Marketing for Inspectors: There's More to Design Than You Think

by Kate Tarasenko and Levi Nelson, InterNACHI's Graphic Designer & Illustrator
Good design is always about quick and clear communication. Poor design impedes that communication. There is a science behind how people judge beauty, which can be applied to how information is visually organized. This information can be used to your benefit… or your detriment.

Here are some important things to remember to effectively market your inspection business.

You are not a marketing designer. 

Unless you're a mechanic yourself, you wouldn't take your vehicle to a mechanic and tell him exactly what’s wrong with it and exactly how to fix it. You'd take your vehicle to him because you need the help of someone with professional training. The same goes for being a home inspector. And the same goes for marketing designers. A designer is not a decorative artist, but a person who understands how to visually organize elements in a way that is both engaging and visually appealing. Designers are trained to understand the ins and outs of visual structure. Everyone can recognize a good or bad design subconsciously, which leads to the false assumption that anyone can create a good design. However, a good designer can tell you why something is effective as well as why it fails in precisely the same way that a mechanic can tell you the same things about your car.

Why does design concern you?

Design is, first and foremost, a method of communication. Everyone has heard the phrase:  "A picture is worth a thousand words." Essentially, a strong visual aesthetic is instantly appealing to people on a subconscious level. Good marketing requires good design because quality visuals translate into quality services to a consumer. Due to the rise of design-conscious businesses (including for political campaigns), the bar on visual quality has been raised across the board. Every business worldwide is paying more attention to how they market. The businesses and people you compete with directly are paying attention to your marketing design, so you should, too. Even if you have plenty of experience, a poor design for your business makes you appear amateurish.

Clean, Understandable Visual Design = Perceived Quality of Service 

Unless prospective clients know you personally, the visual design you use to represent your business is the first measure they go by to judge your professionalism. Your marketing – including your logo, brochure, business card and website – determines whether or not they would want to meet you. You will be judged swiftly based on how good your marketing looks. The decision to engage in reading your content will hinge entirely on how well that information is visually laid out. If it is cluttered or confusing, it will be ignored.

The direction of design is determined by your market, not by your personal preferences.

Let’s say you’re a motorcycle enthusiast. Or, you like to go hunting on the weekends. You’re a runner. You like action films. All of these industries are trying to sell you an idea of adventure, speed, adrenaline and masculinity. The experience that you want from these items is much different than the experience you want when purchasing a home. A home buyer does not want adventure or adrenaline, as these things are commonly associated with stress and challenges. 

In order to appeal to your market, you must try to see with the eyes of your client. This means that what you think looks great may not be an effective way to appeal to your market. What you think looks cool can sabotage the message that you are trying to present to your audience.
Who is your market and how do they relate to design?
Your market consists primarily of home buyers. These are people who do not want surprises; they are people who want to feel comfortable and welcome. They do not want problems. Even the colors employed in your marketing should make people feel comfortable. Your marketing should be relaxing and pleasant to look at. A common example to illustrate this point is in the use of over-saturated colors, especially warm colors (red, yellow and orange), which immediately suggests a fire or a warning sign.


Do it right the first time and you won't have to do it again for a long time.

Save yourself money and time in the long run and have all of your design work handled by a professional. If you are just starting out, a good design will make your company look established immediately. On the flip side, even if you have 20 years’ experience, a poor design will make you appear unprofessional and out of touch.  A good design will give you the appearance of both credibility and experience no matter how long you’ve been in business.

What if I already have marketing that I’ve invested in?

If you have poorly designed marketing materials, you're losing business to people who have invested the money and energy in having their marketing done right the first time. Take the time, make the investment, and make sure that the quality of your design reflects the quality of your services.

InterNACHI provides marketing design services as a free benefit for all its members.  You can have a custom logo, brochure, business card and even a website designed just for you.  If you don’t want to wait, consider upgrading to our Express Lane Services.  See what we’ve done for other members at InterNACHI's Inspector Marketing Library and InterNACHI's Inspector Marketing Department page, and order your Express Lane Package today.  Email Jessica Langer, InterNACHI's Director of Inspector Marketing, at with your questions and orders.