The Group Goes Public!?!?!?

By
Home Inspector with Sherlock Home Inspections

Gee, Dale...I have mixed emotions about this group going public.  Although I can see it is probably for the best, I kind of miss the good ol' days, when the group was young and secluded and we could say things about folks with relative impunity.  At any rate, I'm glad to see that Bob Eliott made it in during my period of extended absence.  Hey, Bob!  Obviously, you can't keep a good man down....for long.

Now that we have gone public, I find myself salivating over the potential number of great marketing ideas that might now be presented to us all by inspectors far and wide.  Lord knows, there are enough of us with plenty of time on our hands that we can now spend hours and hours sitting around dreaming up ways to grab a portion of whatever of the market remains.  But in the end, there simply aren't any magic bullets.  Here's the whole thing in a nutshell:

Make yourself known to as many people as you can.  Keep reminding them that you are alive, well, willing, and able.  Every chance you get, make some kind of contact somewhere.  Be honest and sincere, and always put out a quality product.  Even then, especially in the current environment, you may go belly-up.  Diversify...be willing to do lots of different things for whatever profit there may be.  Home inspections alone in most markets just won't cut it right now.

If you happen to be competitive, and in this business you'd better be, one way of thinking about this is that there's a war out there, be prepared to win it.  Being a history buff, I like to think of the marketing wars in simple terms, as US Grant did.  When asked once about his philosophy of war, he replied, "Find out where your enemy is.  Go to him, and hit him as hard as you can with everything you've got.  And keep on moving."

Now, there was a man with a plan! Obviously, it worked.

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Anonymous
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Spoken like a true "old soldier", Dale.  Obviously, I'm not gonna get any **** started with this approach.  You guys are either too apathetic (or shoudl I say 'wise'?) to get involved.  Just remember:  politics, especially right now, DOES have a good bit to do with our industry!  We'll just leave it at that.

Ok, let's see..hmmm...marketing...here's a tip:

As a survival action, and to keep some bread on the table, you might want to get into the world of insurance inspections.  I have discovered that there is definitely a learning curve involved, and the best (meaning highest paying) insurance service companies aren't into training folks, prefering instead to steal from other companies who do offer good support for "newbies."  So, like in everything else, you'll have to pay your dues.  The best of the best can eventually negotiate individual contracts with some insurance companies, but most of them use the premium servicing companies.

Probably the biggest and the best of the insurance servicing companies providing good support of field reps is US-Reports.  Go to their website at www.US-Reports.com and learn how to sign up.  As always, if you live in or near a large metro area, this type of work will be more cost-effective for you, since you can get higher volume in a smaller contiguous area, thereby saving on fuel costs.  But, US-Reports will dig into their pockets occasionally and pay you some "manager's discretionary funds" money to help allay the cost of a big round trip.

This is the best advice I have right now.  Home Inspections are in the tank, and it's extremely difficult to gain a larger market share of nothing.

As is often said among the brotherhood, "Hope this helps!"

May 10, 2008 08:46 AM #18
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17,178
Jimmy Breazeale
Sherlock Home Inspections - Coldwater, MS

Sorry...wasn't logged in for the above comment...it was me, I admit it.

May 10, 2008 09:01 AM #19
Rainer
639,083
Carl Winters
Canyon Lake, TX

Jimmy - I just did that a few minutes ago ; forgot to log in. Thanks for sharing info. referencing insurance inspections. I know several months ago we had a discussion regarding insurance inspections; maybe your comment will help some of the other inspectors that may be experiencing some down time.

May 10, 2008 12:57 PM #20
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Dale Baker
Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections - Claremont, NH
New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information

Howdy Jimmy

No need to say sorry, we all have done that at some time.

You are always very helpful.

Jimmy you are a really good guy, and Inspector.

I have always looked up to you, Carl, Victor, and Bob.

Each of you are the finees Home Inspector's in the Actice Rain community, and thats for sure.

Have a good one Dale

May 12, 2008 11:34 AM #21
Anonymous
Anonymous

Dale, I appreciate your high opinion.  Now, if only high opinions translated into dollars and cents.  Here's how bad it is around here.  Last year, in a little border town just south of Memphis, in the month of May, there were 129 permits issued for new home construction.  In April of this year, there were 9.  That is indicative of the market in general in this part of the world.  Activity overall is about 10% what it was this time last year, and things didn't look really good, then.  I booked 5 inspections in April, just booked my third for this month.  Mighty slim pickin's.

