Home Inspection and Real Estate Forum for Home Inspectors and Real Estate Professionals
  [Search] Search   [Recent Topics] Recent Topics   [Hottest Topics] Hottest Topics  
[Register] Register / 
[Login] Login 
[Logo]












What is a Home Inspection?
How to fix a deceptive home inspection website like Buck Fleming's  XML
Forum Index » Web Marketing for Real Estate Professionals and Inspectors
Author Message
Nathan
King
[Avatar]

Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
Messages: 5244
Location: Carmel, IN
Offline

In this thread we are going to analyze the heck out of what we will call, unfortunately, a "typical" inspection website in the home inspection industry...one that is totally deceptive.

Here's a few things you need to know before we get into all of the problems with Buck's site at https://integrityknox.com/

1. Buck is a good guy, and a Christian business owner with Christian values.
2. If something in this thread sounds condescending or mean, it is not! This is to help Buck (and thousands of inspectors like him!) deliver a better product to their clients and a message that is free of deception.
3. Some of the suggestions made here are about improving the site overall and not everything is about the many deceptive statements on the website of Integrity Inspection Service in Knoxville, TN.

Now that we have that straight, there is only one more thing we need to clear up:

I did not say, nor did I intend to imply that Buck (or anyone with a website like his) is intentionally deceptive. In fact, I would put money on his intentions being pretty good and he will personally attest to his very high moral/ethical standard. Truth is that there are many inspectors that don't have the budgets nor training to be qualified to deliver a message or put together a product that is as ideal as they would like it to be. Sometimes the verbiage they end up publishing is a mix of standard verbiage that came from a digital marketing agency and some was altered, some was not. It can also be frustrating, when an inspector is without features that are appealing to buyers and agents, to try to spin not much into something great.

Let's start with a couple of positives first before we review and improve every section of every page of Buck's website, along with some other volunteers like Scot Baker, Bryan Standley, Lee Xixis, Shannon Gatewood, and more! Some great inspectors from all over the country that deserve a true business consultation and website review.

Here's my two favorite things about Buck's website:

1. Good overall look, with real graphics. These are pics of Buck, not some generic pic from a website that you can buy for $5. This is the kind of integrity we like to see, it definitely makes clients feel better when they see real, and I would expect nothing less of Buck.
2. 20+ years of experience is right near the top, and experience matters. This was a great move and well advised, particularly for single owner-operators of small, local inspection operations.

Both of these are great features, I will post links but they can change (and hopefully will based on this review from the leading marketing and client experience expert in home inspection!) so I am going to post screenshots as attachments as well throughout this process.

Praise Be!
[Thumb - Screen Shot 2021-12-23 at 1.50.16 AM.png]
 Filename Screen Shot 2021-12-23 at 1.50.16 AM.png [Disk] Download
 Description
 Filesize 1135 Kbytes
 Downloaded:  45 time(s)


P. Nathan Thornberry
www.Nathan.tv
Take Your Career to the Next Level > https://youtu.be/hdBCJbl5byo
The #1 Vendor in Real Estate & Home Inspection
www.InspectionSuccess.net
www.RWSwarranty.com
www.InspectorServicesGroup.com
www.RecallChek.com
www.InspectorLab.com
www.InspectionSuperConference.com

Find a Certified Inspection Expert exclusively at www.InspectionCentral.net
Get your E&O Insurance at 20%+ off your current rates at www.RWSinsurance.com
[Email] [WWW]
Nathan
King
[Avatar]

Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
Messages: 5244
Location: Carmel, IN
Offline

Let's dig right in to Buck Fleming's home page! Again, clean look and there's a nice simplicity to this website of only a few pages.

WARNING: WE ROAST THE ONES WE LOVE.

Buck is a friend and an inspector and that means he is family. If I am direct or insulting, it is because I want results for Buck!


REVIEW OF THE FOLD

"The Fold" refers to the top of a page you see when you land on a website. See pic below! From here on we will have 3 categories.

Good Things!

The contact form right on front page. Love it! Simple, no BS, no captcha, easy to get in touch. Too many websites out there make that difficult!

There's a "REALTORS" Section! That on its face is good, but later in this review we will show you how this is likely losing Buck a lot of referrals. Remember this part for later!

