Intro to LinkedIn: A Crash Course for Home Inspectors

LinkedIn featured

One of the most popular social networking sites is LinkedIn. While it doesn’t have all the features of its “more fun” counterparts like Facebook, it’s recognized for its purpose, which is completely professional.

LinkedIn is the way to gain exposure for your business, whether that means finding the best talent, joining a professional organization, or just getting recognition. Joining is the first step to achieving any or all of these goals for your home inspection business.

Getting Started

Click here to get started.  You’ll be asked to supply a name, contact email, and password. Click the “JOIN NOW” button and you’ll be taken to a series of windows asking for various details until you reach a screen giving options on where to go next.

At that point you may as well quit and go to the email account you gave, since you’ll have to click in a confirmation email before you can log in and get full access. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to continue.

Before you add anything, be sure to change your Privacy Settings so your information isn’t visible until you’re ready.

Remember, you’re marketing yourself online here, so think about keywords. These are the relevant skills and attributes you consider your chief selling points as a home inspector. These are the things potential clients will search by.

Use a free keyword search tool to find most-used phrases like “home inspection NY” or “certified home inspector”, and use them several times in your LinkedIn profile.

Next, update and add your resume. You may not be a job seeker, but this will let interested parties know you have an extensive background of experience and qualifications are. Just make sure it’s accurate, organized, professional, and clearly lists your skills, qualifications, and accomplishments, without mistruths or needless hyperbole that could come back to haunt you.

Now that you’ve got your profile filled out, it’s time to update it. A photo is the first thing people see, so make sure you post one that’s both welcoming and professional.

Add information about your company, your market, and your mission. Be positive and informative, but don’t dwell on detail. You can also post other files and images as you grow your profile, or links to sites that you think would be helpful in promoting your business.

Professional Presence

When your profile is ready, make it public and start sharing it. Let friends, family, business contacts, and real estate publications know where to find it. Add a link to your profile on printed business material and other social media sites. You can even send out an email blast to your colleagues letting them know you’d like to connect.

If you want to grow your reputation, it’s a great idea to write a few blog articles related to home inspection. If you already have a blog, you can cross-post your existing blog posts on LinkedIn. Add a link to your blog in your profile and at the end of each post you create on LinkedIn, as well.

One great tool is LinkedIn plugins, which are buttons you can add to webpages directing users to your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn Groups

Finally, it’s time to connect with others using LinkedIn Groups.

LinkedIn signup

There are hundreds of groups you can find and join to increase your presence among fellow home inspectors and potential clients. A few that we participate in are Home Inspectors Forum, Home Inspectors for a 21st Century, and Business Owners, Entrepreneurs and Startups.

You can search for others here.

Home inspection turns up 113 million results on Google, so don’t expect droves of people to be filling up your inbox from day one on LinkedIn. Just develop the good habits of logging in periodically to update your information, add links to great content you’ve discovered and promote it to the online community. The idea is to build your professional presence into a network of positive recognition.

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Home Inspector Freebie: Pre-Inspection Prep Sheet for Buyers

checklist featured image

What does your pre-inspection process for clients look like? If you’re like many home inspectors, the answer is simple: it doesn’t exist.

Why not go the extra mile by helping nervous prospective buyers prepare for the inspection ahead of them? Steal our free pre-inspection checklist for clients below and use it for your blog or as a handout to new customers.

printable button

10 Pre-Home Inspection Tips for Potential Buyers

The home inspection report fulfills an important part of the buyer’s due diligence process. The report will provide details of conditions that should be prioritized for repairs and remediation. It is also a critical negotiating tool to get the best deal.

If you’re a buyer, here are 10 tips to prepare for your upcoming inspection.

1. Make sure that you are present for the home inspection schedule.
You may not have to get into the crawl spaces with the home inspector, but it helps to be on hand for real time discussions.

2. Utilities should be turned on and in good working order.
The only way to make sure that the plumbing and electrical systems work is to actually have them tested by a professional who is trained to see potential issues.

3. Ask questions.
It is to your advantage as the potential home owner to know as much as you can find out about the condition of the property. Understanding electrical loads or the workings of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system may be outside your field, so it helps to become more informed by asking an expert.

