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  1. #1
    Gregg Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Advertising at an Open House

    hello everybody, first time posting.

    I will be having an advertising table at two open houses this month, but have no ideas as to what to display.

    I have been doing inspections since '06, but this is my first Open House display table. Any ideas?

    Gregg

    a FRESH START home inspections
    Denver CO

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    When I first started out in 89, I visited open houses to introduce myself to the Realtors. It worked out OK, and I did get some work out of it.

    I would view setting up a table at an open house as a good way to waste a lot of printed materials. While some people may pick up your card, brochure, etc, they will likely toss it away with all the other crap they pick up during their day going to open houses.

    I don't visit open houses any more, but I do see displays at some of the homes I inspect. There are usually stacks of cards, etc from mortgage people and alarm companies.

    Hopefully you didn't pay for the opportunity to display your stuff. :-(

    I would figure that whatever you display should be considered a marketing expense, and just plan accordingly. I would not do much more than business cards and maybe a brochure if you didn't have a lot of money in them. I doubt you will generate much (if any) business from it, but what do I know.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Along what Jack said. I visit open houses during the good weather when I'm out on the bike. I'll leave my card with the RE or a handful on the table if the RE is receptive. I can't say that I have gotten any direct jobs out of it but probably a few indirect.
    As far as the open house, I would get one of those plexiglass card holders. Don't just put the cards on the table. A one page colorful, gimmicky ad with eye catching info, your # and website would be the most I would do as far as people being able to take stuff. Like Jack said it will probably get tossed.
    Another option might be a binder loaded with inspection pics for people to peruse. Make sure it is labeled "House Copy' or something.
    I wouldn't pay for the opportunity either.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Do a poster collage of pictures of stuff you have found... go to costco.com and you can assemble a collage w/pics you upload and pick it up. They're super cheap and look awesome.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    I would think a Realtor would think twice about one showing a "collage" of pictures of defects as such thinking that a buyer that shows up is thinking these are of things found within this home.

    Been to a few open houses myself. Didn't do squat for me. I did enjoy the cookies though.

    rick


  6. #6
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg Stanley View Post
    hello everybody, first time posting.

    I will be having an advertising table at two open houses this month, but have no ideas as to what to display.

    I have been doing inspections since '06, but this is my first Open House display table. Any ideas?

    Gregg

    a FRESH START home inspections
    Denver CO
    Cookies, business cards, Crown Royal, oh, brochures. You might want to leave out the Crown

    I did a couple of those years ago and the questions I got were "what did you find in this home" They did not like the "Pay for an Inspection and you will find out" I even smiled. I don't think they thought it was funny. No sense of humor.

    A few years ago I went to an open house at a new build in an old neighborhood. It was more of a lunch for other Realtors to see the new home I went invited by a Realtor to meet those Realtors. They were there for the free food. Some inspectors it may work for but I have never been one to socialize with Realtors at group meetings and covertly pick up referrals. Some folks are great at it but I have always been a bit against it.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    I'm not a schmoozer and suck at going out of my way to chat people up to get myself in their good graces. I tried the open house thing when I first started inspecting and it got me nothing. Had one realtor give me crap about not liking inspectors showing up at their open houses. I decided it wasn't worth the trouble and stopped. Instead, I took to writing my name and phone # on bathroom stalls (not really).

    Things I tried and were failures include:

    - "bandit signs" (those corrugated plastic signs on wire posts you see littering intersections - waste of money and contributed to urban blight....shame on me)
    - ad on paper placemat at local diner (zippo - no inquiries)
    - Yellow Pages ad (one job from a year long add - return was less than 1/3 price of ad
    - ServiceMagic (anybody who has tried this knows what I'm talking about)
    - magnetic signs on car (got more calls from people interested in becoming home inspectors than home buyers....which I got none from)

    I'm sure there are others but these are the ones that spring to mind.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  8. #8
    Gregg Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Thanks everybody for the insights and advice. Warnings heard and acted upon.

    Keep up the good work!

    G


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Gregg,

    Don't go to the open houses expecting to eat the cookies. Instead, bring a nicely homemade lunch for the Realtor that is there (or plate of cookies), along with some business cards. Nothing more. Just a howdy-do and a, here, this is for you with a smile. Realtors really appreciate this. Ultimately, don't go the route of the soft Inspector. If you get a referral from any Realtor do your best Inspection for your client and forget what the Realtor might be wanting. It might be the last referral you get from that Realtor but they will always remember the lunch.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell Toelle View Post
    Gregg,

    Don't go to the open houses expecting to eat the cookies. Instead, bring a nicely homemade lunch for the Realtor that is there (or plate of cookies), along with some business cards. Nothing more. Just a howdy-do and a, here, this is for you with a smile. Realtors really appreciate this. Ultimately, don't go the route of the soft Inspector. If you get a referral from any Realtor do your best Inspection for your client and forget what the Realtor might be wanting. It might be the last referral you get from that Realtor but they will always remember the lunch.