20+ Years of Experience right in the fold. Love it!



Bad Things!

The logo is nothing particularly unique and definitely needs to be redone, which is actually good news considering how pixelated this version is. It takes a website full of good looks and striking pictures and drags it down!

The "Book Online" button - People don't need to be reminded they are on the internet. They are usually fairly aware of this fact. You may as well change it to "Book Online, Dummy!" It would be better to change this to "Book Your Home Inspection" or "Book Your Inspection" or even something more flashing like "Book Now!" or "Schedule Now!"

Phone number is at the top of the page, which is good, but it is a button with a script. This is a mistake! Make it plan text and it would be universally usable to dial your business right now and fill that schedule

Generic photo right on the home page, despite having great custom photos everywhere else! It is so obviously a $5 photo from some online source (or came with the template website) that it takes away from the credibility you would otherwise have with all that experience! Get a real photo of you inspecting!


Deceptively Bad Things!!!!

1000's of Happy Clients...this is a totally unqualified statement. Far less than thousands, in fact a fraction of a single thousand have ever expressed "Happiness" via a demonstrable tool like reviews. There is no possible way that Buck could know that all of his clients ever, which he grouped together for this deceptive statistic, were not totally angry with him in reality. This is easily fixed by the way, because Buck like many other participants in the industry pay for review services that help drive traffic looking for Buck to sites with other inspection company options. Yes, that seems like (and is) an enormous detriment and a really horrible business decision but in this case it is going to pay off for Buck because he can replace "1000's of Happy Clients" with "Over 500 Reviews Online!" and put 5 stars under the stat. It will look better, it isn't purely assumptive, and it is true!

"100% locally owned" - this statement is only a little deceptive, and mostly in an implied way. I, like Buck, own a business. He may have several as I do and as hardworking dudes that weren't handed anything we are definitely proud of that and should be. God Bless America! The problem with Buck's wording here is that he would have been fine if he had gone with the go to "Locally Owned and Operated", but he went with "100% Locally-Owned" (which doesn't need hyphenation of course). So what does that mean? How many owners are there? The implication is that there are multiple and all are local. Maybe there are multiple owners but I sort of doubt it. I will post records here from the Tennessee Secretary of State's public records to show you how I came to this conclusion. I could be wrong but it is unlikely!

"Trust a True Professional" and "Providing the Best Home Inspections", etc. on main page picture...this is a completely deceptive couple of lines. Read them over and over and ask yourself how Buck Fleming is the self-proclaimed (or was there a third party involved here?) "True Professional" providing the "Best Home Inspections" in Knoxville and surrounding areas? The answer is simply that these lines are a misrepresentation at best and demonstrably untrue. If Buck is a "True Professional" (whatever the heck that means) and you should trust him, then who precisely are the untrustworthy unprofessional inspectors in the area he is referring to? Or is he really just using words sloppily that imply that all inspectors in East Tennessee are liars and cheats? Basically if you are an inspector in East Tennessee, Buck Fleming has called you untrustworthy, unprofessional, and suggested that he delivers better inspections than all of you without exception (hence the word "best") being utilized. There are inspection companies serving the same area with ten times the staff, ten times the business (at least, probably more and for a reason), with a home inspection product that is decisively better than Buck Fleming's with coverage for failures that happen after move in included at no additional cost. (Companies like Bentley Home Inspection and Termite Services at https://bentleyhomeinspection.com/ , feel free to send me a message for more!)


If you're a real estate professional or home buyer looking for a home inspector and anything I just said is a little confusing, here are a few links that will bring you up to speed on what you should expect in a home inspection:

https://thesavvyagent.net/ - Free online book for real estate agents, likely one of the Top 5 read and distributed in real estate.
https://inspectionguide.net/included - A short summary of coverages and protections you should expect from a qualified inspection firm.
https://cpecertification.com/ - Training for agents on home inspection issues and open to home buyers as well!
https://youtu.be/ZoyM4H9wyp0 - A video presentation with agents in Michigan where Nathan Thornberry goes through the various free coverages now a part of over 20% of all real estate transactions and how to prevent financial issues for your clients from failures that happen shortly after move in.


