A recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald, highlights the danger of blow up paddling pools and the fact that many parents and homeowners do not realise they are breaking the law by not fencing a portable pool that has more than 30cm of water must be surrounded by a fence that is 1.2 metres high and fitted with a self-latching gate.
It only takes seconds for a child to drown in shallow or deep water, parents need to be vigilant at all times and ensure the safety of children.
- Not all trades need to be licensed so this can certainly affect the quality of work. The solution here is to make all tradesmen licensed in their respective industry.
- We say this over and over again. Get a contract for all work done on a property and explain to the tradesman that no contract = no payment. At Housesafe Training and Education we believe that if all contracts were registered at a central source, this would make life easier for both the contractor and the property owner. In the event a contract goes into dispute then fees should be charged to resolve the dispute 50/50 to each party, regardless who is at fault.
- There are not enough Government guidelines.
- There is insufficient benchmarking in workmanship.
- Tradesmen are taking shortcuts due to low rates of pay, yet the owners of large building companies gain most of the profits.
- Lack of communication between the tradesman and the property owner.
- Both parties are not following the five elements of Contract Law.
- Not putting quotes and conversations in writing.
- Leaving unfinished work to start another job.
- Deceitfulness is ripe in this current market and in some case it comes from both parties, meaning the contractor is not truthful about when a project is to be completed and the homeowners are not truthful about where the funds are coming from.
For more information on building disputes visit Fair Trading NSW
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.
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