Marketing Tip for Inspectors: Have more than one weapon and use the right one for the job.

by InterNACHI® Founder Nick Gromicko, CMI® and InterNACHI® Member Bob Elliott

If you specialize in different types of home inspections, such as historic homes (known as heritage homes in Canada), or stucco/EIFS, or large estates, etc., you might want to have an additional brochure made that promotes the fact that you specialize in that particular type of inspection.

That way, when someone calls you and tells you about their inspection project, you can email or fax them a copy of the brochure that matches the specific type of home they're buying.
Consumer: "I'm buying a 100-year old home and I'm looking to have it inspected."

Inspector:  "I specialize in older homes. Let me email you my brochure."
Often, inspectors have markets that span different demographics. Targeting your marketing is far more effective than using a scatter-shot approach that may reel in some customers but alienate others.  A brochure with a picture of a modest home might imply that you don't inspect more expensive homes. And, by the same token, a brochure with a picture of a mansion might imply that your fees are out of range for middle-income home buyers who need someone to inspect an average-size home. Your marketing pieces can be easily adapted to serve all of your customers. 

Furthermore, if you're located between two cities and work in both, or if you work across state/province lines, you may want to consider having a slightly different brochure that's specific for each market. A simple adjustment, such as swapping out the text about your service area, and perhaps a photo of a local landmark, can convey to your customers that you're local, wherever you are.
InterNACHI member Bob Elliott uses the Internet to maximum effect when he's on the phone with a potential client, and he makes sure his phone marketing is especially personalized.  "All I need is an address," he says.
Ever the multi-tasker, Bob likes the idea of doing basic research on the property while a potential lead is still on the phone, creating a mini-presentation and typing out an email to send them that outlines his services, etc., which seems minimally intrusive. 
Bob explains his modus operandi: "Personally, with my style of conversing, simply looking online at the place tells me enough to bring up construction quirks based on age, appearance, area, selling price, [and even] interior shots showing telltale items, such as remodel, heating type, vents... The roof shows room positions through the vent's location." 

The bottom line for Bob is that his customers appreciate his preparation, including the specific details he can discuss about the property before he's even booked the appointment.  "They love when you talk about the place as if you are there, but on the phone," he says.
Inspectors can use the same strategy with their business cards.  For example, you can have a second business card that reads "Specializing in Executive Estates" that you give only to your clients and their real estate agents during the inspection of very large homes.  You can also leave a few behind for the home sellers--because they're moving somewhere, too.
Think like a customer when you create your marketing materials. Then, think like the different types of customers you're trying to attract, including where they live, when you decide to expand your marketing pieces. Don't lock yourself into only one design for your entire market--it's greater than just your service area.  

Have more than one weapon, and use the right one for the job.