As a building inspector you will most likely be in charge of marketing your business, unless of course you can afford to hire a marketing consultant. I write a lot about social media to market your business however there are a number of other ways that are effective, and will have that little bit of a WOW factor. Here are a few tips:
Keep a Database.
Even if it’s an Excel spreadsheet it’s always good to keep a database so you can send out marketing emails and keep notes of your clients and prospects. Your clients can be your biggest advocate and once you have finished your property inspection it’s always good to keep in touch. There are a number of ways to do this including a weekly or monthly email campaign.
I personally prefer to keep an electronic database and one affordable ‘in the cloud’ system is www.zoho.com which you can sign up for and add your clients, prospects and suppliers. Here you can also add when your customer last purchased from you and information that you can use to nurture your customers and prospects, i.e. writing down their birthday if you know it, or sending a card to them on the anniversary of purchasing their new home. These sorts of databases or (CRM) as they are called are the best way to keep up to date information on your clients. As well you can set yourself tasks to do and reminders i.e. as mentioned before to send out a Happy Anniversary card on your client’s new home.
Send a handwritten thank you card
Most of us are inundated with email and electronic communication, and it’s rare to actually receive anything in the mail anymore. One tip you can do is send a card to your clients thanking them for their business. I have had branded postcards made up in the past as thank you cards. It’s a nice touch and is memorable. Here’s an example of something you can design a personalised postcard with room to write a handwritten message on the back (see below). I created this one in www.canva.com for this blog post.
What better way to get new clients than referrals from happy customers? Create a referral program that offers a discount off your client’s next property inspection or send a gift card for referrals that turn into paying clients. For example: Refer a client and if they become our customer we will send you $50 voucher to spend at (name a store). You will need to add terms to your website for doing this with the conditions.
These are just a few little tips that could help you grow your business by making your clients feel appreciated.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Deb Carr is the publisher of a popular Sydney Lifestyle Blog and Social Media Marketer as well as the Marketing Consultant for Housesafe.
(To Government or Industry Body)
I wish to bring to your attention the unmitigated risk to property purchasers in Australia who rely on a pre-purchase building and or pest inspector to discover the effects of defects, termites and safety issues in a potential purchase of property.
The risk I refer to is due to this inspection industry not being regulated in all States (except QLD) and allowing building and or pest inspectors to set themselves up in business without the proper training, education, certification and even not having professional indemnity and public liability insurance.
I am aware that Howard Ryan, Managing Director of Housesafe Training and Education (www.housesafetraining.com.au) has been lobbying sectors within Government departments for many years about regulating the industry, which still seems to be falling on deaf ears.
As a professional, insured and trained building inspector myself, I therefore request you urgently look into this matter to help ensure that property buyers are not risking financial ruin.
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.
You 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
- Best Sunsets
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.
WHAT IS HOUSESAFE?
Housesafe Inspection Training is a professional industry organisation that exists to equip and educate Australia's property inspectors. We're passionate about improving the quality of pest & building inspections across the nation.
Director and head trainer Howard Ryan is a member of the following organisations:
- Institute of Building Consultants NSW
- The Australian Society of Building Consultants (ASBC), VIC
- Building Dispute Practitioners Society (BDPS), VIC