4. Discuss your expectations with the home inspector prior to the start of the job.
Home inspectors will be working from an extensive checklist of points to focus on and issues to look for based on their experience. Discuss any concerns with your home inspector and ask for a thorough examination of those areas.

5. Test the water supply.
In many cases, testing the water supply for contaminants is not part of the home inspection process. Even if it costs extra to have this test performed, it will still be worth it to determine if the the water supply is contaminated so that the problem can be resolved.

6. Test for toxic mold.
This test is not normally included in standard pre-purchase home inspection reports, but it should be. The presence of mold could indicate bigger problems and could also be a health hazard for hypersensitive individuals.

7. Hire a specialist if needed.
Some aspects may be outside the expertise of the home inspector. For instance, signs of slab problems may require inspection by a structural engineer.

8. Even new construction homes need inspection.
Even with warranties and builder assurances, new homes should still undergo inspection to determine if there are any flaws in construction and design that may impact home safety and property values.

9. Request that the home inspector test for the presence of radon gas, asbestos and lead.
These tests are not usually part of the standard home inspection. Ask the inspector to indicate the likelihood that these issues may be present in the home.

10. Treat the report seriously.
Act on the recommendations of the home inspector immediately. As the potential buyer, you can ask the seller to resolve the issues or ask for a price reduction to perform the repairs yourself.

How to Make a Home Inspector Video That Will Glue Your Visitors to the Screen

How to make a home inspector video

Technology has comp­­letely changed the way businesses approach marketing. One of the biggest changes has been the technology innovations regarding video, audio, and streaming.

Today it’s about more than providing potential customers with printed ad copy. Video is where it’s at, and you can jump onboard the video train to make your marketing messages more memorable.

For home inspectors, the use of video as a marketing tool can be particularly effective because your target audience is used to checking out real estate videos on the Internet and TV.

To get results from video marketing, you’ve got to commit to doing it right. If done incorrectly, a video can do more harm than good (think negative comments and reviews).

Here are our best tips for creating a marketing video that will keep potential customers glued to the screen:

  1. Make The Video Look Professional­

As a home inspector, you want your customers to have utmost faith in you. So you want to present the proper image onscreen, looking put together and professional.

You don’t have to spend a fortune, but you’ll want to invest in proper lighting and a quality microphone. The audio and video makeup a large portion of a professional video, so these components must act the part. You can find great microphones and basic lighting kits inexpensively on Amazon.

microphone and smart phone on white wooden table

  1. Use A Good Video Background

One of the biggest mistakes home inspectors make with video recordings is using a poor or inappropriate background. We recently saw one video a home inspector shot himself, holding his iPhone sideways at about waist level. Not good.

Being a home inspector affords you all kids of opportunities to shoot videos in great locations—in basements, on roofs, etc. While the viewers will be watching and listening to you, they’ll also be keeping an eye on what’s going on around you.

Don’t pick a spot with heavy traffic, passerby or distractions. On the other hand, don’t just shoot up against a blank white wall, so it looks like you’re floating in space.

Choose a background that will set the tone for your video, and maybe even give you something interesting to reference while you’re talking.

  1. Make The Message Short And Easy To Remember

Online videos are more popular than ever before, but no one wants to sit and listen to you talk for 30 minutes, either! People have a short attention span, and your message should reflect that.

We suggest keeping your videos to three minutes or less. If you can keep them under one minute, even better.

Additionally, don’t just hit record without thinking about what you’re going to say. Your message should be carefully put together and delivered in a professional manner. Every word should have a purpose.

Keep your opening tight, direct, and on point and stick to the message the whole way through. You only have a few seconds to get and keep the attention of your viewers.

Feeling jittery before you get started? Watch this short YouTube video for conquering your camera fear.

When done right, video can be a great marketing tool for home inspectors. You don’t have to hire a professional; with some basic, quality equipment, a steady shot and a solid message, you’ve got everything you need to start your video marketing campaign off right.

