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  1. #1
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    Default Everybody Wants Discounts Now

    I can't remember the last caller I spoke to who did not ask for a discount, or a discount on top of a discount. Also, I am very clear in my phone contacts to spell out what is included as part of the general inspection only. Still, I get "Oh, that price doesn't include a radon test or termite inspection?"

    Looks like some inspectors must be slashing prices so steeply that median pricing seems like highway robbery.

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    • #2
      Ron Bibler's Avatar
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
      I can't remember the last caller I spoke to who did not ask for a discount, or a discount on top of a discount. Also, I am very clear in my phone contacts to spell out what is included as part of the general inspection only. Still, I get "Oh, that price doesn't include a radon test or termite inspection?"

      Looks like some inspectors must be slashing prices so steeply that median pricing seems like highway robbery.
      Hey Nick... Tell them you will do the inspection for $ X amount and for just a bit ore they can have a report.

      Best

      Ron


    • #3
      Ted Menelly's Avatar
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      I know this may sound ridiculous but I could be doing at least a couple more inspections a week. I, against all, or should I say, what little common sense I have, lowered my prices slightly to the point of doing my part in the tight times we have now. I refuse to just drop the bottom out as some have and I can guarantee that I am losing at least a couple if not more inspections per week. I tell them of the wonders of the economy and the break I am giving them in regards to the tough economic times right now and they are still looking for more. Of course they always say some LAME excuse and they will call back but you folks know what the I will call you back codes really mean.

      It is tempting in these slow times to low ball those folks and make several hundred a week more but I just cannot make myself do it. Prices are already to low around here and I don't want to be one responsible for the destruction and low end holding price of home inspections.


    • #4
      Ron Bibler's Avatar
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
      I know this may sound ridiculous but I could be doing at least a couple more inspections a week. I, against all, or should I say, what little common sense I have, lowered my prices slightly to the point of doing my part in the tight times we have now. I refuse to just drop the bottom out as some have and I can guarantee that I am losing at least a couple if not more inspections per week. I tell them of the wonders of the economy and the break I am giving them in regards to the tough economic times right now and they are still looking for more. Of course they always say some LAME excuse and they will call back but you folks know what the I will call you back codes really mean.

      It is tempting in these slow times to low ball those folks and make several hundred a week more but I just cannot make myself do it. Prices are already to low around here and I don't want to be one responsible for the destruction and low end holding price of home inspections.
      Some of the calls you are getting are from other inspectors checking your prices out

      Best

      Ron


    • #5
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      I lost one for today because another company was willing to inspect a 1700 sq. ft home and do a termite inspection for $325 total. Before this downturn, $325 would have been my price just for the inspection, not including WDI. And I had been talking with buyer for a week.

      Not much you can if you're not willing to work for peanuts.


    • #6
      Ron Bibler's Avatar
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      This is going to be something for each inspector to work his way in the market place...

      One thing i have done is add more service.

      Year before Last year i was only doing Termite inspection.

      Then I add the Infrared Thermal Imaging. Big help...

      This year I just open up the Home Inspection to my company... Big help..

      I have only had one Guy under bid me on the Home inspection on a 5200 SQ foot home his bid was $450.00 my price was $ 750.00

      I did get the Termite and the Infrared thermal for the $ 750.00 but not the home inspection for $ 750.00. I have not had to drop my prices and I'm not going to...

      I don't think thats the way to overcome this issue.

      My answer is to sell my inspection service and my YEARS OF inspecting over any other inspector out there. would you want a 2year inspector or some one with 30 years. Bring out all your best point and when you get the call tell your story... see your self.. I don't think price is that big of a deal if we are only talking about $ 25 or $ 50 bucks...

      There is this paper back book. a old inspector gave me thins book 25 years back. How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling by Frank Bettger, This is the best little sales book every put together... and its all about you and how to be a better inspectors/sells-man.
      A lot of inspectors are good at inspecting but they suck as sells-man.

      Get that little book it will help... bank on it!!!

      Best

      Ron


    • #7
      Kevin Barre's Avatar
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      I refuse to discount. It may cost me a job here or there, but honestly, it always has. I do get more "will you price match" calls now than before, but I can't tell that I'm losing more of them. When asked about lowering my price, I gently remind the caller that they are buying a personal service, not a commodity. I then give them an additional point to think about. I ask them whether they think they'd get a better inspection from an inspector who feels satisfied that he's getting paid a reasonable fee for his expertise and time, or from a guy who walks on to the job already feeling a bit cheated since he had to discount his price. If that doesn't work, I tell them that the cheaper guys are usually very new and could easily miss things. If that doesn't work, I can't salvage the job and don't try any more -- they are looking at cost and nothing else.