    Words fail me.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Ultimately it does not matter what you do or what you bring a Realtor as a token hoping to gain their business because when you do your job too well they'll never call you again. Simple Fact.

    Rick


  12. #12
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    It is as absolutely simple as eliminate the Realtors from the referring of home inspectors ....period.

    No inspector should have to market to a Realtor or Broker. No inspector should have to appease a Realtor or broker.

    No Real Estate agent should be able to choose an inspector for his client, another one for that client and last but not least, that client over there and get three different presentations and wordings of reports. Further more this is such a lame discussion to have because there is practically no inspector that would want direct referrals coming to him from all his favorite Realtors to stop.

    No Realtor that is relying on the home inspection so they can make a couple of grand to many thousands depending on the selling price of the home should be able to refer someone that is finding or presenting the findings of an inspection.

    If the Realtor referral was taken out of the equation then every inspector would be back in the phone book, advertising heavier on line, getting referred by past clients that they have,....Oh wait....That is how all other businesses operate.

    One of the big differences is most businesses can refer their clients to other businesses and get a kick back if they want. Oh wait..the Realtor is getting a kick back from the inspector that they refer on a constant basis. even if the influence is subliminal then hey.....there is still influence and that is the kick back.

    Robert

    You should be an advocate to all state licensed inspectors and lobby their licensing board to stop the influence of Realtors on inspectors where the Realtor is relying partly on a clean report or a specifically worded report and or a particular delivery of the findings to the client.

    What I have not mentioned here is that I have an x Realtor who is my inside man to exactly how Realtors discuss to other Realtors the inspectors they refer and why. The tremendous control those Realtors have over an inspector and how many and I mean many are the Realtors lap dogs. The times he heard that the damn inspector blew that sale for me or the inspector almost blew that one. I told that inspector that this is how the findings should be explained to my client. All those pictures about every concern makes it impossible for me to brush things off and get to only the immediate repair items. The damn client wants almost everything fixed because of Willy.

    Oh Willy, I have an inspection for you tomorrow on a really clean home that you probably won't find much in if anything. I am sure it will be an easy one for you and a real short report.

    Or Oh Willy, I have an inspection for you tomorrow where the last inspector ripped it apart. He wrote up every little thing and offered all kinds of reasons why things went bad and what can be done to prevent it. Also just becasue there were a few cracks outside and a door or 2 that did not really work so well he suggested a foundation repair company for a second opinion follow up to find where the concerns were and what repairs were needed. It really isn't anything but typical settling from a 40 year home.

    Those conversations happen every day of the week at Realtors offices across the country. Are inspector just blowing things off and not writing things up? Most of the time, no. Are they making it tremendously easy for a Realtor to brush things off like maintenance items that would prevent things from continuing to go south, yes. How are they doing this, by adding absolutely only items in need of immediate repair items into the summary and then the Realtor can say things like. "Those items are never fixed by the sellers. Those are normal maintenance items.

    Now you know and I know that if those maintenance items were taken care of then the concerns probably would not have been there to begin with. We are the advocates to the buyers. The Realtor is there just to make a sale and commission. The more items we find the more that is asked for in an addendum and the more that comes off the top before the commission is taken out. The more a client ask for in the purchase of that home the tougher it is on the Realtor to negotiate.

    It is time to have the Realtor to back off. Let the client go over a report with her and her husband. They choose what to have the Realtor put into an addendum....not the Realtor. What ever the client asks for the Realtor should entertain and not just the immediate need repair items.

    An Edit here

    I have to add this all the time for a disclaimer.

    I am doing a Sunday inspection tomorrow. I usually never do a Sunday inspection but the need arose. This inspection came from a Realtor referral. As I always say she uses me because I make her job more difficult. The more difficult it makes her job the better it makes her look and she gets referrals from past clients and I do get the referrals because her clients that became my client were unconditionally guaranteed that I work to save them as much money as possible, document as much on every item that I can, take multiple pictures of those concerns that the client and Realtor use for negotiations etc etc etc and the simple fact that I cannot be influenced or bought in the slightest. I tell every client that is at an inspection and the Realtor is there that I could care less if the Realtor gave me a referral. The Realtors that keep on referring me is because they try to exercise any control what so ever. I have had clients tell me that the Realtor thought I was a pain in the ass (imagine that) and that is why they use me. The client will get their monies worth.

    The only time I ever have misunderstandings or wining clients is because the Realtor tried to take complete control and I have literally bagged a few Realtors telling their clients that after they get the report to not bother me with it that the Realtor will go over it for them and they can use the Realtor as a go between......The Realtor will *handle* (key word right there) everything for them about the inspection.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 01-08-2011 at 05:42 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    To (mis)quote a famous one-liner, "Inspecting a house is just like a box of chocolates - you never know what you are going to get..."

