Closing the Deal

There are literally tens of thousands of home inspectors out there. Maybe not all of them reside in our own backyard (although, sometimes it feels like they do), but there’s enough competition milling about to make it hard for us to be seen. And the reality of this situation is that if we’re not being seen, we’re not being called; and no calls means no inspections.

getting a phone call for a home inspection

It doesn’t matter how good we are at our job, or how personable we are, or how great an inspection report we author, if there’s no one reaching out to hire us. We could be the most efficient inspector in the state, flowing through a house with the grace of a ballerina and the dexterity of an Olympic gymnast, composing a captivating inspection report with the skill of a Pulitzer prize winning author, if clients can’t figure out how to get on our schedule, we might as well be invisible.

A work has no value unless it is seen; unfound masterpieces are worthless.

Kevin Kelly

It doesn’t matter how great we are, how easy we are to work with, how much we put our clients at ease, how wonderfully written our inspection reports are, or how cheap (or expensive) our fees; if it’s hard for someone to get in touch with us, we might as well be sitting on the couch at home, streaming a random show on Netflix.

Without customers we’re not really running a business.

When there’s lots of competition for the attention of our potential client base, none of that stuff really matters all that much. Yes, things like price, quality, experience, and integrity make a difference, and can lead someone to choose us over our competitors, but if they don’t even know our company exists, there’s no way for them to judge whether we’re worthy of consideration in the first place.

All this really boils down to one word: findability. The first law of e-commerce, according to the Nielsen Norman Group, is pretty straight forward: “If the user can’t find the product, the user can’t buy the product.”

Our findability is comprised of many different aspects, with each one contributing a small amount of building material toward the tower of a successful enterprise. While it’s in our best interest to have at least some knowledge of each of the different aspects of marketing our business, we don’t have to become an expert in any of them. Obviously, having top-tier knowledge of one specific aspect of marketing can work wonders for someone’s bottom line, but concentrating on that one thing, to the detriment of everything else, can lead to unexpected problems; problems in our business that may be difficult to recover from.

Consider the home inspector who decides that they want to be the best mold inspector in the country. They spend every waking moment on mold: reading about it, researching testing methods and protocols, getting various certifications and degrees, doing nothing but eating, sleeping, and breathing mold. (BTW, don’t breathe mold!) That may be a great strategy if they want to exclusively perform mold inspections, but it’s an awful approach for someone who wants to be a well-rounded home inspector.

If we want to increase our findability, it’s likely in our best interest to invest our time learning as much as we can about as much as we can. It’s often termed having knowledge that’s an inch deep but a mile wide. Rather than specializing in one aspect of marketing (which would be knowledge that’s an inch wide but a mile deep), we should strive to learn a little about as many different aspects of marketing as possible. Just like our home inspection job, where we know a good bit about multiple aspects of residential construction without being an expert in any one thing, having a wide base of marketing knowledge can help us root out problems and know when it’s best to call in an expert.

learning more about the home inspection industry

It’s impossible to understate the value of being found. Whether we’re pumping up our SEO, emailing potential customers, making in-person visits at different marketing events, or spending money on Google AdWords (or billboards on the interstate), the ultimate goal of all our marketing efforts is to be found.

Once we’ve got their attention, it’s up to us to close the deal, and turn that browser into a customer.

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Thanks, Joe

pic of me, Joseph Cook Jr, home inspector