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  1. #1
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    Default Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    The price of gas hits above $4.00 p/gallon and the phone has gone nearly dormant. Even website hits are way down. May was a good month and when the calendar turned to June, it was like somebody flipped a switch.

    Somebody please flip the switch back.

    Similar Threads:
    Certified Master Inspector CMI

  2. #2
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    I was busy up until June with practically no down time in winter months. It turned June and the slow down started. Summer vacations and such I guess. It will pick up again. (it better) As a matter of fact the week before last I ahd never had a week that slow in probably 4 years.

    Ted


  3. #3
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Its up, Its down and then Its up. hold on this is the norm for markets. thats what they do. It was this was in 1979,down then in 1990 1991 down then there was a drop in 1997 1998 down and now its back in 2008. down. do you see a patern. just about every 10 years.

    My Best advise is.

    Save your cash. Cut your cost and open new services and expand you SOP.

    This what I have been doing for 30 years and it works for me.

    Best

    Ron


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    C'mon guys.

    Its June.

    Schools out and people are out on vacations. Look at your June last year and I bet you were slow the first few weeks of June also.

    Even at 4 bucks a gal. us Americans are going to take those vacations. We've been planning them for awhile. Haven't been looking at the homes the last few weeks but we'll do it when we get back.

    And as for you Nick, go clean out that garage your wife has been complaining about.

    rick


  5. #5
    K Robertson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Absolutely dead. First 5 months of the year I hardly ever even had time to sign on here and get updated with goings on... last two weeks I've read just about every post added in 2008. It's really not helping some yahoo out there quoting $150 inspections. Guess he likes living in poverty.

    It'll pick up, it always does.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Do far, June has been considerably slower for me than May.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  7. #7
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    When ever I am not working , I personally, am crying in my soup. I don't care if it is just a day with out work. I answer with my post above on Monday feeling the slow time of my phone not ringing. I had a few calls on Monday and booked all three inspections. I had a half a day off today and came back on again and read the new posts saying to myself the phone has not rung today. I got a call and booked a new construction 7500 square foot house.

    Hmmmm, maybe I should come on more often!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just a note. I guess you folks are good luck.

    Yes, June, the vacation month. Pretty soon you will be so busy you won't be able to take a full breath.

    Ted


  8. #8
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Do you ever think that nobody likes you any more ?

    The phone is quite. No emails. Not even a post card how are you!

    The shock of it. Then some one says hey its june relax.
    Some one else from another part of the contury says the same thing my phone is dead.

    Then some wack job says his phone is ringing off the hook.

    When i think of the talent of inspectors i see posting on this site and that some are not working. That to me is a crime in this country.
    To wast talant like that.

    Take heart my fellow inspectors. Its not you!!!

    Best

    Ron


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Ron
    There's folks who play fast and loose with the truth. Hang in there, good times are a coming. (for good inspectors)

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  10. #10
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Take advantage of your slow time to think how to expand your services. There are many other things an HI can with houses that pay just as good. Think how you can help people get what they need and want, and you'll always be working.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    Ron
    There's folks who play fast and loose with the truth.---
    .
    Kind of like It's attached (changed later to ) It's Continuous backing support.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  12. #12
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Fast and loose with the truth?

    I think the thread was named "is anybodies phone ringing".

    My answer was the slowest month to date in years.

    To answer the question "is anybody's phone ringing" again. My phone was not and then I got three inspections in a day. I did those inspections and my phone was still not ringing. Then I said I booked a large home..

    Hmmm. I do not see the other posts where it could have been construed as anything but, good times, bad times, good days, bad days. Come to think of it I answered the threads question. My answer was yes and no. Four inspections, hmmmmmm, 4 calls. Things will pick up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June in general is slower of the summer months.

    A little up beat.

    Man I certainly hope that fast and loose crap was not directed at me. It would make me feel real awful.

    Ted


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    May was slow for me; however, June has been busy. Go figure

    To everything turn, turn, turn. There is a season, turn, turn, turn.

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  14. #14
    Joseph P. Hagarty's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    As of the 19th of May, 2008, I left my employment with a Franchised Operation.

