One Year Anniversary Celebration!

"I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it."

– Thomas Jefferson

Home Inspection Phoenix


This week was really fun. It marked the one year anniversary of our entry into the Phoenix market. A year ago the team at Halpern Residential trusted us with their clients. Since then, we’ve helped over 500 families purchase their new homes. We’ve also had the good fortune to add two inspectors, a marketing team, a sewer inspection team and a termite inspection partnership.

As a token of our appreciation and in celebration, today we had the privilege to give away a 50” TV to Stacy, a client of Chris Purull, of the team at Launch Pad. We hope you enjoy your new home and watching the Pittsburg Steelers on your new TV! Congratulations!

Arizona, we sincerely appreciate your trust. We appreciate the opportunity to inspect and educate people about their properties. We enjoy the opportunity to protect buyers during the purchase of their home. Our team truly believes that the more homes we inspect, the more people we can help. 

Thank you from all of us! Big things are to come!

-Sean Garvey
Dwell Inspect Arizona
(480) 867 - 4599

10/17/18 - New Home Inspector Program roll out for Agents and Buyers

“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product,
you’ve launched too late.”

— Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn


I was recently inspired by a social media post that we were tagged in by a great local real estate agent and friend. In his Instagram stories, he took a video of some "handyman wiring" and joked 'Is this code?' And while its clearly not code (and rather funny), it leads me to think that there is perhaps an opportunity to use social media as a quick reference tool for realtors and home buyers alike while out previewing properties. Maybe you see something that you are unsure about or want to know if its something to be concerned about, etc? So, I've spent the day thinking about how to roll something like this out, would it be used, could we get any traction, how would the timeline work, etc. And then I came across the above quote from the one of the founders of LinkedIn. So, here we go...

If you find something that you are unsure about in a house, we want to be your "go-to" inspection resource and help to answer any questions you may have. You'll look both professional and resourceful to your clients. Additionally, we believe that it will help to avoid any uncomfortable inspection conversations.

Here are the rules:
1) Take a video and/or picture of the item in question and post it to your Instagram story or feed.
2) Tag us in the story or post (@dwellinspectaz)
3) We'll respond as soon as possible with an answer.  

Pretty simple. We hope to be of assistance. 

Here's to trying new things! Have a great week! 

- Sean Garvey
Dwell Inspect Arizona
(480) 867 - 4599

9/23/18 5 Keys to business success

“If you don’t know what you want, the chances that you’ll get it are extremely low.” 

― Ben Horowitz

You'd better have a vision. As you grow a business it is important to know where you want to go, why you want to get there and how you should arrive. Then, throw that all out and learn how to be adaptable. Understand that all avenues of business can change, and it is the vision will carry you to the destination. 

As I continue to study entrepreneurial success, I have noticed some common themes. While I don't personally claim to be a great entrepreneur, I think that it is important to study great business leaders to learn from their experiences. 

1) Among all of the trials and tribulations, the pivots and the challenges, the ups and the downs, great entrepreneurs and great leaders have one thing in common - they never give up. They make mistakes, they learn, they grow, they challenge, and they succeed.  They may not even be in the same business as when they started, but they keep moving forward. 

2) The path to success is never a straight line up. Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, made no money, missed payroll, lived in his office, etc. for years before Nike ever evolved into the company that is seen today. Being a business owner, especially in the beginning, is a grind and a little dirty. You have to wear many hats and be willing to work many jobs.

3) Focus and sacrifice are a must. To build a great business, requires great attention. You must be borderline obsessed. Bill Gates never took a day off in his 20's.  Commitment to social obligations, fitness, family life, and entertainment may fall off (especially in the beginning). You have to realize that you can't do it all, you also have to understand that your friends will tell you that you can't do it. What they don't realize is that it is something that you must do, and you can.

4) Growth is a must. You must be willing to learn and be vulnerable. You must learn what you've done right, what you've done wrong and still be willing to ask why. You must read books, go to conferences, listen to successful people in other industries, review market trends, improve your processes, improve your services, etc. Complacency is the death of business.

5) Be comfortable being uncomfortable.  A while ago I realized that the feeling of being uncomfortable, that pit in your stomach, is actually a signal that you are doing something right. When you are outside of your comfort zone, you are extending a skill set, making a new contact, helping an employee to become better and ultimately making yourself better. When you embrace an uncomfortable situation, it will be much easier to address the next time.  

A great entrepreneur realizes that they are building something bigger than themselves, that their vision is the ultimate destination. Although it may seem selfish in the moment, and it is often hard to articulate, that is the purpose of having a vision - to stay on track and not stray when the going gets tough. Go get em! 

