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Old School-New School

Home Inspector with SLS Home Inspections-Kankakee Will Iroquois Grundy Counties 450.004175

Old School-New School

Last year was a crazy year in real estate and I'm pretty sure everyone that reads this might agree. While some months were normal to average business wise, there were several months that were not close to 2021. As the year went on, we determined that 2021 was an anomaly and we were more likely tracking with 2020. Our fees increased slightly, so while our number of inspections were down, we were still above in total revenue. 

The biggest change happened in April when our longtime marketing partner sold their business to a new company for a huge chunk of money. Many questions were now front and center. How would this affect our relationships with our clients and our agents? How would this affect our marketing? How would it affect our cost per inspection? Many, many more promises followed and it became clear that the promises made that nothing would change and it would be business as usual were nothing but lies. Having been around the block and seeing this happen before, I knew from the start that they were lying. It was just a matter of how bad and how much the changes would affect us. 

In October I finally decided that the situation wasn't getting better and made the decision to leave the group. How would my business be changed and what would my marketing look like going forward? First I started working with a new website designer that would make it into a better working site and easy for buyers and agents to use. Next I redesigned all my rack cards and business cards and as soon as they arrived I promptly went to all my offices and removed all the old brochures. I started working on a google ads program that will help offset the email marketing I was paying for.

  Back in Time.

As for the old school ideas, I used to go to open houses on weekends but during covid, that stopped cold turkey. So now I'm watching for agents I haven't met or haven't used us in a while to go visit at the open houses. I usually bring them a granola bar, some water and a business card, just for a few minutes of talk time.

There were also buyer discount scratch off cards I always used back in 2011-2015. Not a crazy amount of a discount, usually $19 up to $47 but the buyers loved them and the agents thought it was a fun idea. I found my stick on scratch off labels and made a brand new batch of cards and have passed out a bunch to the offices.

I have also reached out to some local mortgage companies about doing some home buyer fairs/meet and greet. Those always deliver 2-3 inspections for every 10-15 people in attendance. 

Bottom line is that we will be incorporating some old and new in 2023 and deliver the same inspection for our clients. 

Comments (20)

Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Scott!  First of all CONGRATULATIONS on moving forward and opening your own inspection company.  You're going to do really well - I can tell.  You moved on it and made things happen and got out there.  Keep us updated on your progress.  And....thanks for the great entry to the January Challenge!  You've got GRIT!  Aura Alex will think so too!

Jan 30, 2023 01:25 PM
Scott Seaton Jr. SLS Home Insp

Not exactly a new company. We're 16 years old. We left the new marketing company for several good reasons. Back to the basics.

Jan 31, 2023 07:44 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Scott - as one year closes and another starts, a review of that performance provides a good progress report for any business.  What was accomplished and an examination of the reasons can help as a company moves to the next level.  

Jan 30, 2023 01:49 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I think both old school and new school is great in combination, but many people don't focus enough on the old school! Nothing like meeting face to face - I think what you wrote below is fantastic way to connect -

 I usually bring them a granola bar, some water and a business card, just for a few minutes of talk time.

Jan 30, 2023 01:50 PM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

This could be a matter of the statement coming to reality: What appears to be a bad situation turns into a great opportunity. Good Luck

Jan 30, 2023 02:06 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Scott Seaton Jr. SLS Home Insp - Your quick thinking robust ideas paid off! I wish you success and good fortune. Congratulations on your FEATURE!

Jan 30, 2023 04:06 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Scott:

Congratulations on the new company and best wishes for continued success with new school and old school marketing. And with the great service and inspections you already provide 2023 will be a terrific year!


Jan 30, 2023 05:44 PM
Aura Alex
Seattle, WA
Retired Real Estate Pro

Wow! Scott, it's awe-inspiring what you have done. 

Sometimes we have to take a step back to take two steps forward. I bet it was a great feeling when you proudly introduced yourself to potential clients after the change.

Congratulations on your Gold Star Feature. Excellent post!

Thank you for your entry. All the best to you, Scott. 

Jan 30, 2023 06:51 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Scott- good for you for making the adjustments you needed to make to get your business moving forward!!!  Often going back to some of the methods previously used and that were successful is the way to go!!!!  I hope you'll follow up with us to let us know how everything is working.  

Jan 30, 2023 08:00 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

There’s a lot to be said about new trends and design and live in the business and this is no exception…

Jan 30, 2023 10:13 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Please forgive the punctuation. Supposed come down a little funky

Jan 30, 2023 10:14 PM
Edward Gilmartin
CRE - Boston, MA

Using old school marketing may surprise potential customers and give you an edge

Jan 31, 2023 05:17 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

I have always stuck to what works - good old-fashioned personal marketing. People do business with people they know and trust. Great job going out on your own.

Jan 31, 2023 05:42 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Scott Seaton Jr. SLS Home Insp ,

What a great entry into the January challenge and congratulations on a well deserved featured post. Good for you for making the change as it was inevitable! You saw the hand writing on the wall and did what you needed to do! keep us poste in 2023 with updates in how you are doing. Using a blend of the old and new techniques have you on the right track for success!

Jan 31, 2023 05:50 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Great post and go insight that it was time to move on ! I used to visit Open Houses as a Recruiter !

Jan 31, 2023 07:21 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Scott,

It looks like you squeezed those lemons into a delicious glass of lemonade.

Jan 31, 2023 08:51 AM
Charles Ross - eXp Realty LLC
eXp Realty LLC Salina Group - Salina, KS
Love To Help People

Great post, Scott.Thank you for sharing. Have a wonderful day and a blessed week.

Feb 01, 2023 03:54 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Your ideas are spot on.  Everyone likes to think that you care and showing up with a granola bar, water, and a scratch off ticket are fun ways to interact.  Rethinking what works is a powerful motivator!-

Feb 02, 2023 08:48 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Good luck to you!  I am often visited by a home inspector during an open house, also new mortgage lenders.  I am appreciative of anyone starting out on their own, building a business as agents have to do!

Feb 04, 2023 08:07 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Hello Scott.  Congratulations on the FEATURE and on starting your own home inspection company.  It takes initiative and know-how and you will surely be successful because you know what to do ... old school / new school

Feb 04, 2023 10:12 AM
Elda Clarke

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Feb 16, 2023 06:43 AM