Marketing Your Building Inspection Business on Instagram

By HouseSafe’s Marketing Consultant: Deb Carr

Instagram is a great tool for any business owner to help market their business. The trick is not to make your account all about your business, it’s about showcasing amazing photos, using clever hashtags and building a following. Personally, my instagram is also linked to both my websites so as soon as I’ve posted something on Instagram it’s automatically populated to my website. In fact, I have ensured that all my social media platforms are also posted straight to my websites.

Building inspectors may think that instagram would not help their business, however I’d like to challenge that thought becuase there are many ways you can build a following.

Before you create your Instagram account it’s important that you have a really good profile set up with your website. If you would like to see how I’ve done it go please have a look at my Instagram.

HouseSafe InstagramYou will note that I have used a separate line for each of the points I want to get across. I have also included an emoticon on each line for more interest and finally my blog url. NOTE: You can’t actually do the separate lines in each Instagram itself so with my iPhone (and I’m sure Android would have something similar) I wrote my BIO with the emoticon’s in NOTES which does allow me to create separate lines and then I copied and pasted it into my Instagram BIO. This only shows up on the phone though, not when you actually use a computer to check out the profile.

Another important first step is thinking carefully about what the name of your Instagram account will be. It’s getting harder to actually find good names on social media these days, as many are taken however do try and keep it close to your business name as you can. For instance I could not get “sydneychic” so I had to go for “sydneychicblog”.

Once you have established your account think of the #Hashtags you will regularly use. There is a good APP you can download called “TagsForLikes” which you can copy and paste popular tags. I try not to put too many tags in because it can look spammy. Think of tags as ‘keywords’ or words that other Instagram users will look for that may help them to follow you.

Next is to think of a way to make a really unique Instagram account. One example of a Tradie friend of mine is www.instagram.com/tradiefit – Andrew is a carpenter who has built a good following by taking photos of himself as a tradie in his fitness. I’ve seen his Instagram account skyrocket in a short time because he takes great photos and sticks to his theme.

Some ideas you could go with as a building inspector are:

  • Great Gardens
  • Amazing Houses in Your Area
  • Your Hobby
  • Foodie
  • Best Sunsets
  • Cars

These are just a few examples, what I am saying is you don’t have to post “building inspection” create a great theme and build from there.

To gain a great following post really good photos. I post one or two a day and I try and do it in peak hour commuter times. I also use a number of APPS to enhance the photos one of those is called “Studio” available in the app store. Your photos can also be enhanced using the many filters that come with Instagram.

One word of warning, never buy followers, it’s so easy to see who buys followers and likes and it instantly screams ‘not authentic’.

Once you start posting on Instagram, the best way to organically grow your following other accounts that you like and start liking and commenting on their posts.

It may not bring you a flood of customers, however it’s another way of getting your brand out there.

If you have a question please don’t hesitate to ask me on the Forum.

Deb is the Marketing Consultant for Housesafe and Editor of Sydney Lifestyle Blog; Sydney Chic.

www.debcarr.com

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The Gulf Between Real Estate Agents and Building Inspectors

The Gulf Between Real Estate Agents and Building Inspectors

Housesafe Certified Inspectors

Housesafe OrangeThe “Housesafe Certified Inspectors Course” Application and Declaration form.

If you wish to become a Housesafe Certified Inspector and move to the next phase in your sales and marketing please complete this form and return to us for matriculation. This course will be released to begin in September 2015, all around Australia.

This has never been done before and based on the research we have conducted both in Australia and Internationally only good can come for its release.
A verification process happens behind the scenes in Housesafe so proof is assessed prior to matriculation into this Certified Course.

