Inspector Website Webmaster Tools
If there’s one thing you do today, get your business online.
The home inspection business is different than any other business in that you don’t get to meet your client until after he or she hires you. This means that the home inspection business is almost all marketing. Because a home inspector’s clients are nearly always home buyers, many are conveniently all in one place… online. They are online touring new homes, researching schools, hiring real estate agents, shopping for mortgages, and looking for home inspectors. And since you won’t have an opportunity to sell your inspection services in person, it’s important that your website be capable of doing the selling for you. To a potential client, your website represents what your inspection and report are going to be like. You only get one chance to make a good first impression. Use the following webmaster tools to build a great inspector website.
Tool #1: Web Domain
The first thing you need to do is get a domain name. Your domain is your business’s address on the web. For example, InterNACHI, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, uses nachi.org for its domain name. Here are some quick tips for picking a domain:
- Always go with .com if you can. Avoid uncommon top-level domains like .info, if at all possible.
- Never use hyphens in your domain.
- Try to keep your domain name short (under 16 characters, if possible).
- Choose a memorable domain; a hypothetical Hawaiian inspection company named Luau Inspections, LLC. might choose DancingInspector.com over something less memorable.
- Think about how easy it will be to say the domain name over the phone; sfnmllc.net may be short, but you’ll constantly be saying, “S as in Sally, F as in Frank…”
Tool #2: Website
There are many ways to building a website. Consider visiting several website design companies, including wix.com, Weebly.com, and squarespace.com. Most website design companies provide “drag & drop” tools that make it easy to design and build your website directly from your browser with very few technical skills needed. And companies offer website, blog, or store services with built-in SEO features. You may be interested in watching InterNACHI’s webinar “How to Build a Free Inspector Website Using Weebly.com.” Get a free quote for a custom, search engine-optimized website for your inspection company
Tool #3: Link Domain with Website
After registering a domain name and getting website hosting services, you want to link your domain name with your new website. You may ask for help from your website hosting provider. This technical step may include “forwarding” your domain to point to your site. After you’ve linked your domain name and your website, then you’re all set to start building your inspector website’s content, starting with the single purpose of your website.
Tool #4: Single Purpose
Build your website with the following single purpose in mind: To cause visitors to hire you. No visitor reads all your website content. Your visitors spend only a few seconds on your website. They glance at your homepage, scan it, and make a crucial decision — whether or not to:
- contact you;
- click something; or
- leave and visit your competitor’s website.
You have about three seconds to capture a visitor’s attention. And you do that by providing content that is structured and easy to find.
Tool #5: Navigation
Your homepage will be the most visited page and will act as the starting point for visitors to navigate around your website. You may think of navigation like the table of contents of a book. Try to create a navigation bar on your homepage that follows a logical structure. The navigation bar can be on the top, side of each page of your website, or it could be stacked. Visit https://www.nachi.org/inspector-website-webmaster-tools-navigation.htm for more information about navigation. After working on your website’s structure, now you can add good, relevant content that supports your site’s purpose.
Tool #6: Content
Your website should quickly show visitors the incredible value of hiring you. It shouldn’t say anything that your competition can say just as well. All things being equal, the only thing that would then distinguish you from your competition would be price — and that’s not good. Therefore, you have to develop your brand. Your brand answers the question, “Why would I hire you instead of any other inspector?”
InterNACHI’s Inspector Marketing Team provides one-on-one consultation to help brand your business and design your marketing materials. And the design work is free. InterNACHI’s Marketing Team will:
- help you with branding your business;
- design a new logo for your inspection business (or re-design your existing logo); and
- design and customize your business cards, flyers and brochures.
The designing and editing services are FREE for certified inspectors. Compare your marketing with what we’ve already designed for other members. Contact the Inspector Marketing Department today. Read more about branding that will help you develop relevant content for your website at https://www.nachi.org/home-inspection-business-course-work-on-branding.htm Once you figure out your brand, adding branded content to your website will be easy to do.
Tool #7: Certifications
Add your certifications to your website. You can find those certifications at https://www.nachi.org/certification.htm. InterNACHI provides over 30 certifications to choose from.