    The dilemma is that the box of chocolates is already in the hands of the recipient, the lids off and they are drooling at the very thought of that oozy, gooey, rich chocolaty taste bedazzling their taste buds. They can't wait and often will already have an emotional and usually financial investment. And we, as HI's may say, the box looks nice, it's an okay presentation but some of the stuff inside the chocolate just plain sucks (in a bad way). Unfortunately, Inspectors are often consumate bubble-busters and those that don't recognize that there is more to simply finding issues with a property should to hone their people skills.

    Realtors are there to facilitate a sale - Oh, they may be the buyer's best friend during negotiations - who may, perhaps, get a Thank you card and Welcome Home gift upon close of escrow (paid for by commission) - and so too are Inspectors, to a some extent. But we are also there to advise the buyer and let them know just what they may be getting themselves into. The latter responsibilty - the more important one IMO - often comes at a price if the deal falls through. The buyer may think their HI is the best thing since sliced bread but usually - if they walk away they will attach some blame on the Inspector for deflating some pent up emotion - even though you may have saved them a gazillion dollars. Not to mention probable animosity from the Realtors and/or seller.

    I get the impression that buyers typically don't want the HI to find too much wrong because the technical findings challenge their emotional attachment. But that doesn't disuade me from providing the best, most thorough service I can. So we have to become salesmen/women. We 'sell' ourselves, our inspection and the discovered deficiencies to the buyer, with the hope that if they are satisfied with the product - either way - we get more business. Like it or not by default, we pander to Realtors, who individually may handle hundreds of sales because they are used in almost all real estate transactions and that's where the bread is. Unlike buyers who may only inspect one or two homes in a liefetime and maybe refer a few more. Selling and marketing are skill-sets not everyone has, (nor may have a need for) but IMO are an absolute necessity for some if Realtors are taken out of the picture.

    Anyone got 3c change out of a nickel...?

    Last edited by Ian Page; 01-09-2011 at 02:04 AM. Reason: Testing centrifugal force Vs Hot air

  14. #14
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Page View Post
    To (mis)quote a famous one-liner, "Inspecting a house is just like a box of chocolates - you never know what you are going to get..."

    The dilemma is that the box of chocolates is already in the hands of the recipient, the lids off and they are drooling at the very thought of that oozy, gooey, rich chocolaty taste bedazzling their taste buds. They can't wait and often will already have an emotional and usually financial investment. And we, as HI's may say, the box looks nice, it's an okay presentation but some of the stuff inside the chocolate just plain sucks (in a bad way). Unfortunately, Inspectors are often consumate bubble-busters and those that don't recognize that there is more to simply finding issues with a property should to hone their people skills.

    Realtors are there to facilitate a sale - Oh, they may be the buyer's best friend during negotiations - who may, perhaps, get a Thank you card and Welcome Home gift upon close of escrow (paid for by commission) - and so too are Inspectors, to a some extent. But we are also there to advise the buyer and let them know just what they may be getting themselves into. The latter responsibilty - the more important one IMO - often comes at a price if the deal falls through. The buyer may think their HI is the best thing since sliced bread but usually - if they walk away they will attach some blame on the Inspector for deflating some pent up emotion - even though you may have saved them a gazillion dollars. Not to mention probable animosity from the Realtors and/or seller.

    I get the impression that buyers typically don't want the HI to find too much wrong because the technical findings challenge their emotional attachment. But that doesn't disuade me from providing the best, most thorough service I can. So we have to become salesmen/women. We 'sell' ourselves, our inspection and the discovered deficiencies to the buyer, with the hope that if they are satisfied with the product - either way - we get more business. Like it or not by default, we pander to Realtors, who individually may handle hundreds of sales because they are used in almost all real estate transactions and that's where the bread is. Unlike buyers who may only inspect one or two homes in a liefetime and maybe refer a few more. Selling and marketing are skill-sets not everyone has, (nor may have a need for) but IMO are an absolute necessity for some if Realtors are taken out of the picture.

    Anyone got 3c change out of a nickel...?
    And if Realtors were taken out of the inspector referral business you would still survive quite nicely.

    I know I keep repeating myself but they have no place in the referrals of inspectors with their livelihood riding on the outcomes of the home inspections.

    Pander to Realtors. I think not. That is why Realtors still hold the purse strings.

    Marketing to Realtors at this day and age is a necessity. Pandering to Realtors should be illegal and designated as immoral

    2pander

    noun

    Definition of PANDER


    1

    a
    : a go-between in love intrigues b : pimp

    2

    :
    someone who caters to or exploits the weaknesses of others
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You could not have picked a more perfect word to explain exactly why I am so against Realtors referring inspectors


    Anyone that has thousands riding on the referral of a particular inspector for those buyers and those other buyers and then of course those oh my gosh buyers should be leashed as home inspector are about doing work on concerns he finds at a home inspection. Absolutely no difference what so ever.

