4 Steps to Marketing Success in 23 Minutes

4 Steps to Marketing Success in 23 Minutes

4 Steps to Marketing Success in 23 Minutes

By Benjamin Gromicko

It should take you about 23 minutes to read this entire article. If you invest just 23 minutes, and read every word, you will receive a great return on your investment. That’s our promise.


Success requires continual evaluation and improvement of every aspect of a business, including marketing. Let’s go over the following 4 steps and think about your business practices related to marketing, including:

� Step 1: Identifying your clients;

� Step 2: Developing your niche service;

� Step 3: Understanding what your clients want; and

� Step 4: Communicating using your website.

Disclaimer: This information is based upon personal experience and advice of the author, and does not represent other viewpoints. Some of it will be wrong for you. Most, we hope, will make sense and will trigger great ideas to apply to your business.

Let’s go to Step 1.


Step 1: Identifying Your Clients

We know you have clients. But who exactly are they? Identifying the type of clients that your business serves will provide great benefits to your business including:

� Focusing your marketing;

� Saving time, money and resources (particularly when all three are in short supply); and

� Attracting ideal clients.

In order to focus efforts, a business must identify its target market. Maybe you’ve never thought about who your clients are. Think about it now. If you don’t know whom to target, you’ll be wasting time, money and resources in your efforts to gain new clients.

Look at the illustration. Your target market is a large group of people your business desires to serve. Your clients are a subset of your target market. Your clients are located within your target market. They are the ones who use your services.

Do you know who your clients are?

Let’s assume your target market is made of homebuyers and their real estate agents. Let’s go over some statistics about your target market and see if we can identify whom your clients are.

Statistical Data

According to statistics provided by the National Association of REALTORS� Profile of Home Buyer and Sellers:

� Homebuyers took 12 weeks to find a home;

� Homebuyers saw 12 homes before finding their new home;

� 30% of all homebuyers are 25 to 34 years of age;

� The median age for a first-time homebuyer is 30;

� The median age for all homebuyers is 39;

� Median age for repeat buyers is 48;

� 47% of all homebuyers are first-timers;

� 53% are repeat buyers;

� 1 in 5 homes purchased were of new construction;

� 90% of homebuyers used the Internet to find their home;

� 84% of REALTORS� use social media to some extent;

� 87% used a real estate agent to find their home;

� 81% of all homebuyers would use the same agent again;

� 77% of all homebuyers drove by and found their new house;

� 61% did a walk-through online;

� 59% used a yard sign to find their home;

� 46% used an open house to find their home;

� 40% used a newspaper ad;

� 26% used a home book or magazine;

� 84% of buyers reported the photos to be the most useful information;

� The number one action taken after viewing a home online was to drive by or visit the home; and

� 62% of first time buyers reported that the primary reason for buying a home was the desire to be a homeowner.

Let’s use some of that data to identify who your clients are, then we’ll be able to adjust how your business can effectively market to your clients.

Your Target Market

Based upon the statistics, we can make a general description of the typical homebuyer. The typical homebuyer is:

� Young; and

� Either a first-timer (47% of homebuyers have never purchased a home before) or a repeat homebuyer (53%).

Where Are They?

Almost all homebuyers (90%) are using the Internet to find their home. And 87% of homebuyers are with a real estate agent.

Therefore, a home inspection business should be directing a significant amount of marketing (including time, energy and money) to:

� Their WEBSITE that appeals to young, internet savvy, first-timer and repeat buyers; and

� Real estate AGENTS, who have loyal home buying clients.

Look at the statistics (above). If you’re running a print ad in a book, magazine or newspaper to grab the attention of a prospective homebuyer, you’re wasting money.

Ask Yourself:

� Is your business directing its marketing towards that target market?

� Why would a real estate agent refer their loyal clients to you?

� Is your website appealing to young, internet-savvy homebuyers and real estate agents?

� What are you offering to young first-time homebuyers that will compel them to invest in your services? What needs and desires of young homebuyers are you clearly demonstrating via your website that you can fulfill?

So the critical point is to think of your website and how effective your marketing efforts are, and we’ll talk more about websites in Step 4.

By identifying your target market, you reduce wasting time and money marketing to those outside your market, people not interested in the services you have to offer. Identifying your target market allows you to more easily attract potential clients who are looking for what you have to offer.

Ideal Clients

Inside your target market are those ideal clients with whom you love to serve, those who best benefit from the specific services you provide better than anyone else.

Who are the ideal clients inside your target market that, when you’re working with them, energize you and inspire you to provide your best effort?