    Business has improved with my new Iindependent Employer over my Franchised counterpart....


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Slow times, when you get them, are a good time to plan and market for the future.


    Joe. Congrats on the move. I hope it continues to work out well for you!

    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

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    I could understand the vacation thing but vacation month around here is typically August when most people head "down the shore". Last June was very good for me. Not this June.

    I call my office line every couple days just to make sure it is working. Even my 1st page rankings on Google aren't yielding inquiries. It's a tough time to be an independent doesn't-market-to-realtors inspector but you have to take the good with the bad. It's just suprising to see things nose-dive so quickly in the Philly-metro area because this area is so dense with population and housing.


  17. #17
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Hey Nick

    One thing about marketing to Realtors. I do understand completely about marketing to them. I personally hate it but I do anyway.

    You can (my opinion) market to anyone anywhere. You are following your standards about conflict and so on and I do understand letting folks know that you do not work for Realtors. I tell anyone hiring me in writing and on the phone that under no uncertain terms do I work for any referring agent and or listing agency. The one that pays my pay check for that inspection is the only person I am bound to.

    I personally only do emails to Realtors and no longer (IN a very long time) print brochures and drop them at the offices. I send out more emails that I can count. A tiny percentage is even opened. Out of those that are opened I only get a small percentage of inspections. But if I did not send those emails that would be a few more a month I would not have recieved.

    The way I look at it that no matter how much work I get from the Internet (almost all nowadays) I still have holes to fill. As soon as I book an inspection ( no matter where it comes from) I get their email and it simply states exactly what I said above. No one is responsible for me but me and no matter it be the Internet, listing agency or agent I only have the interest of my client in mind. I write what I find at an inspection, period, no matter who tells me "don't bother with that, I am replacing it anyway"

    Depending on just one source only for your inspections, never mind 2 or 3, is going to leave those holes open. That is one reason I do not post my prices on the Internet. I want every Tom, Dick, and Mary to call me and I will deal with them on an individual basis. Try Service Magic, they are a referring agency for all types of contractors. Some times I get no calls for a week or so and other times I will have a half dozen calls in a week. Sometimes I get none of those inspections, sometimes I get all of them. If I were not listed with them it would be several inspections (sometimes) that I would not be doing and sitting on my back side that month.

    Just some ideas. It is a slow market in your area by the sounds of it. I would try anything to get the phone ringing (well, almost anything)

    Ted


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    ... Try Service Magic, they are a referring agency for all types of contractors. ...Ted
    What exactly is Service Magic? I rec'd a call from them a couple of months ago.

    Bruce

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    A group of inspectors in my area just got fined by the state contractor's board for using a referral company. I think it might have been service magic. Basically, it was a pay-per-click or something like that. We have a regulation that states we can't give any kickback or pay anything for 'preferential selection' for people looking for a HI.

    I was shocked to hear that this qualified but I just thought I'd throw it out there for you guys to keep in mind. I don't know if my state (Oregon) is alone with this rule or if it's more widespread.

    It really brings up an interesting topic. In reality, all advertising is intended to get you business and pretty much all advertising costs money. So, by buying advertising I'm paying for a preferential selection to get a job.

    I had always thought the intent was just to keep HIs from kicking money back to agents which makes sense.

    According to what the state did it might even be agaisnt the rules to pay for page rankings on Yahoo/Google.

    As for the OP's question - It's slow, slow, slow around here. We have the number of closed/pending sales that are typical for Dec/January and it's the middle of our 'busy' season.

    I've heard from a couple of agents that it's mostly a lending problem now. They say they have plenty of buyers and of course there are a lot of houses out there. But, unless you have 20% to put down it's almost impossible to get a loan


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    I hear ya Ted but I just can't bring myself to market myself to those who do not pay me. Call me short sighted but this was my intended business plan from the day I started inspecting; separate myself from realtors and market directly to the buyers. It has worked pretty well up until now but I know I am not alone in seeing an empty work calendar. There are too many other economic factors at play right now that are beating the home buying market down. But I also understand the lion's share of home inspections will filter through the realtors. Always has and likely always will.