BTW...has anyone heard of this guy in St. Louis who is supposedly selling $1600.00 a year E&O?  I got an e-mail solicitation, replied, and have heard nothing.  Is this a scam?  His name is Wally Glaser.  Here's the link...  www.ipsico.com

May 12, 2008 04:25 PM #22
Rainer
639,083
Carl Winters
Canyon Lake, TX

No - Haven't heard of Wally Glaser - I would definitely check it out there are alot of scams happening.

May 13, 2008 02:25 AM #23
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Dale Baker
Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections - Claremont, NH
New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information

Howdy Jimmy

If I could turn it in to dollars for ya, I would my friend.

I can tell ya, it's not any better up here.

Even though the New Hampshire Associate of Realtors and the Real Estate Agent's them selves are telling folk's every thing is fine in the world. And not to listen to what the News is saying.

Jimmy do you really feel Home Inspection's are going out the door?

My friend you hang in there ok.

Don't ya be leting, it get ya down.

Jimmy if ya ever need someone to talk with I am here for ya.

You can even shoot me an E-Mail any time ya want.

I also do not know of them.

Have a good one Dale

May 13, 2008 10:58 AM #24
Rainer
17,178
Jimmy Breazeale
Sherlock Home Inspections - Coldwater, MS

I meant to imply that home inspections are in the tank....for now.  It's just a really bad down cycle, in which we all have to find other means of putting groceries in the freezer...like squirrel hunting.  Right now, down here, it's frog season.  I used to have a gig, but dang if I can find it now, and I can't afford to invest in another one.  So, I've been catching catfish and bass out of the ponds.  I've been thinking about investing in some goats.  There's some cudzu on the back side of the place that wants to get invasive, and I can hang and gut a goat just as easy as I can a deer.  BTW, goat is really good done up on the smoker.  Butcher the young ones.  Feed them on corn, or set them loose in the honeysuckle patch for two or three weeks before they meet their fate.  That has absolutely nothing to do with marketing, but it may save some of us from starving, a fate that is especially odious to me.

Dale, I'm beginning to suspect that you are almost too good for your own good!

May 14, 2008 05:01 PM #25
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Dale Baker
Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections - Claremont, NH
New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information

Howdy Jimmy

You always could use a fishing pole to get them there forgs.

I have got bull forgs useing a fly on the end of my line before.

Have a good one Dale

May 15, 2008 02:57 PM #26
Rainer
639,083
Carl Winters
Canyon Lake, TX

Any body say "frog fishing" ... I love frog legs. How do you cook your frog legs Jimmy?Just needed to add a little humor to your blog since inspection business seems to be boring to other folk.

May 19, 2008 12:56 AM #27
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8,742
Gomer Pyle
Greenville, TX

Wow, I go and get a real job and this forum goes off into the muck and mire of politics!  Allow me to join you.

I support the "war on terror," and I "support the troops."  (I used to be one.)  But the inept management of this exercise by the Bush administration has me totally frustrated.  The world was with us, but the neocons squandered the goodwill of the world along with the country's treasure and military capital on Iraq.  The war in Afganistan was righteous--they very much deserved a good ass-kicking, but Bush saw the opportunity to divert resources to Iraq, and that's what he did.

Bush has been a disaster.  I think McCain is better, but the only way to really exterminate the neocons who control the Republican party is set the party out for a term or two.  I don't know if Obama will be better.  I used to think no one could be worse than Bill Clinton.  (Boy was I wrong about that.)  I'm going to vote Obama and cross my fingers hoping that no one could be worse than George W.  I sure hope that's true.

 

 

Jun 06, 2008 04:58 PM #28
Rainer
639,083
Carl Winters
Canyon Lake, TX

Look its our long lost friend come for a visit. Hope things are going well for you and your family. The inspection business hasn't changed so you haven't missed out on anything. We are still having some hair raising "discussions" never any winners or loosers; seems like thats how it is in the  world today. As for voting, I can't vote Obama; so will have to go McCain. We the people need to stand up, speak up and make our voice heard if it isn't alreadyo too late. We need to do a thorough house cleaning and I mean thorough.

Come back and visit again sometime and have a great summer - Carl

Jun 07, 2008 01:59 AM #29
Rainer
67,462
David Helm
Helm Home Inspections - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham, Wa. Licensed Home Insp

Hi David.  Good to hear (see?) your voice again.  I will definitely be voting for the Democrat.  McCain really scares the h out of me.  He is like Bush on steroids.  Sorry Carl, I have to strongly disagree with you on this one.  That's OK though, we seem to agree on more things than we disagree on.