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Your 2016 Marketing Road Map: 12 New Ideas to Try This Year

Road map cover

Does your marketing strategy need a pick-me-up? Try making one small change each month to ramp up your home inspection schedule.

We’ve compiled 12 easy tactics to try this year to reach new customers and expand your reach, both online and in your community.

January: Blog

If you don’t have a blog, start one, preferably on your own website. Provide useful content like tips for homeowners, then share your posts with friends, family members and colleagues.

Another idea you can accomplish with a blog is to take questions from actual customers (or make them up based on questions you’re frequently asked), then answer them on your blog. It’s not only an open forum to interact with your readers, but a great way to keep your site updated with fresh content, which the search engines love.

February: LinkedIn

Set up a LinkedIn account to connect with other home inspectors, realtors and other professionals in your field.

Join a few relevant LinkedIn groups, which are great place to stay up-to-date with industry trends and learn new tricks of the trade. We’re part of the Home Inspectors Forum and ASHI Home Inspectors, to name a few.

LinkedIn marketing for home inspectors

March: Email marketing

Get into the habit of sending out regular emails to your mailing list. Don’t have an email list? Focus on building one. You can start with your list of recent clients and grow from there.

Read our post on starting a home inspector newsletter here.

April: Twitter

Use Twitter to make short statements your client base will find helpful. Then, help people find them by using relevant hashtags like #homeinspection and #realestate.

Inspector Pages regularly receives new website visits and email subscriptions via the posts we share on Twitter.

Twitter marketing for home inspectors

May: Facebook

Set up a Facebook page for your home inspection business and invite your personal contacts to ‘like’ it. Then, update it each time you write a new blog post. You can also share photos from your work in the field, ponting out common home repair issues others should watch out for.

You can join Facebook groups to network with other home inspectors and share knowledge. Gary Smith’s group, Professional Home Inspector, is regularly updated with useful discussions from members.

June: Network Outside Your Niche

Attend a non-home inspection related event, like a business owner’s seminar or a chamber of commerce meeting. You don’t know who you don’t know—in other words, there are thousands of new leads out there just waiting to meet you!

Helpful hint: Exchange business cards with new acquaintances and ask if you may add them to your email newsletter.

July: Direct Mail

Believe it or not, direct mail is still a highly effective medium for bringing in new business. You can invest in a custom mailing list, like new homeowners in your area, or you can do mail marketing on the cheap by printing a few thousand fliers and spending a Saturday dropping them in local mailboxes.

You direct mail piece should be simple and eye-catching, and include a specific deal recipients can redeem, like $50 off any service.

Direct mail marketing for home inspectors

August: Vehicle Marketing

Cover your vehicle in a custom wrap that shows off your business and contact details. Your customers will get a great first impression from your professional-looking truck, and you’ll pick up new leads from people who see you out and about.

The best thing about vehicle wraps is they’re a “one and done” marketing tool: pay for the wrap one time and reap the benefits for months or years to come. Learn more about the benefits of vehicle wraps in this blog post.

September: Open Houses

Visit open houses to get to know new realtors you’re not acquainted with. It can be easy to fall back on your trusty old list of contacts, but you never know when one new introduction could spark a whole new stream of business.

Read our tips for open house marketing here.

October: Publish An Article

Write an op-ed on a timely and interesting topic and submit it to your local paper or realtor’s magazine. If it gets cold where you live, for example, you might write a set if tips to help homeowners to prepare for winter. You can do this year-round and pick up some great free publicity.

Newspaper stack

November: Update Your Website

If the last time you refreshed your website was when you had an AOL email address, it might be time for a revamp. Inspector Pages offers a number of professional, diverse templates that are easy to install and come pre-filled with the essentials, like About Us and Contact pages.

December: Refresh Your CTAs

If you’re not collecting a steady stream of leads from your website, you might want to try updating your site’s CTAs, or calls to action. These are the elements that encourage people to go from visitors to leads.

Try changing the size and position of your contact form. Play with a new color or tagline on your Contact button. Add a contact form to the sidebar on every page of your site.

Little changes go a long way to making big differences for your business. Need help implementing any of the above? Get in touch with us at support@inspector-pages.com.