You should be identifying, targeting and serving those ideal clients you actually desire to work for, and screen out the ones you don’t. You are able to do that, and you should. You should only work with those clients who are ideal for your business. It seems counter intuitive, but “less is more.” To actually eliminate some customers from your business, selecting to work with only those clients who are ideal for your business, has some significant benefits.

Instead of designing your business to appeal to anyone with a pulse, wouldn’t it be great to work with clients who are ideal for your business, who you actually enjoy working with, and who pay you for what your worth? Yes. It is possible. And it begins by being choosy.

Being Choosy

You are the company you keep. You are your clients. They are an extension of your business. You attracted them, you chose them, and now they are yours. The result is that your business practices are based upon the clients you’ve attracted to your business. Therefore, be choosy. Be careful with whom you choose to conduct business. It’s important to understand that you can choose your clients as carefully as you choose your friends.

By focusing down on a segment of your target market and becoming attractive a specific set of people, your ideal clients, your marketing becomes more efficient. By tailoring your services to appeal directly to that type of ideal client, you reduce costs and increases sales.

This selective practice (identifying and serving only your ideal clients) has a few benefits, including:

� Enjoying your clients;

� Increasing sales and profit;

� Achieving excellent customer service; and

� Doing your best work all the time.

That’s Step 1

Step 1 is identifying your ideal clients. It’s one of the best things you can do for your business.

Step 2 is developing your niche service. Let’s go.


Step 2: Developing Your Niche Service

Let’s work on your niche service. Your niche service is the uniquely characterized service you offer to your target market in which exists your ideal clients. Think about developing your niche service and communicating that to clients who are looking for that service.


The idea is to match your ideal clients (Step 1) with your niche service (Step 2), and it starts with what’s on the menu.

You’re the Chef

Restaurants are very good at developing and offering a niche service.

Think about all of the restaurants there are in your local area. How many are there? Do you eat at all of them? Do you love them all? No. Does each restaurant serve every person in town? No.

Just like a fine restaurant that creates a menu unique to that establishment and attracts paying clientele who appreciate the service, your business must create a special menu that describes the services you offer in order to attract homebuyers that are ideal for your business.

You’re the chef. What’s on the menu?

Be careful that you don’t have too much stuff on the menu. You want to be specific and very good at what you offer. You want to be known as “the best place to go for a burger.” Strike that. Make it “the best place to go for an inspection.”

Think about Your Niche Service

Now, your target market is not your niche. The two terms, target market and niche, are often used interchangeably by mistake. There’s a significant difference between the two. They are not referring to the same thing. Your target market is the group of people you desire to serve. Your niche is the uniquely characterized service you offer to your target market in which exists your ideal clients.

By developing a niche service, you gain a competitive advantage by offering services that your competition doesn’t. Your niche is a distinctive, matchless and exceptional service. Instead of going head-to-head with all of the home inspection businesses operating in your local market, it is a less risky strategy to have a niche, and it provides some very good opportunities in a small market.

Once you develop and define what your niche is, you’ll be able to more clearly explain what you do, and it will be easier for your prospective clients to understand what you offer. By having a unique service, you are able to communicate a clear and easy-to-understand impression about your company and your service. The more developed your niche, the easier it is to establish your business as an authority, a perceived expert. It’s also easier for clients and their agents to increase new referrals because they can remember exactly what you do.

Think about your niche. What makes your services different from your competition? What distinguishes yourself from your competition? What makes you special and different from all the rest? What sets you apart from the crowd?

Maybe your niche includes:

� Your special inspection vehicle;

� Your high-tech tools;

� Your big ladders;

� Your on-site reporting;

� Online scheduling;

� Automated emails;

� Your infrared camera;

� Your training certificates;

� Your inspection warranty;

� Your additional services,

� Your report uploading feature;

� Your home maintenance book;

� Your excitement and energy you have for the work;

� Your friendly personality; etc.

Figure out what your unique characteristics of your company are, and communicate them to your prospective clients who are ideal for your business. Tell your potential clients all the things that your competition can not say about themselves. If your competition can say it, don’t you say it in your marketing! What’s the point? Communicate only those things that make you special, unique, different from all the rest. That’s called gaining market advantage. That’s your niche service.

The worst-case scenario is to appear to be similar in style and service as everyone else – everyone having the same menu. When that happens, when you look similar to your competition, without distinction, then the distinguishing characteristic becomes – price. And “with all things being equal,” the inspector with the lowest price wins. And that’s not good.