    The few realtors I do get referrals from have not sent anything my way in 6+ months. Referrals from past clients which were making up about 50% of my monthly volumes have really dried up too.

    Just signs of the times. There are buyers out there. I think the realtors are just heading them off at the pass.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Matt,

    Does that mean that it is against the law to pay more for a larger yellow page ad?

    After all, what is "the intent" of the larger yellow page ad if not "for 'preferential selection' for people looking for a HI."???

    I would ask the state attorney general's office for an opinion on that - I suspect your state licensing board *WAY* overstepped their bounds and scope.

    I'm serious, ask for that opinion, it will be legally binding on your state licensing board.

    Give several examples of how HIs advertise, including my yellow page example to pay-per-click advertising to paying to be on real estate agent office 'lists'.

    My guess is that those HIs have a grievance against the licensing board and that they will be cleared and their money returned, and the state licensing board spanked for their actions.

    The end result will be a definitive line on what is now legally established as being withing the line and crossing the line.

    The best part is, it costs you nothing in addition to your regular state taxes to ask for that opinion.

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

  22. #22
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Service magic (not pushing them) checks your back ground, license, insurance and so on. They provide clients looking for tradesmen in all fields. It cost you 12 dollars per lead. If someone goes further and actually goes to your site and then fills out the form thru service magic then it cost you double but they already checked you out thru SM and your website. They are an exact match lead. They like what they see and they will always book a H inspection. Paid for yes. Just acting as a listing site, no. They are actually providing a service for your client and you by doing the back ground check and such. They are sending you three things. An email, a text message and a phone call. They only send info from 3 Home Inspectors. Of course you better get them on the line first.

    What Jerry said is true. Think of it this way. It is illegal to pay for sex but Hey, don't we all pay for sex with every dinner date anyway

    Market, market, market (the right marketing). You only hurt yourself from not marketing to everyone you can for as little as possible. Your standards do not get harmed in anyway. As I said earlier, I write what I see, period, even if the client asks me not to, period. It is miserably slow where you are.

    I refuse to take a referral from some Realtors. On the other hand since I came to Texas I still have loyal Realtors from day one, 4 years ago. Some realtor give you 4 slugs in a row and you write the crap out of them because that is what you found. They stop referring you. Some Realtors appreciate the fact that you find everything and write it all up. Kinda sounds like my standards have not been compromised.

    It is up to you to pound the pavement. Go out there and tell Realtors what you are all about. Either they will appreciate it or they won't refer you.

    I send emails out and tell them directly. You are not going to get hype, fluff or bull. What I see is what I write, period.

    I was in construction for years in Mass. Working so much it was going to break me *or* pounding the pavement so hard it was going to break me.

    If your clients are not coming because it is slow go to them thru, under, over or around anyone it takes.

    Oh well, long winded, just my thoughts. I got some nice Arab folks with lots of money that buy homes and businesses thru my email campaign. Who would have figured. Those emails don't just go to Realtors but to anyone related to the realty world. I do mean world (in a round about way). One person here sees it and likes it you have Mr money bags over seas paying you handsomely. If you want info send me a message.


    Ted


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Matt,

    Does that mean that it is against the law to pay more for a larger yellow page ad?

    After all, what is "the intent" of the larger yellow page ad if not "for 'preferential selection' for people looking for a HI."???

    I would ask the state attorney general's office for an opinion on that - I suspect your state licensing board *WAY* overstepped their bounds and scope.

    I'm serious, ask for that opinion, it will be legally binding on your state licensing board.

    Give several examples of how HIs advertise, including my yellow page example to pay-per-click advertising to paying to be on real estate agent office 'lists'.

    My guess is that those HIs have a grievance against the licensing board and that they will be cleared and their money returned, and the state licensing board spanked for their actions.

    The end result will be a definitive line on what is now legally established as being withing the line and crossing the line.

    The best part is, it costs you nothing in addition to your regular state taxes to ask for that opinion.
    Yep, crazy stuff... your questions are all exactly what I'm thinking, too. The last I heard some of the guys were thinking of getting help from one of the local associations. I'd imagine to do exactly what you suggest.

