Episode 57

full
Published on:

1st Aug 2022

3 ways to be more referable

We're looking at another important lesson from Mike's book and it's all about being more referable!

If you want to reach Mike or have a question for him, contact us at hello@coachblueprint.com

Mike Crow Returns

Transcript
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Hi, this is Mike Crow and I run a home inspection business.

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In fact, I've run a couple of home inspection businesses.

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You true joy for me though, has been helping literally thousands of

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home inspectors build really solid home inspection business as well.

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We can help a single man operation be able to do over $300,000 a year.

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Maybe all the way up to $400,000 a year as a single inspector.

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Even better for me is the 80 plus companies that we have helped

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be able to build million dollar home inspection businesses.

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I would like to help you be able to do the same thing.

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Hey guys, this is Mike Crow.

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I am the father of home inspector marketing.

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I've been doing this business for, gosh, I don't know how long 30 plus years.

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And it has just been exciting.

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Somebody, the other day was talking with me and we were having this long

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discussion about my book home inspector marketing secrets, which by the

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way, I think is still out on Amazon.

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Think you can still get it.

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It has a couple of website references that are outta date,

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but the information is rock solid.

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As we were going through the book we focused in on page 59 and this was

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chapter 10 and system number six.

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And it talked about making yourself more

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referable.

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Uh, The more referable you are, well, the more business

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you have come your direction.

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And there were three things, three things that I wrote down that

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you must do to be more referable.

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When I tell 'em to you, you're gonna go, well, duh, of course.

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and then you're gonna look around and you're gonna realize that as obvious as

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that this is, or like Davy the gentleman that runs coach blueprint here for

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me, likes to say, you know, is that common sense is not common practice.

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And I love that saying, I love that saying.

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And so what you're gonna realize is that this is common sense.

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And then you're gonna realize that this is not common practice.

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In fact I'm gonna tell you that At some level, these are fireable

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offenses for one of our inspectors.

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I mean, if our inspectors can't do these things, not only are they not referable

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after a certain point, we go, you know, we just don't need this here anymore.

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And we let, 'em go.

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As one person said, we let them go find their happiness elsewhere.

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I got that from a Disney person and of course, you know, I love Disney

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backwards and forwards and sideways.

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The reason being more referable is important is because you are a direct

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reflection on whoever refers you.

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Okay.

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And we know that there are about 15 mavens out there, mavens being person

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that has an influence on a group of people and they can refer you.

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And of course, there's real estate agents and title companies and mortgage companies

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and insurance companies and builders.

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And the list just goes on and on, on there's about 15 mavens or 15 referral

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sources that you can do out there.

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Real estate attorneys is a real good one, by the way.

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And one of the things that you discover is that you need to

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make sure that you're referable.

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You know, here's one of those little secrets that I'm gonna tell you, you

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know, I hear inspectors sometimes go, you know, agents, they never refer me.

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They never refer me, but you know, when their daughter's buying a house

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or when they're buying a house, they go, oh, Hey you know, Hey Joe, can

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you come do this inspection for me?

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You know, you're one of the best inspectors I know.

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And I'm sitting there thinking, yeah, I'm one of the best inspectors, you

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know, but you won't even refer me.

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Now here's what you need to know.

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I know that he may be a great inspector, but there may be also some

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things that make him UN referable.

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So let's tackle some of those real quick.

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Here's number one be on time.

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Okay.

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And let me explain this really simple.

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I'm sure I've got it written here somewhere.

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But what I like to say is early is on.

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On time is late and late is not acceptable.

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Okay.

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We have fired inspectors before because we just can't get them for some reason to

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show up to the inspection on time early.

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You get that.

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Okay.

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So one of the things that I discovered and keep in mind that my company's

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done well over a hundred thousand inspections, I've done over 10,000

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plus inspections myself in the 30 plus years that I've been in this business.

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And.

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You know, I tried getting there 15 minutes early and that was okay.

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I tried getting there 30 minutes early.

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That was pretty darn good.

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I tried getting there 45 minutes or even an hour early.

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That was too much.

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So I went back to the 30 minutes.

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So we teach all of our inspectors to get there 30 minutes early.

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And by the way, here's the cool part.

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During that 30 minutes, we take a look at the roof.

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We take a look at the foundation.

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Now we do termite inspections.

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So we're looking for termites.

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We get all of our paperwork ready, we get our toolbox and everything

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set up on the front porch.

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We're ready to go.

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So in the 30 minutes I've looked at three of the top things that we

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know can cost us the most money.

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If we miss them during an inspection.

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So we have no pressure or anybody, you know, giving us a kind of a time pressure

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thing, because we're on the roof or walking the foundation and we can look

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at things and prod things and maybe move things away to see things a little better.