Your Passion

When thinking about what makes your business different from the rest, think about your passion – the passion you have for the inspection business. Do you enjoy doing inspections? Are you excited everyday about your work? If you are not passionate about what you’re doing, if your heart isn’t in it, you’re not going to devote the time and energy needed to be successful, and you’ll never be able to convince potential clients that you’re the best person to hire.

Once you develop and define what your niche is, you’ll be able to more clearly explain what you do, and it will be easier for your prospective clients to understand what you offer. You will attract ideal clients just like a master fisherman standing in a shallow pool of trout.

That was Step 2 – developing your niche service. So far we’ve learned:

� Identifying your target market and focusing on your ideal clients (Step 1); and

� Developing and defining your niche service – your menu (Step 2).

Step 3 explores why your clients buy what you offer. Let’s go.


Step 3: Understanding What Your Clients Need

Potential clients search for particular businesses and services because they have certain needs and desires. A business must effectively communicate to prospective clients when they come searching or they’ll completely miss those opportunities to serve.

Walk a Mile in Your Clients’ Shoes

Effectively communicating to prospective clients requires offering what they need to buy, not what you want to sell them. Stick your feet in your clients’ shoes. Look at what your business is offering from the perspective of your clients – through their eyes, their needs and desires.

Make Your Services Investable

Your services must be considered investable by potential clients looking for your business. Will your services offer a significant return on their investment? If you want potential clients to hire you, they must see your services as providing something that is greater than their investment. If the perceived value is greater than the cost in hiring you, then they will likely invest in you. They will invest in your services for a significant return on their investment.

This return comes in different forms. Your client’s buying process can be complex and not so easy to understand. Few buying decisions are based solely on price. The return a potential client is looking for will likely be emotional rather than financial. They may simply want some peace of mind, and arguably most first-time homebuyers desire just that. Many repeat homebuyers want a guarantee or some type of commitment after you perform the inspection.

The Secret

The secret to success is anticipating what your clients actually want and then offering them exactly that. Rather than offering what you want to sell them, such as a good inspection, instead think about what specific needs and desires your potential clients have and focus on them. Focus on them, not on yourself.

What Do Your Clients Need? Benefits!

Recall the statistical data in Step 1. A lot of homebuyers are first-timers (47%). We suggest that first-time homebuyers are not buying what you do. They are not buying an inspection. They are investing. And they want a return on their investment. The return on investment for a first-time homebuyer is mostly emotional. A first-time homebuyer wants to be comfortable in knowing how their house works, they want to feel informed while making some tough decisions, and they desire peace of mind.

So why are you talking about the technical aspects of your services to potential clients? Why are you telling them you’re a member of an association? Why tell them what a home inspection is and is not? Why do you have scary pictures of defects on your website? That doesn’t matter to your potential clients. We understand that it matters to you. But remember, we’re not focused on you.

Once a client understands the positive benefits of investing in your services that they believe will fulfill their needs and desires, they’ll feel compelled to hire you.

Whatever it may be, that perceived return on investment must be communicated to a potential client before they hire you. You must communicate the benefits of your services. Benefits of your services are often intangible, but they are what make your services investable. That’s what people are buying from you. Intangible benefits. Not an inspection.

“I Like That Inspector.”

To demonstrate that purchase decisions are often based upon emotions, think about likeability. Do your clients like you? Do they think you’re friendly? If they don’t – nothing you communicate about your expertise, your certifications, your ability to perform a good inspection will matter. Nothing.

People will do business with a friend. If a home inspector is friendly and is likeable, he/she will probably get the job. With all things being equal, people will choose the inspector who is “a friend.” Even if you’re not the best (technically the best) inspector, if a prospective client perceives you as credible and likable, they’ll probably hire you.

Therefore, think about communicating the benefits of hiring you that are more emotional than technical.

What’s on Your Menu?

Think of a menu. If it were simple nutrition we were all after, every menu would be a just list of ingredients. But this is not so. People want much more than the “technical” aspects of food; they want the emotional side.

So, think of your menu. What are you offering? And don’t say – a good inspection.

The following are some “emotional” points you may want to communicate to your clients via products and services. Most are freely available to the certified members InterNACHI, the world’s largest association of home and commercial inspectors, http://www.nachi.org. Some require an investment.

In this article, we’re concentrating on those things related to InterNACHI and its associated vendors. It’s your responsibility to discover what other things are available, and what could be applied to your services, your “menu.” The following are suggestions to inspire your own great ideas.