    • #8
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      I don't discount my inspection fee, but if I get into a situation I will offer a discount on radon testing. Heck, I own my CRM's so offering a discount on radon testing is not that big a deal.

      Goes something like this.... OK, I'll tell you want I can do. How about if I do a radon do a radon test for $50 instead of my normal $150. This is a $100 discount! So the inspection fee will be $325 and the radon is $50 for a total inspection fee of $375.

      Not only did I not discount my inspection fee I just increased the sale by $50! I have done this a few times just in the past couple of weeks.

      Oh, this only works if you have radon in your area and you own the testing equipment. If you have an IR camera you could do the something with the camera.

      Instead of discounting think about increasing the sale.

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

    • #9
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Or you could say "Sure, I'll discount it $50.00. Done. Okay, now, what else do you not want inspected besides not inspecting the roof?"

      Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
      Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
      www.AskCodeMan.com

    • #10
      Ted Menelly's Avatar
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
      I don't discount my inspection fee, but if I get into a situation I will offer a discount on radon testing. Heck, I own my CRM's so offering a discount on radon testing is not that big a deal.

      Goes something like this.... OK, I'll tell you want I can do. How about if I do a radon do a radon test for $50 instead of my normal $150. This is a $100 discount! So the inspection fee will be $325 and the radon is $50 for a total inspection fee of $375.

      Not only did I not discount my inspection fee I just increased the sale by $50! I have done this a few times just in the past couple of weeks.

      Oh, this only works if you have radon in your area and you own the testing equipment. If you have an IR camera you could do the something with the camera.

      Instead of discounting think about increasing the sale.
      Sooooooo Scott

      What you are saying is that you do discount your inspections by 100 dollars. No matter how you look at it you are discounting your inspection. Doing the radon for 50 instead of 150 you are in all actuality discounting your inspection by 100.

      I guess what I am saying is dicounting one is discounting the other. A discount is a discount. Thats like saying that you will give them a 100 coupon if they let you perform a home inspection. If you don't call it a discount to the home inspection then it is still a discount to the readon which means what??? You are discounting your inspection.

      There are folks that throw in a slab measurement or I guess you could call it a foundation analysis, they also throw in free termite and infrared. Personally instead of giving everything else away and undercutting everyone else on total cost and having to do all that much more work, especially a radon test where you have to come back to pick up your goods, just do what Jerry said and knock off 50 bucks.


    • #11
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      I do what Scott said. Yes, if you look at it one way, you have discounted the job $100. However, you can also look at it as increasing the bill by $50.

      If you own your CRM, then your cost is really just the gas for the return trip, and a few minutes time.

      Here is my take on that scenario. I sold the inspection at full price.
      I also up-sold a radon test for $50. I ended up making $50 more than I quoted.


    • #12
      David Banks's Avatar
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
      I don't discount my inspection fee, but if I get into a situation I will offer a discount on radon testing. Heck, I own my CRM's so offering a discount on radon testing is not that big a deal.

      Goes something like this.... OK, I'll tell you want I can do. How about if I do a radon do a radon test for $50 instead of my normal $150. This is a $100 discount! So the inspection fee will be $325 and the radon is $50 for a total inspection fee of $375.

      Not only did I not discount my inspection fee I just increased the sale by $50! I have done this a few times just in the past couple of weeks.

      Oh, this only works if you have radon in your area and you own the testing equipment. If you have an IR camera you could do the something with the camera.

      Instead of discounting think about increasing the sale.
      Scott. I have done the same thing. I like your idea. In a slow market at least you are coming home with close to 400.00, instead of losing the job. Besides your getting your normal inspection fee.


    • #13
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Quote Originally Posted by David Banks View Post
      Scott. I have done the same thing. I like your idea. In a slow market at least you are coming home with close to 400.00, instead of losing the job. Besides your getting your normal inspection fee.
      That is the point. When the market comes back around I will not be known as a discounter. I simply do not discount my basic home inspections. It is difficult to come back from discounting once you are known for doing it.

      Yes, I will discount a radon test but as Jack said it only cost me a few minutes and a gallon or so of gas.

