Dustin’s company is Full Scope Inspections, a home inspection company in Citrus, FL specializing in roofs made of metal, tile, slate (or anything that shouldn’t be walked on or is too steep or elevated.)
David: “When did you first start getting into drones and when did you fly your first drone?”
Dustin was using drone before starting his drone business. He noticed people weren’t using drones for inspections and his residential construction background told him there could be a big market—it just all made sense. Dustin says that when paying for a home inspection, the roof is a key component—but you don’t have to walk on it. With a drone, Dustin found he could see deficiencies another inspector wouldn’t because they’re not getting a full view. Dustin’s clients call him because they know it’s important that their roof be inspected closely. Dustin says the drone is a differentiator, but he doesn’t charge more for it. By using it when necessary, he can take pictures around things that may typically be blocking a view. He also uses the drone also to sell his services through his report.
David: “For the homes that you do use a drone for, what’s the approximate revenue the drone has brought you—in busy and slow months?”
For a typical home inspection, Dustin may charge $300-$400, but it depends on the square footage. He does 4-8 inspections/week. Dustin also does some imaging for realtors, charging $75 to shoot 10-12 photos. He also does a lot of promotion through that group. For example, he raffled 10 to 12 drone shots—a $75 value as a gift basket entry at a tailgate party he had for realtors. Nice pictures potentially make or break a deal, Dustin says, and good camera shots sell property. According to Dustin,
“I’m building a business that’s going to be here long-term and the first couple of years are definitely crucial. I’m getting really good feedback, some really good reviews. It’s pretty exciting.”
David: “Talk us through when you first started your inspection business, and no one knew who you were. How did you start building the business?”
Dustin had a vision that was different than most… he says he could see everything before he ever put it into place. “In this business, the only way it would fail was if I let it. There are enough opportunities and so many different outlets that if you put yourself in the right places, then the only person that’s gonna allow you to fail is yourself.” He looked up a local home inspector whose online setup was blah and then he built everything around the image of what he lacked. Through reviews requests from customers, and a small amount of Google Ads, he is driven to the top of a Google search. He also uses a software called HomeGage to send tips once he finishes a report. Three days later, HomeGage sends an auto-generated email asking them to leave a review. Two months later, another email is auto-generated asking for referrals.
David: “Did your first customer come through networking or did someone stumble across your stuff? How did you get that first client?”
Dustin’s hit the ground running. His first client came from Google. From there, he started meeting with different realtors and the Realtors Association. He also joined a networking group which has helped him tremendously.
“It all boils down to you building relationships with realtors. Get your name out there. If you can be on a realtor’s top three list, it will pay off.”
Dustin was building all of this while working and studying for the test. He knew how many jobs he should expect to do, how many he needed to do survive each week/month. He said,
“If I commit to it and set my mind to it, this is what’s going to happen. A lot of people have one little setback or somebody tells them No, and they say, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t do this’. Second-guessing yourself is common. That’s what you do. If I didn’t pass the exam, I was going to take it again. I wrote it down and I could see it all the way through.”
David: “What’s your favorite part of having your own business/working for yourself? What’s your favorite part and what’s the part you like the least?”
Dustin’s favorite part is having time for his kids and their sports—he likes the flexibility and freedom. Dustin says he has a hard time letting go, he can’t let someone do things so that he can focus on the business. Because customers tell him the reason they booked an inspection was because they felt comfortable with his knowledge, he has a hard time turning that over to somebody else…it’s a strain. However, Dustin says, “I’m not going to grow if I’m doing the same things I did last year.”
David: “For someone who’s starting out from scratch and wants to build a drone business, what’s one of the most important lessons you’ve learned? What’s your advice?”
Dustin says having a vision and a plan of how to pursue that vision.
“We live in the land of the free, the United States, and you can do whatever you want to do right here. You just have to put your mind to it, go out to the right places and meet the right people and, and just know that you’re not going to accept no for an answer.”
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