We absolutely couldn’t have a home inspection marketing newsletter without featuring Gromicko. The founder of InterNACHI, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, Gromicko sits at the helm of one of the largest professional association for inspectors in the world. He’s also on a mission to help your business.
Gromicko’s latest project, the Inspector Marketing World Tour, is a four-hour marketing-centric seminar that features tips “that are guaranteed to double your income in a year.”
Tap Inspect caught up with Gromicko just before he embarks on his tour which spans 63 cities in 21 countries starting in Wichita, Kansas on August 13.
Tap Inspect: Would you mind explaining a bit about what the Inspection Marketing World Tour is?
Gromicko: It’s an opportunity to meet home and commercial property inspectors in the US and around the world…It’s open to all; we don’t care if they’re InterNACHI members or don’t belong to any association. We want to strengthen our industry, and the way to do that is to meet inspectors on their home turf and teach them, in just four hours, how they can promote their own businesses better, which will promote industry and broaden its presence. To borrow a phrase, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” We want our event to be that rising tide.
Tap Inspect: What are your major marketing tips for home inspectors?
Gromicko: You can’t really be a busy inspector without a solid and professional web presence. Savvy home buyers are trying to get as much prep work as possible done online-they’re too busy to pore over the Yellow Pages and make phone calls like they used to. An inspector’s web presence needs to be professional-looking and extremely user-friendly, and if you need a pro to get your website there, consider it a worthwhile investment.
Another tip is to stay connected—to past clients, to real estate professionals and to other inspectors. Getting feedback from all these parties about what they want and what they need is a great way to provide the kinds and quality of service that clients and those who assist clients find valuable. It also demonstrates that you care enough to find out what’s important to them and that’s an excellent marketing skill.
I also strongly believe that you should up your personal ante. By that, I mean that you have to make time for learning new information. That can be challenging, but it’s essential for professional growth. In turn, you can trump your competition because you’ll have more to offer and your best marketing tool is always going to be yourself, along with all your skills and qualifications. That means taking new continuing education courses and sharing ideas with colleagues both online and through association chapter meetings and special events. The type of camaraderie that these meetings generate is invaluable and invigorating.
Tap Inspect: A lot of inspectors invest a great deal of time in upping their online presence. What’s the most effective way to do that?
Gromicko: …Not only should an inspector’s website be easy to navigate and user-friendly in terms of answering frequently asked questions and allowing online appointment booking, but it should be aesthetically updated and engaging. Few inspectors I’ve met have the ability to create a first-class website, which is why they should have a pro create it for them. That can even mean using a professionally designed web template that they can then add to. If you offer a first-class service, your website had better be first-class too.
Also, there’s no escaping that SEO and keywords rule. The most clicks per page, the most time spent on site—these are all realities of being online, so inspectors should make the most of it. Engage in online forums by asking questions and offering advice and opinions and make sure your website is linked and that you have a strong logo in your web signature. Additionally, update your website regularly by offering home maintenance tips and information on topics that are of interest to potential clients. When they go searching the web for an answer to a problem, maybe they’ll find it on your site. Also, use social media. You have to be where prospective clients are, so meet them there and offer them something they can use.
Tap Inspect: What is the most effective marketing strategy for home inspectors?
Gromicko: Pay attention to customer service. You and X number of inspectors in your service area are all offering home inspections and “easy-to-read reports,” etc., etc…you have to distinguish yourself through the best customer service you can offer and that requires you to think like a customer. From your web presence, which is the first thing prospective clients will see, to your report, to your leave-behinds and even how you or your staff answers the phone-you really have to think like a consumer and put some thought and effort into these details. If you want glowing testimonials and referrals, you have to provide an inspection service that is welded with a positive experience that will effectively do your marketing for you.
Tap Inspect: What are the major trends that you see happening in home inspection right now?
Gromicko: Energy efficiency is huge. The EPA and DOE are investing money and resources in organizations like ours so that we can train inspectors to give clients what they’ve been asking for: accurate and actionable information about how they can save on energy use in their own homes. InterNACHI has developed some easy-to-use tools for our inspectors so that they can provide this service. We’re also working with RESNET and BPI, two of the largest home-energy organizations in the U.S. All of these partnerships mean that a lot of people are finally going to get answers for how they can incorporate green living into their homes, rather than thinking they need a specially-designed, off-grid or high-end home for their efforts and lifestyles to truly matter.
Another big trend is smart home technology being affordable for the masses…People want to integrate personal electronics and social media with home entertainment and home security systems. Also, mobile housing units or “med cottages” for elderly relatives who need some minimal medical assistance and the assurance of immediate help nearby-this is a current need that will only grow. Newer innovations require us to find out more about them so that we can provide the training for properly inspecting them.