- Sean Garvey
Dwell Inspect Arizona
(480) 867 - 4599

9/9/18 All Marketers are liars...

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but the stories you tell."

- Seth Godin

 

I have just finished the book, "All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World," by the marketing guru Seth Godin. Through the book readers are presented with a series of thoughtful marketing concepts designed to push the true marketer. There are several segments that require thoughtful analysis but also insight into marketing techniques that have been used on you, and techniques that you can use for your business.

 

Due to recent advancements in technology, Godin, consistently drives the theme of the responsibility that the marketer now has to tell a concise, interesting story of the brand and the product. Traditional avenues of television and advertising are no longer considered effective in a connected world. Most importantly, he states that the message must be authentic to be successful.

 

"We drink the can, not the beverage."

 

People purchase items for the perception of how it will make them feel and not necessarily the function. In a recent email, we compared a Nissan Versa to a Mercedes. And while both vehicles can perform the same basic function, the Mercedes exudes style, speed and wealth.

 

In the same respect, why would anyone ever purchase Tylenol, when the store brand is 75% cheaper and has the exact same ingredients. It probably come off of the same assembly line ; yet there is a reason that Tylenol is present on the supermarket shelves, it sells. Marketers have led the buyer to believe that the branded Tylenol product is superior to the alternative, and thus more effective.
 


“We believe what we want to believe, and once we believe something, it becomes a self-fulfilling truth.”

 

When consumers make a purchase, they've made a decision. They made the decision to part with their hard-earned money to receive a good or service that they believe will benefit their lives. Once they've made that decision, they will likely make it again, and also, they will also defend it to their friends and family. Knowing this is particularly beneficial to develop your business. Should your goods or services exceed expectations your consumers will become your single greatest marketing tool. To date, amongst all technological advancements, the most powerful marketing tool is still word of mouth adoration from consumers experienced with your company. It’s simple, deliver exactly what you promise and be authentic in delivery.

 

“Stories (not ideas, not features, not benefits) are what spread from person to person.”

 

Benefits are important as well as features, but they can be complex, unimportant to the consumer and potentially replaceable. The one thing that can't be copied is a story that provides a positive outlook. What is a company's story? Its unique to each brand. Its not always entirely obvious, but it should not be overlooked. 

 

“Your story is a symphony, not a note.”

 

Work on your story, know that it will develop and evolve. It won't be perfect in the beginning, but it will become better with each victory. Understand the uniqueness that it provides and the power that it gives your business to differentiate your brand from the pack. 

- Sean Garvey
Dwell Inspect Arizona
(480) 867 4599

8/19/18 Do not be a commodity. Why some home inspectors are and why some are not.

"Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not."

—Michael Dell

As the reach of business grows and the technological  advances within industries rapidly increases, it becomes more and more important to avoid the trap of becoming or positioning your business as a commodity.

In business, there are basically two different motives of competition. Price or Service. When you sell a product that competes on price, you often eliminate services in order to accommodate a more simplistic model. When you sell a product that competes on service, you can command a higher price, but it is up to you to tell your buyer why your product is superior to the competition. This is called marketing. 

For example, take two different types of cars. One is a Nissan Versa and the other is a Mercedes AMG GTR. Both vehicles will get you from point a to point b, they have a seat belt, there is some storage, and there is a radio with a blue tooth connection. The Nissan can be purchased for $12k and the Mercedes can be purchased for $120k. So, why does the Mercedes command a price 10x that of the versa to perform the exact same task? The answer is service coupled with marketing.

Purchasing a Mercedes AMG GTR is an experience, while purchasing the Versa fills a need. For example. you can choose your color with either vehicle. The Versa is available in Gun Metallic, while the same color in the Mercedes is Selenite Grey Metallic. I don't even know what it means, but I want it. The transmission for the Versa is a 5-speed manual and for the Mercedes a 7-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT dual-clutch transaxle. Whatever that is, you have to have it. The Mercedes boasts a 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds, the Nissan Versa, a couple of days. 

Which vehicle is going to make you feel smarter, better looking, funnier, and allow you to convince yourself that you made the best purchasing decision? Clearly the Mercedes. Mercedes gives you every reason to want to pay more to perform the same task of getting from point a to point b.

As the speed and reach of technology increases, for most - it is becoming more and more challenging to compete on volume and price. The leaders in those industries are dominant, well funded and aggressive. Think Amazon for product sales, Walmart for discount retail, Home Depot for home products, Walgreens for drugstores, etc.

