What does good business strategy mean to you?
In an earlier post – Holmes on Homes – we talked about the Real World of Home Inspecting vs. Mike’s TV World. If you did not see that, I recommend taking a quick moment and read that before this one…
Mike has big kahunas – that is great for TV.
It is also great for the REAL WORLD.
YOU need to have big kahunas when it comes to the REAL WORLD of business and/or home inspecting and quit acting like a pretty little poodle that is scared of his own shadow.
When it comes to your business strategy: are you enhancing your business or killing it with your professional recommendations?
As discussed in the Holmes on Homes post, there are many business people and home inspectors that “run scared” and are conducting business to “cover their butts”.
THIS cover your butt business strategy is hurting your business!
From a home inspectors point of view:
What does always recommending a specialist to come in for further evaluation do?
- It undermines your authority and expertise as a professional home inspector. When you transfer the evaluation to another party, you have just transferred the expertise to them. How do you prevent this? Make a call as to whether or not the system has a problem or not. If the component or system is just old, that is not a problem and if you transfer that determination to another party you have undermined your expertise. You should have enough expertise and experience to determine if there are problems with an older system where it either needs immediate repair or replacement. A SYSTEM DOES NOT NEED REPLACED JUST BECAUSE IT IS OLD! You should never recommend a specialist evaluate a system or component JUST BECAUSE. State the specific deficiency with the system that should be repaired or replaced. Then refer them to a specialist for an estimate. In this way, you have made a call about a defect in the system and have referred a specialist for an estimate of those repairs or replacement of the system – and an estimate should not cost your client any more money!
- It causes the Realtor who referred you to the buyer to call the specialist directly next time – bypassing YOU because YOU did not add any value to the process! BAD business strategy, eh?
- A specialist can make your work look chintzy and cheap. When you go to the family doctor, he looks you over and then determines if you need to have any further diagnostic work done. Blood work? – Then you go and get blood drawn. He may need to see behind some walls – tests run like a CAT Scan or ultrasound are recommended. NOT because you are old – but because the doc knows something is wrong and needs to get specifics on what exactly it is. When the specialist comes to do the evaluation, he also brings with him tools for a more invasive evaluation – tools which are not used for a normal home inspection. This makes it look to the Client and the Realtor that the work you do is not that thorough! (“Well why couldn’t the home inspector do that?”) KEEP the specialists away unless there is a real deficiency that is found – THEN it is perfectly normal for the buyer and Realtor to see this guy pull out all of these diagnostic tools to determine the real cause of the issue and CONFIRM the issue YOU CALLED OUT!…thus maintaining your expertise and your role in the inspection process. Your authority is intact because you were heads up enough to find the deficiency!
- People like people who KNOW what they are talking about and can put their reputation on the line! You will get raving reviews from your client and the Realtor because you identified REAL problems and prevented your client from incurring large repair costs! Isn’t this much better business strategy? BUT – if you refer a specialist to evaluate an old system that you were too chicken to state was satisfactory and there are no current problems – then the specialist comes in and says that the system is fine – WHOA BABY! YOU are going to get toasted in the next Realtor meeting in front of the whole office and your client is going to go back to work and say the home inspector they used stunk! ALL because you are a wimp! KNOW your stuff and if there is not a defect – SAY so!
4.5 Nobody likes the guy who cries wolf! In having a business strategy where you are recommending a specialist to evaluate systems that you should have made a definative call on will eventually make your referral base quit using you.
So…are you going to man up and start making the call?
That is the best business strategy to use!
Maybe you need to study your profession harder so that you KNOW what you are doing so well that you can feel comfortable about making these tough calls.
Maybe you just need a coach that can help you.
The great thing about business and life – are colleagues and friends that you can bounce ideas and questions off. FIND those colleagues and friends that can help you.
If you don’t have any colleagues or knowledgeable friends and you need to buy a colleague…contact me, I would be happy to help you out!
By all means…use good business strategy and be smart about your professional recommendations!
What do you think of all this?