Unexpected (Active) Rain -- Why We Are Hired and Illogical Logic

By
Home Inspector with King of the House Home Inspection, Inc
I estimate that twenty percent, or more, of my inspection work comes from my firm's online presence. Sure, the bulk of my work still comes from referrals, mostly from past clients or real estate professionals, but I think I can make an argument that I have achieved some modicum of success with my efforts at online marketing. I want to share with you a few things I have learned while working in the rain.

I find that, as my marketing efforts evolve with the changing and highly competitive marketplace, I am amazed by things I discover about the general public. Some of it makes sense, some defies reason. There is one big discovery I made, almost two years ago, that becomes more important all the time.

 .

Active Rain serves many functions and, while it may not be all things to all people, it comes close to that lofty goal in my book. What can it do for you? Active Rain is a high visibility, and neatly organized, site that will host your blog posts.  Active Rain can dramatically enhance your online marketing efforts. Playing in the rain helps a person achieve his or her marketing goals by providing strong search engine optimization (SEO).

I have had realtors tell me that competitors in the market become discouraged with their search engine optimization. I have been told that some inspectors have said: "the King of the House guy gets all the google." That is not exactly true -- another local AR member gets some of it and it does fluctuate a little bit. But I have great SEO and, as I have confessed before, the power comes from Active Rain. It is the driving force being used in conjunction with key words, back links and a quality main website.

The way I look at it, Active Rain is an awesome vehicle that gives a person potential, but that person has to go to the effort to make it work. A realtor asked me the other day how much my dominant SEO cost. The answer was zero in dollars but lots in sweat equity. To be successful in the rain, and online, you have to work diligently, stay up with and get in front of your competition, use effective key words and be consistent.

SEO juice, as I have stated before, comes from the power of the rain. Since I have written a post that discussed that topic, I want to head off on another track.

Speaking of tracks, I track where my business comes from.  When I book a job, I ask how the client found me and why I was selected. Some of the answers are no-brainers -- what you would expect. In that category, we have the following:

#1  reason -- you were at the top of the search engine maps page

 #2  reason -- you dominated the organic results at the search engine. This often has subtle overtones. For example, they visited my web page, and/or my Active Rain page, and liked my qualifications and my sample report.

#3 reason -- through the online search they found stories, about my firm, in the print media.

Bellingham Herald article

Bellngham Business Journal article. (The reporter found me, in the first place, through Active Rain.)

Now, all this seems logical, so far. Let's briefly look at some of the funny reasons I have been selected. Some of them make sense, others are a stretch.

#4 reason -- spelling is good

I had two people, in one week, tell me that they hired me because they scoured my sample report and they did not find spelling errors. In one case, the lady was an English teacher and she wanted an inspector who could spell. Drag your cursor over the spelling bee below who will tell you more about the importance of good spelling.

#5 reason -- I like your truck and sign

They thought I had a cool truck and they liked the logos and the name of the company. (I have yet to be hired out of love for my snappy green outfit.)

#6 reason -- love them furry creatures

I have been hired because they liked animal photos or stories in my blog. In a related vein, some of those people said they also liked the humor.

  

#7 reason -- nice gap between two front teeth. (Yes, now we are getting into weird) 

I was hired once because the client liked the gap between my front teeth. He saw the gap in my website photo. As he got out of his car, he smiled, pointed at a gap between his own teeth and said -- "that is a main reason I hired you. We both have gaps between our front teeth."

 

#8 reason -- the best is yet to come or "no action yet but wishful thinking on my part"

Now that I know what people are looking for, I have been highlighting a new photo of myself. I think it has everything people desire. This is strong marketing stuff folks.

 

Feel the power -- (1) it is very "green", like the wildlife photos, it makes me organic and at one with the earth; (2) the gap in my teeth is prominently displayed (crucial to marketing); (3) the king is clearly detail-oriented as the head is well-centered in the pumpkin. Honestly, this has all the things clients are looking for, except one. It is lacking in humor, but sometimes you have to take the serious approach.

All joking aside, you never know why people will hire you. It may be for illogical reasons. One fact remains: If you do not keep your company profile out there (online) for people to see, then nothing will happen. The public will never find you, so they will not sample your presentation and style to determine if they like you or not. That gives you no chance at their business.

Bottom Line -- Use the power of the Active Rain wisely. This site gives you the tools and power you need to do an awesome job of marketing your services. However, you are the marketer -- the one who must make it happen. While Active Rain helps people find you, you have to sell them, impress them. Make the sale! Make sure that your online image projects your best qualities. Do not waste the power of the rain. What is waste? Waste is when you are found online, but potential clients are non-plussed or turned off by your online image. You cannot please all the people all of the time, but give it your best shot.

Have fun in the rain, but remember that this ain't no silly little game. Give Active Rain your best efforts so it can be your "rainmaker."  This site, I guarantee it, can be a money maker for your firm. Keep that in mind and your banker, and your significant other, will be glad that you did.

