The general over-the-top excitement bordering on mass hysteria that surrounds the turning of the calendar from one year to the next has always puzzled me. In fact, so un-into it am I that I am seldom awake when it happens. To me the whole cultural phenomenon is a vast waste of calories that could be put to much better use.
One such use that I heartily endorse is the making of New Year’s Resolutions, especially those that revolve around breaking bad habits and forming good ones.
Here are some that home inspectors should give some considerable thought to adopting.
RAISE YOUR RATES
The first job that I had as a lawyer was as an associate at a white shoe law firm in Philadelphia. Every year on January 1, everyone’s billing rate increased. Usually by $10 an hour. When I left to form my own firm, I adopted that practice and adhere to it to this very day. So on Sunday, my hourly rate will rise by $10. Yours should, too.
STOP CHASING THE MARKET DOWN
A corollary to raising your rates, of course, is sticking to your guns. If you lower your rates to match the market, are you not ratifying the market’s false notion that one inspector is as good as another? You know that is not true. Cheap Charlie is cheap for a reason. And you’re not cheap for a reason. Make sure that you can provide takusan reasons why your prospect should avoid the low cost provider in favor of the high value provider: You.
STOP RELYING ON REAL ESTATE AGENTS FOR BUSINESS
When it comes to home inspector desiderata, one of the most frequently expressed is a methodology for acquiring home inspection clients without the intercession of a real estate agent. My friend and internationally renowned marketing coach, Ken Compton, has figured out exactly how to do that and has several proven methodologies for doing so and the video testimonials to prove it. Check out his website to learn more.
STOP REFUNDING INSPECTION FEES
I get two or three calls a week from home inspectors who have received a complaint from a client about some issue that the inspector allegedly “missed”. Of course, that’s never the case and the issue is almost always something that was hidden, disclaimed or discovered at the time of the inspection; outside the scope of the SOP or functioning then but broken now.
Not infrequently, the claimant “knows” that the inspector is not responsible but “feels that it’s only fair for [the inspector] to refund the fee.” That is a non sequitur.
The practice of refunding fees when the inspector has done nothing to warrant it so frequently backfires on the inspector that the Brady Bill should be amended to prohibit inspectors from ever doing so. When you thus indulge a client’s bizzaro notion of fairness, you ratify it and often encourage further unreasonableness.
CHECK OUT AFFILIATE PROGRAMS
Many businesses in the consumer market have affiliate programs pursuant to which commissions are paid for closed leads. One of the best such programs is the ADT Program. All you have to do is give your clients a flyer that entitles them to a major discount on an alarm system and monitoring. There’s no selling involved. All you need to do is give them the number to call. If they call and purchase, you get a hundred and twenty-five dollars. If they don’t call, no harm, no foul. One client in ten will call. Do the math. Details are here.
LEVERAGE YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY [E & O] INSURANCE
To judge solely from what I hear from home inspectors, E & O Insurance causes them more agita than their knucklehead clients. Which is saying something. Most inspectors who actually carry E & O Insurance fail to maximize its value in both the marketing and pricing of their services.
I have written elsewhere on this site about how to use your E & O Insurance to command higher fees. You should re-read these posts.
PACK UP YOUR WORRIES
If you are an habitué of this site, you should long ago have concluded that the likelihood of any of your clients ever making a successful claim against you, if you are a competent inspector, is extremely low. Successful being the operative word.
Clients will continue to make claims because roofers, electricians and HVAC contractors will continue to throw inspectors under the bus. For fast relief from those annoyances check out this video.
And Happy New Year, Everyone!Already a ClaimsAcademy Member? Log In Register for Joe’s FREE ClaimsAcademy Video Tips Protect Yourself with ClaimIntercept Joe’s Law and Disorder Seminar is Available Online! Receive a Perfected Pre-Inspection Agreement