the features and benefits you can offer.

If they are not, you’ll need to do some personal relating….

What to do instead:

More times than not you’ll need to build a personal relationship with small town agents:

  • Get them talking about themselves – This is generally the best way to get people to like you and trust you. Ask the right questions about them or their business. Ask about their “why”. Ask to grab a coffee to get to know them.
  • Ask for advice – This is part of being likable. Showing humility. Genuinely ask them what it would take to become a trusted partner. They just might tell you.
  • Be reliable – If you do get a coffee date or sponsor an event or get an inspection – be early, be thorough, ask questions, laugh and let your personality come out!
  • Be vulnerable – This is a tricky one. Read the agent and decide if being vulnerable and telling them your story and how difficult it is to break into a small town network is. They may appreciate it since they were once a new agent.

“Their inspector uses Spectora already”

This is a good thing! They appreciate a modern report and show they are open to new ways of doing things.

What to do instead:

Say, “Perfect! Then you already understand all the benefits and value of the features. Let me tell you a little about me and why I’m different than most home inspectors”

  • I communicate defects in context to your buyers. I don’t overreact and I don’t spook buyers on common findings.
  • You will be able to get ahold of me any time of the day or night
  • My background in XYZ
  • I promote my agents every chance I get
  • I’m relentless in improving your experience and our client’s experience
  • [Insert whatever else is unique about what you offer]

“COVID has made it tough to meet agents in person”

For sure. This is tough on everyone that relies on face-to-face to build relationships.

Even as cities reopen, agents and people in general might still be skittish about meeting in person.

You have to be prepared. Use this as a time to sharpen your other tools in your toolbox.

What to do instead:

Don’t only rely on meeting agents face-to-face.

Embrace video, social media and email marketing. They are your best friends and change your business in a massive way.

Start with talking about what you know. Here are some starter ideas:

  • Make short 1 minute videos showing features of Spectora. Put them on social media and your YouTube Channel.
  • Follow every single agent in your area on social media (most likely Facebook and Instagram). Comment on every post they make.
  • Create an email newsletter for your clients and give away a free sponsorship to an agent office you want to get in. Make sure they see the emails that go out.
  • Make a video talking about the points above on why you’re different. Drill down into details.

“X company does my Facebook posting”

There are a couple things you need to know about social media:

  1. Barely anyone sees posts – Facebook is a multi-billion dollar company that relies on paid advertising. It’s a pay-to-play world so you’re likely not getting your money’s worth if you’re paying someone to post regular posts.
  2. Social media is more for entertainment, informative or personal posts. Rarely sell on social media. It’s all about connecting with other humans.

What to do instead:

Authenticity wins.

Social posting needs to come from someone IN your company.

When you’re new, you ARE the brand. Realtors and clients trust YOU. They are buying YOU. If your posts aren’t personal or in your voice, it won’t work.

So only do this if you’re willing to put in effort.

Start with small, short informative posts each week.

Talk about what you know and try to make it light and fun.

Talk about your journey to becoming a home inspector.

Talk about how you feel about helping people with homeownership.

Talk about the local real estate market.

Talk about anything besides “need a home inspection? We offer blah blah blah”.

“I’m on Instagram. I post and like everything!”

Just showing up to the party doesn’t mean you’re going to make friends.

You have to engage.

Let’s go with this metaphor for posting to your new account:

Imagine if you went to party with a friend.

You walk up to a group and immediately start to talking about yourself.

How would that look? Awkward right? Who wants to be friends with that person?

This is what most inspectors do. Create an account, start posting stuff no one cares about. Falls flat.

For liking posts:

Now imagine you walk up to that same group and you just smile and nod to everything anyone says.

But you don’t say anything.

Think any of them will remember you? That’s what just liking everything does. You feel like you’re engaging but no one will see or remember you.

What to do instead:

Using the same party metaphor from above…

Imagine if you walked up to that same group at a party and you not only smile and nod, but you start asking questions and contributing to the conversation.

Maybe you say something that gets a laugh, maybe you drop a fact that someone didn’t know. Maybe you ask an interesting question the group hadn’t thought about.

Now the whole circle is interested in getting to know you.

You have to think about how do you get someone to be your friend or like you?

You ask them questions, you get involved in THEIR conversation first.

So prioritize commenting on posts and adding value. Not just liking posts.

“My website isn’t getting any traffic”

Getting traffic doesn’t just happen. It’s earned.

If you’re a new inspector, it’s a certainty you won’t get traffic from Google searches for at least a year.

Google’s algorithm needs to see consistency and certain signals for you to rise in the rankings. It’s not easy and it’s called SEO.

Don’t worry too much about SEO and ranking high for now. Your website is for agents clients you meet to see you’re legit and book inspections.

What to do instead:

You need to meet real estate agents face-t0-face. See the points above.

If you absolutely won’t do that then you better become great at digital marketing, writing and asking for Google Reviews.

If you want your website to show up quick, make sure your first 20 inspections leave you a Google Review. It’s the quickest way to rank higher.

If you really want to go all in on your website, start a blog.

This is hard stuff to hear, I know…

It’s overwhelming and feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day.

Creating and sustaining a profitable business is hard work. It takes constantly staying out of your comfort zone and doing what others won’t.

The first step to focusing on all of these areas is time blocking. 

Start with 15 min on your calendar each week to focus on one of the areas above.

When you get stuck, take some type of action.

Then ask questions. Ask chat bubble, our Facebook User Group or find a mentor.

Listen to the podcast.

Now go get after it 🙂

What other challenges are you facing that I didn’t talk about?

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Kevin

Co-founder at Spectora
Kevin spends his days chatting with home inspectors, writing, making videos and working with a kick-a$$ team of folks that are delivering value every day.
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