The Power of a Handshake: Open House Marketing for Home Inspectors
Perhaps you got into the home inspection business because you’re just not a “suit and tie” kind of guy (or gal). Maybe the thought of networking makes you squeamish—and that’s true for a lot of us!
But when it comes to taking your business to the next level and having a continuous flow of new and repeat clients coming in the door, face-to-face meetings are absolutely essential.
Despite the fact that most of us spend hours each day looking at a screen, research from Cornell University suggests face-to-face marketing still wins out when it comes to initiating new partnerships, inspiring positive feelings and building personal relationships.
So how can you put the power of a handshake to work in the home inspection field? With open house marketing.
Pound the Pavement
When you’re just starting out, you need to establish a name for yourself in the community.
Like it or not, nearly all realtors will make a personal recommendation to their clients for who to use for their home inspection. If you want that name to be yours, you need to know the real estate players.
Meet real estate agents by visiting them when you’ll have a captive audience: at open houses.
Open house showings have a lot of downtime where the agent is just hanging around. During a slow moment, take the opportunity to introduce yourself and explain what you do.
Don’t come in hot selling your services; take a few minutes first to make introductions and maybe ask a few questions about the neighborhood. This is a great opportunity to pick the agent’s brain about the local market.
Come Bearing Gifts
No one likes being handed a fistful of pamphlets; it helps to have something to offer the realtor as a friendly gesture.
Put together an open house marketing kit in a nice looking plastic bag with a handle. You can even print stickers with your company name and stick them on the bag.
Inside the bag, include your business card and flier, along with some items the realtor will love, like a bottle of water and some snacks to munch on during the long afternoon hours. Granola bars and mixed nuts are safe bets; avoid chocolate or anything else that will melt.
You could even throw in a travel-sized bottle of sunscreen or hand sanitizer.
You might think it’s cheesy, but you’ll be surprised how many agents appreciate the thoughtful gesture.
Don’t Overstay Your Welcome
Keep your visit short and sweet; don’t drone on and on about why you’re the best home inspector around. The goal is to get your name and face seen by the agent, then let them move on with their day.
Your open house visit should last ten minutes tops, unless you get into a genuine conversation and there are no visitors waiting.
In a day or two, send a brief email thanking the agent for their time. Here’s a simple follow-up template to use:
It was great meeting you at your open house on Saturday. Thanks for letting me take a few minutes of your time to chat.
If you have a client or colleague with a need for home inspection services, please don’t hesitate to put them in touch or let me know how I can help.
Now the question is, will you get out there and pound the pavement? Share your favorite open house marketing tactics and discuss what works for you on Twitter @Inspector_Pages.