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How Much Does A Home Inspector Make?

Have experience in construction or real estate? Want to work on your terms and set your own hours? A career as a home inspector may be perfect for you, but you’re probably wondering: how much will I make?

Salary Basics

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, home inspectors bring in an average salary of $56,040 per year. This translates into $26.94 per hour. Pay in the field is largely contingent upon factors including experience, geographical location, and employer size.

Home inspectors who gain employment through a construction company can typically expect to attain paid vacations, health insurance, and retirement savings plan. The 11% of home inspectors who work as independent contractors pay for benefits on their own.

Salary Variations Based On State

It’s important to remember that geographical location can significantly alter a home inspector’s salary. Inspectors in the District of Columbia earn the highest annual income: $81,930. Individuals employed in California also generate a relatively substantive annual income of $71,300. House inspectors in Florida generate about $53,410 each year, while Pennsylvania workers earn about $48,100 annually.

Salary Variations Based On Industry

The salary earned by a home inspector will vary based on the industry.

The BLS reports that inspectors who work for power and electric companies bring home the highest salaries–$71,900. Those who work for natural gas distributors earn $67,420. Additionally, home inspectors who worked for the federal government earn an annual income of $65,440.

Roughly half of home inspectors are employed by municipal governments. The annual salaries of these individuals is about $55,250. Inspectors employed through construction, engineering, and architectural firms bring home annual salaries of $53,460.

Educational Requirements

To become a home inspector, individuals must first typically attain a high school degree. However, some employers require job candidates to attain an associate’s degrees before being offered a position. The associate’s degree is effective in preparing people with knowledge in relevant fields such as drafting, construction technology, and home inspection.

In some cases, employers will accept a certificate in place of a degree. Additionally, some employers will hire candidates who hold bachelor’s degrees as opposed to industry experience.

Job Outlook

The BLS reports that the number of positions for home inspectors will grow by 18% between 2010 and 2020. This rate of growth is slightly higher than the national average, which is 14%. The growth rate is attributed to increasing demand for safety in the residential property sector.

Areas undergoing significant population increases will have particularly plentiful vocational opportunities for aspiring home inspectors.

The Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about becoming a home inspector, it’s important to consider what type of salary you can expect to earn. By reviewing the short outline provided above and considering the factors that come into play where you live, you’ll get a better idea of whether it’s the career path for you.

Just getting started as a home inspector? We’ve got plenty of free marketing resources for you in our blog. Or, sign up to receive regular email updates below.

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9 Client Gifts that Don’t Suck

9 client gifts

‘Tis the season… for generic gift baskets. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with a cheese platter or popcorn tin, there’s definitely nothing memorable about them, either.

One year, a client of ours remembered that the whole office had loved her homemade salsa at an event earlier in the year. She sent jars of the stuff—on ice—to every person in our office. Now that’s a holiday gift to remember.

Need some inspiration to close out the calendar year? Here are 9 gifts perfect for home inspectors that will wow realtors and clients alike.

1. Flashlight

You never have one when you need one (well, you probably do, but the rest of us…). Show clients the light with a high-quality flashlight and a clever message, like ‘Wishing you a merry and bright holiday season.’ Throw in extra batteries for bonus points.

2. Local Coffee

Your realtor contacts will love you for this one. Visit your local gourmet coffee shop and pick up a bag of their best beans. Instead of a gift bag, put the java inside an inexpensive French press and presto—a gift that will really get them going.

garlic grater

3. Garlic Grater and Oil Dish

I received one of these as a gift and can’t count how many times it’s come in handy in the kitchen. It’s one of those things you’d never think to buy for yourself, but you use again and again once you have it. Perfect to help recent clients break in a brand new kitchen.

4. Local Outing

Instead of a physical gift, give tickets to a baseball game, a round of golf or an hour massage. It’s an extra special way to say thank you to your very best sources of business.

Fortune-cookie

5. Custom Cookies

Everyone knows the best part of Chinese takeout is the fortune cookie at the end. Send clients an inspiring, funny or heartfelt message of well wishes for the year ahead with a custom fortune cookie. They’re inexpensive to order online, and clients will love the midday snack—complete with your business name inside.

