To be proactive means that you make things happen instead of waiting for things to happen. Being proactive means you are ready before something happens. Being proactive can be a key to setting your business apart from others.
As a home inspector, you put your feet in the shoes of the people you serve. When you anticipate your client’s concerns and address them as part of your process, you help allay your client’s fears.
For example, if you can tell that a home seller is anxious about the condition of the property, and you reassure them of your professionalism and objective assessment of the home’s current condition, the seller might be more open to listening to your report. But if you don’t spend the two minutes it might take to reassure them, the seller might remain nervous and closed off during the entire inspection. They might even feel that you are “out to get them” and may even quash the sale.
Being proactive can help. It means putting your client first.
Effects of Communicating Proactively
You are in business to serve your clients. To do that to the best of your ability, you need to be proactive. You need to have advance awareness of the client’s needs at every step.
When you anticipate your clients’ needs, they appreciate your understanding. To practice being proactive, think of all the ways you can address client concerns before they mention them. Start with your first connection with your clients and continue thinking through all the interactions you have 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 your clients at the inspection site for making an investment in their future. Explain your objectivity and help them understand the report so they can make a well-informed 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 buyers understand the new property and help sellers understand the true value of the home.
- Even though you won’t be doing repairs and remediation, explain possible fixes and approximate costs. Providing this information can help your clients make informed decisions about the property.
- Make your report easy to understand. Provide a summary of findings and rate their importance so that clients can comprehend the more complete details that will appear in each section of the report.
- Be available for follow-up questions after the inspection.
Proactive Communication Can Get You Heard
Comments about what can seem like tangential points to you might 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 take on the current condition of the home.
An anxious client may have difficulty assimilating information. If you make an attempt to relieve your client’s anxiety before you begin, you may help them more calmly focus on the information in your findings.
Sometimes clients have other fears that keep them from focusing on the inspection. For example, a homeowner who is concerned about health safety during the pandemic might benefit from hearing how you proactively 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, that you touch.
- Wear protective foot coverings.
Set the stage of your home inspection practice so that your clients feel comfortable with your health and safety precautions. If you can help them stay focused on the inspection, they may be more able to relax and listen, to understand the condition of the home.
Anticipate and Address Your Client’s Needs
As home inspectors, putting the client first contributes to increasing the value of your business by creating trust. It might be easy to say that you put your clients first, but the best way to prove that is to make it easy and comfortable for them to talk with you and do business with you.
Anticipate your client’s needs—from facilitating scheduling an appointment to alleviating concerns. Don’t wait for a client to ask you something; instead, ask your client what their concerns are during your conversation. It can be easy to forget to reassure a client because you know what you do and how you work, but it is important to remember that most clients are working with you for the first time and, for some, it might be the first time they’ve ever experienced a home inspection.
Once you’ve been in business for a while, you can predict the most common questions your clients will ask. Introduce yourself and your inspection business by answering these questions before your client asks them. Your clients will be able to see that you know their concerns, and having that confidence may help open them up and listen to the findings you share.
Take ownership and make your client comfortable with the home inspection process.