Personally, in our industry, I believe that the low cost leader for real estate has yet to be determined. There are several players that are jockeying for position and are starting to grab real estate market share. There are the obvious dominants like Zillow and Redfin. Then there are some newer players like Offer Pad and Open Door that are making an impact into the market. It sometimes feels like the sharks are circling, and we aren't even realtors. But in the world of low cost competition where the service provided is a commodity, the competition is fierce, the customer is not loyal, and the model is replaceable. Competing on price is a one-trick pony.

So, look for ways to build your business like Mercedes. Provide value to your clients by listening to their unique needs and acting in their best interests. Create such unique client gifts that they will brag to their friends about the opportunity to work with you. Provide contacts of service providers that do the best job not the cheapest. Make their lives easier. Build your knowledge and skills so that you can provide the best solutions. Provide intangibles that the low-cost providers could not possibly match. 

If business was always about saving money, then everyone would want the Versa. But let's be honest, no one wants the commodity (aka the Versa & I owned one). 

- Sean Garvey
 Dwell Inspect Arizona
 (480) 867 4599

8/12/18 At Dwell Inspect Arizona - To become the fastest growing home inspection firm - We Set Goals and Revisit Them Too!

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” 

Andrew Carnegie

This week I took some time to reflect on the goals that I set at the beginning of the year. I like to set at least a few goals that are seemingly unattainable. Goals that challenge my business, my relationships, my fitness, my personal growth, and much more. There is an old adage, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.” Well, being in a new market with a new business, I set goals that were the equivalent of the moon. Fortunately, I've connected with some amazing people, and those numbers will likely be demolished. Our other inspection companies, in Hawaii and Georgia, have also far surpassed their numbers from last year. I've become a true believer of writing your goals down, but recently discovered an equally important aspect to reaching success. You must review these goals often to ensure that you are on pace. A consistent reminder will correct and motivate your path so that you can reach even higher the next time.

If you set goals and forget them, then it's easy to allow yourself to fail. However, if you set goals, review them, and remind yourself why they are important, I truly believe that you'll achieve them - no matter how great they may seem from the onset.

- Sean Garvey
Dwell Inspect Arizona
(480) 867 - 4599

8/5/18 The best Home Inspectors know that The devil is in the details.

“Paying attention to simple little things that most men neglect makes a few men rich.” 

– Henry Ford


For me, this is a really important concept. This philosophy is the cornerstone of the three inspection businesses that we've created (Hawaii, Georgia, and Arizona). Another iteration that I also love is, "The devil is in the details."

The little things matter, in fact, the little things are everything. Let's be honest, there are a lot of inspection companies, and there are a lot of competent inspectors, but most in this business either fail or struggle forever. Most miss the mark thinking that a good inspection is enough. The truth is, a good inspection is expected. The little things that make an experience outstanding are great service, a positive attitude, excellent communication, true care and dedication to delivering more than expected. 

We've strategically designed each business and provided the proper tools empowering our team to excel at service. We strive to guide a buyer through the inspection process and help them better understand the property they are purchasing. We realize there are different personality types and discuss that they each have different communication styles and approach requirements. We truly are so grateful for every opportunity to serve. 

- Sean Garvey
Dwell Inspect Arizona
(480) 867 4599

7/30/18 In Home Inspections - Service is Everything

"Well done is better than well said."

Benjamin Franklin

To me, the definition of good customer service is the ability of an establishment to take something from the mundane and transform it to an experience. Contrary to some beliefs, the home inspection business is actually a service business. So as an owner of this business, I am always trying to learn and improve our service experiences. 

Recently I was fortunate enough to be reminded of what good customer service is, and, in conjunction, I was reminded of the opposite. Both were experiences from hotel stays, so the comparison is parallel. I'd like to share two experiences, see if you can tell the difference.

The first was a stay at a property owned by a large company commonly referred to as the 'Happiest Place on Earth.'  When our family arrived at the valet stand to park at the hotel, the valets were standing around having a conversation with each other. They did not open the doors, they mouthed a simple 'hello' and walked to the back of the car to get the bags. As we walked in the hotel, it was easy to notice the beauty of the structure, but then we were greeted with a long line at check in. When we walked to the room we passed several employees that seemed too busy to acknowledge our existence, including a couple of people in suits that almost ran us over. My wife and I decided to spoil ourselves with a spa visit but were informed upon arrival to the spa that the facilities would actually be closing immediately after our massage. The facilities that we had been told we'd have access to, after our service, at the time of booking, would actually not be available for us to use. The room was clean and the view was beautiful, but the entire experience felt transactional. 