    In my opinion is a far greater moral, legal and ethical concerns than a home inspector giving that price for work to be done because there are countless people between the home inspector doing the work than a Realtor going over their choice of inspectors while the clients are behind closed doors in the Realtors office.

    Not trying to be insulting and I know I just don't pick the right wording sometime but the absolute vast amount of buyers do in fact want you to find everything in a home inspection and some inspectors actually think that is not the case at all. Are there idiot inspectors out there that scare folks to death necessarily about a GFCI not being in a kitchen or outside receptacle....I am absolutely sure there is but again, the absolute vast majority of buyers can see and understand when someone is being a bit over enthusiastic.

    I am not quite sure why a lot of inspectors, for what ever reason, find most home buyers as village idiots. Most of the buyers I have no matter what walk of life or educational advancement they have are pretty quick accessing their brain cells and very quick on their feet. Most are actually at the inspection with their minds and eyes wide open. I think that most are actually awake as well.

    What you say is what Realtors tend to believe. What Realtors do not want to understand (actually the do understand but try to dismiss it) is that most of their clients are far...how should i say this?????? hmm...I better be careful with this one.................... ...sorry.. .I do not want to pick the wrong words here but I think most know where I was going with this. I'll will leave it alone.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 01-09-2011 at 07:57 AM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Ted, it starts with you. If you're so dead set against inspectors taking agent referrals then stop doing it. Remove the real estate agent links from your web site and refuse to take inspection orders from the agents. If the client mentions their agent referred them to you then refuse the job. Lead by example.

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  16. #16
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Ted, it starts with you. If you're so dead set against inspectors taking agent referrals then stop doing it. Remove the real estate agent links from your web site and refuse to take inspection orders from the agents. If the client mentions their agent referred them to you then refuse the job. Lead by example.

    I know we occasionally go over these little things we have from time to time and I try to explain the best I can without going to a publisher and submitting a book for review but I am not sure you read everything I write and quite frankly I do not blame you. It can be a bit of a bore

    In saying that I also stated multiple times in the past that in this day and age it is almost an absolute that you do market Realtors the way the system is at this time. With no question what so ever clients go for one of the Realtors referrals better than 80% of the time. That leaves a small margin out there that are going to the internet and other places.

    Marketing as in passing your info off to them.

    Not being a pimp as the definition of pandering states. There is a bit of a difference

    Hi....here is my info....have a nice day. Putting your name in front of them is not being a pimp. Pandering to them is. Every inspector out there knows that the Realtors hold the purse strings. The heavier one markets to them the busier they will be. The more an inspector "Panders" to a Realtor the tremendously more prosperous they will be

    Simple logic. No burning brains cell to figure all that out. Of course. Like I said. Everyone already knows that and the crying shame of it all is the Realtors reading this have a big Sunday morning smile on their face shaking their head in agreeing with me.

    Right Realtors? Right?


  17. #17
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Ted, it starts with you. If you're so dead set against inspectors taking agent referrals then stop doing it. Remove the real estate agent links from your web site and refuse to take inspection orders from the agents. If the client mentions their agent referred them to you then refuse the job. Lead by example.

    Sorry, I forgot to add. I do not take inspection orders from any Realtor. They have nothing to do with the inspection set up, inspection, inspection process or report. They get what I send them. Not what they want or ask for or hint to or suggest.

    One office, and it is on my front page, refers me from those Realtors on my website and they are not all over my website. One on the first page (that does actually refer me and it is the office website I have on there not hers).

    The other *page* that has Realtor websites have never referred me. It is just a link because they have a prominent site.

    Clients are not coming to my site to find a Realtor. They come to my site to find an inspector. Again....there is a bit of a difference between getting a referral and pandering for referrals.

    I like my new word. It explains things so well.

    Well, I have to get ready for my Sunday inspection. The inspection I got from a Realtor. I will miss her when someday the state and country wakes up and finally puts a halt to agents referring Inspectors.

    By the way

    My first inspection thru her as in a referral from a list she gives her clients was earned thru a mutual client we had years ago. She liked my direct approach to inspecting and reporting and she likes the fact that I advertise on my website that I work for no one with the exception of the client I am inspecting a home for and no outside source has any influence over me what so ever. The only time we ever talk is when I call to insure she got a copy of the report to go over with her clients needs.


  18. #18
    Mitchell Toelle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Nick,

    Please explain why "words fail you". I'm serious. I would like to know and will followup reading this thread at a later date looking for your response. Thanks.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    I'll see if I can put it into words here Mitchell.