Book

6. Light Reading

Often excerpted in magazines like Reader’s Digest, 100 Things Every Homeowner Must Know offers useful, basic tips on everything from warding off ant invasions to growing the best lawn on the block. Have a favorite handyman read of your own that you’d rather give? Have at it.

7. Holiday Cheer(s)

If your colleagues are the cocktail-loving kind, gift them the ingredients for your favorite happy hour indulgence. For example, a fifth of bourbon, a bottle of bitters, a sack of sugar cubes and a jar of maraschino cherries to whip up the perfect Old Fashioned.

Christmas homemade gingerbread house cookie on wooden table

8. Gingerbread House

This holiday classic becomes uber-relevant for the real estate crowd. Add a clever customization with a fondant sign that reads ‘Inspected by [Your Name Here]’ (most bakeries can tackle the custom request).

9. Personalized Present

If you really want to impress, go the route of our salsa-gifting friend and come up with something your colleague or client will love on a personal level.

Work with a realtor who teaches yoga? Gift a new mat or water bottle. Have a client who mentioned a passion for cooking? Spring for a cookbook or local cooking class. While you don’t need to use this level of personalization for every client, it’s a wonderful way to leave a lasting impression on those you want a lasting relationship with.

Do you give holiday gifts to your work contacts? Follow us on Twitter and tell us what you give!

Free Download: Homeowner’s Winter Checklist

WINTER CHECKLIST

The start of winter is the perfect time to check in with your past and current home inspection clients to share some useful winterization tips.

We’ve prepared this handy checklist that’s free for you to print, email to clients or share on your blog.

The text is below, or you can download a printable version by right clicking here and choosing ‘Save Link As…’.

We hope you’ll use it!

 

7 Steps to Get Your Home Winter-Ready

Cold weather is almost here, and along with the holiday cheer comes drafts, leaks and other not-so-fun issues that can wreak havoc for homeowners.

Follow our handy winterization checklist to make sure your home is ready for the cold snap.

1. Insulate windows.

If you don’t have double-paned windows, now is the perfect time to consider them! It’s a home upgrade that will quickly pay for itself.

If you’re not ready for all-new windows, ensure the edges of your existing ones are sealed. If there are gaps between the window and the frame, a new sealant may be in order.

2. Seal doors.

Doors are a common culprit for heat-stealing drafts. A weather strip costs less than $20 at most home improvement stores and will keep your heating bill down, not to mention keeping your doorway free from weather damage.

Most weather strips come with an adhesive backing for easy installation that only takes a few minutes.

3. Inspect your roof and attic.

Winter is one of the most taxing times of year for your roof. Find signs of wear and tear while the damage is still reparable by conducting a roof inspection or hiring one done.

4. Insulate your attic.

It may sound counterintuitive, but you want your attic to remain cold during the winter to prevent ice melt that can lead to damaging ice dams. To keep it chilly, make sure it’s properly insulated and there are no drafts sneaking in from the house.

5. Drain your sprinkler system.

Most of us pay attention to our home’s pipes, but it’s easy to forget the sprinkler system! Make sure it’s drained before the temperatures dip to prevent damage.

6. Change furnace filters.

This oh-so-simple fix can lead to major problems if it’s ignored. What’s more, a clean furnace filter will ensure your unit runs efficiently, saving money on your heating bill.

It’s also a great idea to have an annual furnace tune-up from a qualified professional to prolong the life of your unit and identify any problems before they become emergencies.

7. Adjust your thermostat.

No need to keep the house at a toasty 72 while you’re away. For those in cold-weather climates, the Department of Energy suggests keeping the thermostat set at 68 degrees and turning it down between 5 and 10 degrees when you leave the house.

By taking a few simple steps ahead of the cold, you’ll save money and lower the likelihood of emergencies that could trip up your holiday plans.

View From The Top: Drone-Assisted Home Inspections

drone

When Jonathan Zeissler of Evansdale, Iowa was laid off from his job at John Deere Tractor Cab Assembly, he saw it as a unique business opportunity.

