News Home Inspectors Can Use: September 2013 Edition

September and October are jam-packed with events to get you educated and slammed with new work contacts. Here’s what’s going on in the future of home inspection:

* There are so many real estate conferences going on over the next two months, we don’t have space to list them here. Luckily we don’t have to. The Real Estate Intelligence Report has an extensive list of state realtor conferences happening throughout the nation. Head on over if you’re searching for state-specific realtor conferences or save your pennies to attend the National Association of Realtors Conference from November 6 through 11 in San Francisco. Hillary Clinton is this year’s featured speaker.

* Get ready. The Southeastern Home Inspectors Conference promises classes ranging from Plumbing Hazards to Report Writing and Risk Management. Kicking off September 13 through 15 in Duluth, Georgia, the Conference has a schedule packed with a wide range of inspection workshops and 25 exhibitors.

* If you’re in (or trying to break into) the home remodeling biz, mark your calendars for October 16 through 18 and start looking for airfare to Chicago. The Remodeling Show national trade expo covers everything from building design to project management and provides an excellent opportunity for home inspectors to connect with those in the remodeling biz. A full schedule of NAHB courses is available here. Step right this way to register.

* Clear your calendars for October. The 2013 Las Vegas Inspection Conference is slated for October 20 through 24 in Sin City. Environmental issues, infrared, pool-spa inspections, water heaters, roofing—nothing is off the table here.

News Home Inspectors Can Use – August 2012

Here’s what’s going on in the near future for home inspectors: 

* We’ve been promo’ing this a lot, but it’s worth noting-the Inspector Marketing Tour starts off with stops throughout Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Nevada in August alone. The $99 entry fee buys you a $99 voucher for home inspection products, services or InterNACHI membership.

 

* If you’re looking for something a bit beachier, think about setting up a booth at the Florida Realtors 2012 Convention and Trade Expo. Running in Orlando August 8 through 12, the event is the perfect place to hobnob with your future clients. While you’re down south, stick around for the Florida Association of Building Inspectors conference in Fort Lauderdale September 22 and 23.

 

* Those heading a bit farther north can squeeze in a few continuing education credits by hitting up the North Carolina Licensed Home Inspector Association conferences throughout the state. Continuing ed opportunities kick off in New Bern from August 17 through 18 and Greensboro, NC from August 25 through 16.Early birds who register in advance get a sweet discount.

 

* September’s a bit far off, but it pays to register early. The Pro-ASHI 2012 Pittsburgh Inspector Conference runs from September 7 through 9, the NAHI National Education Conference takes over Myrtle Beach, South Carolina September 13 through 16 and the Southeastern Home Inspectors conference hits Duluth, Georgia September 19 through 23.

News Home Inspectors Can Use – July 2012 Edition

Here’s what’s going on in home inspection:

* InterNACHI is taking over the world one city at a time. The Inspector Marketing Tour focuses on helping home inspectors effectively market and promote their businesses. The best part is, it’s free (sort of). The $99 entry fee buys you a $99 voucher for home inspection products, services or InterNACHI membership. The tour kicks off in Wichita, Kansas on August 13.

 

* If you’re still some continuing education credits short, the North Carolina Licensed Home Inspector Association can hook you up. The group offers three separate continuing ed opportunities in Asheville July 27-28, New Bern August 17-18 and Greensboro August 24-25. Early birds who register in advanceget a sweet discount.

* If you missed the Atlantic City Inspection Conference this past weekend, don’t sweat it. The 2012 Pittsburgh Inspection Conference running from September 7 through 9 is now registering attendees.

 

* Affordable Comfort, Inc. (ACI) has a veritable boatload of conferences happening throughout the year. The ACI Mid-Atlantic Home Performance Conference kicks off in Pittsburgh October 1 through 2 but early bird registration is already open.

Marketing 101 with Nick Gromicko

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.

The Inspector Marketing World Tour kicks off August 13 in Wichita, Kansas. Click here for a full list of cities.

Top 5 Online Hubs for Home Inspectors

If you’re feeling confused, flustered or aggravated by some aspect of your home inspection business, you’re not alone. These five resources are godsends for both new and seasoned home inspectors. In addition to getting answers to your questions, these online hotspots will connect you with other inspectors and keep you up to date on the latest news in the industry. Get your bookmarks ready. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. InspectionNews

There’s a reason that 1.5 million visitors have flocked to this site. Jam packed with info on virtually any and everything that’s happening in the home inspection industry, this free site’s primary strength lies in its active readership. If you need a little help getting started, head straight to this post.

2. American Society of Home Inspectors

It’s no surprise that ASHI makes our list thanks to their active membership, timely news posts and primary research on home buyers and inspectors. ASHI also gets our e-kudos because they want to help you find and retain clients. On top of providing easy-to-reach Standards of Practice and State Regulations, the organization also offers a list of continuing education and training institutions as well as an inspector search engine that can help clients find you. Even inspectors who aren’t ASHI members can benefit from the site’s comprehensive resources.

3. Joe Ferry

Ferry’s site is a veritable explosion of info on the legal aspects of home inspecting. A lawyer who specializes in home inspection cases, Ferry produces article after article designed to help protect inspectors should they run into trouble. This site covers everything from arbitrations to inspection agreements. Ferry’s great about answering questions from the crowd, even ours.

4. InterNACHI

When it comes to info on how to do what you do, InterNACHI is tops. The organization’s site offers updates on the latest newsactive forums for questions and debate and a solid home inspection blog that anyone can access regardless whether they’re an InterNACHI member. Like ASHI, members can also list their businesses in InterNACHI’s inspector search engine to drum up clients too.

5. Tap Inspect’s Blog

We may not be the biggest home inspection site out there, but we do provide tons of original articles that offer insider knowledge on the ins and outs of inspections. Plus our blog has one of the biggest collections of interviews with working inspectors available on the web. Happy surfing!