Learn how online scheduling can help your home inspection business.
According to RealtyTrac’s Midyear 2014 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which includes default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions saw a reduction in foreclosures by 23% when comparing the data to the first half of 2013.
The buyer demand in local markets is indirectly creating an urgent need for home inspectors. Since most home buyers are time sensitive, the first inspector to respond has a good shot at winning over the job. Since it’s nearly impossible to respond first every time, focus instead on putting a system in place that eliminates the need to always respond immediately.
What kind of system? PlaceFull’s online scheduling service allows your customers to schedule an inspection when it’s convenient for them. You set your own availability and confirmation emails are sent to you and the customer instantly after the inspection has been scheduled. Best part, your business stays open 24/7 and your voicemail finally gets a chance to breathe.
After speaking with a few home inspectors and Judi McGavic at the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI), we identified three common headaches for home inspectors.
Problem 1: Losing clients while doing a home inspection
You just arrived at your 9:00 inspection. You start by walking around the property explaining how things work and catching even the smallest of details. At 9:30 your phone starts ringing. You look at it and don’t recognize the number, possibly it’s a potential client. However, you let it go to voicemail because you don’t want to send a bad signal to your current clients. Later you find out the missed call was from a potential client calling for your availability. But when you call them back, they already found another inspector. Sound familiar?
Solution: Turn voicemails into scheduled inspections on your website
First things first. In general, consumers don’t just schedule appointments over the phone anymore. They expect the flexibility of scheduling online at a time that’s best for them. Edit your voicemail to include “Looking for my availability? You can now visit my website to schedule an inspection.” This will prevent agents and your potential customers from calling your competitors. PlaceFull’s online scheduler also comes with a mobile credit card reader (app included for free), which allows you to easily take payments.
Open the App and Swipe – no more trips to the bank
Problem 2: Canceled inspections
You don’t have time to confirm every inspection that’s scheduled with you. You hope the real estate agent and their clients are organized and reliable. The reality is, people get busy and make mistakes. At the end of it all, your business shouldn’t suffer from last minute cancelations.
Solution: Require a non-refundable deposit
You choose how you would like to charge for your services. With PlaceFull you can request full payment, a deposit, or just a free reservation prior to scheduling an inspection. Charging a fee upfront holds people more accountable and reduces cancellation rates.
Problem 3: Can’t locate past customer information
Real estate markets are influenced by local economies and therefore some cities are experiencing faster recoveries than others. Maybe you live in a real estate market that’s bouncing back but not exactly classified as booming. Despite this, how are you generating new clients?
Solution: Put your marketing hat on to “surprise and delight” your past clients
After a customer schedules an inspection on your website (powered by PlaceFull), their information is stored in your dashboard on your PlaceFull calendar (see orange bookings below), and with just a click, you can export all of your customer data to Excel. This makes it easy for you to rewind in time and generate new leads from past clients. Since it has likely been a few months, possibly even a year or so, start by sending a “How’s the new home?” email. It’s important to engage with them first and then at the right time ask if they have any friends looking for a home inspector. Hopefully this sparks some creative ways to surprise and delight your past clients!
Your calendar is accessible – anywhere – desktop, tablet & mobile
What other challenges do you face as a home inspector? If you are interested in learning more about PlaceFull’s online scheduling service for Home Inspectors, visit this website to request a demo and start a 30-day free trial.