    1 - You're going to open houses (possibly multiple open houses on a Sunday) and bringing a lunch or plate of cookies to every open house for the realtor attending that open house? That's maybe 5 or 10 open houses in once day (5-10 lunches or plates of cookies).

    2 - Sure realtors appreciate this. You're giving them free food.

    3 - If the realtor drops you from their referral list because you did your job, why would you find any solace in the thought that they will always remember the lunch or cookies your brought to them?

    This is simply buying inspections with favors. And once the nice taste of that favor wears off, so does their need for you. And then it's on to the next inspector who furnishes a lunch, cookies, bagels, etc.

    You shouldn't have to feed a realtor to get work. You shouldn't have to give a realtor anything. If he/she is a reputable agent and knows you work in the best interests of the buyer, there should be no need for gifts, favors, meals, etc. to have them pass your name along. A good realtor will understand that the harder you work and the more you find on an inspection will only make them look better for passing your name along. And if a deal falls through, then it wasn't the right house for the buyer and they as the realtor need to get back to work and help the buyer find the right house.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  20. #20
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    I know a couple of inspectors that will buy a few Realtor offices pizza for lunch a couple weeks in a row when they get slow and sure enough they will pick up some more Realtors referring them.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    ted

    you have been on inspectionnews posting threads since 7:42 this morning and have posted threads on at least three subjects-maybe even more--at least nine replys--when did you find time to do that walk on a snowny roof and an inspection report today ?? just don't get your angry replies and belittle other inspectors on how they run their business. just help out on this forum and stop the negative slurs to those who conduct their honest and take no crap inspection business. you have taken a dark turn from when i used to read your helpful threads. your threads are so long and nerve rattling. come back ted please. you missed some great football games today

    cvf


  22. #22
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    ted

    you have been on inspectionnews posting threads since 7:42 this morning and have posted threads on at least three subjects-maybe even more--at least nine replys--when did you find time to do that walk on a snowny roof and an inspection report today ?? just don't get your angry replies and belittle other inspectors on how they run their business. just help out on this forum and stop the negative slurs to those who conduct their honest and take no crap inspection business. you have taken a dark turn from when i used to read your helpful threads. your threads are so long and nerve rattling. come back ted please. you missed some great football games today

    cvf

    Whats the problem charlie. I left here earlier this morning and got back later this afternoon. This board is about opinions and discussions about the happenings in the inspection world.

    Take care of computer needs check in on Inspection news. Do some of the report, take a break and check in. Counting posts charlie. I am not board but it appears that if you are counting inspectors posts you are board as hell.

    The goings on in the inspection world are of great interest with me and a good get away from taking care of business on the computer.

    I got up early this morning and got ready fort the day. Would you like to know my entire schedule I could give it to you.

    I glean info on a constant basis on here. It is an on going decades long continuing ed thing that never stops with me and I find what folks post on here very interesting.

    Football, vegh out, yell at a TV, never had that much interest for me. I need constant interaction Cjarlie. Work, chores, cooking, on here, riding the bike, hit the museums, car shows, live ball games. Life it is to short to be consumed by endless ball games on the boob tube.

    A few minutes a post...ten posts....30 minutes Charlie. That is not all day on the inspectionnews. I even read all the rest. Maybe another 10 minutes.

    Now I am going to touch up a report and get it off to some folks

    Have a good evening charlie.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Ted

    If realtors were taken out of the referral chain - a good number of exceptional HIs would be looking for an alternative career. A referal from/by a Realtor does not (for me, anyway) change the way I conduct my inspection(s). Some may have ethical issues with that referral but surely the real ethical issue is by allowing it (and the Realtor) to determine how the report is written, what deficiencies are found and how they may be interpreted.

    So the question is, would you rather have referred work from Realtors or work simply generated by your own marketing skills, leaving Realtors completely out of the picture? IMO there's room for both with no need to breach any ethical standard. You and I both, have to do what we have to do to keep business afloat. A strict 'ethical' bar just makes it all that much tougher.

    Any (newbie) Inspector who believes they can conduct a fully profitable business, relying purely on his/her own 'salesmanship' and avoiding realtor referrals will likely have a very tough few years ahead.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    I've done the open house thing a lot over the past 8 years at the insistence of my previous employer. I have never gotten an inspection or an agent to refer me from visiting an open house. In fact, I've been kicked out of quite a few as many agents believe it's inappropriate for me to be marketing to them in someone elses residence. I tend to agree with them.

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  25. #25
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Page View Post
    Ted

    If realtors were taken out of the referral chain - a good number of exceptional HIs would be looking for an alternative career. A referal from/by a Realtor does not (for me, anyway) change the way I conduct my inspection(s). Some may have ethical issues with that referral but surely the real ethical issue is by allowing it (and the Realtor) to determine how the report is written, what deficiencies are found and how they may be interpreted.

