Be Your Own Competitor: Why Inspectors Should Have Three Separate Companies

by Nick Gromicko, CMI®

Inspectors can't be everything to everybody.... or can they?  In this article, I am proposing that inspectors looking to grow their businesses do so by growing the number of inspection businesses they operate from one to three.  

Here are the three separate (at least on the surface) companies I think home inspectors should create and use to capture a greater market share with overlapping self-competition.

Company #1:  The high-end home inspection company.  
This company is attractive to affluent consumers who want the very best inspection services.  Some strategies to employ might include:

  • campaigns that target buyers of larger, more expensive homes;
  • a website featuring images of pricier homes and estates.  Such images intimidate more modest consumers who worry that Company #1 is too expensive.  But they work well for attracting consumers who are buying homes in similar price ranges.  Images with built-in swimming pools and four-car garages might work well;
  • a team approach to doing larger inspection projects.  This is typically unnecessary for smaller homes;
  • the Honor Guarantee.  This is a free fidelity bond that every InterNACHI® member has;
  • marketing that touts excellence, perhaps leading with the Certified Master Inspector® designation's verification webseal;
  • use of InterNACHI's Pool and Spa Inspector logo;
  • use of InterNACHI's Annual Home Maintenance Inspector logo;
  • ads that are placed where the affluent consumer frequents.  Inspector Media can target those exact consumers so that your advertising budget is spent solely on attracting the customer who will most likely want Company #1; and
  • market areas that are predominantly affluent.   

Company #2:  The bargain home inspection company.  
This company is attractive to consumers of more modest means who are price-conscious.  Some strategies to employ might include:

  • campaigns that target buyers of smaller, less expensive homes;
  • a website featuring images of less expensive homes.  Such images dissuade wealthy consumers who worry that Company #2 is unable to handle a larger, more expensive home.  But they work well for attracting consumers who are buying homes in similar price ranges;
  • a single-inspector approach where the consumer expects to get personalized service from one inspector;
  • marketing that touts value, perhaps using package pricing for purchasing additional inspection services, and discounts for those in the military and senior citizens;
  • use of InterNACHI's "First-Time Home-Buyer Friendly" logo, popular with first-time homebuyers;
  • use of InterNACHI's "We'll Buy Your Home Back" Guarantee, popular with consumers who would struggle financially if something was wrong with the home that was expensive to correct;
  • use of InterNACHI's Mobile Home Inspector logo;
  • ads that are placed where the middle-class consumer frequents.  Inspector Media can target those exact consumers so that your advertising budget is spent solely on attracting the customer who will most likely want Company #2; and
  • market areas that are predominantly middle-class.  

Company #3:  The commercial property inspection company.  
This company is attractive to consumers of commercial buildings.  Some strategies to employ might include:

  • campaigns that target buyers of commercial properties.  Commercial property buyers worry that a home inspection company attempting to do a commercial property inspection may be in over their heads;
  • a company name that reveals that you specialize in commercial property inspections, such as "ABC Commercial Property Inspection Company";
  • a website featuring images of commercial buildings.  Images of retail stores, dentist offices, and restaurants might work well;
  • a team approach to doing commercial inspection projects;
  • use of the Certified Commercial Property Inspection Association (CCPIA) logo;
  • ads that are placed where the commercial property buyer frequents, such as commercial real estate companies and investment clubs.  Inspector Media can target those exact consumers so that your advertising budget is spent solely on attracting the customer who will most likely want Company #3.

Creating subsidiaries of your company, or even simply filing DBAs (for a $25 fee, in most states) for different operations is not difficult.  And, of course, back-end office duties need not be triplicated.

At a very minimum, inspectors should have a separate website for their commercial property inspection operation.

If you are serious about taking your inspection business to the next level, maybe it's time to create separate operations dedicated to attracting different consumers with the exact company that they are likely looking for.


 

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