Many clients put a lot of thought into who to hire as their home inspector, and with good reason —buying or selling a home is one of the biggest financial decisions clients make in life. Clients are looking for an inspector who is knowledgeable, thorough and fits their budget, as well as someone who communicates well, so that they can make the best decision after receiving their report.
Yet clients don’t always know the best way to go about choosing a home inspector. Conflicting advice can lead some to prioritize the lowest price or rely on a recommendation from someone who isn’t an expert. When you get a referral or call from a new client, knowing what home inspection clients look for and how to meet their needs can help you win their business.
Here are four points to focus on upfront to attract serious prospects and the most important questions to address before signing the pre-inspection agreement.
Tell Your Story
Prospective clients start their search by trying to get a sense of who you are and whether you can help them. In particular, clients are interested in:
- Who you are
- What services you offer
- How long you’ve been in business
- Where you’re located
- What areas you service
- What sets you apart from the competition
Be ready to briefly tell your story to these prospective clients. You can dedicate a section of your website or Facebook page to your introduction and craft a pitch to deliver over the phone when you receive calls. If you have a specialty, your introduction is a good place to advertise it.
Share Client Testimonials
Reviews and testimonials have a big impact on today’s consumers. Nearly 95% of people look for reviews online before making a purchase decision. Even though your prospective clients won’t know the people leaving you testimonials, many people still take recommendations from peers seriously. You can collect and monitor reviews on popular sites, such as:
- Angie’s List
You may also include testimonials from clients on your own website.
Present Your Qualifications
Home inspection clients know that the right qualifications, certifications and experience are important to getting someone to do the job right. Communicate your expertise up front to help attract prospective clients. Clients will want to know specifics, so be sure to list your:
- Training, certifications and licensing
- Years of experience in the home inspection business
- Professional home inspector association memberships
- Bonded and insured status
Be specific about the wording, for your own protection and for easy communication to people who may not know the industry’s abbreviations and terminology.
Offer a Sample Inspection Report
A lot of home inspection clients are hoping you will have a sample inspection report available for them to view. The inspection report is one of the most important aspects of the home inspection, so it’s important to an inspector’s reporting style makes sense. Clients will want to see:
- Detailed observations
- Examples of typical photo documentation
- Descriptions of findings and recommendations
Having a great sample report can often win new business, so it’s worth showcasing your report on your website and making it easy for prospective clients to find and download.
Get Ready to Answer Their Questions
Meeting the needs of prospective clients often involves educating them about the process of having a home inspected. First-time buyers will have lots of questions and others may have forgotten everything that’s involved. Answer all the important questions, even if your client forgets to ask, including:
- What to expect pre-inspection
- What will happen the day of the inspection
- What systems and features the standard inspection will cover
- What is not included in the standard inspection
- What inspection add-ons items are available
- What the inspection can and cannot reveal
- What the limits and exclusions of the inspection are
- When to expect the report and how to read it
- What to do if they still have questions after the report
Practicing good communication can help you put your prospective home inspection clients on the right track as they narrow down their search for an inspector. It’s useful to know what clients today are looking for as well as what you can do as an inspector to help meet their needs.
Inspectors can also use good communication skills early on in their interactions with clients to minimize the risk of problems later. Misunderstandings can lead to a client being confused or upset about things they feel an inspector has done in error, and this can result in a costly and stressful claim against your business.
You can protect your business by practicing good communication and having the right insurance protection in place. Contact Lockton Affinity to learn more about coverage designed especially for home inspectors like you.