Isn’t a home inspector’s target market any home buyer? It may seem counterintuitive, but a more specific target market can make your marketing more effective.
There are plenty of home inspectors in your area who are all competing for the same business. To stand out, you’ll need great marketing. Great marketing starts with knowing who your target market is. This is one of the first things any marketing guru will teach you. That’s because you need to be able to speak to the people you want to work with in a way that they understand. A company that sells medical equipment to doctors will have very different things to say than a company that sells children’s books. The words, voice, and cadence would all be totally different. The same goes for home inspectors. We need to know how to talk to the people we want to work with. In this industry there are two target customers who we need to talk to in two different ways: real estate agents and home buyers.
What is a target market for home inspectors?
Consider these two groups for a moment. The home buyers are going through a very big experience that is often very emotionally charged. Often there are specific timelines involved if a job change has necessitated the move. It can be very stressful. Agents, on the other hand, are professionals. You are dealing with them in their working environment. That is very different than someone in a personal situation. But it also means that money is involved for them, which is an interesting motivator in any situation. So you can see that these two sets of people are in very different mindsets when it is time to hire a home inspector. You’ll want to talk to them in different ways. This is a key to selling your services.
You wouldn’t and shouldn’t sell your services the same way to agents and customers. It’s not manipulation, you’re not changing your actual service, you’re just pointing out the parts of your service that are good for the person you’re talking to.
You should always offer the same level of service to everyone, but speaking to your target market is about attracting them.
Benefits of finding your target market
Knowing your target market is the first step to effective marketing.
If you know the people in your target market inside and out, you’ll know how to speak to them in ways that will reach them. You’ll know where they hang out, how to find them, and what they need and want. Speaking directly to someone produces better marketing material and copy
Providing our customers with what they need and want can be tricky in the home inspection business. You’re caught between the buyer and seller and the buyer and the agent. Not saying you should alter what you report in any way, but you need to learn how to effectively communicate what’s important and what’s not.
The agents you work with can make a big difference in the houses you inspect. Knowing your ideal target agent is important too. If you spend a lot of time doing marketing presentations inside real estate offices, you want to target the ones who will bring you the homes you want to inspect.
Certain real estate offices have certain target markets. Sometimes you can figure out who they are targeting based on their branding and the houses that they list. At the very least, you want to target offices in areas of town that you want to do inspections in. After that, you might search for agents who specialize in what you want to specialize in: luxury, condos, homes with pools, families, etc.
Agents have different attitudes towards home inspectors – defining a target market allows you to not have to work with everyone. You dont want to have to work with agents who hate home inspectors and you dont have to! You want to work with ethical agents who appreciate the information that home inspectors provide. The attitude of agents is one thing to consider – important in marketing messages because you want to explain to agents that you’re not going to blow their deal, but you need to know that’s something they are afraid of before you can develop that message.
Agents also care if you are available when they need you. That is important to them because they are running a business too. One in which timelines are very important. So the more you can accommodate them when they call, the better. If you think about the opposite happening, you can see how important this is. If an agent calls you once and you can’t squeeze them in, they may call you next time because they like you. But if it happens again, they might hesitate. What is the point in calling you if they can’t get an appointment. They will likely stop. If that is happening to a lot of your agents, you might find your business dropping unexpectedly. They all started to call other inspectors when they couldn’t get an appointment with you and now their loyalty lies elsewhere.
You need to know that about agents so you can be sure to make an effort in an area that they really appreciate: availability.
When you talk to homebuyers you need to know where they are coming from. Step into their shoes and imagine what they are going through. The stress of finding a home and making an offer. Not to mention all the things they need to do to sell their current home. And then plan for a move. Making sure the house they picked is in the condition they think is a huge part of the process. But sometimes it gets lost in the shuffle. When you’re trying to sell an inspection to a buyer, keeping all that in mind can influence the things you say. Empathizing with them about the process. Ensure them you wont make their lives any more stressful. Then let them know about your knowledge and expertise. You want them to feel comfortable with you, not more stressed because they are wondering if you are going to do a good job.
First Time Homebuyers
First time home buyers are in another category . They are nervous because it’s their first time. And it really can be a roller coaster. Many times they are not 100% sure if its the right house. Some how they’ve ended up with an offer on a house, usually by process of elimination. Which can feel weird because it might not be what they expected. Picture this: they thought they would find a perfect dream house and they would just know it is the right one. But in reality they saw a whole slew of houses that are just okay. No deal breakers, but none seem perfect either. And then they were forced to choose between three mediocre options. Imagine how unsure you would feel in that position. Especially on the brink of a decision that is the most expensive thing they’ve ever signed up for to date. It can be very daunting and confusing.
You should adjust the way you talk to these homebuyers a little. They will probably have more questions and want to make sure they understand everything. That’s great, that’s what everyone should do. As the home inspector, you need to realize this so you can give them the information that they need. Don’t change the information, just explain it in a way that answers the questions they have.
Also consider that families with kids at home are very concerned about health and safety. They may have more concerns about radon and mold. Be sure you know how to answer their questions.
Always keep in mind: who is the client I am talking to in this moment and how can I convey to them that I am an expert.