    So the question is, would you rather have referred work from Realtors or work simply generated by your own marketing skills, leaving Realtors completely out of the picture? IMO there's room for both with no need to breach any ethical standard. You and I both, have to do what we have to do to keep business afloat. A strict 'ethical' bar just makes it all that much tougher.

    Any (newbie) Inspector who believes they can conduct a fully profitable business, relying purely on his/her own 'salesmanship' and avoiding realtor referrals will likely have a very tough few years ahead.(and that is a bad thing?)

    Every client will find their own inspector for the inspection

    Making it harder for newbies isn't the intent but if it were not so easy for one to get into the business maybe it would be treated as any other business and this market would not be flooded a couple times a year with swarms of new inspectors.

    Unfortunately as in any business this one is filled with folks that will think once or twice about what they say or what they write in a report about an inspection they are doing and if only for that reason alone referrals from Realtors should not be allowed.

    Everywhere in the Real Estate world it is told to purchasers of Real Estate (usually by law now for the protection of the client) that they should retain a Home inspector for better disclosure of the property so as far as Inspectors going out to find another job I am not sure why you say that. I get most and I do mean most of my work either thru my website or indirectly thru my website or past clients or thru folks I know that are asked about home inspectors etc. Maybe 15% of my referrals are from Realtors and that may be a high exaggeration

    They will find you

    How is it you think home owners find electricians, plumbers, the nearest break shop, the nearest candy store, city hall, police station, sub shop, specialty clothing store or hobby shop.

    Phone books, internet, word of mouth from folks that bought before and used an inspector. Other businesses thrive thru advertising and build tremendously successful businesses through advertising. When a Realtor refers inspectors the client has no concept of you marketing out there. They believe you do little to no marketing and are less willing to part with those few extra dollars

    The reliance on Realtors for home inspectors has become so great, you are right. In the beginning of the ban the inspectors that Rely almost completely on Realtor referrals will lose the Realtors that refer them and in 50% 0f the cases that would be a good thing and those inspections will spread out throughout the market of advertising inspectors. This will also raise the credibility of inspectors in general.

    More than half of my clients say openly that there Realtor gave them a list but they did not want to use it and found me thru a friend or on line or somewhere else.

    They refuse to use the Realtor referrals because "they think the inspector will be more than likely to please the Realtor and not them" They want an inspector that works solely for them and no one else.

    I hear that from a very large percentage of my clients. Not just a few here and there.
    That, if for no other reason is the best reason why the Realtors should be banned from referring Inspectors. It puts the credibility back into inspection.

    If you are one that agrees that home inspectors should not price and work on findings from their inspection.........................Why is it so difficult to understand why Realtors relying on thousands should not be the one to refer the inspector?

    Other than you are an inspector that gets referrals from Realtors. Take that away and then answer the question.

    Sorry for the rant folks


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    I've done the open house thing a lot over the past 8 years at the insistence of my previous employer. I have never gotten an inspection or an agent to refer me from visiting an open house. In fact, I've been kicked out of quite a few as many agents believe it's inappropriate for me to be marketing to them in someone elses residence. I tend to agree with them.
    I agree with you on this Ken. If I we were selling our house and discovered there were other people coming in attempting to sell their services to our agent, I'd find it strange and inappropriate. I know an open house is just that and anybody can come in. But it's for the purposes of showing and selling the house. If somebody wanted to meet and greet with my realtor, I'd prefer they do it when the realtor is not working for me and is in their office.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Gregg, let us know how the open house went.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    ted

    by the way you should not come down on anyone for poor grammer or spelling AS YOU DID TO HG on a different thread--read some of your on posts..

    as for your post # 6 on this thread--YOU WENT TO A OPEN HOUSE ON INVITE TO MEET OTHER REALTORS. if you don't believe in agents --why would you go. maybe REFERRALS?

    please stop with basHing other inspectors for agent referrals--we have all heard it over and over again. it's like honey take out the garbage--honey did you take out the garbage--honey when are you going to take out the garbage-- we all hear that alot. BUT WE DON'T SLEEP WITH YOU-- you have made your point--bury it ok and get back to construtive replies, FOR WHICH I RESPECTED YOU FOR

    thanks ted

    cvf


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    ted

    by the way you should not come down on anyone for poor grammer or spelling AS YOU DID TO HG on a different thread--read some of your on posts..

    as for your post # 6 on this thread--YOU WENT TO A OPEN HOUSE ON INVITE TO MEET OTHER REALTORS. if you don't believe in agents --why would you go. maybe REFERRALS?

    please stop with basHing other inspectors for agent referrals--we have all heard it over and over again. it's like honey take out the garbage--honey did you take out the garbage--honey when are you going to take out the garbage-- we all hear that alot. BUT WE DON'T SLEEP WITH YOU-- you have made your point--bury it ok and get back to construtive replies, FOR WHICH I RESPECTED YOU FOR

    thanks ted

    cvf
    Charlie. You just don't read it all.

