Running a successful home inspection business takes a lot of know-how. You have to know houses, of course, and all that goes into building and maintaining them. You must also hone your business skills to keep track of your appointments, bookkeeping, and marketing efforts.
And when it comes to marketing, there’s so much to think about. One of the most important — but oddly, least talked about — ways of getting your name out there is through real estate presentations. They take careful preparation to do right, but once you master the basics, a killer presentation can bring in many new clients for your home inspection company.
Here’s everything you need to know to plan and execute an amazing presentation for real estate agents.
Understanding the weekly real estate office meeting
If you work for yourself, it can be easy to forget that most businesses require meetings — and lots of them. This is also true in the real estate business. Even though Realtors operate somewhat independently with their clients and commission earnings, most are still part of a local office, where they share resources and are expected to hit sales goals for the good of the company at large.
Most real estate offices require regular meetings for agents and other employees. These meetings serve several purposes, including:
- Sharing essential information
- Building morale
- Celebrating successes
- Dealing with policy changes and updates
- Outlining sales goals and reporting results
- Providing continuing education
As you might suspect, the weekly sales meeting can be a dull affair, and most agents will be in a hurry to get it over with to get back to the real work of selling houses. This can mean that the audience of your presentation isn’t the most attentive, so you’ll need to be on your toes to capture their attention and make good use of their time.
6 elements of a winning presentation
1. Put your best foot forward
First things first: you want to come off as a consummate professional. That means looking your best — while still looking like a home inspector. You can skip the suit and tie! Instead, wear what you would to the job site, making sure that it’s the nicest version of your work clothes that you have.
Pro Tip: If you have a branded shirt, wear it. If not, try a collared golf shirt and chinos.
2. Bring snacks
One way to get into the good graces of your audience? Feed them! Many real estate office meetings are first in the morning, so coffee and breakfast pastries or bagels are always a good idea. You could also consider an afternoon snack tray of cheese and crackers, veggies and dip, or fresh fruit.
Pro Tip: Call ahead to find out if there are any allergies or dietary preferences you should accommodate.
3. Bring swag
Most real estate agents won’t be ready to hire you on the spot, so you want to make it easy for them to remember your name and contact info. That’s where branded goodies come in. For a relatively small investment, you can find just about any handy item emblazoned with your name and logo.
The trick is deciding what swag is most useful for your audience of Realtors. Here are some great ideas:
- Coloring books and crayons (to entertain kids during Open Houses)
- Tape measures
- Pocket folders or portfolios
- Hand sanitizer
- Coffee mugs
- Cell phone PopSocket grips
- Pocket multitool
And, of course, you’ll want to bring plenty of your business cards — at least enough for every agent in the office, plus extra so they can pass them on to their clients.
4. Limit self-talk
You know why you’re giving the presentation: to sell yourself. But the trick to doing so successfully is actually the opposite of what you may assume. Remember, all those real estate agents are a captive audience for your presentation, and they have lots of work to do. They aren’t really interested in hearing your full life story.
So keep it short and sweet. Use the first five minutes of your presentation to introduce yourself and discuss your business, including your years of experience, qualifications, and perhaps a quick run-down of your services. Resist the urge to editorialize by talking about how thorough and trustworthy you are — every home inspector says this.
Pro Tip: Take questions at the end of your presentation, and be prepared to answer all the usuals about your hours, availability, inspection report turnaround time, and rates.
5. Make the meat of your presentation useful
Now you may ask yourself: if I’m not supposed to talk about myself, what do I talk about?
The golden rule of real estate presentations is to use the agents’ time by offering them valuable information — news they can use. This will keep them engaged with what you’re saying, and it’s the best way to show your knowledge and expertise instead of just telling them about it. Do you have 20 years of construction experience? Show them some photos of the craziest old house you’ve ever inspected. Do you have a new certification for lead paint inspection? Craft your presentation around signs of lead paint to highlight the importance of those credentials.
The big takeaway here is to remember that your presentation is for them, not you. Think of yourself as a teacher delivering an important lesson that you wish all agents and home buyers understood, and you’ll be well on your way to delivering a presentation that agents will remember.
6. Bring lessons to life with props and handouts
To approach your presentation like a successful teacher, you’ll need to find ways to keep your “students” interested. If you’ve ever sat through a dull lecture, you know that droning on without a break is not the way to do this!
Instead, consider incorporating visuals into your talk to bring your words to life. These could include photos from past inspections, diagrams, or infographics that make boring statistics come to life. The easiest way to present these is through a PowerPoint slide show, but don’t go overboard! Just use it for the images and not as a crutch for displaying every last bullet point you’ll discuss — that’s a real turnoff.
It’s also a good idea to bring real-life props that agents can see in action. If you get creative, this could include the newest building materials, a miniature circuit board highlighting common electrical problems, a rusted pipe, or anything that helps get your point across while providing some hands-on learning.
Some more engaging ideas:
- Try a trivia game — with a prize! — to keep people’s attention
- Create a blog post or web page for agents to refer to later
- Hand out a tips sheet or flyer — branded, of course! — to summarize learning
Pro Tip: Chat ahead of time with the agency’s office manager to understand how much room and what type of technology you’ll have available to plan your presentation accordingly.
Potential topics for real estate presentations
Now that you know what it takes to create a memorable presentation, all that’s left to do is decide what topic you want to tackle. The good news is that the possibilities are nearly endless. But if that feels overwhelming, consider these ideas to get you started:
- Hot new construction methods or materials in your region
- A demo of your favorite tool (drones and infrared cameras are great choices!)
- An in-depth look at potential “deal breaker” issues — and how to fix them
- The top 10 easiest inspection issues to fix
- A run-down of the most important safety considerations for families
- A seminar on the Create Request List (CRL) focused on how to streamline and prioritize repair amendments
- A critical review of home inspection reports, complete with great (yours!) and not-so-great examples
- A primer on “add-on” inspections like lead paint and radon (if you offer them!)
- First-time buyer education: a list of common questions/issues first-time buyers will have so agents have the tools to help their clients
You already know everything you need to know about these issues to create a thorough, compelling presentation. But if you’d like a foundation, InterNACHI offers free presentation resources that you can use or modify as needed. Use them for inspiration and as a way to organize your thoughts as you build your own killer presentation.
It takes planning and practice to assemble a solid real estate office presentation, but you can do it! If you need more advice on building your home inspection business, HomeGauge is always here to help with software, website building services, and more.