Cyber prospects - Are they REAL??

Home Inspector with Clayton Inspection Service, Inc.

I know we all get them. Those e-mails from someone we don't know, and they are going to trust us enough to give us millions of dollars (for a slight fee to ensure OUR honesty), just for being a nice person. 

OK, that isn't really what I wanted to talk about. I want to discuss those e-mails we get from a prospective client. They usually ask a bunch of questions, give little information, and never seem to turn into anything.

I may get an e-mail from a link on the ASHI website where someone has narrowed a search to KNoxville, TN ASHI members, then clicked on my profile, and then clicks on a box that says "contact inspector". I may get an e-mail out of the blue, maybe they got my website address from a yellow page ad, a business card, a brochure, Google search.....who knows?

The e-mail will usually ask about pricing, but there isn't enough information to give an accurate quote. Most times there isn't a phone number to contact them.

I will respond to the e-mail, ask for the needed information, refer them to my website, give them the office phone number and tell them the best time to call to catch me in the office, and ask for their phone number.

i have to say that most of these e-mails go nowhere. They rarely got past my response. If they give a phone number, I have called it to find it's not a real number. 

I just chalked it up to cyber-shoppers, or someone just sitting at a computer browsing and not really serious about getting an inspection. Maybe they have a fear of human contact? or commitment? Or maybe they are just messing with people.

Mind you, I do get some of my clients from the web. I have done inspections for people I have never met, or even spoken with. They e-mail a request, I e-mail a contract, they send me their credit card info, I do the inspection and post their report to a web site and give them a password. If they have questions afterward, they e-mail them.

THREAD DRIFT WARNING!!!  A few years ago I was in line at Wednesday night dinner at church, talking with the guy behind me. He was telling me that they had just moved here from New York, and he had the greatest experience with a home inspection. This caught my attention. He had no idea I was a home inspector. He went on and on about how easy it all was, and what a great report, and all that, when I asked him who the inspector was. He said, "Jack Feldmann". I just put out my hand and said glad to meet you.

So, not all cyber prospects are flakes, but it just seems that a lot of them are. I was curious if others have the same results.


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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

I get a number of them.  Sometimes, after 2,3, 4 mails back and forward with me asking for necessary information like a PHONE NUMBER or WHERE, or PRICE RANGE, none of which was included in the original request for info, I'll get the info needed, usually one agonizing piece at a time.

Fact is, I do not send mails to our agents until I have enought info for them to be able to proceed.

Some, after a day or few, I just dump when I can't get a useful response.


Nov 26, 2008 07:24 AM #1
Frank Torre
Torre Inspection Service, LLC 888-202-8869 - Hicksville, NY

Hi Jack, I get a lot of my business come from the web. I put most of my prices on the web site this has reduced the prices shoppers phone calls and emails.

Nov 26, 2008 07:27 AM #2
Tiffany Landis
Tacoma, WA

Oh, you mean those prospects that give the name of Jane Smith, with a phone number of 123-456-7890 and address of ABC Drive, AB, 99999, with the email address that comes back?  Yea, I know that woman.  She emails me often.  Okay, joking aside, I just take these, throw them out and move on.  Even if the emails are vague, I still take a couple minutes and answer them, because you never know, they may just want to see if their email will even be answered before they take the time to email you everything you need to know, only to have no response.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 26, 2008 07:53 AM #3
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing ( - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY

Well Jack,

I get a few that are flakes but I get a lot that turn into good jobs and a nice payday.

I always call (if there's a number) instead of e-mailing back.  After I talk with them, then I'll follow up with an e-mail.

I treat em all as real until I know it's not.

Nice story on the church dinner meeting!

Nov 28, 2008 10:31 AM #4
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