Reuben Saltzman joins Waypoint Real Talk as a guest. He talks about how Structure Tech started and how its online presence since 2008 has helped the company grow. He shares that blogging on the company website allowed them to reach their market as well as other home inspectors. He also allows guest-blogging by inviting trade professionals to co-author. He highlights keeping content up-to-date by being consistent, committed, and upholding accountability with your partners.
Reuben shares how he learned that blogging must focus on a specific topic and the people who want to learn about it. Aaron Shishilla mentions that interesting blogs are first-hand and unique experiences. He shares that Reuben has influenced him and many readers, especially with his viewpoints and home inspection topics. Also, Austin Hintze asks for recommendations on how to start blogging, hiring writers, and finding time to blog.
Reuben also talks about their podcast, Structure Talk, as a new way to reach people. Also, their Facebook page is one of the popular home inspection pages where they post consistent content. Their YouTube channel also started by taking private home inspection videos for their clients. This paved the way to educate viewers about home inspection topics. Reuben highlights that these platforms direct the viewer traffic to their website.
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The following is a transcription from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it may be slightly incomplete or contain minor inaccuracies due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
Reuben Saltzman: Hey everyone. Reuben Saltzman here with the Structure Talk podcast. I am not joined this week by Bill and Tessa they’re taking some much needed time off, instead, I’m doing a podcast with the guys at Waypoint Property Inspection, where we’re going to dig into blogging, social media and online presence. So I hope you enjoy this episode. And Bill and Tessa will be back again next week.
Opening Welcome to Waypoint Real Talk where we discuss real estate and your home. Let’s get started with your hosts, Aaron Shishilla and Austin Hintze.
Aaron Shishilla: Hello everyone, and welcome to Waypoint Real Talk. Today, we have an awesome podcast talking about how one person has grown his business online, and that is Reuben Saltzman from Structure Tech Home Inspections. Welcome, Reuben.
RS: Thank you so much, guys. Appreciate having me on.
AS: Yeah, so tell me a little bit about yourself, how you grew your business online, where you came from, where you are now.
RS: Let’s see, well, got into the home inspection field when my dad bought a company, a home inspection company back in ’97, and I helped him run that business for a while until I decided I wanted to be a home inspector and actually go out in the field and do it. That was in 2004, and then by the time my son was born, I started realizing that I wanted more time freedom, I wanted to grow the business, and at the time it was just me and my dad and one other guy. And I decided we needed to make this bigger, and that was probably 2007, 2008 when we first started adding people on. Actually, I think our first hire was 2009, and I had been spending a lot of time on the ASHI discussion forums, just kinda learning what other people are doing to be better home inspectors, how they market their business, just listening to input from a lot of people who are a lot smarter than me.
RS: And I heard people talking about SEO, Search Engine Optimization. This is, again, this is 2008, 2009, they’re talking about this and started trying to do all these little things on my own website, just tinkering around using the most, I don’t know, outdated, basic software. I think I was using Microsoft FrontPage, and I somehow figured out how to edit my website, it was all kinda self-taught. But I kept hearing people saying, really, if you wanna get people to find you, you should start blogging. This is gonna be 10 times as powerful as anything else you do, and I kept hearing people talk about this, and I had no idea how to do it, but eventually I had a real estate agent come to me and say, “Hey, I’ve got a… I’m starting a blog on my site, would you be interested in guest blogging?” And I’m like, “I don’t know what this is about, I don’t know how to do it, I don’t know what I would write about, but okay, sounds good. I’ve heard it’s a good thing to do.”
RS: So I just figured this is a free way for somebody else to set it up and teach me how to do this, and then I can maybe start doing it on my own site, and I still remember the conversation with her, where I was like, “I can do it, but what do you want me to write about? I don’t get it.” And she threw out like 10 ideas, I’m like, “Yeah, I guess.” But then I thought to myself, “But once I’m done with those, what am I gonna write about?” And now here we are today, this was well over a decade ago, and I have religiously been blogging once a week on something, and there is no end to the amount of things to write about, [chuckle] and it’s all just about opening up your mind and trying to realize that if somebody asks you a question, that’s a blog post, and I’ve been pretty religious about it, and I think doing that has made all the difference in our business because it was actually, you know what, I’m fuzzy on these dates, now I realize I started blogging in 2008, and then we had our first hire in 2009. That’s how the story goes.