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without creating a lot of disruption in the thought process for people

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because they're simply not there.

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So very simple number one be on time.

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Okay.

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And again, remember the adage to be early is to be on time to be on time is

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to be late and late is not acceptable.

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It's one of my favorite sayings.

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So number two do what you say you will do.

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Do what you say you will do.

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You know, again, this may seem simple and we say, or do things without realizing

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how much sometimes we promise people, anything you tell someone is a promise.

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Don't forget that anything you tell somebody is a promise.

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So don't forget that.

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So when you tell the agent who shows up at the house, you'll

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deliver the report to her office.

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She's probably expecting that report right after the inspection.

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Not the next morning.

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All right.

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And by the way, you could tell people, oh, we'll deliver that report this evening.

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Oh, we'll deliver that report the next morning.

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And at least you told them, but even then, that's not the best thing that you can do.

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We'll talk about that more at some point.

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So I was up in Chicago and I was working with an inspector and he

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was saying, Mike your marketing doesn't really work that well.

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And I was going really what?

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And so we went out on some of his marketing routes.

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He was making several basic mistakes there.

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And.

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You know, for the fun of it, I decided, Hey, I got time.

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Let's go ride with him on an inspection.

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And we went to ride out on an inspection and the buyer arrived

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and he welcomed them and he said, Hey, you can follow me around.

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We'll do a great job.

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And and I was thinking, man, this is going well.

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And he did the inspection in a different routine than I would

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have done it, but you know, I get that, that's the old style routine.

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I created a new routine that it generates a better relationship with your buyer and

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with other people and helps make things a little more obvious during the inspection.

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So my routine's very unique in that respect.

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And then the agent arrived, then the agent arrived and he like snubbed the agent.

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Oh, wasn't expecting you to be here.

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You know, we'll be done with the inspection in about, I don't remember, 30

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minutes, 45 minutes, the agent went great.

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I'll hang around.

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Right.

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And then we did the whole inspection and then he looked at the buyer and said,

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Hey, why don't we go out to your car and we'll talk over the inspection report?

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He turned to the agent and said, I'll get the report to you as soon as possible.

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Right.

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And and then we walked off and we sat in the car and went over everything on

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the inspection report with the buyer and left the agent, standing in the house.

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I was like, you don't do that man and ever get referred again.

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And then it got worse.

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It got worse about one o'clock.

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This was, we did the inspection.

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Oh, I don't know, 10, 11 10 o'clock and nine o'clock or something like that.

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We finished the inspection around 12 o'clock or so around one

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o'clock I went you know, he went back, he finished up the report.

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We talked about some of the stuff he put in the report.

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He did a great job.

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I said, okay we gonna run this over to the agent.

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How are we gonna handle that?

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We're gonna email it to him.

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He went no.

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I sent it out at night.

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All the agents know that.

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I said, you really believe that the agent thinks you're gonna deliver this report

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tonight and not as soon as you're done.

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And he went, yeah.

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Yeah.

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Everybody understands that.

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And nobody delivers on, you know, a site or delivers you

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know, right after the inspection.

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And I went, wow.

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You're sure?

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And he went, yep.

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I went okay.

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And I let it go.

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Well, that was about one o'clock.

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And then about three o'clock the phone rings and it's the agent and she's

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going I, I thought you were gonna send me the report as soon as you were done.

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Are you not done yet?

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He went, oh yeah, I finished the report, but I'll deliver it to you tonight.

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No wonder the marketing's not working this dude's not referable.

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Okay.

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So she might use him for her inspection, you know, or maybe her daughters, but

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the last thing she wants is this guy doing an inspection for one of her

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clients and making her look like a dufus.

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Okay.

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And so you just gotta be really careful about that.

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So do what you say you'll do.

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He said he was gonna get the report.

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Everything else was still garbage.

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I couldn't believe how he treated her, but then he said, Hey, I'll get

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you the report as soon as possible.

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And then he didn't.

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Okay.

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And.

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He wonders why he is not referable by the way that guy's long out of business.

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So, you know, sometimes you can't help some people, they just, they won't listen.

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All right.

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The third thing, and the final thing is finish what you

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start, finish what you start.

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It's incredible to finish what you start, it's even more important for

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everyone who works with you to know that you finish what you start.

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All right.

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And I wanna give you two specific examples.

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The first one applies to every inspector every day, when you do

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an inspection, you need to make sure you finish it completely.

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All right.

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And as far as the client and agent are concerned, the sooner the better.

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All right.

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I like to talk about what I call speed and accuracy, right?

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The faster you get the inspection done, the more accurate

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it's done every single time.

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The more referable you are, you just need to know that.

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So get the report done and leave the house the way you found it.

