As a home inspector, you're likely used to marketing directly to realtors. But do you market your business directly to homebuyers as well?
Marketing to homebuyers is important, as a good number of homebuyers search for a home inspector independently of real estate agents. Let's take a look at how you can market your home inspection business to homebuyers, and why it's a vital part of your marketing strategy.
You should never rely on one single lead source for all of your business. In non-marketing speak, that means you should have an avenue for finding clients beyond the real estate agents you work with.
While many homebuyers will turn to their agents to find a home inspector, many are likely looking independently as well. You want them to be able to find your business when they search and include marketing to buyers in your marketing strategy.
If a homebuyer can find you without the assistance of the realtor — and, if you tailor your marketing efforts towards homebuyers — you maximize your chance of booking inspections.
Additionally, a recent lawsuit against the National Association of Realtors (NAR) could change the home sale process — while we don't know the full implications of the lawsuit just yet, it's a good idea to start marketing directly to homebuyers to ensure you're prepared if the lawsuit does significantly impact realtors.
Marketing to homebuyers will be a bit different than marketing to agents, although many home inspectors who have invested time and energy into their marketing will likely have the foundation they need to succeed.
Let's break down the most important channels to invest in when you're marketing directly to a buyer.
The first place a homebuyer might look for a home inspector is Google. To ensure they're seeing you when they search, you'll need to focus on your local SEO.
Over 50,000 people in the U.S. alone search "home inspector near me" on Google every month, and when they do, they likely see the Local 3-Pack, as shown below. This is where you ideally want your Google Business Profile to appear, as 44% of local searchers click on one of the three businesses shown.
Like the home inspection companies shown in the image above, most businesses that rank in Google's Local 3-Pack have a high number of 5-star reviews and a fully filled-out and up-to-date business profile.
If you don't have a Google Business Profile, your first step is to get one set up. If you already have an active Google Business Profile, make sure it includes:
You should also make sure you direct any clients to leave a review on your Google Business Profile, as a high number of 5-star reviews will give your profile a better chance of ranking higher.
Whether your website ranks well on Google or not, it's an important part of marketing directly to homebuyers.
Why? No matter where they find you, a homebuyer will likely land on your website before they book an inspection with you to make sure you're up for the job.
Your website should allow homeowners to easily book an inspection, and have enough information about you and the services you offer that any homebuyer visiting will feel confident that you're the inspector for them.
Additionally, blog posts targeted at homebuyers (such as posts that discuss home maintenance, home knowledge, and information about the home inspection process) can be another source of traffic to your website. If you're looking to up the number of potential homebuyers that land on your website, your blog is a perfect place to start.
Your reviews, and specifically your Google reviews, are a cornerstone of your marketing strategy for homebuyers. The more five-star reviews you have, the more likely you are to rank well on Google.
Beyond ranking benefits, reviews are also excellent social proof. 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and, according to a survey by BrightLocal, 60% of consumers consider the number of reviews when deciding whether or not to use a service or buy a product.
All that to say -- reviews are an incredibly important factor in marketing directly to homebuyers.
To ensure you get a high volume of 5-star reviews, always:
While reviews on other platforms (such as Yelp or Spectora) are important, focus on building up 5-star Google reviews first, and direct clients to review you on Google before focusing on other platforms.
Although social media might be a more useful tool for engaging agents, you can also market directly to homebuyers on social media.
Creating educational content to educate homebuyers, posting positive reviews, and sharing home maintenance tips are all types of content you can create to promote your business and win a homebuyer's attention.
You can also add location tags and local hashtags to your posts — this will ensure that your content shows up in local searches, and give your account a better chance of showing up to homebuyers in your area.
You can't underestimate the power of showing up in your community when it comes to marketing to homebuyers because a homebuyer could be a neighbor, a local business owner, a teacher at your kid's school, or anyone else in your city or county.
Showing up to community events, or sponsoring them if you have the budget, is an excellent way to meet potential homebuyers and ensure you're the home inspector they choose when they go to the housing market.
While you're likely using the same marketing channels (social media, your Google Business Profile, and your website) to catch the attention of homebuyers as you do for agents, the strategy and what you post might be a bit different.
Remember that homebuyers — especially first-time homebuyers — will likely have less knowledge about the home, and therefore the inspection than your average realtor. You might need to adjust your messaging and the type of content you create to meet a homebuyer's needs.