RS: And today, we have grown to become a much larger company, I think we’ve got somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 home inspectors on our team now, and then of course, the support staff to help run all of that administration and phone calls and radon and sewer and chimney and all that other fun stuff. So it’s a much larger organization, and we really have done very little to promote ourselves going out and making sales calls and things like that, it’s just we have never even had a growth division here at Structure Tech. It has just been pretty much natural growth and people finding us online. So alright, that was the most long-winded answer you probably ever had on your podcast. I’m sorry, I just went off on you.
AS: No, it was beautiful, I loved it. So can you tell me a little bit about, starting in 2008, you mentioned you didn’t even know what you were blogging about, what… Everyone talks about blogging, especially being one of those things like you need to do it for the long term, you need to stay invested with it, so what kept you… Obviously, or I’m assuming you didn’t see great success within the first three months of it even, so what kept you going on it. Why did you continue going?
RS: Yeah, that’s a great point. That’s something that I had heard from the guys who were talking about this, saying that you’re not gonna get immediate results, you’re in it for the long haul, this is farming. It’s not like you’re gonna write a blog post and then somebody’s gonna read your blog post and go, “Oh, this is incredible, I’m gonna hire this home inspector,” and then they’re gonna call you up. No, no, this is about Google realizing that your site has content and over a period of time, I mean, months, even years, Google starts ranking your site higher and higher, and realizing that it’s more likely that people are… When they come to your site, they’re gonna find what they’re looking for, and over time, they start increasing your rankings, but this can take years for it to happen.
RS: So I didn’t have any delusions when it comes to this, I fully understood right at the beginning that I’m doing this for the long haul, I’m playing the long game on this, I’m gonna write about specific topics, well, actually originally, I didn’t. In the beginning. I thought I’m gonna write to the most broad audience I can. What is a home inspection? What’s the difference between a home inspection and an appraisal? Just really generic topics like that, and I started reading more about this and started realizing that that’s not how to get readers. Nobody cares about any of that stuff. If you wanna attract people, write to a very specific audience it’s… One of the most popular blog posts I’ve written to date was something I wrote, gosh, maybe 10 years ago now, and it was on improperly installed dishwasher drains. I mean, how specific is that. How boring is that? Who cares? Who would ever read about this? But it makes up just a ridiculous section of that pie, if you’ve got a pie broken into 100 pieces then I think three of those pieces are on that one specific topic. It’s insane.
RS: So get really specific, cater to a very specific audience. I’ve heard, I don’t remember what book talked about this, but they talked about the bloody middle where don’t try to be everything to everybody. Focus on one extreme and cater to those people, so our focus has been on people who really want to understand something and trying to take a deep dive into that topic, and it’s fine that 95% of people who come to our website won’t be interested in this one topic, but for the people who are looking for it, it’s like I’m the authority on dishwasher drains, baby. No, no, I don’t really believe that, but it does rank pretty highly, and it’s finding more and more of those things where you can own a very small piece of a market, but own it entirely.
Austin Hintze: Reuben, I think what we’re gonna have to do is make a little name plate and ship it to you, that says authority of dishwasher drains, you can keep that on display.
RS: Ah, that’s my pride and joy, baby.
AH: There you go. I wanted to touch on something. It was a really good point that you made that you write one blog post, right? And you have people coming on your website, they’re most likely not gonna say, “Hey, because of this one blog post, I’m choosing to work with this company,” it’s kinda like the snowball effect where it just adds more whether it’s authority to your brand or expertise or knowledge from what they’re already seeing out there, but another… The flip side of this is I come across a lot of websites where their last blog post was from like 2015, and as a potential consumer, when I see that, that then throws a red flag in my mind of, “Well, is this company still in business? Are they actively practicing? If they haven’t been keeping things up to date for over six years.” Right?
AH: So what would you say to, let’s say a company, whether it’s a home inspection company or a real estate agent that they tried this in the past, maybe four or five years ago, they put a few posts out there and they just stopped, and now they wanna get back into it. Do you think they should just pick back up from where they left off, should they refresh those old posts and repost them, what would be your advice in that scenario?