Offer Closing Rates

Try communicating to real agents some statistical data you’ve collected that shows over 95% of the homes that your company has inspected have gone to closing. That’s an interesting benefit about your company, which many real estate agents would love to know – a great closing rate.

Offer a Maintenance Score

Try communicating to first-time homebuyers some data you’ve collected that shows most of your clients receive a Maintenance Score of 90% or better after one year, because you create long-term relationships with your clients teaching them how their home works and how to maintain it. Consider offering a home maintenance checkup to all of your clients.

Offer a Maintenance Book

Providing a complimentary home maintenance book with your inspection is a benefit your client will invest in. A home maintenance book is a great way to keep in touch with your clients long after they move into their new home. It’s one of the best value-added pieces of marketing an inspector can provide to a first-time homebuyer. There are a few books available on the market.

Offer MoveInCertified Inspections

Recall from the statistical data in Step 1:

� The number one action taken after viewing a home online was to drive by or visit the home;

� 59% of all homebuyers used a yard sign to find their home; and

� 46% used an open house to find their home.

Consider offering another benefit to doing business with you. MoveInCertified homes have been pre-inspected by InterNACHI certified inspectors and the sellers confirm that there are no major systems in need of immediate repair or replacement and no known safety hazards. Agents love to put the sign in the yard. The sign is very attractive to drive-by homebuyers. And the sign works very well at open houses. Visit MoveInCertified.

Offer Likeability

For most home inspectors, first impressions are solely made through their website. Show prospective homebuyers that you’re likable. If the prospective thinks you’re friendly, you win.

Since you will not have an opportunity to sell your inspection services in person, it is important that your website be capable of doing your selling for you. To a potential client, your website is a sample of what you and your particular services are like.

Make a good first impression by producing a video of yourself, and put the video on your homepage, above the fold. Here are some pointers:

� Don’t be a talking head, with your head and shoulders in the video screen and you talking for 10 minutes;

� The first clip of the video should be you, with a big smile, for just a few seconds, introducing yourself;

� Then a few more clips of you at work – inspecting, moving around, looking at something; and

� Then a few more clips of you personally – with the family, doing a favorite hobby, riding a bike.

And that’s it. The video should be less than 60 seconds. It’s just a preview – of you. Make sure you’re smiling, laughing, and even giggling. People want to be around people who are fun to be with. Try to throw in a dog or a cat in there. People love pets.

That Was Step 3

That was Step 3 – understanding what your clients want. So far we’ve learned:

� Identifying your target market and focusing on your ideal clients (Step 1);

� Developing your niche service – your menu (Step 2); and

� Understanding what your clients want and providing a return on your clients’ investment (Step 3).

Step 4 puts it all together on your website. Let’s go.


Step 4: Communicating Using Your Website

Since you will not have an opportunity to sell your inspection services face-to-face, it is important that your website be capable of doing your selling for you. To a potential client, your website is your way of communicating who you are and what you do (your niche service).

First Impressions Are Made on Your Website

Most home inspectors are hired without actually meeting their client until just before the inspection begins. When you get out of your vehicle at the inspection site and introduce yourself to your client, s/he has already hired you. There is almost no face-to-face salesmanship involved in the home inspection business. For most home inspectors, first impressions are solely made through their website, and to a lesser extent, through their business card, brochure, phone, email, or some other online contact.

Since you will not have an opportunity to sell your inspection services in person, it is important that your website be capable of doing your selling for you. To a potential client, your website is a sample of what you and your particular services are like.

Your Visitors Are Young and Experienced

Your website must be designed to address the needs of a typical homebuyer who is young and experienced with using the Internet to find information quickly. Homebuyers are online:

� Taking virtual tours of homes;

� Researching local schools;

� Shopping for mortgages; and

� Looking for home inspectors.

Homebuyers know how to visit a website efficiently to:

� Quickly determine if the information they seek exists on that site; and if it does,

� Arrive at a purchasing decision.

Therefore, success in gaining new clients in the home inspection business relies upon effectively communicating to potential clients visiting your website. By the time most visitors arrive at your website, they will likely have experienced thousands of other sites and will expect yours to follow the same standard conventions. Visitors expect your site design, look and feel to follow common conventions. To the extent that your website design veers from these internationally adopted conventions, your visitors will find it uncomfortable and leave with a click of the mouse.

Website Communication

People do not read a website word-for-word. So, do not simply copy/paste all of your marketing materials (copy or words) onto your website, including articles, brochures and documents you’ve written. It would be a waste of prime real estate. What is written for your website needs to be written specifically for that purpose.