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So, I made this mistake once and several of our inspectors

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have made this mistake as well.

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And I have worked hard now to build a system to address this.

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And so I call it a tent card.

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I call it a tent card.

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So the first time I realized it was a problem was when my dad and I were

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sitting in a chair in front of a house after an inspection, it was drizzling

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rain and I noticed that the agent was sitting in his car facing us.

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And my dad was looking through the maps go.

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And for you younger guys, that's a book that had a map teaching you how

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to go from one point to the other GPS didn't exist yet at that time.

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Anyway I know I'm showing my age, but anyway, dad was working on how

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do we get to the next inspection?

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Now I noticed the agent looked at us and I said, dad, the the

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agent's kind of staring at us.

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dad looked up and he said, yeah, he's probably waiting for us to leave.

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You know, that kind of made sense.

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And so I didn't worry about it much, but then I looked at him again and I could see

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he was looking at us and then he looked at the house and he did that several times.

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Okay.

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And I will never forget.

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You know how you could see somebody do a body motion and you know, you could

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hear the sound that goes with that.

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So here's what I heard just by watching him.

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I saw his shoulders rise.

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I saw the shoulders, you know, go down.

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I heard the, I could hear the sound and I was going, what the heck?

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And I heard the agent sigh, you know, metaphorically.

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And he got out of his car.

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He walked up the side yard through the wet grass and he closed

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the gate that I had left open.

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Okay.

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And you know what?

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We never saw that agent again.

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All right.

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So we didn't finish what we started.

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We didn't put the house back exactly the way it was when we started.

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And if the fence had been open, when we started, I should have told the agent,

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by the way, the fence was wide open.

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When we got here.

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I don't know if they have reason, but I'm leaving it that way

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because that's the way we found it.

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I should have told them.

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So they would've known.

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Okay.

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Now I'm gonna give you another experience.

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As I grew my business and I had multiple inspectors, most inspectors

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probably never have this problem.

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Okay.

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And maybe you won't ever have to deal with it.

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If you're in business long enough and do enough inspections, I guarantee

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you, this will happen to you at least once, if not 3, 4, 5, 6 times.

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So you start the inspection and the buyer's working with you and you look

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around the outside of the house and there's obvious foundation problems.

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And you could walk around the outside of the house and you see the

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roof and there's shingles missing.

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It's very obvious.

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Right.

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And then you start on the inside and you can't get the air conditioning

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to come on and it's a hot day.

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Right.

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And the buyers are following.

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Every step of the way.

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And then you open up the main electrical panel and there's

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aluminum wiring throughout it.

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And it's the last straw for the buyers.

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Right?

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So the buyer, a lot of times will say, you know, you've done a

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great job, but I've seen enough.

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I'm kind of done here.

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Maybe you can gimme a discount on this inspection and maybe

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the next one, I don't know.

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But I'm done.

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You don't need to write me a report.

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I don't need anything.

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Just tell me how much owe you and I'll write you a check, right?

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And you're going, wow, well, bummer.

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Okay.

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By the way, here's the secret.

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My dad learned never open the main electrical panel first, never open

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the main electrical panel first.

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It should be one of the last things you.

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So that this doesn't happen to you if there's aluminum wiring okay.

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So there's a little bit of routine secret there.

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All right.

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So keep in this mind, you know, they insist they're done.

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You need to go no further.

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They need no report.

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The buyers are holding their keys and they're ready to leave and they just

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wanna know how much they owe you.

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If anything, you know, And maybe you give 'em a discount.

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Maybe you don't, maybe you promise 'em a discount on their next inspection.

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I'm fine with all of that.

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And then what you do next though, is the most important thing.

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So some inspectors think to call the agent and let 'em know, Hey, your

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buyer saw that there was foundation problems and roof problems.

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And then they discovered the house had aluminum wiring.

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And they said they were done.

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Okay.

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Well, here's the most important part of all.

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You are not done yet.

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You might think you're done.

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You might even convince yourself done.

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Somebody else might tell you.

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Well, yeah, you were done buddy, but you're not done until you

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produce some kind of report.

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Okay.

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You're not done until a report has been produced, you might

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say, but the home buyer said he didn't need or even want a report.

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And, you know, I, I kind of got.

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So when I first recognized this problem, most inspectors gave me a dozen reasons

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why a report was no longer needed and I'm here to tell you it is needed.

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Okay.

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You're leaving the agent hanging and in the long run you're causing the

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buyer a potential problem as well.

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When it hits the seller side of the equation

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well, let's say they have a lot of questions and no real

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answers and nothing to back it up because they don't have a report.

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And if there's not a report well or not a complete report, maybe that's

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fine, but mark everything you didn't inspect and say not inspected.

