#1. Be familiar with your state’s rules and regulations concerning COVID.
Most states have specific requirements for commercial businesses, including a description as to what makes a business “essential.” Keep updated on changes to your state’s rules so you don’t run afoul of the law or pose any additional risk to your clients.
Most states have their own website with the information they deem necessary for you to make safe and lawful choices related to your business. Here are the links to a few: Texas, Florida, California, and Ohio.
#2. If you don’t do so already and it’s possible for your company, offer options for your clients to pay online.
There are so many easy-to-use options for remote pay, including PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay, among others. Offer a few different options, and be sure to let your clients know ahead of time if you’ve updated your methods for payment. It’s important to communicate this sort of information to your customers so they won’t be taken by surprise and are suddenly unable to pay you by the method you require.
If you’re starting from scratch with accepting credit cards, check out this article from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: 3 Ways to Accept Credit Card Payments.
#3. Instead of encouraging your clients to accompany you during their home inspection, offer Zoom or FaceTime walk-throughs.
With a Zoom call or FaceTime walk-through, your clients can abide by social distancing protocols without missing any vital information by simply calling you as you go through the home by yourself. Many of Inspector Media’s clients cite the importance of open communication and encourage homeowners and buyers to be present during their inspection. But making full use video of technology is a better option right now, as well as follow-up phone calls. These safer options can help keep the experience and learning process for home inspection clients the same.
Performing home inspections while incorporating social distancing protocols is a good opportunity for inspectors to stress to their clients the importance of their report. Photos and detailed descriptions are more important than ever, so be sure to stress these factors so you can reassure your clients that they’re receiving all the information they need, just like they would if they could walk through the home with you.
#4. Be aware of what you are touching. Wear gloves, sanitize your hands, and always wear a face mask.
This precaution is self-explanatory. Stay clean for your sake and that of your clients! Everyone is taking extra precautions right now, no matter what kind of business they run. But, like a lot of essential workers, home inspectors cannot perform their jobs from home. Because of this, it’s your responsibility to do your best to limit the possibility of exposure, as well as to not allow anything you may be carrying to contaminate your client’s home. These are strange times, but it’s always worth it to do what you can to protect your clients and keep them and their homes safe.
#5. Take InterNACHI’s COVID-19 Safety Guidelines Course.
This course is free and can be taken by anyone – InterNACHI® members and non-members alike – but is specifically designed for home inspectors, contractors, and real estate agents. This safety course will help you to not only better understand COVID and how it spreads, but also learn how to protect yourself and your clients. Upon successful completion, you’ll receive a Certificate of Completion and can post it on your website and use it in your marketing to show your clients the steps you’re taking to keep them safe.
#6. Utilize Inspector Outlet’s Custom-Branded COVID Video
Inspector Outlet offers a video discussing COVID safety for home inspection clients, put it up on your website/social media pages to show your clients how important safety is to you. Also, the video can be custom-branded for your company and is incredibly high-quality which will make your page look more professional and high-tech if you don’t already have much media displayed!
BONUS TIP: Social media is CRUCIAL during this time.
During these times when face-to-face personal contact and direct communication are the exception rather than the rule, keeping up with your social media and your methods for distance contact (phone, website, social media outlets, etc.) is vital to keeping your business running smoothly. With so many states requiring businesses to temporarily close or limit their hours, it’s likely that prospective clients in your area may have no idea whether home inspectors are considered “essential” or not; they might assume that you’re closed, too. Keep your clients informed about your status, your available services, and your hours of operation by staying active on your social media.