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

    • #14
      JORY LANNES's Avatar
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      This thread reminds me of an old joke. " a guy goes up to an attractive woman at a party and asks her if she would sleep with him for $1,000,000. She thinks for a moment and says OK. The guy than asked if she will sleep with him for $100.She slapped him and said "do you think I am a whore" He responded "we have established that you are now we we are negotiating the price.

      In the business client we are in every inspector should know what his/her break even is. Once that is know due a "mark up" for the profit you want to make.

      Once you discount you are setting a pricing matrix that is hard to move from.

      Stay firm in your pricing and don't be tempted to make "a fast buck".


    • #15
      Kevin Luce's Avatar
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      What was just written about and other techniques are used all the times from other business. What makes us so special compared to so many other business?

      I agree with you Scott. I compare it to a store where you buy a pair of shoes for full price and the get a second pair half the price. Is it a discount of the second pair, the first pair, or both pairs? who cares. All that store cares about is how much money they made at the end of the day/week/month/year.


    • #16
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      I don't understand how it is hard to go back to charging regular rates if you've offered discounts for a while. Slow times end, regular rates resume. It's your business and your decision to make. When business resumes some sense of normalcy, my prices will go back up to where they were before and maybe higher.

      Some people may not notice or care. For the ones that do grouse and say I gave their friend a lower rate, I'll tell them straight up that work was slow at that time and the discounts were offered to attract more business. They are welcome to look elsewhere and hire somebody else if they don't like what I tell them.

      I'd rather book 10 inspections at $300 a piece than give out a bunch of quotes at $330-$350 and have an empty schedule. Everybody needs to do what they feel is best for their own business.


    • #17
      JORY LANNES's Avatar
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Nick is correct. Every one should manage their business in a way they are comfortable.In the Chicago area there are inspectors doing houses for $200. They give out hand written reports and carry no insurance. I wish them the best. I will not compete or match the low price. There is a market for every one.

      Interesting Illinois had about 3000 licensed inspectors at renewal time November 30. As of Dec 10 about 600 inspectors had renewed.

      Do you think $200 inspections had any effect on not staying in the business??


    • #18
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Hi Jory,

      Where did you get the 600 figure? I've never been able to find the numbers on the IDFPR site.

      Eric Barker, ACI
      Lake Barrington, IL

    • #19
      JORY LANNES's Avatar
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Hi Eric,
      The 3000 from ASHI ,for a mailing done in October.The 600 From the president of the Illinois Association of Home Inspectors. He thinks with the 30 day grace period the # will be around 800.


    • #20
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      When once confronted with a caller who announced, "there's another inspector who will do it for half of what you’re asking." I replied, "Good for him, and when you want the other half of the home inspected hopefully he will return."
      Click !
      Bottom line; those low-ball inspections usually turned out to be the most problematic and I was glad to have the "Inspector Lights" in my area of practice have them.


      Jerry McCarthy
      Building Code/ Construction Consultant

    • #21
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
      Hi Jory,

      Where did you get the 600 figure? I've never been able to find the numbers on the IDFPR site.
      This is the latest from IL

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

    • #22
      JORY LANNES's Avatar
      JORY LANNES Guest

      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Thanks Scott
      Nice compilation of the Illinois home inspector data. Why do you track the information in Tn?


    • #23
      Kevin Luce's Avatar
      Kevin Luce Guest

      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
      This is the latest from IL
      Scott, where did that information come from?

      Just wondering.


    • #24
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Quote Originally Posted by JORY LANNES View Post
      Thanks Scott
      Nice compilation of the Illinois home inspector data. Why do you track the information in Tn?
      I'm very involved in the profession in several states, but I really don't track it. I just get a copy every month.

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

    • #25
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Luce View Post
      Scott, where did that information come from?

      Just wondering.
      It is sent to me from some folks associated with the state board.

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

    • #26
      RANDY NICHOLAS's Avatar
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      A realtor, that I've done a lot of inspections fover the last 5 years, called to get a quote on a 1250 sq. ft. house. I gave her my price and she said *There is another inspector qouting 1/2 of my price. She asked me to lower my price....
      I said "I have a lake house that I'm going to put on the market. The lake is 100 miles east of here. I want you to list it, show the property, fully advertise it, and I will pay you 2% instead of 6%."...silence
      I think she got my drift.


    • #27
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Geeze, guys. Read the thing. It says at the bottom where it comes from!

      Randy, did you get the job?

