Importance of Referrals From Agents
If you ask any successful home inspector, real estate agent referrals are a BIG part of their business.
Forming relationships with homeowners/buyers is definitely important – but they’re kind of “one-and-done” because most people don’t buy and sell multiple houses in a lifetime.
Real estate agents are an important resource for business – they may continually get you in contact with clients who need inspection services. But how do you get them? Below are how you can get and maintain real estate agent referrals.
Have the Basics in Place First
So let’s start with the basics first. Effective marketing takes ongoing effort, but there is no point in marketing to agents if you don’t have these basic elements in place. See below for some very basic things you will want to have ready to share with real estate agents BEFORE you start marketing to them:
- A logo – This should go without saying, but be sure to have a logo/brand all put together.
- Website – This is something that agents will refer to immediately after you give them a business card. Make sure your website is professional and well-designed. It should be optimized for desktop and mobile use. It’s optional but could be advantageous, to even include a section specifically for agents with sample reports and blog posts about the industry. The average client won’t feel comfortable hiring an inspector without a website – so if the client is not compfortable, then the agent won’t refer you.
- Business cards – Always have these on hand. Make sure to include your business name and logo, website URL, contact information, and perhaps a brief summary of services.
- Brochures – Versatile and cost-effective method to tell agents who you are, what you do, and why they should use your service.
Face to Face Meet and Greet
OK, now that you have the basics, here are two ways you can get familiar with real estate agents in your area:
- Visit the realty office – Drop by an agent’s office and introduce yourself. Even if you can’t talk in person or for a length of time with an agent, at least you can leave them with your business card and a brochure. You may be able to set up a time to come back and give them an in-office presentation about your business.
- Open houses – It may not be the best to stop by during a very busy time, as the agent will be preoccupied with clients. But during a slower time, stop and chat with the agent, and leave some business cards with them.
Practice Your Pitch
Real estate agents are busy people and no doubt have other home inspectors trying to grab their attention. When you get a chance to talk to them, you need to make yourself stand out.
To do this, have clearly in mind what you want an agent to know about yourself and your business. What is most important is for the agent to hear how you are going to make their job easier.
In just a few sentences, help the agent see why hiring you is the best choice. This may be by highlighting your quick turnaround on appointments or the great technology you use for smooth reporting.
Return the Favor
When you have a chance to refer a real estate agent to a friend or family member, do it. This can go a long way in gaining the trust and confidence of the agents in your area, and it may move them to send more clients in your direction.
Ethics During Inspections
So, we have to say this – when marketing to agents and trying to get their referrals, remember ethics. Home inspectors are responsible for providing accurate and detailed reporting on the property to their clients. The intention is not to ruin deals or make life hard for real estate agents, but at the same time, an inspector should never lower the standards of the inspection to make the agent’s job easier. (Review InterNACHI’s code of ethics for a reference point)
Real Estate Agents Can Help
The effort you put into forming relationships with real estate agents can go a long way. There are different marketing strategies you can use to make your business known, and show agents what you can do.
Remember that real estate agents can put you in touch with many clients. You just need to give them a reason to want to. Make sure to show them how your business can help them, and you will be happy to see the ways they promote yours!