Tool #8: Images of You in Action
The first thing a potential client will see is your homepage. Since your client won’t get to meet you until after you’re hired, your homepage will define your image. So, make it a good first impression. Consider putting images of yourself in action, performing different types of inspections, or maybe a simple image of you standing in front of your inspection vehicle. Be sure to smile and appear confident. Look at some sample images at https://www.nachi.org/images.htm.
You can’t judge a book by its cover, but many readers do, so reconsider using your picture if you:
- look very overweight. It implies that you can’t inspect the crawlspace.
- look very young. It implies that you are inexperienced.
- look like a mass-murderer.
Keep your picture as simple as possible. Consider using digital air-brushing to touch up your picture. Don’t wear a tie. Don’t wear a t-shirt. Try to find a middle ground, such as a nice collared shirt with the top button undone.
Here are some images inspectors should use on their websites:
- The inspector is lying on his back in a crawlspace with his flashlight aiming upward. What message does that image convey? “I look carefully in places that most people don’t.”
- The inspector is wearing eye protection and gloves while opening an electrical panel. What message does that image convey? “My work is dangerous, but I’m careful.”
- The inspector is holding an IR camera or a gas leak detector. What message does that image convey? “I bring specialized tools to the inspection.”
- The inspection report pages are fanned out on a table, and some have annotated color photos. What message does that image convey? “My report is detailed, yet easy to understand.”
- The inspector is being presented with the Certified Master Inspector® award. What message does that image convey? “I am the best and proud of it.”
- A wall is shown covered with inspection course Certificates of Completion. What message does that image convey? “I value training and Continuing Education.”
- The inspector is standing next to the sign on his dedicated inspection vehicle while wearing a shirt with his business logo. What message does that image convey? “I’m a full-time inspector.”
Remember: A picture is worth a thousand words.
Try this experiment when you start building your inspection website: Do the entire thing using only images and no text. Imagine that the images you use are chapters in a book, and that each image has to tell part of your story. Don’t use any text at all—just build your entire website using images that convey a series of messages, and together tell a story… your story.If you can do that, you’re really only one small step away from having an awesome website. Your next step would be to add supporting text.
Tool #9: Download My Inspection Brochure Button
Put this image on your website and link to your inspection brochure. Download this image now.
Tool #10: Inspection Agreement Link
Embed HTML code into your website to allow clients to access their inspection agreement. If you cannot embed the HTML yourself, send this code to your host/web designer, and she/he will know what to do with it. Visit https://www.nachi.org/onlineagreement.htm
Tool #11: Consumer Guide Videos
InterNACHI provides consumer-oriented videos that you can embed on your website. Visit https://www.nachi.org/consumer-guides.htm
Tool #12: What Really Matters Video
Embed this consumer-oriented video on your website that describes “What Really Matters in a Home Inspection.”
Tool #13: Illustrations
Add illustrations to your website to help communicate details about the systems and components included in your home inspection. Visit https://www.nachi.org/gallery to download illustrations.
Tool #14: Facebook
Create a Facebook page to drive traffic to your home inspection business website. It’s a great way to connect with existing clients and attract new clients. It’s like an informal blog. Messages can be informal and quick. Make sure you have the URL to your inspection business website in your profile. You want folks who visit your Facebook page to click through to your business website, where they can find much more information about your services.
People on Facebook do basically three things:
- make friends;
- tell friends what they are doing; and
- get updates from friends on what they are doing.
It’s a great idea to ask each of your satisfied customers to post a quick referral to friends, which can lead to referral after referral. The power of Facebook is amazing. No other advertising tool comes close to making so many people look at your brand every day. Facebook friends read each other’s messages every day. Posts are read daily. And friends trust each other. What is being said is trusted as factual, because they trust their close network of friends.You can imagine many years ago, before Facebook, when your satisfied client would tell a couple of their friends about their home inspection experience. They’d share in passing what they thought of your service. There would be very little chance that a short conversation would have any significant, positive impact on your business. But today, that same satisfied customer can share their experience on Facebook with a hundred of their friends. Visit https://www.facebook.com/business. Here are some general tips to follow:
- Keep your business Facebook page interesting.