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And then make a note that reads something along this line, the

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inspection was canceled prematurely

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at the request of the buyer.

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Now you put that on your report, so they understand it wasn't

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you that canceled the report.

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It was somebody else.

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And the last statement is really you're there for your protection.

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Otherwise the rumors will fly in it'll sound, something like

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this, man, the inspector talked the buyer outta the house.

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Get the picture.

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Okay.

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So all of this can be avoided if you simply finish what you start.

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So there's a lot of simple little things here that I need to make, you know.

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All right.

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So most agents will use you for their own home and maybe even their daughters,

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but they won't recommend you to their buyers because, well, you're too thorough.

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Nonsense it's because you're not referable.

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Okay.

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Maybe it's cuz you don't show up on time.

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And they don't wanna recommend somebody that doesn't show up on time.

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Maybe it's cuz you don't do what you say you will do.

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Okay.

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Or maybe it's cuz you don't finish what you start.

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Those are just three of about seven or more items that you

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need to know at some point.

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And you know, here's what the agents tell me, cuz I ask the agents,

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Hey, I have a great inspector in my area and I like him, but.

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he's regularly late and he leaves me hanging one way or another and

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he doesn't leave the house in the way he finds it and on and on.

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And I, and so I've sat in, I'm more real estate agent circles than probably

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anybody, you know, in this industry.

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And they say, oh, I don't mind using it for myself, you

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know, but I'm not comfortable recommending em to my clients.

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It makes me look bad.

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All right.

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So there's two sides to every story.

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And I thought you might like to know that one.

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So ask yourself this question, which one of these is an area in

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which you could do some improvement?

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So one of the things I try to do with my inspectors for instance, is make

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sure they all arrive 30 minutes early.

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You ask any amount of questions?

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In fact we used to call it Crow time and then in our business, we now call

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it Texinspec time cuz the name of our home inspection business is Texinspec.

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So this is important if you are not on top of all, three of these, be on time,

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do what you say and finish what you start.

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Maybe a few more, then you're not referable.

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You're absolutely not referable.

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Okay.

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And so I wanna make sure that you realize that, well, there's the three

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must to making sure that you are referable, because if you get those

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wrong and your marketing might get you started, but it won't sustain.

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You, you have to put a good inspection behind it.

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You have to make sure that you do the things that make you referable.

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And if you don't do those.

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Don't expect people to use you a second, third, fourth, fifth time.

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All right.

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And that makes it really hard to grow a business.

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Now I'm very fortunate.

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We work on doing all of these things and so we have agents that use us

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20, 30, 40, 50, 60 times a year.

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All right.

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And They know that we understand.

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In fact, one of the things I tell 'em at meetings a lot of times is I understand

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that we are a direct reflection of you on each and every inspection.

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It's one of the reasons we wear professional uniforms.

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It's one of the reasons we show up early.

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It's one of the reasons that even if the inspection, some reason gets

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canceled halfway through the inspection, we still produce a report for you.

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Okay.

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And they all go, wow.

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Because we wanna make sure that we take care of the home buyer, the client,

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absolutely over the top, but we don't wanna leave the real estate agent or any

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of our mavens that could refer us hanging.

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Well guys, this is Mike Crow.

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And we'll talk about another situation like this recently,

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probably outta my book, cuz I've been talking with a lot of people.

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So I have four magic words.

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I have the three letter word that will make you more powerful

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than anything else out there.

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And then we'll talk about some other fun stuff too.

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And.

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It's a lot of fun.

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I will tell you that currently I am in the process of meeting with some

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top inspectors three times a year for mastermind events and every now

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and then I will invite people to come and sit like a fly on the wall.

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Can you imagine sitting around some of the top top home inspectors from across

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the nation and sitting around the table with them and watching what they've done

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and being able to have lunch with them and dinner with them and figuring out how they

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grew million dollar businesses in some cases, multimillion dollar businesses.

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And of course we run a multimillion dollar business.

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So when you come, you get to walk our business and see it

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and understand some of that.

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You can learn more about that by going out to I think our current

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website is MikeCrowReturns.com.

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Mike, M I K E Crow, C R O W returns.com.

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I am ramping back up on my coaching business.

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I'm having a lot of fun.

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I've been helping people and they've been having great successes.

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I wanna see how many people I can help now.

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And my prayer to some degree is Lord, let me help one more.

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Let me help one more.

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Okay.

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And so with that said, the way I do that is by this simple

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phrase here, be successful.

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And be around those that are successful because the more money you make, the more

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people you can help have a great day.

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About the Podcast

The Home Inspector Marketing Podcast
Marketing and Business Building Strategies for Home Inspectors.
Revealing the secrets to building your home inspection business.