RS: Boy, I don’t know what the best answer would be. Now, I can tell you if it were me, now, I’ve never done this before, so I don’t know if this is good advice or not, I’m just telling you what I would do if it were my own site and I had done like a dozen posts five years ago, I would surely remove all of those and then I would turn them into draft mode so that nobody can see them, but they’re not deleted, and then I would re-publish them, you can… I mean, if you’re on a WordPress site, and if I’m going over your head here, if you know what WordPress is great, but for anybody who doesn’t know what WordPress is, I think about 25% of all websites in the world are run on WordPress, you guys probably know this better. What is it? Is it 50%? How many sites use WordPress?
AS: I’m pretty sure it’s over 50%.
AS: But that’s just the CMS system. That’s not actually like WordPress.com.
RS: Oh my goodness, so yeah, I’m using outdated numbers. [chuckle] But yeah, WordPress is huge, and it’s a way to create your website and you can have a blog on there, it’s a very popular blogging platform, and they let you basically just leave the blog post exactly as is, but you can update the publishing date, so if it were me, I’d probably put them all as drafts and then I’d go in there and I would slowly publish each one of those existing posts a week apart, so that I’m gonna have 12 weeks of new content that’s being pushed out there, and then I’d start being consistent about it, and something that really helped me in the beginning was having committed to somebody else, it’s like I told Charlene, “Yeah, I will do these blog posts on your website and I will have one ready to go every week.” And just committing to somebody else really made it happen for me, if I hadn’t done that for her in the beginning, I know it would have fallen off, so having an accountability partner is huge.
RS: And consistency is huge, and I don’t know what it takes to develop consistency, I mean, it’s almost like if you’re gonna do this, go out and get yourself a few self-help books on being consistent and doing the same thing over and over again, I could recommend probably half a dozen of ’em ’cause I’ve read a lot of these as every one of them helps me and every one, I learned something from. So it’s almost like, start with the basics. Make sure that you’re gonna do it and then start doing it.
AS: I will say I’ve been paying attention to your blog, and every week every Monday, I’m not subscribed actually, maybe I should do that. But every week, every Monday, I go in there and I see what you post, ’cause I love to hear what you have to say, especially some of your viewpoints on different home inspection topics, but recently you had the one on your different books, right?
RS: Oh, yeah.
AS: So… Yeah, yeah, so I find it cool that you not only just stick with home inspection information, but you’ve gone off in this path now to where you’re also talking about books, and even though it’s not home inspection related, I’m still interested in it because for whatever reason like you blog post… You post blogs for so long now it’s like, I wanna hear what Reuben has to say about this stuff. I know that he’s gonna bring something good to the table, and some of your books that you’ve actually recommended, I’ve read myself, so thank you for that, I appreciate it.
RS: Thank you. Yeah.
AS: Yeah. Yeah. But going into that, and talking actually specifically about how you guest blogged for other real estate agents, we have real estate agents that come on and maybe they do a guest blog with us, maybe they do a podcast with us, what told you like it’s okay to do a guest blog every week for somebody else, why would somebody wanna do that or work with somebody in that way?
RS: I’m not totally following the question, I’m sorry, are you saying about having other people guest blog on my site?
AS: Either or why would anybody want to jump into guest blogging?
RS: Sure. I’d say guest blogging is a huge way to get your name out there, and let’s say guest blogging like I’m just ABC, handyman, and I wanna promote my handyman service, so I don’t have a blog, I don’t… Or maybe I do. But nobody reads it. I wanna get my name out there. A great way to do it is you start reaching out to other people in a related field, like maybe I’m gonna reach out to Structure Tech, the Structure Tech blog, and I’m gonna say, “Hey, I’m a handyman, and I’ve got this blog. And I wrote this great article about how to properly install a deck stairway stringer, and I am the authority on installing deck stairway stringers and I know how to do it, and I make it really simple, and I’d like to share this with you. And then you could share with your listeners and… ” Maybe the home inspector who has a big viewership would publish that on their own website, and then that’s gonna have links that point to the handyman website.
RS: So the handyman’s website starts building rank authority, and if he starts doing this on a bunch of really popular sites and all these sites are pointing at his, well, that starts to help him and eventually he might gain his own readership on his own blog, so it’s an awesome way for you to build your own business by volunteering to guest author.
