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  1. #131
    United Infrared's Avatar
    United Infrared Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Same up here. Not one of my clients has inquired about IR service.
    Everyone needs to remember that it is not the Residential side that will be asking for this stuff from a home inspector. The only marketable solution with IR for a home inspector "that is with a Realtor" is the Moisture Side. The realtor is not interested in complicating the sale however when it comes to mold, they like the idea that IR can help map the moisture to the source without creating the negative conotation about mold. FYI: It is raining pretty good here in California lately, my home inspector phone line (14 yrs in the business) is not ringing for moisture surveys however my personal IR business phone is with all kinds of calls for leak detections. Mold inspections commonly identify the mold type, moisture testing (ir) identify the cause (obviously with your brain involved). FYI: I have not had a case for moisture that I havenot been able to solve....I am sure it will happen but not yet. Home Inspectors are ideal candidates for IR as they already know the house, the IR camera gives you more information but obviously the biggest tool is your brain.

    One thing you have to consider is not the home inspection business but rather the world of infrared. Since most home inspectors have found that with a down economy comes slower real estate sales, diversification might help. Here is a link to a paper I wrote on Diversification:

    So in summary, I do not recommend adding IR to your home inspection business. The true opportunity for money is in opening up a new business. Your new IR business can feed off your home inspection work and open up new horses for example...Believe it or not, our equine course class is about 75% home inspectors.

    Much of ASHI leadership was in attendance at IW in Vegas and much interest was expressed in IR. Here is a link to a video interview from Kurt Soloman (President Elect ASHI) United Infrared – Blog – ASHI 2010 Inspection World Las Vegas click play on ASHI 2010 Inspection World Las Vegas

  2. #132
    Jason Kaylor's Avatar
    Jason Kaylor Guest

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    To add to what Peter just stated, I think IR marketing is drastically different than the standard marketing used in an HI business. IR marketing is actually pretty different than any marketing used in most businessess. If any of you guys are familiar, or have worked in, any high tech industry (especially software and services) you will know the marketing is more about education of the customer rather than just getting your name out to the masses.

    Here is a couple of examples of what I would consider good and bad IR marketing.

    Bad: Marketing to realitors. As Peter already stated, realitors do not want to complicate the sale. And although this might be one of the best marketing tools in your HI business, it might be a dead end for an IR business. In my experience I have found HI's that dedicate most of their IR marketing to this channel find IR to be a waist of money and time. Other channels that work well for HI's that do not work well for IR would be yellowpages, web, flyers, etc. You cannot educate your customer as to the "why" for IR by those means very well.

    Good: Educating a group or single commercial building owner(s) or organization, on why doing semi annual (quarterly even better for them and your revenue) IR inspections on their electrical panels can highly lower their risk for electrical fires. Another avenue in the same area would be the insurance companies that cover those fires when they happen. Once again you are not just going to throw up a website or send out fliers to these customers to simply scoop up the work.

    Best: Word of mouth. This is obviously the best type of marketing for either business. But just like when you started up your HI business the word of mouth just didn't flow in, it will be the same in IR. You have to be able to educate your potential customers (even the ones that don't do it might give you word of mouth business) as to the "why", and then perform quality inspections, produce informative reports and show where you saved the customer money, resources, etc (value).

    Even though this type of marketing is more time consuming and you really have to think out of the box, it is very rewarding (revenue). Do you guys think you will be against someone else that is offering the "inspection" for $99 or $149? I highly doubt it, and because of that, once you educate the potential customer on the "why" then you can set your price where you want it.

    This is also where the higher end training, that many say is too expensive, comes in to play. If you are not fully educated yourself, how are you going to educate your customer? Sure you can pick up a camera for under $4k these days, and even get training for $500, or even free online training (very basic stuff), and you are now in the IR business. I find those are the people that are selling their cameras on ebay inside of 6 months. On the flip side I know inspectors that now make more money than they ever did in the HI business, and don't even really do HI's anymore. Those are the guys that bought a camera that covers most applications, and they went out and spent the money on good training and continue to add to that training.


  3. #133

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    I agree Jason,
    Most of my work comes from my two websites dedicated to IR and search results from them. Promotion is about education of the potential clients of the benefits of using my services. Posting to Forums like this one, blogging and word of mouth generate the rest. Realtors don't want to hear about it.

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant

  4. #134
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Ormond Beach, Florida

    Default Re: IR Thermal Imaging, toy or moneymaker

    What I found worked, and worked very well (keeping in mind that this was about 5 years ago) was to break out and actually use my infrared camera on every inspection.

    I was it for insulation, structural uses, and, to a much lesser extent, moisture issues. I believe most HIs today have reversed that order and are trying to sell it for moisture issues and basically ignore all the other issues they are good for, and, they do not break it out and use it on every inspection.

    If you want your name to be spread around and you and your inspections to be talked about, you have to give your clients something to talk about, and that is not "Oh, by the way, my home inspector did have in infrared camera, whatever that is and whatever it is used for, but he/she never used it so I don't even know what it looks like." That does not do you any good.

    Instead, you want your clients telling all their friends and people they meet "You should have seen that camera my home inspector used, I don't remember what it was called, but he used it to show me all the insulation which was missing - I could really see it, and then there was ... (as they go on and on about all the other things their home inspector should them, and let them look at in the camera) ... YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST CALL ... (and there is your name and information being given out) ... you really should not call anyone else."

    When THEY *SEE* what the infrared camera can show THEM, and THEY *SEE* their inspector using it ... THAT is what THEY TALK ABOUT.

    None of this 'I have this neat camera in the truck I can bring in and look at blah, blah, and blah with if you would like me to, it only costs $XXX.00 for that.

    You start off including it, it adds to your time, but its marketing effect is exponential, you slowly add to your inspection prices to cover its use, and between the extra work (which more than pays for the camera) you have the higher fees (which make you more money).

    To me, it simply made all the difference in the world and set me even further apart from the everyday home inspectors than I already was, and allowed me to charge even more than I already was, which was already considerably more than the everyday home inspectors were charging.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( )

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