      Erby Crofutt, Georgetown, KY - Read my Blog here: Erby the Central Kentucky Home Inspector B4 U Close Home Inspections www.b4uclose.com www.kentuckyradon.com
      Find on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/B4UCloseInspections

    • #28
      RANDY NICHOLAS's Avatar
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      ERBY,
      No, i didn't get that inspection, but she has removed his card from her prefered list of inspectors. i have done two since.


    • #29
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      WILLINGHAM WOULD BE PROUD OF YOU RANDY!


    • #30
      JORY LANNES's Avatar
      JORY LANNES Guest

      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Hi Scott

      Would you be willing to email me the Illinois inspector information you receive each month. It would be very helpful for the Association work I do.
      Thank you

      Jory Lannes
      jory@lannesgroup.com
      847 733 7705


    • #31

      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Hi Jory, Eric and Scott,

      First off Jory I have seen those #'s from the Illinois Home Inspectors Association ( I hope you are a member ). If you look closely at the pass rate on the state test it got real high 2004-2006, there was a big stink that schools were teaching how to pass the test and not as much about home inspection.

      For those who know me the first thing I say is " Raise your prices " . We have been getting a lot of low ball quote rs lately, hopefully they are gone or soon will be.

      Eric you can track the #'s on the states web site. www.idpr.gov there is a link to license look up and number of license.They have not posted Decembers numbers yet, December was a grace period for license renewal.

      Less inspectors = higher prices spread the word

      Steve Reilly
      Owl Inspection Services
      Villa Park IL.


    • #32

      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Sorry Eric & guys

      I posted the wrong link to IL site

      State of Illinois | Department of Financial and Professional Regulation works

      Steve Reilly


    • #33

      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      I just saw they new #'s posted for licensed home inspectors in IL for December 2968. The number went up not down. I guess anyone getting layed off is now a home inspector.

      Steve Reilly


    • #34
      Ron Bibler's Avatar
      Ron Bibler Guest

      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Quote Originally Posted by Steve Reilly View Post
      I just saw they new #'s posted for licensed home inspectors in IL for December 2968. The number went up not down. I guess anyone getting layed off is now a home inspector.

      Steve Reilly

      Look at this board we have had what 5 new guys. this past week.

      I do see that the new guys posting have some strong back groung in construction...

      Best

      Ron


    • #35
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      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Quote Originally Posted by JORY LANNES View Post
      Hi Scott

      Would you be willing to email me the Illinois inspector information you receive each month. It would be very helpful for the Association work I do.
      Thank you

      Jory Lannes
      jory@lannesgroup.com
      847 733 7705
      Sorry I can't do that.

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

    • #36
      JORY LANNES's Avatar
      JORY LANNES Guest

      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      OK Scott...Thanks anyway


    • #37
      Ed Reynolds's Avatar
      Ed Reynolds Guest

      Default Re: Everybody Wants Discounts Now

      Quote Originally Posted by Steve Reilly View Post
      I just saw they new #'s posted for licensed home inspectors in IL for December 2968. The number went up not down. I guess anyone getting layed off is now a home inspector.

      Steve Reilly
      This is not surprising at all. Consider that in addition to:

      > Home sales are flat...equals less inspections period.

      > Construction is flat...less business moving those guys into others areas
      like remodeling and inspection, perhaps both!

      > A lot of laid-off people are looking for new opportunities. It's been
      reported for example, that many former financial people are entering
      nursing...looking to replace a high-paying job with a similar one.

      > Home inspectors can come not only from the ranks of construction
      but also the other allied trades, electrical, plumbing, etc.

      > Others who might be interested as well in Home Inspection.

      > Many of the (few) properties moving now are low-ball properties. These
      do not command the services of highly experienced top-of-the-hill
      inspectors.

      > Others in other fields are having to cut back. The notion of once one
      discounts, they will always have to doesn't necessarily apply in times
      like these.

      > Adding value-added service(s) where you can actually save the sale
      and improve your bottom line is smart marketing, it is not surrendering
      one's reputation on the altar of price cuts.

      > There is a time for everything. That includes giving rather than
      expecting. Might mean more "inspecting" if you know what I mean?

      Our region is largely depressed. There is more to life than money. Try to keep things in proper perspective and adapt when necessary. Intelligent flexibility is the key.

      I like many of things I have read (here) that enhance and promote value-added service. Some of the fear-techniques may not work in the times we are going through at present. "Few" will be exempt from the downturn.

      Food for thought.

      Best wishes for all.


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