Jun 07, 2008 03:54 AM #30
Rainer
639,083
Carl Winters
Canyon Lake, TX

We are so fortunate that we live in a country where we can agree and disagree and still voice our opinions. We still have a long way to go before election day; things seem to change daily in that arena. That is one job I don't want.

We all agree something needs to be done, but how that is going to be handled we all shall see when we have a new President whomever it may be.

I do believe we should be allowed to drill in this country.  If that will ever happen, who knows. Unless we can have relief fast, this country is going to be in more of a mess then we are already experiencing. Our leaders need to take their head out of the sand and get something done.

Well I guess I'll get off my  soapbox. I best get back to upgrading my sprinkler sysem so I can conserve on water ;which by the way is the next big thing.

Ain't life grand?

Jun 07, 2008 05:12 AM #31
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Dale Baker
Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections - Claremont, NH
New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information

Howdy David Harkness

It is good to see ya stop in for a visit.

Well David Harkness, David Helm - I also can not vote for Mr. Obama. So Carl I am with you. I just don't feel he will take care of our Troops.

The folk's over there have had things planed out for some time now, and you can see part of that plan when ya go to buy your gas. These plans where being put in to place long before the War on Terrorism started. With the intell that I know, and I am not talking about what the news and papers say. We need Mr. McCain in office to get the job done.

To take you down!

 

 

 

 

God Bless The U.S.A.

Jun 07, 2008 02:34 PM #32
Rainer
17,178
Jimmy Breazeale
Sherlock Home Inspections - Coldwater, MS

Well, this is getting so interesting that I had to take a little time away from pleasing all those underwriters to comment.

David, you mentioned that every depression came under the leadership of the Republicans.  That's altogether true in modern times, but the Ol' Histry Teecher remembers one caused by the actions of the most popular Democrat of all time--Andrew Jackson.  He had already left office by the time the proverbial poo-poo hit the fan, but the Panic of 1837 was caused by his internal policies, and his subsequent reaction to the ill effects of those policies--specifically, the Species Circular.  More on that in a moment, but first the setup.

As many of you know, Andrew Jackson was a particularly hard-driving and hard-headed man, and when he singled you out as an enemie, personal or political, you were pretty much doomed.  He was probably personally responsible for the fact that Henry Clay never became president because Clay backstabbed him in the Electoral College in 1824, swinging his support to the hated opponent.

From his personal experience in building his own estate and income, Jackson came to loath first the Hamiltonian "hard money" policies, and later the manifestation of those policies, the National Bank.  When he finally became president, he vowed to destroy the bank.  Its president, Nicholas Biddle, was a powerful man in his own right, and stood firmly against Jackson.  Jackson's remedy was to simply, by executive decree, stop depositing government funds into the bank and transferring those funds to state "Pet Banks" more favorable to his philosophy.  With much less leverage over monetary policies, the National Bank was left powerless to affect the actions of banks in general.  Banks were allowed to issue their own currency, and were not required to back up such currency with specie...gold and silver hard coinage.  A wild period of speculation in government land ensued.  There was plenty of this government land available, since Jackson was busy kicking all the Indians east of the Mississippi off their lands, and offering it for sale at the rate of $1.25 per acre.  The catch was that at least one section (640 acres) had to be purchased, and you had to bring real money to the table.  Under Jackson, it was acceptable buy land with a loan from a state bank, which, essentially, would simply print up enough of its own currency for the borrower to cover the cost of the land.  These borrowers (speculators) would then sub-divide the land into small portions and sell at a profit to Yoeman farmers.  This speculation led to wild inflation of land prices, and a lot of people got rich before the bubble burst.  Simply put, land got too expensive, the speculators couldn't move it, loans became due, speculators couldn't pay, and the banks could neither move the land nor back up the value.

Realizing his horrendous mistake at last, Jackson tried to save face and the markets by issueing the "Specie Circular", which stated that all government land sales or loans for such now had to be paid for with hard currency.  Many banks, having been in the habit of printing their own currency willy-nilly, couldn't back up their holdings, and thus went belly-up, further complicating the whole mess.  Jackson went out of office before the full impact of all this, and thus his popularity with the Masses was preserved for eternity.  Fortunately for America, we still had far more resources in land and minerals to exploit than we had people to exploit them, the Second National Bank was established, and congress got a hold on financial matters.