    Realtors referring inspector.....Bad

    Inspectors getting referrals from Realtor....needed

    No hypocrisy there Charlie. Just an evil needed necessity....unfortunately...until the day comes and it is changed

    And you will probably hear it again and again and again. As much as it is brought up, which is always I will more than likely bring up my view point. Do you get it Charlie. Everyone has a view point. It is relentlessly brought up about "how to get in the good graces of the Realtors. Cut the apron strings country wide and no one would have to worry about it Charie. You bring up you Realtor friends and I bring up that inspectors and Realtors should not be friends. Do yiou get it Charlie. View points.

    Charlie...the thread starter....Open houses....meeting Realtors....begging for food (not literally)....no inspector should have to do it Charlie. You have multiple Realtor buddies that you mentioned. I mentioned the why are you so tight with Realtors instead of your inspector associates.

    View points Charlie. Difference of opinions Charlie. It is called an Inspectors forum and every single person on here expresses their opinions over and over again

    Subpanels !!!!!!! Understand now Charlie?

    Have a nice night my friend. Did you notice I did not say I don't want to see your view points and opinions anymore. Nah....I would never do that. I read them like every post on here....Understand now Charlie?

    I cannot tell you of the plethora of Inspectors that flat out agree. emails abound.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    ted again

    AGAIN poor spelling--SOMETHING YOU CRITICIZE OTHERS FOR

    we all know how you feel about realtors---why kill a dead horse--ENOUGH

    do your business as you do--but don't be little others on their choice of service

    answer threads with constructive answers--PLEASE

    come on Ted--get back to the meaning of this forum

    chas


  31. #31
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Ted said:
    More than half of my clients say openly that there Realtor gave them a list but they did not want to use it and found me thru a friend or on line or somewhere else.

    They refuse to use the Realtor referrals because "they think the inspector will be more than likely to please the Realtor and not them" They want an inspector that works solely for them and no one else.

    I hear that from a very large percentage of my clients. Not just a few here and there.
    That, if for no other reason is the best reason why the Realtors should be banned from referring Inspectors. It puts the credibility back into inspection.

    If you are one that agrees that home inspectors should not price and work on findings from their inspection.........................Why is it so difficult to understand why Realtors relying on thousands should not be the one to refer the inspector?

    Other than you are an inspector that gets referrals from Realtors. Take that away and then answer the question.






    Sorry Ted - I have no idea what you are trying to say...otherwise I would gladly answer the question posed - I think there was one in there somewhere.

    I simply do not believe 'your' clients are refusing any Inspector referrals given to them by their Realtor. In my experience, generally buyers develop a very trusting relationship (perhaps unwarranted) with their Realtors when searching for a home. They may have spent hundreds of hours together. A "good" realtor knows their clients likes/dislikes, kids and pets names and financial abilities. And - as I posted before - they have become BFFs (albeit only until escrow closes ). So for the buyers, according to your post, to now mistrust their Realtor, toss the Inspectors referrals list and rely on a 'shot-in-the-dark' website or somewhere else instead, is a little out of reason for human nature... Ain't buyin' it, sorry.

    Last edited by Ian Page; 01-11-2011 at 12:44 AM. Reason: gain momentum

  32. #32
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Page View Post
    Ted said:
    More than half of my clients say openly that there Realtor gave them a list but they did not want to use it and found me thru a friend or on line or somewhere else.

    They refuse to use the Realtor referrals because "they think the inspector will be more than likely to please the Realtor and not them" They want an inspector that works solely for them and no one else.

    I hear that from a very large percentage of my clients. Not just a few here and there.
    That, if for no other reason is the best reason why the Realtors should be banned from referring Inspectors. It puts the credibility back into inspection.

    If you are one that agrees that home inspectors should not price and work on findings from their inspection.........................Why is it so difficult to understand why Realtors relying on thousands should not be the one to refer the inspector?

    Other than you are an inspector that gets referrals from Realtors. Take that away and then answer the question.






    Sorry Ted - I have no idea what you are trying to say...otherwise I would gladly answer the question posed - I think there was one in there somewhere.

    I simply do not believe 'your' clients are refusing any Inspector referrals given to them by their Realtor. In my experience, generally buyers develop a very trusting relationship (perhaps unwarranted) with their Realtors when searching for a home. They may have spent hundreds of hours together. A "good" realtor knows their clients likes/dislikes, kids and pets names and financial abilities. And - as I posted before - they have become BFFs (albeit only until escrow closes ). So for the buyers, according to your post, to now mistrust their Realtor, toss the Inspectors referrals list and rely on a 'shot-in-the-dark' website or somewhere else instead, is a little out of reason for human nature... Ain't buyin' it, sorry.
    Ian

    I cannot talk long or I will aggravate Charlie so I will keep it short.