Now back to Buck's site, and I am far from done but done for today (expect part 3 in the next few days), so far we have found a great form, a great phone number placement, but otherwise some fairly disturbingly deceptions and misrepresentations, with a giant cherry on top of assassinating the integrity of every hard working, thorough, honest, objective, and most certainly trustworthy home inspector in East Tennessee by implication.

Do I think Buck Fleming tried to insult every inspector? No, I do not believe he knew he was doing that. Do I think Buck Fleming was being intentional deceptive? No, I do not believe that either. I believe he had truly good intentions when he wrote, himself, some of the worst copy you will ever find on a website. Why? Because he didn't want to spend the money on the right marketing experts or take advantage of all the free help from the true experts in the biz at https://inspectorservicesgroup.com/ - because despite having a pastor as our President (he has two bosses as he says and the other he works for with even more loyalty and vigor!), a diverse and well educated staff of hundreds of people in jobs we have created over the last 22 years, and a large percentage of Christian workers (particularly from a few local churches where our job opportunities have been referred often), we are not a "Christian" business on the level that Buck Fleming requires. He has such high moral standards in fact that he would rather all of his clients suffer over and over again financial pains from failures he has no ability to cover than work with us as we are not quite "Christian enough".

Well, we are working on it, and as your own personal business advisor I will be delivering you and your family an amazing gift here. Enjoy the process, we're going to improve your marketing and your product and just do such wonderful things for your clients in the process.

[Thumb - Screen Shot 2021-12-23 at 2.21.27 AM.png]
 Filename Screen Shot 2021-12-23 at 2.21.27 AM.png [Disk] Download
 Description
 Filesize 902 Kbytes
 Downloaded:  47 time(s)

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 12/23/2021 03:15 AM EST


P. Nathan Thornberry
www.Nathan.tv
Take Your Career to the Next Level > https://youtu.be/hdBCJbl5byo
The #1 Vendor in Real Estate & Home Inspection
www.InspectionSuccess.net
www.RWSwarranty.com
www.InspectorServicesGroup.com
www.RecallChek.com
www.InspectorLab.com
www.InspectionSuperConference.com

Find a Certified Inspection Expert exclusively at www.InspectionCentral.net
Get your E&O Insurance at 20%+ off your current rates at www.RWSinsurance.com
[Email] [WWW]
Nathan
King
[Avatar]

Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
Messages: 5244
Location: Carmel, IN
Offline

In the next section, still on the home page, we run into a few more problems. It states the following:

"Be sure to hire the right home inspector:"

"InterNACHI Certified Professional Inspector | Local Knoxville Company | 20+ Years of Experience | Detailed Inspection Reports"


Once again we have a mix of issues. On a good note, Buck reiterates his 20+ years of Experience...but it was already stated only inches away! (see previous post attachment). While Buck's experience is definitely a good thing and there is no doubt about that, saying it twice in 2" on a screen makes it look like Buck is either careless or has nothing else to say about his company that would set him apart. There really isn't another possibility, so it is best to delete it and leave the bigger, better looking braggadocio in place!

Now to the other points...

Being "sure to hire the right inspector" implies that if you don't hire Buck (or someone like him) that you are hiring the wrong inspector. It's sort of ironic coming from the inspection company in Knoxville with the shortest menu of services and lowest level of features, but then Buck goes on to list features that every single Knoxville inspection company could rightly claim to be true of their inspection company - almost all of them are InterNACHI members (which is just a membership by the way, I am an InterNACHI member and a Certified Professional Inspector despite having never completed a full home inspection ever), all of them are "Local Knoxville" companies, all of them claim to deliver "Detailed Inspection Reports", and the last time I spoke to a group of inspectors there (I do that for a living by the way) most of them appeared to have 20+ years of experience too.

I hope you see the deception here and how it certainly didn't come with bad intentions, but it is definitely deceiving to the public to suggest they need to "hire the right inspector" and then list features of your inspection company as if these features weren't something Buck had in common with every company in the area.

"Hey, home visiting my website, I am going to cause you fear that you might choose the wrong inspector if you don't go with me because of the features I have (that all other inspectors have too, but I am going to imply otherwise)."

