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Thread: Startup advise

  1. #1
    Roderick Harris's Avatar
    Roderick Harris Guest

    Default Startup advise

    Hello everyone. My name is Rod and I'm a new member. I have over 13 yrs. of Homebuilding experience, certified hvac tech and hands on experience I am seeking my first inspection to break the ice. Having alittle trouble getting started..... need startup advice. How can I get my first inspection? I have put out cards,visited real estate agencies and spoke with loan officers. I'm in the process of setting up a website and yellow pages. Please help. Thanks.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: Startup advise

    Rod,
    It might be slow for you because of the biggest down turn in business in the past 3 decades.
    It could also be that your market is overflowing with experienced inspectors that have many more inspections under their belts.
    While 13 years in home building and a certified HVAC tech is a good start, there is a lot more to home inspection (you may already know this).

    You have a steep road to climb trying to convince someone that they should use someone that has never done an inspection over a more experienced inspector. Add the fact that business has been so slow for the past three years, so you have droves of out of work inspectors scrambling for the few jobs that are out there.

    If you have been in home building for the last 13 years, why are you not doing that? My guess is because the market has slowed to a crawl.
    I'm guessing that since you are in Texas, you have got a license. Maybe the Texas guys can give you more detailed information for your local market.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: Startup advise

    Cypress is part of the Houston metroplex which probably has 10K inspectors alone already. Take in consideration a poor real estate market and your inexperience in the HI field is going against you.

    Not what the Home Inspection school probably mentioned to you was it?

    Rick


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,258

    Default Re: Startup advise

    Save your money on the yellow pages. Most of us don't bother with that at all anymore. I know it was a complete waste of money for me back when I did it.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Startup advise

    Pass on the yellow pages. It was a waste of money for me as well.
    1st inspection is likely going to have to be from a related party. Relative, friend, past construction associate, something like that.
    Since you have industry experience also consider doing evaluations for various things, such as the HVAC system. Offer a service to established HI, say for $150 you'll come in and do a full eval of the furnace. There are people doing that. Obviously its something the HI would need to offer/sell to the buyer.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  6. #6
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Startup advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Roderick Harris View Post
    Hello everyone. My name is Rod and I'm a new member. I have over 13 yrs. of Homebuilding experience, certified hvac tech and hands on experience I am seeking my first inspection to break the ice. Having alittle trouble getting started..... need startup advice. How can I get my first inspection? I have put out cards,visited real estate agencies and spoke with loan officers. I'm in the process of setting up a website and yellow pages. Please help. Thanks.
    Start off with going to Small Business Web Hosting, Web Design & Domain Names - Aplus.net or many other website hosting companies. You have options for creating your own website or having those companies do it for you.

    Rod

    It is cheap to get a website that you can build yourself and bring in hits. The hits part is something you initially want to pay someone to promote you even though aplus.net will promote your site by submitting your site map to Google and Bing and Yahoo and all the rest. You want your website listed everywhere possible. You want to pay someone a flat rate to put you website at the top of the paid adds. It will cost you a few hundred a month but to start you out it will be extremely worth it.. You want a merchant circle account and you don't need the paid one. The absolute most important thing you want to do is get yourself listed next to the Google map in your area or multiple cities around you. This is absolutely free but to get next to the map immediately until you are around for a while will also cost you on a per month basis and there are many a companies out their that will do that for you (do a Google search for paid Google map placement or something along those lines.)

    In all forget abnout the yellow pages. You will get less than squat from the yellow pages if there is such a thing as less than squat.

    Website (check out aplus.net (just and example and what I use, it is very easy)

    Get someone to promote your site like aplus.net or Main street host for example. I did that seven years ago when I first moved to fort worth. They got me listed with dmoz and such as well as a multitude of others. Don't do the expensive yearly thing. do a one time deal to get you listed everywhere. You can actually submit your site yourself to a multitude of places but that is a long story I don't wish to get into right now. That is actually quite easy.

    Get a paid add at the top of the google page (flat fee, not a pay per click) 200 to 300 a month should be the most to spend but one inspection pays for that and the rest are free.

    Merchant circle either the free account or paid one. The paid one does get you more hits.

    If you were thinking of the yellow pages then take that money, put up a website and get the flat fee at the paid adds on top. While that is working work on your website and most of all, I cannot express it enough, you need to submit your business to google maps


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    so so, California
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    1,769

    Default Re: Startup advise

    Got a good pair of running shoes?

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Startup advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Roderick Harris View Post
    Hello everyone. My name is Rod and I'm a new member. I have over 13 yrs. of Homebuilding experience, certified hvac tech and hands on experience I am seeking my first inspection to break the ice. Having alittle trouble getting started..... need startup advice. How can I get my first inspection? I have put out cards,visited real estate agencies and spoke with loan officers. I'm in the process of setting up a website and yellow pages. Please help. Thanks.
    My advice:
    Get a good website up and running.
    Hand professionally printed business cards to everyone you meet and know.
    Don't quit the day job!

    Now for the do not's
    Do not pay to be listed on any home inspector search site.
    Do not pay for home inspection leads.
    Do not pay any one that promises they can increase your business
    Do not pay any real estate company to be listed on the "Preferred" list.
    Do not pay to by part of any booklet/binder that is given out by Realtors.
    Do not pay for a Yellow Page ad.

    I think that covers the Do not's pretty well!

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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,628

    Default Re: Startup advise

    When I went the the U.S. Small Business Administration for advice on how to start my own business (I already was doing 300 inspections a year and had leads) the counselor there advised me to pay the referring agent $25 for each inspection they gave me...true story.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

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