Shifting to today and issues that affect us right now....David H., I am in pretty much full agreement with you.  Bush and the Neocons have royally screwed up a lot of things.  But there are a couple of underlying elements here which have affected our current situation. 

One is the National Security apparatus.  Since WWII, a complicated and, in my view, erroneous philosophy has taken firm root, the basic premise of which is that what is good for American Multinational corporations is good for America in general.  That basic philosophy has been applied around the world in a kind of economic imperialism, the likes of which the world has never seen.  We have exercised our economic muscle to affect everything from which crops will be grown in Africa to agreements between Big Oil, government, and oil producing nations NOT to establish their own refining capabilities...thus preserving with government help this lucative market for domestic oil companies.  We have used the World Bank, the Diplomatic Corps, and any other "peaceful" means to acheive these ends, all at taxpayer expense.  This amounts to a practically free service to the Multinationals.  When "peaceful" arm twisting methods have failed, we send in the Marines, as we did in Equador in the fifties when that country attempted to nationalize non-producing acreage owned by the United Fruit Company.  Never mind that United was to be paid fair market value.  If that country were allowed to develop its own land and resources by empowering its own masses with the hope of land ownership, why, United Fruit might lose its grip on labor costs down there, and its chummy relationship with the already-existing landed elite might be jeapordized.  So, we sent in the Marines to toss the nasty Socialists out of power.

Need we wonder why we are so hated in Latin America?

Another prime example is the overthrow of the Iranian government by a coup engineered by the CIA in 1954, and establishing the Shah in power.  He was much more willing to go along with the wishes of the Big Oil execs.

Eisenhower was wise enough to see all this coming.  By the time he became president, this grand cabal involving the National Security apparatus, Big Oil, Mulitnationals, and the Military Industrial Complex had been pretty much firmly established during the Truman administration, and DDW realized his own, or any other president's, inability to get a handle on these folks.  He thought it was important enough to the future of this country that he made his famous address to the public late in his second term.

This apparatus, I need not remind anyone, is alive and well.  It is entrenched.  It is extremely resistant to change, and thus can be described as "conservative."  It is dependent upon having a defined enemy that must be confronted.  We spend vast fortunes fighting these enemies, more often than not the creation of our own "National Security" policies, while our internal infrastructure is in danger of crumbling, and small businessmen such as ourselves scramble for the means to pay for that next tank of gas.  We have used up just about every bit of political capitol in the world at large, all at the expense and downright neglect of many of our own internal social and economic needs.

This needs to change, and quickly.  Forget Conservatism.  Foget Liberalism.  Think survival.  We must shift our focus and public resources away from the Generals and begin thinking in terms of subsidizing research and development of alternative energies, Green housing, etc.  The current philosophy of the Neocons, which basically involves maintaining the status quo and seaching for new sources of the same old, same old, fossil fuels, just will not do.  These folks are hopelessly mired in a mindset that simply will not allow them to think outside of their own cramped, musty, rotten, stinky box, and they must go.  As much as I admire John McCain as a man of courage and conviction, I can see nothing but more of the same with him as President.

Let's give ourselves the opportunity to do something different, something better, something which will benefit us all.  Let's subsidize and develop hydrogen fuel technologies.  If we're going to subsidize big business, let's subsidize something that will benefit us all.  Ethanol in the long run won't serve our needs, and the current effort, i.e., turning corn into ethanol fuel additives, has only resulted in higher prices for eggs, meat and milk, since millions of acres have been shifted to the production of non-food grade varieties of corn.  Let's subsidize the development of solar energy technologies.

Want some muscle in the international oil markets?  Diminish the need and desire for it, and see how quickly prices adjust.

Whether he's able to pull if off or not, Obama does at least give some great lip service to many of the above mentioned issues.  The fight won't be easy, but avoiding the fight courts national disaster.  Leaving the current bunch of greedy, self-interested, exploitive, narrow-minded, pig-headed bureaucrats, politicians and multinational executives in control is unacceptable.

It is time to consider bold alternatives.  Let's throw the rascals out, while we still have to power to do so.  We certainly can't do any worse.

Jun 08, 2008 07:15 AM #33
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Dale Baker
Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections - Claremont, NH
New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information

Howdy Jimmy

Now was it not the Republicans, that just put a stop to the Democrats from puting a high tax on the Oil Company's, that would have just passed it on to us to pay.

Now Jimmy seeing that you where a Histry Teecher, you should know what Histry say's about the best way to take Nation down. Divide and Conquer.

You see that is being put in to play in our Country.

