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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    MN
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    Default Yard Signs...Worth the money?

    I have been thinking about starting an inspection business, and was thinking about getting "yard signs" to put up in intersections as part of my marketing. I have not seen other inspection companies in my area do this, so it makes me think it might not be worth the money or time. What are some of your options/experiences on doing this, do "yard signs" get you business?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    Default Re: Yard Signs...Worth the money?

    I haven't seen a HI try that around here. My gut feeling is that it is useless, but every gold dealer in this town has a spinner on the corner of their street, so maybe hiring a bunch of spinners might work.

    Seriously, my two cents is get out and press the flesh with as many real estate agents as possible. Or spend your money with a home inspector business coach like Mike Crow.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Serving SC & NC
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    105

    Default Re: Yard Signs...Worth the money?

    I think it would be a waste of money. And it will be a clue to municipalities that you are working in their town without a business license (assuming you don't have one)....they may come looking for you or send you a bill.

    Also, such signs are illegal in most municipalities and counties. Most have a "sign ordinance", although not strictly enforced most of the time.

    Last edited by Joe Funderburk; 03-13-2013 at 07:31 AM.
    Joe Funderburk, CBO, CMI
    Alpha & Omega Home Inspections, LLC
    Serving SC & NC

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    5,847

    Default Re: Yard Signs...Worth the money?

    Invest the money on your website, quality business cards and quality vinyl signs on your vehicle. With the signage on your vehicle it becomes the Rolling Billboard in front of the house, on the highway and wherever you are.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
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    1,078

    Default Re: Yard Signs...Worth the money?

    I had a couple of signs made and place then in the yard while I am inspecting. No signage on my vehicle.

    Nosy neighbors see the sign and presume it is ok for a stranger to be peaking in and around the windows and skulking around the bushes. If a 1yr warranty inspection, the homeowners would often agree to allow me to leave in their yard for a week or 2. Once did 17 warranty inspections in one neighborhood. No arguing about price or giving the hardsell. They saw the sign, talked to the neighbor, and called to schedule.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
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    4,549

    Default Re: Yard Signs...Worth the money?

    It is a bit unprofessional to leave signs around in random places. Everybody knows you haven't paid for that spot. Example - the sign nailed to a power pole, which is illegal, or to a roadside tree, a distraction, and maybe trespassing.

    In town, there are sign bylaws. Yes, you need to have your biz license fees paid up, and then need to check with the authorities.

    Vehicles are fair game, so put signage on vehicles. Sponsor a team and give them jackets. Pay out money to show that you are highly successful.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Yard Signs...Worth the money?

    No vehicle decals or yard signs. I run a discreet service and respect my clients and vendors privacy.

    Some homes don't even have Realtor for sale signs on the yard for whatever reason.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
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    2,365

    Default Re: Yard Signs...Worth the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    No vehicle decals or yard signs. I run a discreet service and respect my clients and vendors privacy.

    Some homes don't even have Realtor for sale signs on the yard for whatever reason.
    X2 - I'm the same way. I've never done the vehicle signage thing - I'll accept the few inspections a year I lose in return for mine and my client's privacy.

    On a side note it does make me laugh when I see one of my competitor's trucks smoking and rattling down the highway with a bright sign on it. As a general rule I'd say if your vehicle isn't worth more than $1000 you're probably hurting your business more than helping it with the signs.

    As for the OP - I'd say don't waste your money. IMO it speaks looks desparate.... signs by the road are for guys who clean gutters and carpeting - not a consultant to assist you in the biggest purchase of your life.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    MN
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    5

    Default Re: Yard Signs...Worth the money?

    Thanks for the fast feed back and new ideas everyone, sounds like yard signs are not the way to go. Also is talking to Realtors at open houses (When they the have time) an effective method?

    Last edited by Jarrod McGill; 03-14-2013 at 09:05 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    MN
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    5

    Default Re: Yard Signs...Worth the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    I haven't seen a HI try that around here. My gut feeling is that it is useless, but every gold dealer in this town has a spinner on the corner of their street, so maybe hiring a bunch of spinners might work.

    Seriously, my two cents is get out and press the flesh with as many real estate agents as possible. Or spend your money with a home inspector business coach like Mike Crow.