Zeissler has recently had a home inspector come to check out his house, but to his dismay, the inspector did not get up on his roof because it was too tall.

It sparked an idea for Zeissler.

He invested $1,500 in a Phantom 3 drone with a camera on its belly and spent several months learning to use it. Then, he opened Illuminate Inspections LLC, the area’s first drone-assisted roof inspection service.

“The personal experience of having a home inspector inspecting a home I was buying, not being able to get a report on the roof was the number one driver, once I decided to go into business for myself as a home inspector,” Zeissler told the WCF Courier, who reported on the story.

“How can I not do that for my clients? That’s when I investigated the costs and how user-friendly it would be. This would work perfectly and take care of that problem.”

He even offers his clients a complementary aerial shot of their home, which he says most people love.

Zeissler’s certainly not the first to use drones in the home inspection business, but he’s evidence of a growing trend.

Do you or would you use a drone during your home inspections? Let us know on Twitter @Inspector_Pages.

3 (More) Marketing Ideas for Home Inspectors

creative marketing

The sky (or at least the tallest billboard) is the limit when it comes to marketing, and we’re always looking for new and creative ways to help you get your home inspection business out there.

If you’re just getting your business off the ground or have yet to devote much time to marketing, our post on 6 Marketing Strategies for Home Inspectors is a great place to start.

Ready for more? Great. Here are three more ideas to market your home inspection business.

1. Print Door Hangers

There’s a reason people still use direct mail advertising; sometimes old fashioned ideas still deliver results.

Door hangers are a minimal-effort way to reach a ton of customers quickly—especially if you target homes that are on the market and neighborhoods with a lot of real estate movement.

via VistaPrint.com

via VistaPrint.com

You don’t need to be a designer to create one; an online printing site like VistaPrint offers pre-made templates you can use to create your design.

For a clean look you should keep the text to a minimum, but be sure to include a few key elements:

  • Company name
  • Services
  • Phone number
  • Website

Once you’ve got a design, order them through the mail for around 10 cents apiece. Carry a pile with you in your vehicle and make a habit of hitting a few houses in between inspections each day.

2. Host a Workshop

This idea takes a bit more effort to put together, but can pay off big time in the form of realtor relationships.

First, you’ll need to put together a workshop topic.

What questions do people ask you over and over? Is there an issue you continually have to resolve for realtors or clients? These things make great ideas for classes.

Once you have your topic, build an outline of five or six different subtopics you’ll cover within the workshop.

For example, a workshop on historic homes might look like this:

  • Introduction to Historic Homes
  • Foundations and Roofs
  • Inside the Home
  • Preservation and Maintenance
  • Common Problem Areas
  • Audience Questions

A one-hour workshop is ideal for your first time, so shoot for spending about ten minutes on each topic.

We’re willing to bet you could talk at length about most of these subjects, so you should have no problem coming up with talking points. Transpose these talking points into a Power Point presentation, and there you have your first workshop.

The next step—and probably the trickiest—is to find the right platform to hold it. You’ll need to identify the right contact person and may need to be a bit of a squeaky wheel, but remember: this is all about establishing a relationship that will benefit you over time.

teach a class

Here are a few places to pitch your workshop:

  • Realtor’s associations
  • Large real estate offices
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Neighborhood associations

If you can get ten people to sign up, you’re in great shape. Consider giving your first workshop or two free, then charging if you see people are responding well and they’re paying off.

The day of your workshop, provide light refreshments and leave a few minutes at the beginning and end to meet each attendee.

Be sure to collect business cards for each person attending so you can follow up. You could even raffle off a prize as an incentive for people to leave their cards.

As you can see, if you did one workshop per quarter, your list of contacts (AKA referral sources) would grow quickly.

3. Outdoor Advertising

No, we’re not talking about your face on a billboard (though that can work too). Outdoor advertising includes any form of outdoor signage that publicizes your business.

There are two we think work well for home inspectors: vehicle wraps and yard signs.

Vehicle wraps cover all or a portion of your work vehicle, advertising your business no matter where you go. If you have a dedicated work truck or fleet, it doesn’t make sense not to use vehicle wraps.