    It's just crazy... ANY advertising is paying for a preferential selection for a job.


  24. #24
    Brian Cooper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    I've done four this month.

    Since I have become primarily a Stay At Home Dad, that's okay with me. But the silence from my phone is deafening.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Brian,

    You have done 4.

    Your wife must have a great job. I did the Mr. Mom thing for awhile when my kids were first born. Couldn't handle the sore nipples and had to go back to work.

    If you can handle that gig though, hang in there. Being with your kids is the greatest time you'll have.

    rick


  26. #26
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Rick sore nipples? Doggie poo on the floor?

    Dude.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    I'm sorry Ron, its this near 100 degree heat outside and those 150 degree attics starting to work on me.

    rick


  28. #28
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Quote Originally Posted by JB Thompson View Post
    What exactly is Service Magic? I rec'd a call from them a couple of months ago.

    Bruce
    Service Magic is a referral company. First off they don't just refer you they refer at least 3 (depends on the market in the area) They check your back ground, licensing (if any in your area) insurance and so on. They are performing a service for you and your potential client. Some one looking for a home inspector, they will match that person up with a few. If they are looking for a mechanic, carpenter, contractors of any sort they send the clients info to a few people (phone, job needed, size, location) It cost me 12.00 a referral. Like I said sometimes I will get several in a row and other times they pick someone else. At least your client has the basics of the person they need checked out. It works for me sometimes and sometimes I get pissed because when you call one of the potential clients you may not even get a call back.

    I am not backing them or trying to sell you anything but it works for me in general. It sure helps fill the holes. There is no contract and if it does not work for you cancell the referrals.

    Ted


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Service Magic is a referral company. First off they don't just refer you they refer at least 3 (depends on the market in the area) They check your back ground, licensing (if any in your area) insurance and so on. They are performing a service for you and your potential client. Some one looking for a home inspector, they will match that person up with a few. If they are looking for a mechanic, carpenter, contractors of any sort they send the clients info to a few people (phone, job needed, size, location) It cost me 12.00 a referral. Like I said sometimes I will get several in a row and other times they pick someone else. At least your client has the basics of the person they need checked out. It works for me sometimes and sometimes I get pissed because when you call one of the potential clients you may not even get a call back.

    I am not backing them or trying to sell you anything but it works for me in general. It sure helps fill the holes. There is no contract and if it does not work for you cancell the referrals.

    Ted
    Do you pay the $12 if someone calls you or if they hire you?

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  30. #30
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    I was contacted by them. it was a fee for each time they sent me a number. if i did not get the job i still had to pay the fee.

    what a racket. as i told them i would be glad to pay a fee for each job but i was not going to pay a fee for a ph #.

    but thats me

    if it works for you good... keep doing it.

    Best

    Ron


  31. #31
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    I was contacted by them. it was a fee for each time they sent me a number. if i did not get the job i still had to pay the fee.

    what a racket. as i told them i would be glad to pay a fee for each job but i was not going to pay a fee for a ph #.

    but thats me

    if it works for you good... keep doing it.

    Best

    Ron
    $12 seems high to pay for someone who merely calls. They could have their cronies calling you.

    that is really expensive

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  32. #32
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Its 12 bucks period. With me I might pay for three fees and only get one. I might pay for 10 fees and get 5 inspections or more.

    To me, 5 inspections for a minimum of the low to mid teens, at a cost of 120.00, like I say it works for me. Gross 1250, could be upper teens or more, minus 120 It works for me. Like I say, fills holes. Better 1000 minimum in my pocket than not a 1000 or more in my pocket. That might be in a month or it might be in three months.

    Folks, I am not trying to sell you on this it just works for me. Sometimes I get em all. Sometimes I get none. This is only one method to my pounding the streets. I started Monday with nothing solid, crying in my soup. I now have 10 inspections this week between Tuesday am and Saturday pm and a few more up in the air. I do believe only one this week was from SM. But it filled a hole.

    It does not work for everyone. No contracts. Kill it anytime you want.