RS: Now on the other side, I had people coming to me and asking me if they can guest author on my blog a lot, [chuckle] just like I used in my example of the handyman and I’ll be honest guys, I don’t respond to any of those emails, I delete them because I get a ridiculous amount, I get one or two people a day asking me if they can guest author on my website, and I don’t know any of them, and I’ve done a few of them in the past, and they’ve been atrocious. Like, people will write stuff and it’s somebody who knows nothing about their trade, nothing about their craft, they’re not actually tradesmen, all they are is people who write for tradesmen, so it’s like, my name is Susan, and I can write an awesome article on the top 10 mistakes that people mistake with their decks, or that people do with their decks, and then she’ll go out and she’ll just Google search a bunch of stuff and she’ll regurgitate all this very basic information that you can find on other websites, and then it’ll be her blog post.
RS: The only stuff that I publish on my blog is stuff from trade professionals, and pretty much the only guest posts that I accept are from people who I already know, and I have solicited those guest blog posts. Those are good, and we spend a lot of time going back and forth, and they’re usually not good the first time, but then I come back to them and say, “Hey, I like what you did here, but we need more details here, you gotta re-word this, you gotta start with more of a hook,” and it’s like we do a lot of rounds before it actually gets published, but any of those ones where people just come to me out of the blue, they’re like I said, they’re atrocious.
RS: So hopefully, I’ve answered both sides of this coin, if you want to guest… If you wanna be a guest author, it’s wonderful, it’s a good way to get yourself exposure. I would certainly start out trying to reach out to people whom you already kind of know, and if you have your own blog and you’re interested in getting people to guest post for you, by all means, do it, but my advice would be solicit these people yourself, don’t accept blind solicitations from other people.
AS: I think one of the key things that you mentioned there, too, was when you’re writing these blog posts, any kind of content that you’re putting online, make sure it’s something… Or I guess, what’s the terminology I’m looking for? First person or first-hand information, so it’s information, your own researched information, your own experience on the information, not just something that, as you mentioned, is regurgitated or repeated several other times. Because what’s the point of posting something if it’s not gonna be new or different in any way, right?
RS: Yes, yes, nobody’s gonna care. There’s no faster way to lose your audience than to just regurgitate something you can find somewhere else. Yeah, make it unique, definitely.
AH: So Reuben, I have a question for you. And when we’re looking at this from a real estate agent’s perspective, they may be still super involved in their business if they don’t have a team around them where they’re out there all day every day, showing houses, talking to buyers, talking to sellers, whatever it may be. And they may not have the time themselves to invest in putting out this type of content. And I think it’s important to note there’s no shame or really downside to hiring an outside company to come in and do it for you, but I think there’s certainly things that you have to pay attention to and things that you have to look out for, that the content they produce is actually going to be beneficial, that it’s actually good, strong content. What would you recommend if I’m a real estate agent that I just don’t have the time to do this myself, but I know that I need to start doing something because it’s going to help me in the long run? Do you have any specific recommendations you would make to me on what I should look for and who I would bring on to help with that?
RS: I have never hired somebody outside to help me with any of this, so I have no insight to share with you there. I would be talking out of the air. I will share something that I’ve got in the background here. I don’t think the resolution on my camera’s good enough to see what I’ve got written on my wall here, but it’s one of my favorite phrases. Right at the top here, it says, “I always have time for what’s important.” And the point here is that everybody has the same amount of time in the day, we just have different priorities. And I’ve heard so many home inspectors say, “I don’t have time to blog. I don’t know where you find the time.” But it’s like, “I don’t find time. I don’t have any more time than you do. I make time. I have decided that this is one of the most important things that I can do to move the needle in my business, and it comes first. I block off time in my calendar blogging.” And it’s not like I spent hours and hours on this every week. You could spend one to two hours a week and you could crank out content. It doesn’t have to be a 4000-word blog post. So it’s a matter of deciding that this is important, this is gonna move the needle more than anything else that you do, and commit to doing it.
AH: I was gonna say, that was my takeaway, is mentioning that you’ve never had to bring another company on to help you with it ’cause you’ve always made it a priority yourself. So my takeaway from that was wake up a little bit earlier and just get it done, right? Especially if it’s something that you’re afraid of doing or you’re not sure if you can take it on, make that the first thing you do in the day. That way, you get it out of the way and you get the ball rolling.