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION FORM

Ten tips for swimming pool safety

Ten tips for swimming pool safety:

  1. Have your pool barrier inspected annually by  an accredited Housesafe Swimming Pool Safety Inspector
  2. Ensure the pool barrier is 1.2m high
  3. The gap under the pool barrier MUST NOT exceed 100mm
  4. The pool barrier gate must be SELF-LATCHING from any position
  5. A 900mm NO CLIMB ZONE applies on the outside of the barrier from the top edge out 900mm and radius downwards
  6. The boundary barrier (neighbour’s fence) must be a minimum of 1.8m high
  7. A 900mm NO CLIMB ZONE applies on the inside of the boundary barrier from the top edge out 900mm and radius downwards
  8. The ground under the pool barrier gate posts must be of stable materials
  9. A CPR chart MUST BE clearly displayed 1
  10. No hand holds and foot holds available within a 900mm radius of each other
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Networking to Build Your Building Inspection Business

The Golden Rule for networking is “It’s not about me, it’s about YOU”. I cringe thinking back about when I first started to network and thought of myself as being someone who could really ‘work the room’. I was so busy telling everyone what I did without taking the time to first learn about the person I had just met. These days when I network I go with the attitude of contributing to others. I take an interest in who I’m chatting with and ask questions about them, and their business.

Not everyone you meet will be a potential client for you, however you don’t know who they know, and who they could refer you to! Let’s face it; people do business and refer business to people they know and trust.

I realise it’s not easy for people to attend networking events because some are dreadfully shy, so think of it as part of your marketing and growing your building inspection business.

If you are shy, there are a number of ways to get chatting:

  • Ring the organizers to see if someone can meet you and introduce you to other people
  • Stand alone – someone will come to you
  • Approach someone who is standing alone
  • Introduce yourself and then ask questions about the other person
  • Spend more time listening
  • Make sure you are up to date with current affairs and news

As a building inspector it’s a good idea to have a really good ‘elevator speech’ telling your story in a memorable way. This is your first impression to get across what you do and how you help people in 30 seconds. I have given a formula below on crafting an elevator pitch, and have used myself to explain how I crafted my own elevator pitch.

Here is mine:

My name is Deb Carr I’m a blogger & social media marketer and I help small business owners tell their story in the most effective way through social media and blogging. I do this by teaching them social media or looking after their accounts for them. I’m looking to connect with anyone who needs to have the WOW factor online.

Yours could be:

I’m Joe Bloggs and I’m a building inspector specialising in pre-purchase inspections. I help homeowners to avoid the pitfalls of buying a new home that could have costly defects. I do this by doing a thorough independent inspection and report on the home. I’m looking to connect with property buyers who want to be assured that their investment is the right one.

My name is ______________________________________________________________

I’m ______________________________________________________________
consider sharing your company name, your personal brand, role or specialty

I help ______________________________________________________________

who/what kind of clients do you like to work with?

to ______________________________________________________________
State your value proposition: What value you create for people?

I do this by ______________________________________________________________
What kinds of problems do you help solve for them and how?

I’m looking to meet
__________________________________________________________
Specifically who would you like to connect with (optional depending on circumstances)

Remember:

  • Always check you have a good stock of business cards with you. It’s a good idea to always write a note on a business card that is given to you with important things to remember about the person you just met.
  • Be a good listener
  • Follow your new contacts on social media

NOTE: You can use this in your marketing material too, you may want to use just one line as your tag line e.g. mine is “Let me help you tell your story in the most effective way” whereas yours could be “Let me help you avoid the pitfalls of buying a new home that could have costly defects”.

Deb is the Marketing Consultant for Housesafe; a popular Sydney lifestyle blogger and Social Media Marketer.

 

Mould: It’s a serious problem

MouldMould SporesMould is dangerous and in extreme cases it can call serious illness and death. Notably it is reported that Brittany Murphy and her husband both died of respiratory problems, which could have been related to mould in their home.

Three causes of mould are:

  • Rising damp in the home
  • poor drainage around the house
  • lack of ventilation due to no fresh air, even in winter it’s best to some windows open, especially in bathrooms

Any home with rising damp should be repaired as soon as possible.

Causes of dampness can be:

  • gardens with ponding waters
  • lack of drainage
  • lack of ventilation in the subfloor
  • damaged gutters and pipes

One very serious issue with mould is it can cause mycotoxins or ‘toxic mould’. Only a qualified expert should remove these types of moulds. When cleaning mould from the home, be cautious that you could be breathing in the spores and the bottom line is you need to get to the cause of the problem. This is why only a qualified inspector specialising in mould should assess the situation and recommend a solution.

Mould can cause breathing problems therefore any household members suffering from such ailments, mould should be investigated as the cause.  Temporary accommodation for the patient is recommended until the problem is resolved.