Steven L. Smith

 Bellingham WA Home Inspections

  

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,180,844
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Hi,

Been away all day. Unusual, thanks for the comments, I appreciate them.

Oct 25, 2008 11:33 PM #18
Rainmaker
1,180,844
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Vickie,

I appreciate the thought but I think that is farther than I should be driving.

Oct 25, 2008 11:34 PM #19
Rainmaker
1,180,844
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Nicole,

I guess that is part of the point, put your whole portfolio forward because you just never know what someone will be impressed with.

Sean,

Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate your loyalty with the comments.

Oct 25, 2008 11:35 PM #20
Rainmaker
1,180,844
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Darla,

Just today I went out and bought a blue one. The green was full of holes.

 

Esko,

That is for sure, it takes work to make it work.

Oct 25, 2008 11:36 PM #21
Ambassador
2,370,998
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Indeed.  Folks comment on the fact that "I kept running into you on the Interent".

I tell them, "That was my plan".

Folks like humor too. 

Oct 26, 2008 05:28 AM #22
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous


All I can say is keep up the good work......I don't think that home inspectors in our area are very proactive with marketing their businesses online.

Oct 26, 2008 07:12 AM #23
Rainmaker
133,587
Marcia Kramarz
Re/Max Executive Realty - Medway, MA
CDPE,LMC,CBR

You're a good example for all of us! 

Oct 26, 2008 07:48 AM #24
Rainmaker
906,250
Joyce Kelley
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc - Gulf Breeze, FL
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.

You're out there alright, not many home inspectors are. You seem to enjoy your work also. I would use you if you were in my area. I love the animals also so that's a plus.

Oct 26, 2008 08:40 AM #25
Rainer
20,661
Jennifer Mallory
Keller Williams Hudson Valley Realty - Nyack, NY
Nyack NY Real Estate Broker Associate

I love that ActiveRain is not only a tool for driving business, but terrific for networking and learning. I used to read a lot of articles in magazines, but the disadvantage there is that you only get the viewpoint of the author, and major effort is required to ask a question of the author. Here, I find a lot of good information in the responses to a post as well as in the post itself.

Oct 26, 2008 08:49 AM #26
Rainmaker
1,180,844
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Lenn,

Yes, I know what you mean. People not familiar with SEO will comment on how lucky I am to rank so high. I tell them that it is not that easy. I actually try to get that ranking....big shocker.

Oct 26, 2008 10:26 AM #27
Rainmaker
1,180,844
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Diane -- Thanks for reading the post, glad it was of interest.

Marcia -- good to have you drop by my post.

Oct 26, 2008 10:27 AM #28
Rainmaker
1,180,844
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Joyce, If I was in your area I would love to work with you.

Jennifer, that is a really good point about being able to see the various opinions.

Oct 26, 2008 10:29 AM #29
Rainer
101,128
Sherry Peckhoon Sim
Sims & Company - Cayucos, CA
Broker/Owner, Covering the Beautiful Central Coast

Hi Steve, inspectors in our area are not keen or appear to be keen on promoting themselves online. Of the few I invited, only one accepted my invitation to join AR. So, I applaud your good work, and willingness to share how to make the best of AR.  As a Realtor, I could certainly learn from you.

Oct 27, 2008 01:28 AM #30
Rainmaker
1,180,844
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Sherry,

As the competition in the market increases, and more people find their own inspector, being  online becomes more critical.

Oct 27, 2008 07:47 AM #31
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

I also have had many people hire me because of the professionalism of my marketing materials and the lack of spelling errors, bad grammar, and dead links in my reports and on my web site.

Oct 27, 2008 05:44 PM #32
Rainmaker
1,180,844
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Russel,

That is a very true statement, and the benefit of good marketing. People think you are professional in large part because of how you present yourself.

Oct 27, 2008 09:58 PM #33
Rainmaker
196,880
Cheryl Willis
RE/MAX Solutions- OZARK MISSOURI - Mount Vernon, MO
MO Broker - Mt Vernon, Monett, Aurora, Barry & Law

will you come be my marketing guy?  I love this article- you are so humble (for a King), love the serious side.  be good  cheryl

Oct 30, 2008 09:59 AM #34
Rainmaker
1,180,844
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Cherly,

My assistant Nutsy will work marketing for a fee. He is the most handsome inspector in the country, Canada too.

Oct 30, 2008 10:12 AM #35
Rainmaker
196,880
Cheryl Willis
RE/MAX Solutions- OZARK MISSOURI - Mount Vernon, MO
MO Broker - Mt Vernon, Monett, Aurora, Barry & Law

I miss read your 'fee' for 'free'- see how we see what we want too. I like you and your side kick!  cw

Oct 30, 2008 10:18 AM #36
Rainmaker
1,180,844
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Cheryl

You can pay him in cashews, so it is pretty close to free.

Oct 30, 2008 10:23 AM #37
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,180,844

Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspector
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