RS: That’s concise, yes. [chuckle] Thank you.
AS: So shifting a little bit, you also have two other things going on, and I think you might have one more, but you mentioned, too, that you’re doing podcasting, or actually, I’m seeing that on your website. So the podcasting, I wanna get in about that ’cause it seems like a lot of agents, they wanna get into social media, podcasting, TikTok, all that good stuff. So I’d like to hear about your experience with podcasting, and then let’s talk about social media last.
RS: Sure. Well, we are right at about the two-year mark of podcast. We started doing this about two years ago, and we didn’t know exactly why we were going to start a podcast, and we’re still not quite sure why we’re doing it, but we’re enjoying it, we just… It’s kinda like blogging, where I just heard this is the new way to reach people. This is where people are, and you want to… If there’s a bunch of ears there, put your voice there, so that’s what we’ve been going after. And our intended audience was savvy homeowners and real estate agents. But from all of the feedback we’ve got from our podcast, I think what makes up about 95% of our listenership are home inspectors because that’s who we get all of our feedback from, but we just…
RS: We started doing it at somebody’s house. We’d go to his studio and we would record once a week, or we’d go in and do two recordings, and then come back in two weeks. And once COVID hit, we started doing it on Zoom instead ’cause there was no meeting in-person after that. And we haven’t gone back, and we’re still doing it that way. And the audio quality isn’t as good as it was doing it in-studio, but I mean really, it’s not bad, it’s good enough. And everybody was doing it that way. And it’s like you’re not listening for super perfect audio quality, you’re listening for content.
RS: And so what I’m getting at here is that if somebody did wanna start a podcast, it’s like you don’t need a whole bunch of specialized equipment, a bunch of specialized know how. Essentially, we’re doing it on Zoom. And we save the audio file that Zoom records, and we could just take it right from there and publish it. We do actually still use our producer, we send it over to him, and he works some kind of magic. He’s got some intro music, and he removes coughs from the sound, and all that other stuff, and makes it nice and polished, but that’s about it. There’s not much that goes into it. It’s more just thinking of ideas, thinking of show topics, that’s probably the toughest part. And we just get online, we chit-chat about something for 20 to 40 minutes, something like that, send it off, and publish it. And I wouldn’t say it has exploded. Our average listenership per episode is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 500, on average, but it’s been steadily increasing. So again, I don’t know why we’re doing it just yet, but any year now, we’ll figure out a why, I’m pretty sure.
AS: One of the key things that I think you mentioned here, and it goes back to the blogging, too, is you, no matter what, you’ve always stuck to it. So you didn’t just do it for a month and then gave up. You just kept on going with it. And 500 viewers, to me, is still a lot. For every podcast, that’s still really great, so congratulations to you on that.
RS: Well, thanks.
AS: Yeah. And as you mentioned, too, I get it with Waypoint Real Talk, with what we’ve been doing, we haven’t been doing it that long. But as you mentioned, you go places, and then somebody just mentions it like, “Oh, I listen to your podcast,” or, “Oh, I’ve read your blogs,” and you’re like, “Really? No way. I had no idea.”
AS: Because you don’t get as much interaction on the actual platform itself, but yeah, I just thought that was a really great takeaway. Austin, did you have anything you wanted to add here?
AH: No, I agree with everything you said, Aaron. And Reuben, I see your point, too. You know, we said, “Hey, this is gonna be awesome. Let’s start a podcast. Let’s start bringing real estate agents on,” and it’s like, “Okay, well, why are we actually doing this?” [chuckle] And I think part of it is it’s fun. It’s fun to sit down and have somebody with you that’s an expert in some way in their industry, or has seen huge success in the growth of their business. And just having the opportunity to talk to them for a few minutes and find out what is it that they’re seeing out there, or what’s made them successful, and talking with these people that are willing to be on a show that they know is going to go out to other real estate agents that they’re competing with, but they’re still open and willing to share and help up the industry as a whole. To me, even if that’s the only point of us doing it, that’s still a great point because that’s improving the industry, overall. So I found it to be a pretty rewarding experience. And at first, it was Aaron and I both sitting in the room talking to them, and then I slowly migrated behind the scenes. So now, I just get to press the buttons and record the audio, and Aaron gets to be on camera, but it’s still a good time. [chuckle]
AS: I have to actually do my makeup, so yeah.