The second hotel is an iconic Paradise Valley hotel. When we arrived, we were greeted by the valets opening our doors, assisting with our luggage and opening the front door for us. As we passed every person on the staff, they stopped what they were doing and looked up, smiled and said 'hello.' When we entered into our room, we were greeted with a welcome snack and a personal note to call if we needed anything. The room was clean and the view was beautiful, but the experience felt welcoming.

Great service is easy to provide. It is not about the product you provide, but how you make your customer feel. It requires attention to detail, genuine care for your customers, and the ability to adapt to your customers' specific needs. Additionally, it requires specific service based training for your staff and a company culture that sets that standard. Great service is the defining moment that elevates an experience from transactional to memorable. Thank you for the opportunity to provide service to you and your clients, we sincerely value and appreciate you. 

- Sean Garvey
Dwell Inspect Arizona
(480) 867 - 4599

7/22/18 We founded this inspection firm to make a difference. To create a culture that we are proud to call ours.

"Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back, everything is different?" 

-C.S. Lewis

Every once in a while we have to take a moment to reset. Sometimes it is forced and sometimes it is driven by the market. This last week, we experienced a bit of a slower week, and while some firms may have panicked - we continued to stay the course. Additionally, while I had a bit more discretionary time, I took the break to spend some much needed time with my family. We even managed to escape up to Flagstaff and enjoyed some of the many amazing elements that the Great State of Arizona has to offer. 



With the extra free time, I took the opportunity to make the business better. We are in the midst of a report template rewrite to make our inspectors more efficient on property. Additionally, we are strategizing team member hires and exploring marketing avenues. We also updated our website and have taken the time to develop the fundamentals of our inspection team. 

We founded this inspection firm to make a difference. To create a culture that we are proud to call ours. Beyond that, to provide for families beyond ours. With that, we see great responsibility. While others see a slower calendar, we see the opportunity to grow further.

We'd like to share what "DWELL" means to us:

D – Discipline
Make a plan and take action.  If assigned a task, complete it. Do whatever it takes to get the job done. Always be on time.

W - Welcome
Welcome the advice of everyone. Try new things, seek new technology, and always be willing to learn.

E - Educate
Always be willing to sharpen the ax.  Become better at your job and perform it levels higher than previously possible. We don’t know everything and should always be learning. We aren’t better than any of our clients and buyers. Lincoln once said, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”

L - Level
Approach every job with a level or neutral position. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Be mindful of the clients and buyers we work with, never swaying one way or the other in both tone and presentation. Be unassuming and don’t judge. A house that looks to be a tear down could be a dream house for someone else and their family.


L - Loyal
Be honest, trustworthy, and ethical.  Uphold the highest standards of this word and lead the industry by example. Have high standards for yourself.  Be accountable to your company, our clients, and everyone in our company. Never take shortcuts. If you think you missed something go back and check. Don’t be lazy.  Costly errors can occur this way. Trust your gut and do what’s right.

 - Sean Garvey
Dwell Inspect Arizona
(480) 867 4599

7/15/18 Chasing excellence

"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."

- Vince Lombardi


While on my Sunday morning hike, I had some time to reflect on the first half of the year. For a home inspection business that is new to the Phoenix market, we've had an outstanding first half of 2018. We've added two inspectors in training. We are in search of an office manager. Our reputation and trust is growing within the Real Estate Community and online. We've added 20 five star reviews on Yelp, 40 five star reviews on Google, and 12 five star reviews on Facebook. We are quickly becoming the trusted source for home inspections, mold tests, and sewer scope services in the Phoenix Market.

All that being said, there is a single one star review that has been bothering me for the last few weeks. When we received this, we were crushed. In this stage of the business, it is so easy to take this personally. Devastated, we exhausted all avenues to correct this dissatisfaction. Fortunately, we discovered that this wasn't one of our clients. We were able to deduce that the review was written by the seller, who didn't leave a number or email address, and didn't respond to our response to the review. We had no way of contacting him to further discuss his dissatisfaction. Additionally, we noticed that the causation for the 1 star rating was based on some pretty minor items, and yet he forgot to mention the structural alterations and electrical modification that we discovered. 

   

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While I came to terms with having a one star rating and realized that the review was more spiteful than justified, it still bothers me. Our perfect 5 star rating on Google is now 4.9. However, I've learned that perfection is not possible and that every stumbling block is an opportunity for us to learn and provide a better service. I've realized that it is not perfection that builds character, but rather the imperfections. It is what you are willing to do, to strive for perfection but to obtain excellence. I know that as a business, we aren't perfect and we will make mistakes. But I also know that when the mistakes are made, we will do everything within our power to correct them and protect our excellent reputation. So, I'm finally comfortable with the 4.9.

