Marketing is the cornerstone of success for any business, especially home inspectors. But it’s smart marketing that that can really elevate your business. That means being timely, relevant and personal. Whether you are new to the industry or consider yourself a pro, everyone can use help getting his/her name in front of real estate agents.
Being qualified, responsive and objective is absolutely required, but what is the secret sauce to effectively marketing yourself to real estate agents? Here are 10 easy and effective ways to market to agents plus a FREE marketing flyer (click to download)!
1. Create a Brand Message
Before you begin developing your marketing plan, you need to create a brand message. Why should a real estate agent refer you? Ask yourself, “What makes ME different than other home inspectors?” Do you offer unique services? (We’ll get into this next.) Are your reports very detailed and full of high quality photographs? Don’t worry if you aren’t the most experienced inspector on the block. Being a hometown native who’s seen the rise and fall of homes in the area is just as valuable.
2. Offer Additional Services
Offering additional services is another great way to set yourself apart from the competition. And as we mentioned, it’s critical to creating your message. It could be testing for lead paint, radon, asbestos, or carbon monoxide.
More and more home inspectors are building buyer confidence and growing agent referrals by providing a Housefax Report as a standard service.
“As a home inspector, I include a Housefax Report with every inspection. It’s a great way to differentiate my services and increase real estate agent referrals.
Savvy agents understand that supplying home buyers with more information builds confidence and helps them make a quicker buying decision. I feel more empowered when using Housefax Reports.” Bruce Upton, HouseMaster | Belmont, North Carolina
3. Target New Agents
Once you’ve created your brand message, it’s time to begin your marketing efforts. Consider focusing on newer agents who do not yet have a list of inspectors to pass along to their clients. It’s also a good way to test your message to see if it resonates — and an opportunity to perfect it. Remember though, their business is just getting started so this is a slow and steady process.
4. Ask for Referrals
It may seem awkward to do at first, but you should always ask agents as well as homebuyers for referrals. This is often done in person at the end of the inspection process when you are making final comments about the home. If the idea of asking for a referral makes you uncomfortable, try asking in an email when you provide the inspection report to them.
5. Make Sure You Have a Website
Having a website is critical. Agents and buyers will surely Google you and if you don’t exist online than you just don’t exist. You can build a great-looking website using WordPress for free. Be sure to include a sample home inspection report, testimonials, an introduction video, a regularly updated blog and resources that realtors would value and be able to pass along to clients.
**Try This! Don’t have time to write a blog? Leverage content from other blogs, like this post about maintaining your home’s foundation!
6. Stay in Touch
Create a database of all real estate agents you have worked with, including both listing and buyer’s agents. Periodically send out a link to your blog posts or newsletter to further stay in touch and position yourself as an expert in your field. Remember that agents receive a ton of email so this is where being timely, relevant and personal is key. The last thing you want to do is annoy an agent by flooding their inbox with useless emails.
7. Use Social Media (Your Top Competitors Already Do)
Have you thought about social media for business? The Big Three are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. But, how are they used?
- Facebook: ad space, lots of space for posts, and room to engage with your audience
- LinkedIn: thought leader opportunities, networking, and a public resume
- Twitter: 140 characters to make a quick point or share links to your site or blog pages
Everything on your website can and should be shared across your social network. That’s brand message consistency.
**Try This! Follow agents on social media and interact with them. And it’s not a bad idea to follow other home inspectors, too!
8. Visit Real Estate Agent Offices
Stop by local offices to drop off literature and business cards. Be sure to introduce yourself and offer to give a presentation to their agents. While you can talk about your services, you’re more likely to hear a “yes!” if you offer an educational presentation, perhaps regarding radon levels in the area. Oh and don’t forget the pens. Everyone loves (and uses) free pens!
**Try This! For Housefax PROs, we’ve created a marketing flyer for this exact goal. It’s meant to be delivered (or emailed) and promotes your unique services as a Housefax PRO.
9. Join the local Board of Realtors®
Joining your local board of Realtors is a great networking opportunity. Here’s another chance to teach a class and position yourself as the go-to neighborhood inspector. And, you can leverage the same presentation you used when visiting real estate agents.
10. Pick up the Phone
When all else fails, pick up the phone or send a personalized email asking to meet. Remember realtors get a ton of email so avoid mass marketing and make it personal.
With marketing, it’s all about being timely, relevant and personal.
Real estate agents have a list of their top few inspectors that they recommend to their clients. Getting real estate agent referrals typically means that you need to be on this list. Delivering a quality home inspection and following these tips will help you forge great relationships with the agents in your area.
If you’re interested in more marketing tips like this, or have questions about Housefax PRO, call us @ 877-598-6634 or email us at Marketing@housefax.com We can’t wait to hear from you!