Take the Lead
When you are proactive, you make things instead of waiting for things to happen to you. Being proactive means you are ready before something happens. It’s the key to setting your business apart.
As an inspector, you put your feet in the shoes of the people you serve. When you anticipate your client’s concern and address it as part of your process, you allay fears.
For example, if a home seller is anxious about the condition of the property and you reassure them of your professionalism and objective assessment of the current condition, they will open up enough to listen to what you have to say.
If you don’t spend that two minutes reassuring them, they will be nervous and closed for the entire inspection. They may feel you are “out to get them” and will quash the sale. Being proactive means putting your client first.
Effect of Being Proactive
You are here, in business, to serve the client. To do that to the best of your ability you need to be proactive. To do that you need to be in advance of the client’s need at every step. What that means for your business is the effect it has on your client.
When you anticipate client needs, they appreciate your understanding. To practice being proactive think of the ways you can address client concerns before they mention them. Start with their first connection and continue through until you deliver your report.
- Engage with clients online. Don’t make them search for how to connect with you. Tell them the best way: phone, text, email, online form.
- Respond to all comments on marketing sites and social media. Be the one who communicates.
- Congratulate clients at the inspection site for making a wise investment in their future. Explain your objectivity and how it will help make a buying or selling decision.
- At the inspection, don’t wait for your client to ask questions. As part of your process, explain your findings, alleviate client concerns, help fearful buyers understand the new property, and help sellers understand the true value of their home.
- Even though you won’t be doing repairs and remediation, explain possible fixes and approximate costs. You help clients make informed decisions about the property.
- Make your report easy to understand. Provide a summary of findings and rate their importance so clients can comprehend fuller details in the report sections.
- Be available for follow-up questions after the inspection.
How Proaction Gets You Heard
What can seem like a tangential point to you, can keep your client from hearing what you have to say about a property. If your client is nervous and apprehensive about the inspection, allay their fears before you begin your inspection.
Emphasize your knowledge and experience and explain how the inspection is an independent, objective fix on the current condition of the home.
An anxious person has difficulty assimilating information. If you relieve anxiety before you begin, you’ll calm your client and help them focus on the information in your findings. Sometimes clients have other fears that keep them from focusing on the inspection.
A homeowner who is concerned about the safety of a stranger in the home during the pandemic, needs to hear how you protect them from exposure.
- Explain your entire safety routine
- Wear a mask at all times, even if no one is in the home
- Wipe down every surface, including handles and doorknobs
- Wear protective foot coverings
As a consequence, the effect is that the client is relaxed. And they’re receptive to taking in the information that they really need.
The client doesn’t need to be at a home inspection worried about not getting COVID, that’s a fail. You have to set the stage of your practice so they feel so comfortable. If you can let them stay focused in their mind on why they’re really there, then they can listen and understand the true condition of the home.
Anticipate Client Needs
As home inspectors, putting the client first contributes to increasing the value of your business by creating trust. You can say that clients come first, but the best way to do that is to make it easy and comfortable for them to do business with you.
Anticipate their needs from facilitating scheduling an appointment to alleviating concerns. Don’t wait for a client to ask you. Ask your client what their concerns are. It’s easy to forget to reassure a client, when you know what you do and how you work. For most clients, working with you is the first time they’ve experienced a home inspection.
When you’ve been in business for a while, you have a repertoire of common client questions. Introduce yourself and your inspection by answering these questions before your client asks. They will feel like you know their concerns and who they are. That confidence will open them to hearing the findings you share.
Take ownership and make your client comfortable with the home inspection process.
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