Posting Prices and Value Propositions on Your Website: A Property Inspector’s Example
September 11, 2018
I recently addressed the problem of getting the “What are Your Rates?” question at the beginning of a phone call from your website or social media (and well before, obviously, you’ve had the opportunity to have a value conversation with a client).
One obvious solution is to simply put your prices on your website. I’m generally not a fan of that strategy, and particularly not for service businesses which have a myriad of client variables which influence the final price.
I’m sympathetic to one argument for website-posted prices, however: it can be an efficient way to deal with price surfers. Indeed, for clients whose sole concern is price, posting prices on a website saves both you and the price shopper a lot of time. If they don’t like the prices they see, they don’t call and therefore don’t waste your time or theirs.
One way to deal with the price-sensitive customer without posting your prices, however, is simply to be upfront and let the world know you are not the cheapest provider. By using this technique, you are also defining value you provide for clients whose primary concern is the value they receive relative to the price they pay. (By the way, that’s most clients.)
In such an explanation, you have the first opportunity, before the client even calls you for an initial conversation, to delineate an effective value proposition.
I ran into a well-executed example in the case of Accu-Spec Inspection Services, a residential and commercial property inspection service based in Sevierville, Tennessee. First, how can you have a pricing page for property inspection, when the size and types of properties vary so widely? Owner Tom Maides wisely avoids such a mistake; you don't find prices on his website.
Instead, Accu-Spec has a page entitled “What to Look For in a Home Inspector.” There’s a discussion of credentials, code knowledge, and experience. There’s also an explanation of why Accu-Spec incurs the added expense of using the latest technology—Infared Thermography—in their inspections. As they explain, this technology, which some home inspectors do not utilize because of cost, can detect faulty circuits, missing insulation, water leaks, and air infiltration leaks which might not be discovered otherwise.
My favorite page on this website, though, is “Why Cheap Inspections Cost the Most.” This page offers clear messages both to the low price shopper and to the client looking for a reliable, professional home inspection:
The price of a Home Inspection, like many businesses, should not be the deciding factor when looking for a Home Inspector. We have heard many horror stories from past clients about their previous Home Inspector. Far too often the inspector missed something big that cost them big bucks, heartache and a lot of trouble! The one common thread: They went with the cheapest inspector! Don’t make an expensive mistake.
The price-shopper who reads this paragraph gets a clear message: Accu-Spec is not the cheapest home inspection service. An additional message, one which specifically resonates with a client understanding the need for a high-quality inspection, follows in the next paragraph:
Best value means different things to different people. Many home inspectors pride themselves on their ability to perform a home inspection in 1 hour and schedule 4 or more inspections per inspector per day. A thorough inspection is not possible with this kind of work load. An average home will require about 3 hours to complete a thorough inspection, and more than 2 inspections per inspector per day is not likely to contribute to a thorough home inspection. At Accu-Spec Inspection Services, Inc. our ethical standards, professional standards, superior reports, report delivery, and thorough inspection procedures enables us to provide the highest quality real estate inspection service in East Tennessee.
Accu-Spec is clearly telling clients that they deliberately under-schedule relative to their competitors. They do so they can take the time to provide the most thorough and professional home inspection possible. They are signaling quality to clients who want to purchase a superior inspection, those who find enough value in Accu-Spec’s attributes to want to pay for them.
Whether or not you post prices on your website, always make sure you signal the value you provide. Clients willing to pay more for a premium offering are looking for that.