Getting Noticed by Real Estate Agents
Building a home inspection business requires a lot of time and effort. You may have some great skills and be really good at what you do, but those things won’t automatically make you money. It’s important that people know who you are.
Having good relationships with real estate agents is crucial to your success. There is a lot of competition out there, so you need to know what agents are looking for so you can market yourself to them in the best way.
Let’s discuss what real estate agents look for in home inspectors, what role agents play in the home inspection business, and how you can market yourself and build those important relationships with agents.
Qualities That Agents Look For in Home Inspectors
Some people think that what real estate agents want is a home inspector who will do a quick inspection and not bring attention to all the issues on a property so the sale can go through. While agents do want to sell the home, they also want their buyer to be happy with their purchase.
So, a good agent will want a home inspector to be thorough and produce a detailed report with issues exposed. This will ensure there are no surprises for the buyer. The agent wants the buyer to tell their friends and family what a great experience they had and build up the reputation of the agent for future sales.
Here are some qualities that realtors look for in home inspectors:
- Good communicator – Be able to be reached easily by the agent by phone and email, and respond quickly; be able to communicate respectfully with clients and keep them informed of the process; keep everyone aware of appointment times and sends confirmation
- Professional & honest – Be able to provide a honest, thorough evaluation of the property and provide accurate reporting on the property without exaggerating defects; be professional in speech, attire, and actions
- Punctual – Be on time and be prepared for appointments (it’s a good idea to arrive a few minutes early to inspections)
- Friendly – Whether you are naturally gregarious or not, be social, present, and show the agent and client that you are there to help them get information they need
- Certifications & memberships – While not completely necessary, it can be a good idea to get certified in specialized areas if you have time (ex. mold, termites, radon); acquiring membership in a home inspector’s association, such as InterNACHI, is a plus
Real Estate Agent’s Role in a Home Inspection
During a real estate transaction, the home inspection is an essential part. A real estate agent wants to be sure their client understands the findings of the inspection. It is a personal decision on the agent’s part whether to shadow the inspector during the inspection or just be present for questions.
Agents should be present at the location while the inspection is taking place. This is to help answer questions the client may have. It will also help the agent negotiate pricing on the property, rather than just reviewing the report. What the agents should not do during an inspection is point out issues they may see. They are not the professionals in making those assessments, and this may open them up to liability.
Getting Noticed by Real Estate Agents
Studies have suggested that most buyers and sellers choose a home inspector based on the recommendation of their realtor. So, if you want to increase your business, you have to build a rapport with agents. What are some tips for marketing your services to them?
- Memorable introduction – Reach out to as many real estate agents in your area as you can. Do make use of social media, but also, do not underestimate a cold phone call to their office. Additionally, you can stop by their office. Some inspectors like to bring a treat for the office, such as candy or some baked goods. This is a great time to drop off your card and a brochure about you. Sending a letter of introduction (LOI) is also beneficial
- Follow up – Making good first impressions are important, but don’t forget to follow up, and cultivate relationships. Try to set up a time to do an in-person presentation. If they agree to that, make sure the presentation is not just about you but what you can do for them and their business. Explain how your home inspection process can make their transactions smoother, how the inspection software you use can help in communication with clients and produce great reports, and what specialty areas you cover that give you an advantage over other inspectors
- Marketing & trade shows – A strong online presence is key. Have a great website with good SEO and blogs, create video tutorials on YouTube or TikTok, and take part in forums specific to the industry. Trade shows offer a good opportunity to make connections with agents. Have a variety of materials with your logo available for them to take, and if they leave their cards, make sure to follow up with a thank you note.
Your Efforts Will Pay Off
Building your home inspection business takes a lot of time and hard work. And you can’t do it alone. Building relationships with other professionals in the industry is key. Real estate agents are a large part of that. They are the gateway to most of your future clients.
Value the work of real estate agents. Approach them with professionalism and showcase your high-quality work, and they can help you become successful in this business.