In the final installment of our “How I Did It” series, focuses on staying in contact with clients after the inspection on their new home is done. Ralph Borgess, President of Borgess Home Inspections in Middleton, New Jersey, is a master of keeping clients engaged. After spending ten years working in the construction field, Borgess opened up his own home inspection shop only to find the market overrun with other inspectors with more experience. In an effort to set himself apart, Borgess created a new work mantra—service the same clients throughout home ownership, not just when they purchase a home. Here’s how it’s impacted his business.
The Problem: Time is limited and home inspectors, unfortunately, spend way too much of it reeling in inspection clients, doing a single job then never seeing those clients again. More clients means more time and marketing money spent reeling them in.
The Solution: Borgess brings in extra work for himself and saves clients thousands in home repairs by offering services that start before clients find the home of their dreams and last long after the paperwork has been signed. In addition to offering traditional home inspections, Borgess also uses his construction background to assist clients that are looking for the right home and performs preventative maintenance checks that can save clients costly repairs, though Borgess does not do the repairs himself.
“What prompted me was personal experience,” he says. “Seeing friends, family not knowing how to properly maintain their home. It gave me an idea that I could educate people on this. I thought it would be a great opportunity and I don’t see many other home inspectors taking advantage of it so I thought I would try to lead the way a little bit.”
Borgess’ preventative maintenance checks cost several hundred less than a traditional home inspection and aim to educate clients on how to get the most value from their home purchase. Maintenance checks include providing information on the life expectancy of the home’s features including the roof, furnace and cooling systems, and about which repairs home owners can take care of themselves.
“A lot of home owners don’t realize that something as simple as changing the air filters can reduce the flow of air conditioning in basically their whole house,” Borgess says. “That’s a simple repair they can do themselves as opposed to hiring a professional to come in and do it for them.”
To stay connected with clients and keep them in the know about how to maintain their purchase, Borgess also includes a free one-year maintenance check-up for every client who purchases a traditional home inspection and provides advice on simple ways home owners can make their home last longer and avoid unexpected repair costs. Today, he’s gearing most of his marketing and social media efforts towards targeting existing home owners and reminding clients that keeping a home in tip-top shape doesn’t stop once the purchase is over.
“Our biggest challenge to date is getting clients to understand that home inspections aren’t just for home buyers,” he says.