Air seal and insulate your home: You can protect against heat from escaping or cold from entering into your home– reducing your heating costs– by means of insulating and air sealing your home. An inspector that is also qualified to conduct an energy survey or audit can serve to help establish the areas that need sealing and insulating.
Use a programmable thermostat: Install a programmable thermostat that can reduce the heat at a specific time if you are away from the home and raise the heat before you come back for supper. Having the heat at a higher temperature level when the house is not occupied by anyone is inefficient, so automatically having it raised and lowered at particular times will save time and cash. As a courtesy anytime inspecting a heating system, make sure to put the thermostat setting back to where the homeowner had it originally set.
Install ENERGY STAR doors and windows: Doors and windows are places where cold/warm air can easily come through. Installing energy efficient windows and doors can save energy and dollars with their better insulation capabilities. Windows can be high priced and should be viewed as one of the last upgrades to the home. If only single pane windows are in place in your home, think about adding storm windows for an added layer of insulation.
Use LED holiday lights: LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes), are at least 75 % more efficient and last approximately 25 times longer compared to typical incandescent lights. By using LED lights, you can be at ease realizing that having the holiday lights on is not substantially raising your energy prices.
Shut off the lights: This will help save dollars year-round. You can save energy by making certain the lights are shut off whenever a room is not being used. When taking a winter season vacation, ensure all lights are off in every single room before your extended time away from the house. You can also conserve on your electric bill by switching all of the light bulbs in your house to CFLs or LEDs.
Use lighting controls: You can save extra money on your electricity costs using motion sensor and time controls. Motion sensors turn a light on when motion is sensed and turn a light off after sensing a room is vacant. Using a timer for your holiday lights will ensure that you do not forget to turn them off.
Decrease the water heater: One notable way to reduce energy consumption if you are away on vacation is to just lower the temperature of the water heater. If you will be gone 3 or more consecutive days, set the water heater to the lowest or ‘vacation’ setting if there is one. Another thing you can do is add insulation to the water heater and hot water lines. If your water heater is a gas or oil unit, ensure the insulation does not interfere with the exhausting of the by- products.
Disconnect electronics: When you are away, unplug those kitchen appliances, DVDs, TVs, and computers to conserve energy and cash. These electronics, when plugged in, use up energy even when they are turned off. You may have heard the term “phantom load” or “vampire power”. These terms refer to the electric power consumed by electronic and electrical appliances while they are turned off although plugged into an outlet. This is wasted electricity.
Use a power strip: if the idea of running all around the house to unplug everything is a bit too much, use power strips to plug in several appliances, then switch it all off with the flip of the power strip switch. It is certainly a lot more convenient to have all your electrical devices plugged into one large strip. Remember, however, that these strips are generally rated for 15 amps and must not be overloaded. Bigger appliances like microwaves, refrigerators, toasters as well as other appliances with higher power loads need to be plugged directly into the wall.
Adjust the blinds and drapes: Finally, one other valuable means to conserve energy when vacationing or in general in the course of chillier months is to lower the blinds and drapes. Close your drapes and shades at night to protect against cold drafts; open them during the day to allow in warming sunlight.
Home inspection advertising and marketing can be considered just one of the most major elements in starting a home inspection business, though can also be one of the most complicated. Marketing will ensure home inspection business development as well as profits. Marketing may be expensive and frustrating. An efficient home inspector is a business owner making use of proven home inspection marketing tools and methods in order to advertise the services that they provide to future customers and referral sources. Understanding your competition and identifying your particular niche in your market is going to guarantee your success. Here are a few recommendations to follow to ensure your home inspection business is noticeable from the others in a competitive market.
Make a comprehensive business and home inspection marketing plan and stick to it! A great advertising and marketing plan is a document that enhances your business strategy and combines all your marketing research so you can work out precisely where exactly your business is going and how it is going to get there. Your home inspection marketing plan needs to consist of: objectives, details of the current market, a full analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and last but not least your methods for achieving your objectives. This plan needs to be versatile and able to be adjusted to comply with the evolving conditions in the market. An excellent marketing plan of action will save you money in the long run through reducing needless costs while at the same time presenting you with new opportunities. If you don’t have a good home inspection advertising and marketing plan it is possible that you are not making the most of all of the means to connect with your intended audience.