We cover more on the vehicle wrapping process and payoffs in this post.

You’ve probably seen plenty of yard signs for landscaping services; home inspectors can use them too, and once they’re printed you can use them again and again at no added cost until they wear out.

Here’s how to use yard signs for your business.

After you complete an inspection, follow up with the new homeowner a few weeks later (you should probably be doing this already to gather positive reviews!).

If they did in fact go through with their purchase, ask if you can place a yard sign at the edge of their property for a month. In exchange, offer them a small compensation like a Starbucks gift card or entry into a raffle drawing.

Many satisfied customers will be happy to oblige your request, and you’ve got yourself one month of free (or nearly free) advertising.

Want more ideas to market your home inspection business? Follow us on Twitter @Inspector_Pages, or sign up for our free weekly newsletter below.

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5 Mistakes to Avoid on Your Home Inspector Website

website mistakes to avoid

All business websites look a little bit different, and many design elements of your home inspector site will come down to personal preference.

But there are a few design no-no’s you should almost always avoid, no matter your taste or your industry. Check your site today for these 5 critical errors.

1. Too many fonts.

Once you see all the font options available, it can be easy to get carried away.

“I’ll use this font for my headers, and this font for my menu, and this font for my text…”

A good rule of thumb is to stick to just two different fonts per site—one for headers/menu options, the other for body copy.

Not sure which two fonts to pair together? There’s an app for that.

FontPair.co is a free site that suggests great-looking font combinations hand-picked by designers.

While all home inspector websites will be a little bit different, there are some mistakes you should avoid no matter what your site’s layout or content looks like.

A nice font pair from FontPair.co

A nice font pair from FontPair.co

2. Patterned backgrounds

Patterned backgrounds on a website almost always make us cringe immediately.

In fact, we searched specifically for examples of “good” patterned backgrounds for use in this post, and couldn’t find a single one we felt confident enough to cite.

That right there should tell you—unless you’re working with a highly talented web designer, stay away from patterned backgrounds at all costs.

Instead, stick to a solid background in a subtle color. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a solid white background.

3. Broken links

A broken link is exactly what it sounds like: a link that takes the visitor to an error page instead of the page they’re expecting.

Broken links are bad because not only do they inconvenience the reader, they take away from your credibility.

There are many reasons broken links can happen, especially if you’ve had your site for a long time, have changed the titles of pages or have switched hosting providers.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to check your site for broken links that takes just a couple seconds.

Go to BrokenLinkCheck.com and type in your URL. It’ll return a list of all the broken links on your site—hopefully it’s not too long.

Clicking on the little link that says ‘url’ next to each broken link will show you the page of your site that contains it, so you can go in and correct it.

Good thing we checked--we had two broken links of our own!

Good thing we checked–we had two broken links of our own!

4. Not optimizing for mobile

In 2014, mobile web traffic surpassed desktop web traffic for the first time.

This tells us something: approximately half (if not more) of your website visitors will be checking out your site from a mobile device. And if your site isn’t optimized, that’s half your traffic that will probably click away as fast as they came in!

The easiest way to optimize your site for mobile is to use a theme—Wordpress or otherwise—that’s mobile responsive. Most modern themes released within the last few years will have this feature.

If your site isn’t mobile responsive and you don’t want to change themes, we strongly recommend you invest in a web developer to produce a mobile-friendly version of your site.

5. Hard to find contact info

If the visitor wants to contact you, don’t make them search for a tiny contact link hidden in your footer!

We recommend having your phone number within your site’s header, so it’s displayed on every page of the site. Another great option is to include a contact form on all or most of your pages, either at the bottom of the content or within the sidebar.

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Satisfied Customer

“Wow! InspectorPages was a great find for me and my business. From the start of the sign-up process (which included 2 months free to get to know the system), to publishing my site, the customer service help was perfect. I could count on Danny to help me with any problems I ran up against. He was invaluable. I am very happy with my website and it’s continuing upgrades of functionality and ease of use.”

– Mike G. of Safety Home Service