Marketing Yourself In Today's Housing Environment
In today's market clients are looking harder and harder at whom they do business with. The key to any business's success that can apply in not only in today's market but is also true in yesterday's market is in what sets you apart. When I used to be in the Manufactured housing business one of the things that I emphasized with my team is that a box is a box is a box. What we have to do is get buyers to buy our box and set ourselves apart. What we did was that we focused on not only the service before and during the sale but also after the sale. People truly want what they paid for, they want the truth when you cannot deliver and they want character when you are working with them. If you over promise and then do not deliver you are seen as one without character. However, if you can lower their expectations, under promise and then over deliver you are the HERO :)
So as an agent or an inspector how can you do that?
If the house has no power or water on and you call for an inspection and the client and inspector show up what have you done as an agent?
If you're inspecting the house and you do not have the water meter key to turn the water on or any tools to turn the water on what have you done to the agent that referred you and the client who trusted that referral.
If you tell a client that you will get back with them in 24 hours knowing that an answer will take at least 48 hours what have you done?
If your inspecting the house and you tell the client the roof appears to be in good shape and it really needs to be replaced or you defer to a roofing contractor rather then making a decision what have you really done?
If you stand for nothing do you fall for everything?
Remember that when a client calls you, they are calling you because they feel based upon the knowledge that they have that you as the "professional" can service their needs. After all is that not why we are their to provide a service for our clients and yes make a few dollars while we are at it. :)
So the next time your meeting a client, presenting yourself to a Real Estate Agent, mortgage broker, tell yourself they have heard it all before, what I can do, say, tell that sets myself apart?
Now you may wonder what do I do or say. It all depends on the client, bank or REALTOR.
If they are looking at a manufactured home then I tell them I have 10 years background in the manufactured housing business and I can do Foundation Certifications and yes I go on the roof and go under the home.
If they are looking at a stick built house, I tell them I am a member of Inter NACHI, that I am not the cheapest inspector that they will be calling, my reports are computer generated to them the same day as the inspection, that I as of last week was the only one Rated by the BBB as A+.(which might change as others join or improve their ratings), that I participate in teaching first time home buyers classes, that buyers agents love me and sellers agents love to hate me and that I have a second company that does HVAC work and that we can bring that expertise to the inspection as the mechanical systems can be the most expensive to replace. Yes I tell them that I have not satisfied every client but I did come up with a solution for the client and I tell the new prospective client what happened.
If its a commercial property they are looking at, I can assemble a team to look at commercial electrical, HVAC, plumbing, do inventory of product along with make, model serial number of all equipment on site and estimated costs of repairs.
If they want Mold and Mildew Testing we are certified thru IAC2 and InterNACHI and can do minor remediation and that were are qualified to test, service and clean their HVAC system.
So now what are you doing to set yourself apart.
Finally last but not least if you are a potential client, ask your prospective agent or inspector "Have you ever had an unhappy client and how did you handle it?" If they tell you no, then don't walk run away, because nobody makes everybody happy all of the time.