Get out in front of folks on a weekly basis! Research shows that face to face marketing is one of the least expensive and most dependable methods to get your name out in the market. Face to face advertising and marketing is cost effective for connecting with multitudes of folks in a quick time frame. Just about any venture needs to grab the prospective customer’s attention quickly since the window for communication is very small. Regardless of what you do, 1st get their attention and then maintain it long enough for them to engage in the message you are revealing. Keep getting out in front of folks whenever cash gets tight as this is an affordable and reliable means to market yourself. Opportunities are out there, you just have to locate them. Marketing is a lot like farming, you have to cultivate the seeds and then harvest the crops.
Manage your time proficiently. Proper time management permits you to take some measure of control over your marketing. Pre-planning your marketing activities will help your days become ordered. Set a goal as to what you want to achieve daily, and go for it. This will help you be a lot more in control of your destiny. Time management also helps with productivity, confidence and it can make your daily tasks much more fun. Most importantly, time management gives you the ability to meet your goals. It is nearly impossible to meet your home inspection marketing goals when you fail to appropriately manage your time. Something always crops up, or you spend an excessive amount of time on unimportant tasks, eating away time that needs to go toward meeting your goals. Keep in mind if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Be organized! Keep your list of prospects, clients, and contacts organized. The most efficient method of accomplishing this would be to use computerized software and set up reminders for follow up calls, meetings, letters, appointments, or anything significant you may have out there. Use this software to monitor which sources, ads and letters are producing the most leads and the most productive leads. Take knowledge in the amount of money it’s costing you to find a lead in your market, and how many leads it is taking you to find a customer. Keep your database well-maintained and accurate. Become a fanatic about list hygiene.
Understand your local market! Knowing your local market will help you establish what you should do in terms of pricing, competition, or what your specific niche is going to be. Familiarize yourself with the realtors in your location. Collect flyers and brochures of other inspectors in your market. Check the phone book, check the web, check professional home inspector association websites, and ask realtors for a list of popular inspectors in your location. Know and evaluate your competition. Exactly what report format are they using? Are they using computerized reports or paper reports? Are they providing their reports onsite or 1– 2 days later? Are they using digital pictures to give the client a visual description about what they are purchasing? Does your competition have all the insurance coverage that you do such as; E & O Insurance w / Realtor indemnification and basic liability coverage? Are they as professional as you? Did they go through a formal training program prior to becoming a home inspector? Is their pricing fair? When pricing your home inspections remember to focus on trust and professionalism. The quality of your service matters. Don’t forget to explain in words that quality to your client. Add value to your inspections vs. reducing the price, people buy when they are comfortable with what they are purchasing despite price.
Give folks something to talk about! The most reliable way of marketing is not under your control. Word of mouth advertising and marketing is the greatest way to get your name out there. When doing a home inspection go above and beyond from beginning to end. Create a positive client experience that exceeds the customer’s expectations that will cause your customer’s to say “Wow!” Make your company worthy of recommendations. Determine what it is that you want people to say about your service, supply top quality service, and most importantly treat people with respect. Give folks something to talk about, and ask them to spread the word. Word of mouth advertising and marketing fuels success.
Be aggressive! Aggressive advertising and marketing ought to take 20-30 hours out of your week if you are a full time inspector, or 5-7 hours if you are part time. Meet with as many realtors as possible. Give out 5– 10 business cards daily. Take part in realtor association or boards. Go to business lunches, and also provide breakfast or lunch to targeted real estate offices. Stop in at 2-3 open houses per week.
Stay positive! It is very important to remain positive through any and all challenges which you may come across through your life and career. Find help and support from family and friends and you will achieve your business goals before you know it!