Kent B. Sauber of KBS Home Inspection and Consulting in Guysville, Ohio discusses setting himself apart from the pack.
Getting a home inspector’s license is only half the battle. Kent B. Sauber of KBS Home Inspection knows that marketing, generating leads and getting your name out is the other half. With home sales bouncing back at a painfully slow rate, the home inspection business is increasingly cut-throat.
Tap Inspect: What is the most effective thing you’re doing to market KBS Home Inspection?
Kent Sauber: I do a weekly e-mail that I send out every Sunday night. I send that to about 1,000 realtors so my company is always right in front of their face on Monday morning. That’s actually worked out really well for me…Statistically, most real estate deals happen over the weekend. The real goal is that my company name is right there in front…If I have nothing to tell them at all, I’ll just send an inspirational quote.
Tap Inspect: How do you separate yourself from all the other home inspectors in the area?
Kent: There are 11 other inspectors in my area. It’s not a very huge community at all…My goal is to be as educated as can. I do push my continuing education and the national associations that I belong to. Everyone in the county knows that when I do an inspection, I know what I’m talking about and I do it well. I have agents who won’t work with me because they know that I will find everything that’s wrong with the house and that might affect the sale. All of a sudden if they have a brother, mother, cousin who’s buying a home, all of a sudden I’m the most important person.
Tap Inspect: How do you keep agents coming back?
Kent: It starts with the first phone call, trying to befriend every single one of my clients and taking time to answer all of their questions, even if it’s explaining from front to back how a heat pump operates. If it turns a two and a half hour inspection into a three and a half hour inspection, that’s ok. When I get feedback or praise from my clients or a realtor sends me an e-mail saying “Wow, you really took the time to explain to so and so what’s important to them,” that’s really important to my business.
Tap Inspect: Any advice for young home inspectors?
Kent: Learn as much as possble. That is what’s going to set any home inspector above the rest is their knowledge of every component of the home. My first year as a home inspector, I trained in mold, I trained in radon. My first year in business, I did 168 continuing education hours and I think that made a world of difference because in my community, you could ask anybody and they knew who the most well-trained inspector was. I spent a lot of money to educate myself. I refresh myself on my training manuals once a month just to make sure I didn’t forget anything and to keep myself refreshed.
Tap Inspect: We ask this of all our home inspectors—What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen?
Kent: I inspect foreclosed homes in the area and some of them are just super disgusting. One had a basement that was full of water. It was a giant swimming pool. That moved all of the rats that were the size of small house cats up into the main floor. I got to deal with basically inspecting this entire house with rats because they weren’t afraid of me at all. I was more afraid of them.
Check out Kent’s work at www.kbshomeinspection.com.
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