9 Ways Home Inspectors Can Prepare for the New Year
Another new year is on the horizon! That means new possibilities, new ventures, new goals—and more chances to thrive. Whether you’re ready to jump into a new career as a home inspector, or just winding down your first year (or 10th!) in business, here are nine ways to prepare your home inspection business for the new year.
#1 – Complete Your Home Inspection Training Ahead of the New Year
Have you been thinking about jumping into a new career in home inspection? Now is the time to make your move.
Complete home inspection training now and learn everything you need to know to launch your business in January. Start by checking your state license requirements and reviewing the steps to become a home inspector in your state. In some states, you can complete home inspection training online in as few as three weeks. You also have the option of adding a live training course where you can practice your skills at real homes with a knowledgeable instructor by your side.
Train now and be ready to take advantage of the busy spring home inspection season!
#2 – Work on Continuing Education
If you’re already working as a home inspector, you might notice that business slows a little in the wintertime. This can be a welcome respite. It’s also a perfect opportunity to work on Continuing Education (CE) and earn extra certifications you’ve been interested in. Pursuing both will help differentiate your business and build on the value you bring to clients in the new year.
When shopping for CE courses, be sure to check your state’s CE requirements for home inspectors to ensure you’re meeting the required CE to maintain your license. AHIT offers convenient and comprehensive online CE and Professional Development Courses in a range of topics to expand your skills.
Earning extra Home Inspection Certifications—such as mold inspection, radon measurement, commercial building inspection, and more—helps you increase your profit per inspection and add new revenue streams.
#3 – Nurture Your Leads with Holiday Greetings
With the holidays upon us, now is a great time to nurture your leads. Here are a few easy ways to connect with your contacts.
Send Holiday Greetings to Your Contacts
Send holiday greetings to your existing contacts—including past clients you’ve helped, referral sources, and new client leads. This is not only a way to express your gratitude for past business and the connections you’ve made. It’s also a great way to keep your name top-of-mind for the next time someone needs a home inspector.
Keep in mind that handwritten cards are especially effective over emails these days.
Visit Real Estate Offices to Share Treats—and Knowledge
Amidst the slowing real estate season, you can often find real estate agents working on their own required CE and professional development during the holidays. Use this as your opportunity to nurture and grow your relationships with local agents. Consider doing the following:
- Drop Off Treats to Real Estate Offices. Visit real estate brokerages with holiday treats and business cards to help with word-of-mouth marketing.
- Schedule Meet-and-Greets. Schedule quick meet-and-greets with agents to make new contacts and meet future potential customers.
- Offer Agent Classes. Offer agents “Home Inspection 101” classes covering the home inspection process, what to expect, and how to guide their clients through an inspection.
- Visit Open Houses. Visit all the open houses you can while you have the time. Introduce yourself to agents and let them know you’re ready to offer reliable inspection services to their clients when needed.
The holidays are a great time for both home inspectors and real estate agents to network and build relationships that will fuel business in the new year.
#4 – Create Your Marketing Plan for the New Year
If you’ve been in the home inspection business a while, think about your marketing efforts over the past year.
What strategies have worked? Which ones haven’t? What’s worth spending more time on, and what’s worth dropping? The slower holiday season is the opportune time to re-evaluate your business plan and create your new marketing plan for the new year.
Here are a few marketing strategies to explore while you have a little breathing room. These tips are ideal for new home inspectors, too!
- Work on Your Website. Create a home inspector website (or update your existing site) to put your best face forward when promoting your services.
- Get Active on Social Media. Become active on the social media channel(s) of your choice (if you aren’t already). Create business pages and share content that promotes your services and builds your local following. Check out these social media tips for home inspectors!
- Lean Into Email Marketing. Brainstorm and create a seasonal email marketing campaign that promotes your services to your existing contacts and referral sources.
- Set Up Online Business Profiles. Create local business profiles on Google My Business, Yelp, NextDoor, HomeAdvisor, and your local Better Business Bureau. These will help increase your business visibility locally and provide a way for clients to leave testimonials about your services.
- Look Into Print Advertising. Local print and direct mail advertising are still solid strategies that help get the word out for your growing business. Brainstorm and create new print marketing materials that can generate leads now and into the new year.
Learn more go-to marketing strategies for home inspectors.
#5 – Offer Pre-Inspections and Home Maintenance Inspections
Home inspections for homebuyers may slow during the holiday season. But that doesn’t mean your services are off the table. Many home inspectors turn toward offering pre-inspection services for sellers and home maintenance inspections for homeowners during slower months.
Pre-inspections offer valuable insight for sellers looking to sell their homes in the new year. Based on the results of the inspection report, sellers can make necessary updates and repairs around their home before listing it for sale.
Home maintenance inspections are just that—inspections that provide homeowners with insight into the ongoing maintenance needs of their home. As an expert on home systems and components, your knowledge is valuable to anyone who owns a home. You can act as a client’s “guide” through their home and alert them to important seasonal maintenance needs as well as potentially dangerous issues they need to correct.
Both of these offerings help you gradually build relationships with clients who may end up hiring you again and again for home inspection services.
When was the last time you upgraded your tool bag? Or maybe you’re just starting out and putting your home inspector toolkit together for the first time? Whatever the case, now is the ideal time to test out new home inspector tools and technologies and work out the kinks before inspections ramp up again.
Take a new tablet for a spin, try out a new home inspection software, test out a drone for roof inspections, or look into the new camera you’ve been wanting, and more. Now is also a great time to shop the holiday sales and save a little money on the tools of the trade.
See our AHIT Instructor Chris Chirafisi’s favorite home inspection tools here.
#7 – Ensure State License Renewal Fees and Association Dues are Paid
In states where home inspector licenses are required, license renewal fees often come due at the end of the year (or every few years). Likewise, if you’re a member of a home inspection association—such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI)—you have annual dues.
The slower holiday months are the ideal time to take care of membership dues, renewal fees, and other business administrative tasks before the busy season arrives.
#8 – Review Your Business Insurance Policy
Every home inspector needs business insurance to protect themselves. It’s also important to review your business insurance policy annually to ensure you have the coverage you need.
Spend time reviewing your Errors and Omissions (E&O) and General Liability insurance policies. Consider your coverage, any claims you’ve had over the past year, and your premium fees. Should you increase coverage? Decrease it? You might also consider shopping around for rates from various insurance providers to ensure you’re getting the best coverage and value.
Now is also a great time to review everything you need to know about E&O insurance for home inspectors.
#9 – Enjoy the Slower Season and Spend Time With Loved Ones
Of course, you can always use a healthy chunk (or even all!) of the slower home inspection season to spend more time with your loved ones. That’s a key advantage of this career after all.
Home inspection is a highly flexible career with a schedule that can be managed on your terms. Be thankful for these slower months and use this time to reconnect with your loved ones. Rest up, have some fun, and restore your energy for a new year of success in your business.
Train With AHIT and Launch Your New Home Inspection Career in January!
If you’ve been thinking about making a switch to home inspection, AHIT is here for you. Start AHIT home inspection training today and complete it just in time to launch your new business in the new year! Check your state license requirements and learn the steps for becoming a home inspector in your state.