month's discussion is by request. A reader submitted the
topic "How to make contacts and get referrals."
are many, many ways to network and make contacts. I would
suggest picking three or four and doing them well and consistently.
The following are methods that have worked for me, not necessarily
the only methods of marketing.
active in your local home inspector association chapter.
Volunteer on a committee or even the board. Offer to do
an evening's education if you have useful information to
share. A benefit of becoming active is the raising of your
visibility within the inspector community. I found that
this leads to referrals for inspections by other inspectors.
They can't refer you if they don't know and respect you.
Think about it, when an inspector gets a call for an inspection
and cannot fulfill the time requirement, what is the next
question from the person on the phone? It's "can you
in your own local business community. Join a networking
club, such as a business exchange club (I believe LeTip
is a national formula of this type of club). Their purpose
is typically solely to understand each other's business
and refer to each other. This type of club usually meets
once a week for breakfast, so there is a long-term commitment.
in contact with your existing clients. Develop marketing
materials to send to past home inspection clients a few
times a year to remind them to refer you to their friends,
family and business associates. Remind them you are available
for consultation regarding home maintenance inspections,
new construction and remodeling inspections and so on. So
many home inspectors overlook the repeat opportunity of
the home inspection client.
the local inspection expert. Write useful information articles
for your newspaper or magazine homeowners will read. Your
advertising is the line at the end "provided courtesy
of ------ home inspection company." Offer to do radio
shows about home inspection. All of these activities raise
a website! Many homebuyers now do their homework on the
web. They want to view your service offerings and qualifications
online. Some companies even offer scheduling on the web.
Purchase your own domain name and have your website designed
by a professional. Amateur websites look just that. Consider
joining a popular web-based home inspector referral website.
could consider joining the local association of REALTORS
as an affiliate. I always chose to keep my relationship
with real estate agents arm's length. However, I hardly
ever turned down a referral from an agent, and knew many
for over 15 years when I had an inspection firm in San Diego.
I volunteered on a couple committees at the local association
of REALTORS. Other members on the committee got to know
me and referred me to their clients based upon mutual professionalism
and competence, not any quid pro quo arrangement.
are just a few methods of marketing. There are many others
we did not discuss due to space and time constraints. Above
all, be persistent!
talk next month,
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