- Don’t post more than twice a week.
- Keep your posts short and fun, but relevant.
- Don’t write personal stuff.
- Pictures or video of satisfied clients are excellent to share.
- Special events or offers often work well.
Check out InterNACHI’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/internachi
Tool #15: Link Your Website to Google+ and YouTube
In order to reach out to a larger community, connect your inspection business website to a Google+ Page and a YouTube Channel. To get started, visit https://support.google.com/plus/#topic=3049661 You’ll want to upload video testimonials and short inspection videos to your YouTube Channel. Use YouTube’s Creator Hub to create better content and build a client base at https://www.youtube.com/yt/creators/index.html
Tool #16: SEO Listing Tool
InterNACHI has developed our Local SEO Listing Tool for Home Inspectors (members-only login required). This tool makes it easy to tie your InterNACHI listing to your Google Places listing, which will help ensure that you get the most benefit possible from your listings on our Find an Inspector page, InspectorSeek, and the thousands of other sites that InterNACHI operates.
Tool #17: Embed a Custom Online Video
Embed a custom online video ad on your website. InterNACHI produces custom online video ads to help inspectors market their home inspection businesses. Order your video by visiting InspectorOutlet.com For more information, contact Erik at email@example.com.
Tool #18: Ancillary Services
List your individual inspection services for which you may charge extra, and write a brief description for your clients if the service is not self-explanatory. These inspections may include mold, radon, deck, garage, commercial property, pool & spa, WDO/pests, thermal imaging, child safety, aging-in-place, green building/features, private wells, septic systems, outbuildings, historic homes, mobile/manufactured homes, new home construction and/or draw-down inspections, multi-unit housing, rural properties, Move-In Certified™ Seller Inspections, etc.
Read about our ancillary inspection marketing campaign at nachi.org/ancillary (free for members).
Tool #19: Specialties and Features
List the other specialties and features of your business not stated previously that make you unique or unusual compared to other inspectors in your service area. For example, do you have a wraparound on your truck that readily identifies you? Do you offer One-Year Builder’s Warranty Inspections on new builds? Do you inspect built-in and/or portable appliances (if not required by your state)? Do you offer referrals to green contractors who can perform energy upgrades? Do you offer consultations for EEMs or HUD 203Ks? If you’re a Florida inspector, do you perform Wind Mitigation or 4-Point Inspections? Do you offer fast turnaround of lab testing results for mold sampling? Do you inspect for special types of events, such as earthquake preparedness or post-disaster inspections (floods, storms, etc.)? Do you offer Home Energy Reports™, energy inspections, green building inspections, or log home inspections? Be sure to let your prospective clients know about them.
Tool #20: Customer Service Conveniences
List your customer service conveniences. For example, do you have staff that answers phones during regular business hours while you’re out on inspections? Do you offer evening and/or weekend appointments? Do you take payments by credit card? Do you encourage clients to attend your inspections so that you can answer their questions? Do you provide a free copy of Now That You’ve Had a Home Inspection, the home maintenance book, with your report? Are you pet-friendly? Do you include a $10,000 Honor Guarantee™?
Sound smart on the phone by using SoundSmart for incoming customer calls at nachi.org/soundsmartintro (free for members).
Tool #21: Credit Cards
Accept credit card payments from clients by getting free merchant accounts at nachi.org/free-merchant-account (free for members). Put the credit card images on your website, particularly on the page that is about scheduling their home inspection.
Tools #22: Home Maintenance Book
Give each client a copy of InterNACHI’s Now That You’ve Had a Home Inspection, the ultimate home maintenance book, which you read about at nachi.org/now Put the image of the book’s front cover on your website.
Tools #23: $10,000 Honor Guarantee™
Provide each client with a $10,000 Honor Guarantee™ at nachi.org/honor (free for members). Put the logo on your website.
Tool #24: “We’ll Buy Your Home” Guarantee
The “We’ll Buy Your Home” Guarantee is available to members who have signed up to participate in the Buy-Back Guarantee program. Put the logo on your website.