People do not read websites – they scan them. Instead of reading a page on your website from top to bottom, beginning to end, visitors will most likely scan a page for relevant information. If they want to read that information later, they’ll print it.


Visitors jump around. They quickly move from pictures to words to video to ideas to phrases, back and forth, here and there, at a very fast pace. The idea is to capture a visitor’s attention with a chunk of information long enough to keep them interested, provide them relevant information, and direct them to make a decision to act.

Less is More

When writing content for your website, think in lists, not in paragraphs. If you need to write in paragraph form, make it less than 100 words. If your content is long and comprehensive, provide a short summary for the reader. Use headlines or blurbs for your content. If the headline is interesting, your reader will continue. Most people will read the first couple words of your content, and they’ll read on only if they’re engaged.


Navigation is one of the biggest reasons visitors get frustrated. If visitors are frustrated by not having user-friendly, obvious navigation buttons available, they will leave your site in seconds if they are not attracted by the information presented.

Make sure that the information you are providing to your visitor is easy to find and navigate through. Highlight the information that your visitors need. Bring those chunks of information to the front. Have each chunk of information linked or connected to the other with easy to follow paths. Make sure your information can be easily printed or provide downloadable PDFs for your visitor to save and print later.

Certain Things

There are certain things potential clients are looking for when they visit your website. They could include:

� You are credible;

� You can be trusted;

� You are personal; but

� Most importantly – You can be contacted.

You Are Credible

They want to know you are credible. You must show them that you are real, legitimate, and true.

Put your InterNACHI certification verification seal somewhere above the fold of your homepage and with the other logos at the bottom of every page (where a visitor wouldn’t need to scroll to notice). The seal is an InterNACHI member’s most powerful sales tool, designed to be interactive with your visitor. Use it.

You Can Be Trusted

They want to know you can be trusted. Testimonials help demonstrate your trustworthiness. You can get testimonials by using a Client Satisfaction Survey at InterNACHI.org.

You Are Personal

They want to know that you are personal. You can show them that you are by putting your picture, and the pictures of every employee of your company, on your website. Include a small bio that is more personal than professional. If you have children, a hobby, a particular interest, show them. In your emails, be personal and friendly. Let your personality come through.

You Can Be Contacted

Every page on your website should direct your visitors to contact you. And they need to contact you. All of the content that your site contains should be providing reasons to contact you. Now. Provide your contact information. Make sure it is easy to find. The best thing to do is to embed a “Have me call you now” button on your site.

You Are Friendly to First-Time Buyers

Recall the data in Step 1. Since many homebuyers are first-time homebuyers (47%), your website must communicate to that type of site visitor. Use a marketing logo on your website’s home page to attract the attention of first-time homebuyers specifically. We have one available.

You Inspect New Construction

Since 1 in 5 homes sold is new construction, your services better include that type of property inspection. Visit http://www.overseeit.com/ to get leads from homebuyers seeking a variety of services including:

� New construction phase inspections;

� Final walk-through inspections;

� Project and contractor oversight;

� 1 year builder warranty inspections; and

� Annual inspections for property owners.

Your Sign Is in the Yard

Since 59% of all homebuyers used a yard sign to find their home, and 46% used an open house to find their home, consider offering the following service found at MoveInCertified.com.

You Provide Pictures

Recall from Step 1 of the article that 84% of all homebuyers reported the photos to be the most useful information. If you’re not providing photos on your website and in your inspection reports, you’re making a mistake.

Above the Fold

Make sure the best content, your main message, the critical stuff that will attract attention, is located above the fold. “Above the fold” means the location in the top part of the screen that the site visitor sees before scrolling down. Your best information should be above the fold so that people can see right away what you want them to see.

That Was Step 4

That was Step 4 – communicating using your website. So far we’ve learned:

� Identifying your target market and focusing on your ideal clients (Step 1);

� Developing your niche service – your menu (Step 2);

� Understanding what your clients want and providing a return on your clients’ investment (Step 3); and

� Communicating Using Your Website (Step 4).

Step 4 puts it all together on your website. Your website must be designed to address the needs of a typical homebuyer who is young and experienced with using the Internet to find information quickly. Success in the home inspection business includes effectively communicating your niche services to your ideal clients who are visiting your website and desiring to invest in you.

Thank You

We thank you for your time. We hope you found the information valuable to your success. We wish you the very best.

If you are interested in one-on-one consultation about your business, please feel free to contact the author.

BEN GROMICKO, author of “4 Steps to Marketing Success in 23 Minutes”
Helping property inspectors achieve success and maintain inspection excellence.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Benjamin_Gromicko



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