 

Asbestos Dangers

Housesafe Asbestos TrainingAsbestos is thought to have been only used in buildings, however it was also used in car clutches, paints, roofing, floor tiles and cement, to name a few.

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral with properties that make it heat and fire resistant and was used extensively prior to the discovery of the material being a high risk to human health. Unfortunately asbestos causes many health hazards and is notorious for causing lung problems such as Asbestosis (scarring of the tissue) Mesothelioma (a form a cancer of the mucous membranes of lungs and chest) and Lung Cancer. All dreadful and painful diseases.

The reason that Asbestos is so dangerous is because of the fibres which can become airborne and lodge into the lungs. Asbestos in home building materials does not become a health risk unless the material is deteriorating or disturbed producing dust that contains the asbestos fibres.

In the past, Asbestos was used as an insulator for buildings and many buyers are deterred if Asbestos is discovered in the home. A qualified building inspector should be able to find any signs of Asbestos during the inspection and give you a report and recommendation.

If your building inspector finds Asbestos it may not necessarily be dangerous, however make sure it is mentioned in the building report and negotiate with the vendor to reduce the price of the home and/or have an agreement that the vendor pays for an Asbestos removal specialist or to have the Asbestos encapsulated.

For building inspectors wishing to specialise in Asbestos and Mould please consider the Housesafe Mould and Asbestos Identification Course

Hidden water damage

Hidden water damage can be extremely harmful to your home and can arise from a number of sources including: burst pipes, leaking roofs, floods and seepage. Unfortunately you may not be able to immediately see the damage and the cause could be from a slow flow of water, which can result in problems such as damage to foundations, corrosion of pipes, mould and unpleasant smells.

If you suspect hidden water damage or mould then leave it to the experts and call a qualified building inspector to access the situation and recommend solutions. Repairing hidden damage will depend on the source and it may not be covered by insurance so check your insurance policies.

Mould can cause severe health problems and is a situation needing a qualified inspector to remove it who will be equipped with the relevant protective clothing and knowledge. Attempting to remove mould yourself is not recommended due to the risk of health problems.

To find a Housesafe trained certified inspector click here.

The photos below consist of:

  • Mould damage to a lounge suite
  • Wet and damp sub floors
  • Leaking roof in new construction damaging plasterboards under
  • Wall damaged paintwork caused by roof leaks
  • Roof flashings installed incorrectly and in reverse
  • Roof tiles poorly installed causing roof leaking under
  • Leaking under sliding doors
  • Waterproofing installed in a bathroom and sometimes the shower screen trades cut this flashing to install their shower screens on top of the tiles without the intended water stop angle = a shower leak

Water Damage in Homes

How to find the most qualified building inspector

When looking for the services of qualified building inspector Housesafe recommends the following:

  • Ask if they HouseSafe accredited? Ask this question. Housesafe Accredited means they have had the appropriate training with housesafe.
  • Ask the inspector to supply a copy  of their current PI insurance (Certificate of Currency for Professional Indemnity.) This way you know both YOU and the inspector are covered in the event that something is not shown in the report.
  • Check the background of the inspector; most States don’t require the inspector to have a builder’s licence or background.
    A Pre-Purchase Inspector does not need to hold a Builder’s License. However a Building Inspector should!
  • Ask for a recent copy of the inspector’s report to see how much detail has been noted.
  • Here is our directory of qualified inspectors that we recommend.
  • Do an internet search on the building inspector to check any negative feedback and also positive feedback.
  • The cost of a standard Pre-Purchase Building Inspection Report will depend on ability. As a guidance only, the fee should be between $400 and $1,000 depending on the inspector’s experience and the size of the property. You get what you pay for so take this into consideration.
  • If a building inspector can’t provide you with any of the above information then keep searching for someone who can.
  • Ask for references.

Lock them up!

When I come across a pool that is non-compliant or has a broken latch  I lock them up. There is no excuse for swimming pool fences and latches to be non-compliant.

Frequently we read about young children who have drowned in swimming pools because of carelessness. Young kids love to explore without understanding the dangers of drowning, it only takes seconds for a child to be at risk of drowning.

Pool inspectors should ensure that gates that are not self-latching are secured until fixed.

Non Compliant Pool