I've had a lot of people ask me how we became 10x the size of our competition in Kansas City with 5 years of business. The answer is simple: its the way we marketed ourselves.
Most companies depend on word-of-mouth advertising from satisfied customers. That's call organic growth. Its good, but its slow. We chose a more non-traditional method called "Fishing Where the Fish Are."
Its also called Vertical Marketing. What it boils down to is this: we focused our marketing efforts where the most customers reside. Common sense, right? It is, except in our industry. Its common sense to assume the home buyer is our customer because they're the ones who actually hire us and write the check.
In the home inspection industry, the buyer is not our client. Our client is the Real Estate agent. They provide 95% of our business, and receive 95% of our marketing efforts.
I knew Vertical Marketing would work because over the past 30 years, I've worked for a couple Fortune 500 companies, and had the privilege of learning from some of the best marketing minds in the world. I took what I learned from them, and applied it to my business.
Vertical Marketing has three elements:
Data mining if how you find the top producing agents in your area.
Cross-Media Exposure is communicating by email, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc. all social media platforms. Note we don't call it cross-media advertising. We call it cross-media exposure. We don't try to sell anything. All we provide is that every agent desperately needs: information. The message we want our agents to hear is: "Its not About Us."
Staged Events: These are Lunch & Learns, pizza, coffee, donuts, Basically anything we could do to get in front of a group of agents for 5 minutes. Doesn't sound like much, but if you choose the right words and deliver it in a compelling manner, agents will respond.
For more information on Vertical Marketing, you can visit our website https/::www.lhifranchise and take a look at the video.
Try Vertical Marketing. It works!
Take care, and good luck!
By now most people are aware of the dangers in polybutylene water lines. If not, not a bad idea to google it. There has been issues with the fittings and internal corrosion that led to several Class Action Lawsuits with a settlement pool for over 21 million homes nationwide.
Few people are aware, however, of a similar issue with the replacement version of polybutylene, called PEX; a plastic water line typically white, blue or red. The primary culprits was a fitting manufactured by Zurn (model F1807) as well as one manufactured by Nibco.
The issue arose from an excessive amount of zinc used in the manufacture of their brass fittings. The chemicals used to treat water has a tendency to corrode these fittings, leading to either their failure at the fitting site or buildup of corrosion on the interior of the pipe, leading to poor water pressure.
If you believe you have PEX, check out the fittings prior to an issue. It's worth a few minutes of your time, to prevent water damage.
For more details on how to file a claim, or gather more info, contact https://sagewater.com/nibco-pex-lawsuit-class-action-settlement/ or https://www.classaction.org/pex-plumbing-lawsuit
Zurn Brass Fitting Model F1807 Internal buildup caused by brass fittings
As a home inspector, one of the most common questions I'm asked is about Asbestos identification and removal.
Ever since the word Mesothelioma became a house-hold word, the fear factor has risen exponentially. What many people fail to understand is that the majority of asbestos-related cancers are due to exposure in factories that manufacture asbestos products or employees who install it. Few experience its ill effects at home.
There are however three main areas of concern in a home:
Floor Tiles Attic Insulation Pipe Insulation
Identification Tips: Asbestos floor tiles tend to be around 8" square. Asbestos insulation looks and feels granular. Asbestos wrap appears white.
Asbestos in a home only becomes a health risk when it becomes damaged, which releases the microscopic fibers that can be inhaled.
The best advice we give homeowners is if the asbestos is intact, leave it alone. If it is damaged, have an asbestos specialist repair it or remove it entirely.
Remember, asbestos need not be a grave concern, but if you'd like to rid it from your home, have a company certified to handle it for you.
I'm often asked "What is the most-costly defect in a home?" That's a tough call because there are several areas of concern that could lead to expensive repairs, but just a few that might result in loss of life and limb. One of those is a particular electric panel manufactured by Federal Pacific Electric, and is known as their Stab-Lok model.
Millions of these were installed between the 1950-1980. Subsequent to numerous in-the-field failures, they were removed from the market, but tens of thousands still exist in homes.
According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, these circuit breakers may fail to trip properly with overload and short-circuiting, making them ineligible to be listed as acceptable by Underwriters Laboratory (UL). And since the National Electric Code (NEC) requires all electrical components to be listed by UL or other registered testing agency, they are deemed unacceptable for installation and use.
Studies suggests that FPE Stab-Lok breakers may be responsible for as many as 2,800 fires, 13 deaths and $40 million in property damage every year.” Even if the circuit is in the ‘off’ position, FPE Stab-Lok has been known to still power the circuit causing an electrocution hazard.
Considering these statistics, we recommend replacement of this panel in all instances. In this case, an ounce of prevention is certainly worth it!
The home inspection involves the use of multiple instruments, but one of the most overlooked, yet critical, is Thermal Imaging.
A thermal imaging camera pinpoints differentials in temperature, rendering the differences in various colors. For instance, dry carpet is a different color than wet carpet because the wet area is a cooler temperature. Likewise, a cold breaker in an electric panel is a different color than a hot one.
The point is this: the naked eye cannot differentiate temperatures, so its absolutely critical that your home inspector use a thermal imaging camera to identify potential areas of concern. The equipment can be expensive but insist that your inspector use one, because with out it, they are only doing a partial inspection. And the areas they miss may result in thousands of $ down the line in repairs, or worse, an electrical fire.
Actual Image Thermal Image
The first photo is what the human eye sees. The second image is what the thermal camera sees, which is a dangerous hotspot in an electric panel.
Actual Image Thermal Image
The first photo is what the human eye sees. The second image is what the thermal camera sees, which is a carpet with 40% moisture. If this went undetected, it could lead to a serious mold issue.
As a home inspector, I'm often asked: "Should I test for radon?" My answer is always a resounding yes. Why? Because when you consider these three facts, radon is one of the most important health issues in any home today.
Radon is a gas that you can't smell, see or feel. It is truly the "Silent Killer."
Have your home tested today. It's fairly inexpensive, usually between $75-125. Consider it an investment in the health and well-being of you and your entire family!