You are a good home inspector. No wait, you are a GREAT home inspector. But do real estate agents consistently give out your name for referrals to homeowners?
There is no substitute for being qualified in your inspection work and treating real estate agents and homeowners with the respect they deserve. But for growing your inspection business, the secret to building strong relationships with real estate agents, who continually generate ongoing referrals, is:
- staying top of mind;
- helping them personally; and
- helping them professionally.
Staying Top of Mind
We all know the old expression: If a tree falls in the forest, is it heard? Similarly, doing a great job or making a great sales pitch to a group of real estate agents is essential, but what good is it if they don't have instant recall of you when opportunities come up? The key is staying top of mind with agents, by them continually receiving reminders of who you are and the good work that you stand for. It is one thing if they remember your name when asked, but when you are truly top of mind, your name is the first one that they think of, without even being prompted.
Achieving this level of awareness is challenging. There's a name for keeping in contact when the receiver does NOT find it valuable . . . it is called SPAM. So the on-going reminders they receive must be in such a way that it IS valuable to them, and this means the contact with the real estate agents needs to be helpful to them personally or professionally. Of course the best is when the on-going contact with agents is helpful to them both personally AND professionally.
Helping Them Personally
Real estate agents are people too. As such, continually connecting with them personally is important for favorably maintaining a top of mind relationship with them.
So how can you help make their lives personally better? Like you, they tend to be very busy people, so making it easier for them to take care of their home is something that they will definitely appreciate. Timely home care reminders and tips are a great way to help them take care of their homes. But these reminders MUST be personalized for their goals and particular home, otherwise they are not valuable. Also, sharing your knowledge of who you believe are the good local contractors for their home can also help them personally.
The nice thing about helping make it easier to take care of their homes, is that since they are in the real estate business, this can also help them professionally.
Helping Them Professionally
Conducting a home inspection is a critical part of the overall real estate transaction process. The more a real estate agent understands the ins and outs of home inspection, the more effective they will be professionally. Sending your real estate contacts timely articles to read that help explain the subtle and not so subtle nuances of the inspection business helps make them better at their jobs. And helping them professionally is something that further helps keep you favorably top of mind with them.
You've worked hard to build your qualifications and reputation as an excellent home inspector. This of course is a solid foundation for a successful inspection business. But growing your business requires consistently generating referrals from real estate agents, which you can make happen by staying top of mind and helping them both personally and professionally.
About the Author
Joel Singer is managing partner of Applica / Home Wizard (www.applica-solutions.com). Home Wizard is an interactive e-Newsletter and mobile app, that generates referrals and repeat business for home inspectors from homeowners and realtors, by providing them with personalized home care reminders and tips for their specific home and goals. Mr. Singer can be reached at email@example.com or (508)281-2050.