    If you truly believe that Clients do not refuse their Realtors referrals, and trust me, all Realtors give Inspector referrals, where the heck do you think all the calls come from that find you, me, even Charlie and every other inspector. Every Real Estate Agent in every state refers Inspectors with the exception of someone that is not a buyers agent in Massachusetts.

    What you are telling me is that you do not have a website and are listed absolutely no where anywhere on the web or do any marketing other than to Realtors and EVERY SINGLE CALL YOU GET FOR AN INSPECTION IS DIRECTLY FROM A REALTOR.

    Look, Ian, I am certainly not trying to tell you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, or why anything should be done

    But, seriously, YOU ARE KIDDING RIGHT. You are pulling my leg. You are trying to get charlie mad at me again. You want to keep this thing going for another week.

    Or you just may be into that medical smoking stuff. Oh wait....Charlie is from one of those medical smoking states as wel....just kidding Charlie, calm down.

    Anyways Ian, on an extremely serious note. If you think that clients do not refuse referrals from Realtors by the thousands every single day of the week you should really not be talking to me but to the thousands of Home Inspectors on this board and I am so absolutely sure that they might use the words disillusion or something like that referring to your thought process.

    I cannot talk about the Realtor thing anymore because it is actually boring me. Not to mention irritating me just a wee bit...and I do not want to aggrivate Charlie. I do think Charlie has the exact same process of thought as you and that is scary.

    Have a nice day gents. Gotta go to work ... for a client that refused his referral list that the Realtor gave him.. that was not a funny. It was serious.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Page View Post
    [I]
    Sorry Ted - I have no idea what you are trying to say...otherwise I would gladly answer the question posed - I think there was one in there somewhere.

    I simply do not believe 'your' clients are refusing any Inspector referrals given to them by their Realtor. In my experience, generally buyers develop a very trusting relationship (perhaps unwarranted) with their Realtors when searching for a home. They may have spent hundreds of hours together. A "good" realtor knows their clients likes/dislikes, kids and pets names and financial abilities. And - as I posted before - they have become BFFs (albeit only until escrow closes ). So for the buyers, according to your post, to now mistrust their Realtor, toss the Inspectors referrals list and rely on a 'shot-in-the-dark' website or somewhere else instead, is a little out of reason for human nature... Ain't buyin' it, sorry.
    Ted's not making this up Ian. I can't tell you how many inspections I get or how many buyers I talk to every year who say they don't want to use the inspector(s) recommended by their realtor. Not all realtors have happy trusting relationships with their clients. Something is said, or done, or inferred along the way and the buyers' confidence in their realtor slowly shrinks. Not all clients are willing to relinquish all control in the home buying process. Some people want to do their research and hire an inspector they find on their own. Many buyers view the relationship realtors and the inspectors they refer as suspicious.

    I have a blurb on the front page of my website that says "We don't work for realtors. We work for you, the buyer". That line alone gets me work, without having ever spoken with a buyer. And it's because some buyers are suspicious. There are plenty of people who turn down their realtor's recommendations. These buyers make up a large percentage of my client base.

    Last edited by Nick Ostrowski; 01-11-2011 at 07:46 AM. Reason: typo
    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Advertising at an Open House

    Okay - Gents (Nick / Ted). The last response - if that's okay

    Those are your experiences, they are not mine. I have to agree that some buyers do find their own Inspector and disregard the Realtor's referral but that is because they probably already have an Inspector in mind. And yes, during the process some suspicion or dis-satisfaction may occur, resulting in their (buyer) feeling the need to seek out 'their own guy'.

    As you know, once an offer is made and accepted the buyer has a limited time to complete various inspections, (10 Days (+) in CA) if they choose to. So it behooves the buyer, assuming they intend to have an inspection, to act fairly quickly. It's this time constraint - the buyers trying to locate an Inspector and get the inspection completed within all parties timeframe - which is the motivating factor in relying on the Realtor's knowledge (and referral). This is not be the case with all buyers, obviously, but in my experience, first-time and unsophisticated buyers tend to go with who the Realtor recommends. And there are a lot.

    My comments are not meant to be all inclusive or conclusive but are, nevertheless, based on my personal experiences. Sure I have clients I have done Inspections for in the past - so they have no need for any referral - in fact I have one on Thursday. But to say that the majority of buyers ignore or disregard their Realtor's Inspector referral is, I guess, where we shall have to agree to differ.

    In a perfect world, Buyers would select their own Inspector from a variety of sources - and I have absolutely no problem with that - but that is simply not the world we live in. In my case when a Realtor calls on behalf of a client and asks if I am available, I always follow up with the client, giving them an outline of what to expect etc. Should we then turn down business because we were, in all good faith, referred/recommended by their Realtor? Even you guys wouldn't do that...would you?


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