    Ted

    Sound like a frickin spokesman for the company.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Its 12 bucks period. With me I might pay for three fees and only get one. I might pay for 10 fees and get 5 inspections or more.

    To me, 5 inspections for a minimum of the low to mid teens, at a cost of 120.00, like I say it works for me. Gross 1250, could be upper teens or more, minus 120 It works for me. Like I say, fills holes. Better 1000 minimum in my pocket than not a 1000 or more in my pocket. That might be in a month or it might be in three months.

    Folks, I am not trying to sell you on this it just works for me. Sometimes I get em all. Sometimes I get none. This is only one method to my pounding the streets. I started Monday with nothing solid, crying in my soup. I now have 10 inspections this week between Tuesday am and Saturday pm and a few more up in the air. I do believe only one this week was from SM. But it filled a hole.

    It does not work for everyone. No contracts. Kill it anytime you want.

    Ted

    Sound like a frickin spokesman for the company.
    Sorry, I know you're not a spokesman and trying to fill holes. I'm just trying see if I understand.

    When ServiceMagic provides 3 inspectors to a "potential" client, SM receives $36 automatically (I assume) paid by the inspectors. The client either calls one or all three and hires or not. Either way, SM receives $36. Is that what you're saying?

    If so, I say WOW . I wish I'd created Service Magic.

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  34. #34
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Thats right

    As I say the clients feel they need an intermediary. At least the company is checking the inspectors or whom ever to the point that they are at least legitimate so you have a little tighter foot hold to start.

    Lets say you get 25 calls and it cost you 300.00. This is stretched over a few months. You never get 25 in one month. I don't know what your minimum is but lets say 250. Lets say you only get 6 inspections out of this 25 clients. One in 4. 250x6=1500-300=1200. If you were not with them you would not have received those clients=0. I know I get one out of four. This might be in 2 months or 4 months. It is 1200 in my pocket if I were not receiving those calls.

    I would rather pay 300 to put 1200 in my pocket then pay nothing and receive nothing. Mind you, this is just a hole filler. Sometimes you may book 75% next month 0% add this to other sources that brings you business. All I am saying is that the market is bad in many areas. If it is that bad you may not get any calls=you pay nothing.

    I went with a banner add on yellowpages.com. 300 a month=3600 a year. I got out of the contract because there recorded sales pitch had three distinct marketing lies. In 2 months I received 3 calls. There promises of delusions of grandeur that I knocked down to only 5% of their promises and did not even get the 5% I knocked it down to.

    Again, I am glad to help out anyone I can. What goes around comes around. It may not work at all for you or in your area. Cancel it, no contracts.

    Ted


  35. #35
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Brian,

    You have done 4.

    Your wife must have a great job. I did the Mr. Mom thing for awhile when my kids were first born. Couldn't handle the sore nipples and had to go back to work.

    If you can handle that gig though, hang in there. Being with your kids is the greatest time you'll have.

    rick

    Rick hits the nail on the head... I'd rather live in a shack with my kids than a mansion without them.

    This job can suck at times when it's slow but at least you're not hanging around on a sales floor all day or in an office making little or no money. If you're away from your family the money is coming in... if not, the time is priceless.... I know this theory is hard to sell to Citibank or GMAC but trust me, it's true


  36. #36
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    I have a big problem with some of these internet companies. that feed you calls. The problem is this. type in home inspector for you town. See what pops up not a home inspection company. all you will find is these internet companies advertizing like they were a home inspection company.

    They flood the pages with there adds and sometimes you will see your name listed on there web sites. did you put that there. nope they did.

    Im working on something I hope will work if it works i will post this information for all to view.

    Best

    Ron


  37. #37
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    719

    Default Re: Is Anybody's Phone Ringing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Rick hits the nail on the head... I'd rather live in a shack with my kids than a mansion without them.

    This job can suck at times when it's slow but at least you're not hanging around on a sales floor all day or in an office making little or no money. If you're away from your family the money is coming in... if not, the time is priceless.... I know this theory is hard to sell to Citibank or GMAC but trust me, it's true
    True that.

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

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