Tool #25: $10,000 Negligent Referral Guarantee
InterNACHI is so sure of its inspectors that it will indemnify any licensed real estate agent in an amount up to $10,000 if a third party successfully sues the agent for negligent referral of an InterNACHI inspector. Visit https://www.nachi.org/agent-indemnification.htm Put this information on a page of your website that is just for licensed real estate professionals.
Tool #26: Inspection Reports
Put a downloadable sample report on your website. Below that sample report, you can list the unique and special aspects of your inspection reports and/or features of your report delivery. For example, do you deliver on-site or same-day reports? Do you offer electronic reports that can be emailed or downloaded? Do your reports include narratives in addition to checklists? Do your reports include digital photos and/or thermal images for comparison? Do you provide online videos or DVDs of your inspections?
Find discounted report software at inspectoroutlet.com/software-and-reporting
Tool #27: Home Energy Report™ (U.S. members only)
Get InterNACHI’s free Home Energy Report™ software at nachi.org/home-energy-inspection (free for U.S. members). Embed videos about home energy on your website. You can copy the embed code from https://www.nachi.org/home-energy-inspection-marketing.htm
Tool #28: Certificates of Completion
Personalized Certificates of Completion are available for use by all InterNACHI members every time they complete a course and pass its final exam. Each comes with the member’s own name. Download custom certificates and add the certificate images to your website.
Tool #29: Education Transcript
Add your InterNACHI education transcript to your website. You will have to be able to edit the HTML code of each page you want to add it to. If you cannot edit the HTML yourself, send this code to your host/web designer — he or she will know what to do with it. Visit https://www.nachi.org/account.htm to access the embed code.
As you complete more courses, your transcript will automatically update on your website.
Tool #30: Words That Sell
Use words that sell. There are certain words that sell inspection services:
- “You” and “Your”: Talk directly to the reader. Instead of writing, “Our clients receive the inspection report…” try, “You will receive your report…”
- “I”: If you are a one-man operation, say so. Customers seek personal service. Instead of writing, “Our company’s goal is… ” or “We at ABC Inspections seek to…” try, “I will perform…” Visit https://www.nachi.org/promise.htm.
- “Easy”: Home buyers don’t want their lives made more difficult at this time. So, write: “The report will be easy to read and understand.”
- “Certified”: Anyone can say whatever they want about themselves. The word “certified” is the ultimate testimonial. Use this word.
- “Benefit”: Most home inspection brochures state the benefit of a home inspection. However, they neglect to actually include the word “benefit.” So, perhaps write, “As an added benefit, ABC Inspections…”
Tool #31: Veteran
List some of the personal details relevant to your business that you think may be of benefit to your marketing. For example, are you a veteran? Have you been a resident of your community for many years? Do you give back to your community by volunteering for or donating to local nonprofits, sports teams, youth organizations, etc.? (This may also be considered part of your business philosophy.)
Tool #32: Tagline
Do you have or use a tagline, your own or one of InterNACHI’s?
- The Right Inspector, Right Away® Use this great multi-inspector tagline. It’s a registered trademark for use only by InterNACHI members.
- Anyone else is just looking around.® Use this tagline to promote your inspection business. It’s a registered trademark for use only by InterNACHI members.
- Bringing Clean Air to Life® Use this tagline to promote your indoor air quality inspection services. It’s a registered trademark for use only by InterNACHI and IAC2 members.
Tool #33: Languages
Are you (or anyone on your staff) fluent in any language(s) besides English? By the way, many of InterNACHI’s inspection-related articles at nachi.org/articles are also in Spanish and French. And InterNACHI’s home maintenance book, Now That You’ve Had a Home Inspection, is available in English and Spanish at nachi.org/now.
Get the Spanish edition of Now That You’ve Had a Home Inspection, InterNACHI’s home maintenance book for your clients, at nachi.org/now.