We'd like to thank all of you who continue to support and recommend Dwell Inspect Arizona. Without you we would not be where we are today. We truly are so grateful for your continued partnership and look forward to a great second half of 2018. Thank you for all of your 5 star support.
 

Sean Garvey
Dwell Inspect Arizona
(480) 867 4599

Home Inspector Motivation 7/8

“The idea of potential loss plays a large role in human decision making. In fact, people seem to be more motivated by the thought of losing something than by the thought of gaining something of equal value.”


― Robert B. Cialdini, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion


When you really think about this, it's mind-blowing. People are more afraid of losing, than they are motivated by gaining. Is this why businesses fail? Is this why people give up? Is this why goals aren't met? Maybe. Can this be used for motivation? Absolutely, yes!

Personally, I'm motivated by both losing and gaining. I've used monetary bets to motivate myself and team members to accomplish bigger goals knowing fully that the goals will be met if there is something on the line. When you know what motivates both you or your team members, you can leverage that for success. Always be excited by winning but know that most are more scared of losing.

- Sean Garvey
Dwell Inspect Arizona
(480) 867 - 4599

Home Inspection Motivation 7/1/18

“Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good.”

- Malcolm Gladwell


Success is often misunderstood as something that comes easily. Something that does not require sacrifice, time and energy. However, success requires practice. It requires making mistakes. It requires hard work, learning what works and learning what doesn't work. Growing up, everyone is told that they can be anything they want to be, and they can - it just requires practice.
 

- Sean Garvey
Dwell Inspect Arizona
(480) 867 4599

 

Home Inspection Motivation 6/24/18

"Someone is enjoying shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago."


- Warren Buffett
 

When my son brought home a plastic cup (full of dirt and a seed) 3 months ago, we placed it on the window sill to grow. We watered it diligently and celebrated every milestone - big and small. Initially, it was the time it first broke ground, then when it reached 2 inches tall, then a foot tall and finally it became so big that we had to transfer it into a new pot. It's now bigger than him, and it will soon bloom a flower.

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With each milestone, we have taken a picture of my son with the plant, and he has proudly marched into his classroom beaming with pride to show his teacher the progress of the plant that she gave him. 

Running a business is a lot like watching a plant grow. It's a long and slow process. Businesses need time, care, energy, attention, and love. They start as a simple idea, then action is needed, progress is made, and then it evolves into new opportunities and challenges. But ultimately, with long sustained, consistent attention, a strong foundation will be built for that "seedling" to grow into a "tree."

The key is to not get too hung up on the speed in which your business is progressing, but rather to celebrate the progressions. Be ecstatic with each simple victory and know that your foundation is being built!
 

- Sean Garvey
Dwell Inspect Arizona
(480) 867-4599

Home Inspection Motivation 6/17/18

"the most important decision that you will ever make is to be in a good mood."

- Voltaire


The decision to be in a good mood is one of the only things that you can control. The world is full of distractions, challenges, and tough decisions. But, if you decide to be in a good mood - to face everything with a positive attitude - then, in truth, everything is just a little bit easier. As things get hard, and challenges increase, remind yourself that a good mood is your choice to make.

- Sean Garvey
Dwell Inspect Arizona
(480) 867 4599

Home Inspection Motivation 6/11/18

"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward."

- Amelia Earhart


Have you ever noticed that things start to go your way when you get out and put yourself into the game? Sure, you may have inexperience, you may have self doubt, you may make mistakes. But all of that can be overcome with tenacity. You can fix mistakes, you can find resources for inexperience and you can fake confidence. And eventually, all of your "shortcomings" will become strengths, and a distant thought. In most cases, you are far better than you think that you are, sometimes you just need to start with the first step. Change is hard, but in the long run complacency is harder.


- Sean Garvey
Dwell Inspect Arizona
(480) 867 4599

Home Inspection Motivation 6/3/18

"The rare people who do become truly exceptional at something do so not because they believe they're exceptional. On the contrary, they become amazing because they're obsessed with improvement. And that obsession with improvement stems from an unerring belief that they are, in fact, not that great at all. It's an anti-entitlement. People who become great at something become great because they understand that they're not already great -- they are mediocre, they are average -- and they they could become so much better."

- Cameron Hanes
Elite Runner 

Home Inspection Motivation 5/6/18

“To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” 

– Douglas Adams


At Dwell Inspect Arizona, we believe that integrity is defined by always doing the right thing, even when no one is looking. It means providing industry leading service and innovation, because we care about our clients needs first. Sincerity is offered by being truly interested in helping and meeting the needs of our valued clients and customers. These are the building blocks we use to structure our business, our team and the interactions with your clients daily.

- Sean Garvey
Dwell Inspect Arizona