    HAHAHAHA Spinners, I could hire them to stand in front of the houses while I inspect them......... . I looked in to the products that Mike Crow offers, have you or do you know any HI that has used them and if so what is feedback. (This topic could be a thread of it's own)

    Last edited by Jarrod McGill; 03-14-2013 at 09:04 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    1,394

    Default Re: Yard Signs...Worth the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarrod McGill View Post
    HAHAHAHA Spinners, I could hire them to stand in front of the houses while I inspect them......... . I looked in to the products that Mike Crow offers, have you or do you know any HI that has used them and if so what is feedback. (This topic could be a thread of it's own)
    I only know one HI who has used Mike Crow, and he was pretty happy with the guy. After a year or so, he had his business where he wanted it, and stopped subscribing to Crow's service. Crow made a presentation to our Colorado NAHI group and most of what he does sounds similar to services that I've seen for real estate agents except he caters to HIs.

    I didn't subscribe, but most of the time, I have about as many inspections as I want without hiring someone.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Yard Signs...Worth the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarrod McGill View Post
    HAHAHAHA Spinners, I could hire them to stand in front of the houses while I inspect them......... . I looked in to the products that Mike Crow offers, have you or do you know any HI that has used them and if so what is feedback. (This topic could be a thread of it's own)
    Mike has a good system if you want to go down that road. I have a very good friend who used him for a couple of years and increased his business to the point he had to hire an extra inspector.

    Mikes system works if you enjoy marketing and keeping the candy dish full in agents offices. It boils down to common sense marketing and getting your name out and keeping it our in front of folks. It is not rocket science by an means nor does it take a special talent, just perseverance!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  13. #13
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    Aug 2011
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    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    Default Re: Yard Signs...Worth the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Mike has a good system if you want to go down that road. I have a very good friend who used him for a couple of years and increased his business to the point he had to hire an extra inspector.

    Mikes system works if you enjoy marketing and keeping the candy dish full in agents offices. It boils down to common sense marketing and getting your name out and keeping it our in front of folks. It is not rocket science by an means nor does it take a special talent, just perseverance!
    Yeah, I forgot about the candy dish. That HI buddy, still spends nearly $300 a month on candy. That sounds like an insane amount of candy. The agents are recognizable as they waddle down the streets. He also pays for an office party at a large office. 80+% of that office refers him, but he is also very good.
    Crow can't help you if ain't good and/or have good communication skills.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  14. #14
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    Feb 2008
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    Caledon, Ontario
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    Default Re: Yard Signs...Worth the money?

    Candy? Let them eat Crow!


  15. #15
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    Sep 2007
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    Fredericksburg, VA
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    885

    Default Re: Yard Signs...Worth the money?

    I agree with Scott-
    I have nice magnetic signs on the side of my FJ Cruiser. I've was poking around an empty house and from the roof watched a county sheriff's car cruise by slowly. Went his way when he saw the signs. I've had neighbors stop me and ask if I was doing a home inspection and could I do one for them. I'm not too sure where being discrete comes in. Heck, there's a For Sale sign in the front yard!

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  16. #16
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    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
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    Default Re: Yard Signs...Worth the money?

    There are many listings where the only indication where the house maybe for sale is the lock box and no yard sign, its an option.


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Fredericksburg, VA
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    885

    Default Re: Yard Signs...Worth the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    There are many listings where the only indication where the house maybe for sale is the lock box and no yard sign, its an option.
    Yep, we have one gated community in the area that only allows a 4x4 post with a phone number on it (vertical). No for sale or rent signs allowed. Not a fancy area. It started as a vacation/retirement community but has grown considerably over the probably 3 decades it's been in existence. I don't think their rule is for privacy but serves two purposes: 1) There isn't a proliferation of Real Estate signs all over the place 2) It presents an aura of stability

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Yard Signs...Worth the money?

    I tried almost every type of advertising (yellow pages, phone book covers, newspaper, etc.) About half of my business came from my website and the other half word-of-mouth, referrals, etc. I would get a good website and talk to a lot of Realtors (giving free classes on home inspection to a agency is a way to meet a lot of Realtors and they always need someone to help fill their CEU quota), the other methods don't seem to be worth the money. The magnetic sign on the truck is a good idea, not so much for advertising, but so some neighbor doesn't call the cops when they see you snooping around a vacant house.


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