If I didn't know Buck Fleming of Integrity Inspection Service was a good guy, I would call this website out for being not just deceptive, but an outright scam.

P. Nathan Thornberry
www.Nathan.tv
Take Your Career to the Next Level > https://youtu.be/hdBCJbl5byo
The #1 Vendor in Real Estate & Home Inspection
www.InspectionSuccess.net
www.RWSwarranty.com
www.InspectorServicesGroup.com
www.RecallChek.com
www.InspectorLab.com
www.InspectionSuperConference.com

Find a Certified Inspection Expert exclusively at www.InspectionCentral.net
Get your E&O Insurance at 20%+ off your current rates at www.RWSinsurance.com
[Email] [WWW]
Nathan
King
[Avatar]

Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
Messages: 5244
Location: Carmel, IN
Offline

Here's a major marketing tip for Buck (and anyone with a website for their business, whether a home inspector or not)!

DO NOT GIVE YOUR BUSINESS AWAY.

While it may seem incredibly unintelligent to give away your business to your competition, Buck Fleming does so. Not because he intends to! In a way, this sort of absolves Buck of all the very likely unintentional deceptive statements on his website and defamation of his entire industry (or at least, by implication, his local competition...Buck says you suck!).

How does Buck give away his business you might ask? Go back to the last section about being "InterNACHI Certified". He made it into a link...back to InterNACHI. As you can see in the pictures I posted here, Buck made it so I can get a list of all the other qualified inspectors in the area along with their contact information within 3 clicks.

Oh, and here's the worst part. I have literally never seen an inspector do that who IS NOT EVEN LISTED ON INTERNACHI'S SITE!!!! Buck gives all of his potential clients a link to something he claims to be such a benefit (in reality it is not) so that they can find all of his competition and be left with the impression that Buck lied about his membership in this ubiquitous and basic organization.

As a side note, I personally called InterNACHI's founder, Nick Gromicko, to confirm Buck's membership. He is a member, but is a "hidden member". LOL

The cure is easy. Kill the links!
[Thumb - Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 1.32.41 PM.png]
 Filename Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 1.32.41 PM.png [Disk] Download
 Description
 Filesize 245 Kbytes
 Downloaded:  54 time(s)

[Thumb - Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 1.33.35 PM.png]
 Filename Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 1.33.35 PM.png [Disk] Download
 Description
 Filesize 216 Kbytes
 Downloaded:  55 time(s)

[Thumb - Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 1.32.19 PM.png]
 Filename Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 1.32.19 PM.png [Disk] Download
 Description
 Filesize 381 Kbytes
 Downloaded:  52 time(s)

[Thumb - Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 1.33.19 PM.png]
 Filename Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 1.33.19 PM.png [Disk] Download
 Description
 Filesize 178 Kbytes
 Downloaded:  56 time(s)

[Thumb - Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 1.32.56 PM.png]
 Filename Screen Shot 2021-12-29 at 1.32.56 PM.png [Disk] Download
 Description
 Filesize 156 Kbytes
 Downloaded:  59 time(s)


P. Nathan Thornberry
www.Nathan.tv
Take Your Career to the Next Level > https://youtu.be/hdBCJbl5byo
The #1 Vendor in Real Estate & Home Inspection
www.InspectionSuccess.net
www.RWSwarranty.com
www.InspectorServicesGroup.com
www.RecallChek.com
www.InspectorLab.com
www.InspectionSuperConference.com

Find a Certified Inspection Expert exclusively at www.InspectionCentral.net
Get your E&O Insurance at 20%+ off your current rates at www.RWSinsurance.com
[Email] [WWW]
PointMan
Winner
[Avatar]

Joined: 01/09/2022 12:14 PM EST
Messages: 45
Location: Tallmadge, OH
Offline

Nathan, a lot of great information here. I've recently been talking to people in my circle about how all our websites and sayings are the same. There is very little change in statements made on home inspector's websites.

I'll definitely be back to scour the links you gave and then take a closer, harder look at my website.

Zack
Point Man Home Inspection
PointManHomeInspection.com
[WWW]
 
Forum Index » Web Marketing for Real Estate Professionals and Inspectors
Go to:   
© 2014 Inspector Services Group