How Home Inspectors Can Rule Social Media

Between Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN, Youtube, Tumblr, blogs, Flickr and the virtually endless barrage of new online tools coming out every day, it’s hard to figure out how you can maximize your online presence without devoting your life to social media. We asked three home inspectors to discuss what social media tools work best for their business and how they use the internet to draw in real-life clients.

Link Up
Peter Walker

Peter Walker, owner of A1 Property Inspections in Orange County, California, knows that when it comes to social media, you’ve got to give to receive. After posting on Facebook did not yield the type of clients he was looking for, Walker turned to LinkedIN and has quickly build a following of 800 to 900 real estate pros. Walker credits his online success (and all the additional business that came from it) to posting his thoughts about the industry on a regular basis and by connecting real estate professionals across the country. “If someone says ‘Hey! I need an inspector in Florida,’ I’ll look at my connections and see if any of them are there,” says Walker. “Once I’ve found someone, I’ll look at their [professional] memberships and look up one of their reports to make sure ‘yes, this guy is quality.'” Walker banks big when it comes time to return the favor. “First you reach out to people and then they’ll refer you,” he says. “Everyone knows someone who’s buying a building.”

Brandon Diggs
The Tweet Life

Brandon Diggs of DHI Home Inspections in the Washington DC area can turn real estate agents into repeat business in 140 characters or less. In addition to regularly tweeting out tips aimed at home buyers, sellers and realtors, Digg saysthat Twitter works because allows him to search local agents, see what they’re talking about and reach out them in a direct, but unobtrusive way. “I also send out cold call e-mails that introduce myself to [area] realtors and I’ll send them my brochure,” Diggs says. “That’s very effective.”

Banking on Blogs
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck

Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, founder of Your Houston Home Inspector, credits his blog for landing both clients and speaking gigs. Starting his blog in 2008, Shulte-Ladbeck gained followers by providing solid articles on this own site and by writing on other sites including Homefinder.com and Houstonrealestate.com. “I also started answering [home and housing-related] questions on sites like Yahoo! Answers and Answers.com,” Schulte-Ladbeck says. “I started to gain a little bit of authority that way.” Of course other social media tools helped too. Every time Frank posted a blog entry or answered a question, he used Facebook and Twitter to promote the post and drive traffic back to his blog. With approximately 6,000 monthly viewers, Schulte-Ladbeck’s blog has not only garnered clients and speaking gigs, but also interviews with national reporters. “If you’re going to be on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIN, you find a niche that works for you and you become known as a person who’s offering a solution. In my case, that’s talking about making a more energy and water efficient home,” he says. “You have to establish yourself as an authority and keep a consistent message.”

 

This article originally ran in our Tap Inspect newsletter. To start receiving our newsletter, click the “Join Our Mailing List” button on the right side of the screen.

New Announcement from Tap Inspect!

To help our clients navigate Tap Inspect and to answer their questions, we’re offering a free webinar on how to use Tap Inspect on June 9 at 7pm EST. The webinar will cover how to create and customize a report, record comments and photos, edit the template and publish a sample home inspection report. Head here to reserve your spot. We look forward to seeing you there!

5 Free Tools to Boost Your Home Inspection Business

* You need marketing materials, InterNACHI has your hook-up. Offering a full range of inspection-related clip art, concepts and design ideas (all at no cost to members), the nonprofit is a one-stop shop for creating low-cost promo materials. Check out the range of offerings right over here.

 

* Need to explain something to a buyer or agent who isn’t there? Or perhaps just make a mental note for later? Dragon Dictation for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad allows you to speak messages into your phone which the app will transcribe and send out as a text, e-mail, Tweet or Facebook status update.

 

* Company blogs are easy to create and hard to turn into a successful business tool. Erika Douglass has created what many regard as the definitive manifesto for turning your blog into an invaluable tool for reeling in new customers. It’s available for download here.

 

* Whether you’re looking to get a new home inspection off the ground or streamline a company you’ve run for 30 years, SCORE is here to help. Offering free business mentoring workshops across the globe, this small business nonprofit offers classes in everything from writing a business plan to uncovering the intricacies of sales tax. Connect with a business mentor online or in person here.

 

* Tap Inspect will keep back up copies of your inspection reports on our server, but keeping your invoices and notes saved on your home hard drive is risky. Adrive allows you to store up to 50GB of data on their servers for free.

 

This article originally ran in our company newsletter sent out earlier in May. To be the first to get Tap Inspect’s tips and interviews, sign up for our newsletter by clicking the “Join Our Mailing List” button on the right hand side.