Tool #34: Discounts
Don’t include an attached discount coupon as part of your website. Don’t make your client print out and present a $20 coupon when they are buying a several-hundred-thousand-dollar house. You should also visit https://www.nachi.org/convert.htm. You’ll want to read the article about “Pricing and Billing for Home Inspectors.”
Tool #35: First-Time Home Buyer-Friendly
Advertise yourself as First-Time Home Buyer-Friendly at nachi.org/first-time (free for members). Put the logo on your website.
Tool #36: Video Testimonials
Here’s how you get your client to give you the testimonial. Before the inspection begins, say to your client something like, “When we finish the inspection, I’m going to ask you for something — a video testimonial. I’d like to take it with my camera here — just a few seconds about your home inspection. So, what I’m going to do right now is my best inspection. I’m going to do the best home inspection that I can do. My goal is to earn that testimonial. Okay?”
Then, at the end of the inspection, turn on your camera. Don’t worry about the audio or video quality. It doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, it SHOULD look and sound rough because it’ll be more authentic-looking on your website.
Video testimonials: almost no one is doing them. On your website, upload 10 videos, and when you’re talking with a potential client, say, “Visit my website and see for yourself. I’ve got a hundred testimonials, but I put up just a few…”
Having someone else speak highly of you and your services is absolutely the most effective form of marketing that exists on the planet.
If you don’t have video testimonials on your website, you’re going to lose to someone who does.
Tool #37: Indoor Air Consultant
Become IAC2-Certified at iac2.org (free for members). Put that certification logo on your website.
Tool #38: Contractor Experience
Your contractor background and experience make you special to your potential clients. Get the contractor logo at nachi.org/logos.htm#contractor (free for members).
Tool #39: New to the Business?
Avoid giving the impression that you are new to the business, even if you are. Act as if you’re an experienced professional. Don’t put anything on your website that would reveal your inexperience. Kiss-of-death terms include: new to the business, affiliate, just-licensed,grand opening, associate, recentgraduate,introductory offer, and the mother of all kiss-of-death terms: candidate. InterNACHI’s members have over 30 certifications to choose from (at no additional cost) at https://www.nachi.org/certification.htm
Tool #40: Commercial Inspections
Offer to perform commercial inspections. Visit http://www.inspectoroutlet.com/commercial-property-inspection-marketing-pack.aspx for a commercial property inspection marketing pack.
Tool #41: Blog
The main goal of your business blog is to get them to call you to hire you. That’s the ultimate goal of your blog. The trick is how that’s done. It includes posting interesting information that directs readers toward your business and services that you provide. If your posts are heavy on marketing, such as how great your inspectors are, then you’ll likely turn away readers. But if you’re sharing information that is interesting to your readers that seems sincere, helpful and transparent, then you’ll likely be more successful in attracting readers and making a favorable, credible impression of your business. A successful home inspection blog may include:
- content written by you, and not copy/pasted from someone else;
- content based on specific issues you discovered during past home inspections. For example, if you found a GFCI problem during the inspection, then you’d post about GFCI receptacles and safety;
- content focused on the needs of your clients and agents (home buyers, homeowners, home sellers, and real estate agents); and
- comments posted by past clients (hopefully positive ones).
Keep in mind that if you allow readers to post comments, you’ll have to monitor them. They may be offensive, libelous, or off-topic. You draw the line. If you leave offensive posts untouched, readers might get the wrong impression. If you edit or delete posts, you might be accused of censorship. Again, having a business blog will take some investment of your time.Keep your blogs helpful and practical for homeowners. Provide little tidbits of information. People love tips. Don’t forcefully market your services on your blog.
Tool #42: Homeowner Newsletter
Keep in touch with all of your clients by offering each a free monthly homeowner newsletter.
The InterNACHI Homeowner Newsletter is:
- free for members;
- customized by the inspector according to the condition of each house inspected;
- has five years’ worth of monthly issues; and
- includes the inspector’s photo and logo in each issue.
Your photo or business logo and website link will appear in each newsletter issue, allowing your clients to keep your contact information handy.
Tool #43: Call Me Now Button
To make it easier for clients to contact you, we’ve created a number of buttons to add to your website. Visit https://www.nachi.org/call_button.htm