God Bless The U.S.A.

Jun 12, 2008 04:00 PM #34
Rainer
639,083
Carl Winters
Canyon Lake, TX

I think we need to take our country back and be sensible in the direction we need to strive (duh, have a plan) We need to start drilling in our own country; too many people now are demanding oil. Yes, we need alternatives but all they do is give us lip service, I say enough. I'm not only worried about me, but my children and my grandchilden. Are these people operating with half a brain or do they want to bring this great country of ours to our knees. I honestly think hey have lost their mind. Forget the lizard or animal that may be, and I say may be extinct we can live without them or they maybe able to survive on their own. We have too many people in this country to take care of; people are getting desperate. Loose your home, car and no food on the table you know exactly what they are going to do to survive. Theft is up in our area and will continue to grow.

Best get off my soap box; sorry I unloaded. I love this country and hate to see it go to hell in a hand basket. Somebody needs to get some balls and get something done and quit talking. So much money is wasted that could be going to feed families that are in need. They fly around in their jets and fancy clothes and tell us to drive a shoe skate to conserve. Maybe they need to live like the average person for six months, they would get some changes made in a hurry. We are taxed on every thing we do. We are working just to pay taxes. Example: We just had the drive way redone; the country inspector came by and said ... we just changed the law and you need to pay a $25 fee at the county. I'll come out and let you know if you can do the drive way. When you get it set up I'll come back and check it again. When you are finished call us and I'll come back and check it again. Ya right, and we have a shortage of gas. If he doesn't lke it do we have to tear it out and start over? They haven't written the guidelines yet, but they want the $25.00 fee and let him drive around in the county truck all day long giving hard working people  that are working in 100 degree heat pouring and finishing concrete slab grief over pouring and finishing a slab. Something is terribly wrong with this picture. A new rule but no guidelines and didn't know when they would get them but they certainy had the form to fill out so they could get their fee.

I understand the fees but have you ever looked at how many fees we pay for this and that and everything in between plus all the taxes. Then when you ask what it is spent they can't tell you only they have added extra people, insurance and auto's for them to drive around in all day long or sit in the A/C all day long. Ceil said when she went to get the permit the lady was sitting gabbing and completely ignored her. After about ten minutes she got up and asked to speak to the supervisor, this women was the supervisor.

I'm gone..later guys.

Jun 13, 2008 02:45 PM #35
Rainer
17,178
Jimmy Breazeale
Sherlock Home Inspections - Coldwater, MS

Dale, aside from the Federal Government, the oil companies are the only entities with the financial muscle to invest in alternative energies research.  Their answer to the present problem is to drill for new oil.  While that may protect their precious profits, it won't do anything to solve our energy problems or protect our environment.  On the other hand, windfall profits taxes won't solve anything either...it just may buy a few votes for the Democrats in the coming election to be able to say they tried to put the whammy on the Big Oil Boys.  A better answer would be to offer tax incentives to Big Oil to develop alternative energies.  That way, they stay in control (in their minds), and get a leg up on the new markets which will inevitably develop.  And we get a cleaner environment.  It won't be cheap for us in either case, those days are unfortunately over.  What's wrong with the present tax structure where Big Oil is concerned is to continue to reward them with tax incentives to maintain the status quo...which, it should be clear to all, isn't cutting it.

Carl...the situation you described is happening in local government everywhere....instead of just outright increasing your property taxes, they are justifying new fees, which amount to the same thing, in order to make local government solvent.  Raising taxes at the local level is always considered most odious, mainly because there is a mayor or alderman or local county supervisor that almost everybody can stop and bitch at.  So, they mask it by creating new fees or raising existing ones.  It cuts down on the bitching overall, because fees only affect those using that particular service.

Me, I'm going to start up a new franchise.  Since it looks like we're about to be booted back into the horse-and-buggy days, I'm going to start a chain of livery stables/motels, complete with hay and oats and a continental breakfast for the new class of traveling businessmen.  There will even be a recycling center for your horse's poop, where we'll have worm beds to turn it all into rich compost for sale at the local yard and garden outlet.  Since we'll all be growing our own beans again, I thought this would be a good value-added aspect to the business, and a nifty "green" move as well.  Good for PR, you know?

If any of you guys would like to invest in that, let me know.

Jun 13, 2008 04:16 PM #36
Rainer
639,083
Carl Winters
Canyon Lake, TX

I just feel like members of congress need to be more accountable; after all we pay their salary.

Jun 14, 2008 01:05 AM #38
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