RS: Right, gotta put your face on.
AS: Yeah, no. [chuckle] So going into the last part, social media, how has social media played a part in all of this?
RS: You know, I’d say the blog is at the… It’s at the center of all of this, but social media has definitely helped to drive traffic to the blog. And I’d say that’d be our Facebook page. At some point, we just started doing a photo of the day back when I didn’t quite understand what Facebook was or how it worked. I just sorta, “Hey, there’s people on here, it’s the place where we got eyeballs, so put some stuff there.” And we just started sharing a crazy home inspection photo every day, and that’s about all we do. But it’s really helped with getting people to visit us, be fans. And we’re not sharing anything promotional on there. It’s not like, “Hey, go structure tech,” or, “Hey, calls day, we have openings.” It’s nothing like that. It’s just, “Here’s something entertaining,” or, “Here’s something educational.” In a perfect world, it’s both. That’s what we’re shooting for in everything we’re sharing, just entertain people or teach people.
RS: And it’s a popular home inspection Facebook page. I think it’s probably one of the most popular ones in the country now, and it’s not… I really don’t think we share anything all that interesting. I mean, they’re just photos that we take during home inspections with a little bit of commentary, but we’ve been really consistent about it. I mean we have a photo of the day every morning, Monday through Friday. On Wednesdays, it’s Wordless Wednesday. On Tuesdays, I share that day’s blog post. And you know what to expect, you know what you’re gonna get. It’s like McDonald’s. Sorry, McDonald’s. Probably not the best burger in the world, but people know exactly what they’re going to get and it works, so…
AS: Sorry, I was gonna say with McDonald’s, I’m surprised every time when I get it. Sometimes, it’s just one pickle, sometimes, it’s messy bun, but…
RS: It’s not supposed to be that way, it’s supposed to be the same, yeah. But so Facebook has been good, it’s just a way of sharing some of that content. And then YouTube is the latest… Well, no, the blog’s, probably the latest, but YouTube has really taken off for us, too, and it started out… I was using YouTube just as a platform to be able to take videos during home inspections, and then share a video of something that didn’t come across very well in an inspection report as a picture. And it was just a platform where I could share those with my clients. And I started making those videos public, and they were just the most stupid, boring photos, or boring videos that didn’t have any explanation, zero educational content, and people would like them. I mean one of them was like, it was a wobbly ceiling fan, it’s five seconds long. And you guys, it’s got tens of thousands of views. [chuckle] I have no idea why. I don’t know who looks for this stuff, but we started realizing like, “Hey, people like this stupid stuff.”
RS: And we quit using YouTube to share that stupid stuff. We started getting more intentional about it and trying to actually share useful content. And I’m in the process now of going through all of my old blog posts and picking out the ones where I could share that content in a video, and I’m redoing everything. Like this week’s blog post was on reversed polarity at outlets. I wrote about that back in 2020, explaining what reversed polarity is, why it matters, how to fix it. And I just recorded a video about it, where basically, I’m talking on the camera, I’m doing some demonstrations, I’m explaining it all ’cause apparently, there’s a lot of people who would prefer to watch a video than read about it. I don’t understand that. I was averse to doing this for a long time ’cause I hate watching videos. To me, it’s like I have to watch at a certain pace. I’d rather just skim it, read it, find what I’m looking for and go. But I guess there’s a lot of people who really prefer videos. And so that’s the latest project we’ve been working on, is doing a video a week for all the old blog posts. And it seems like that’s a lot more popular than my blog now, even though it takes way last time. I guess if I were to start over, I might just start by doing a, I don’t know, how do you guys say it, a vlog, v-log, video log? [chuckle] Something like that. What’s it called?
AS: Yeah, you gotta start vlogging.
RS: Vlogging, okay, alright.
RS: I prefer vlogging. That might be more powerful than blogging, and it’s easier.
AS: We… What do you think, Austin, vlogging on the inspection?
AH: I think that’s a great idea. Let’s start doing it. Let’s take all of Reuben’s old blog posts and turn them into vlogs, and and we’ll post them.
RS: Yeah, it just takes a little practice talking on the camera, that’s all.
AS: Yeah, I would agree with you. So coming into Facebook and how you used Facebook, now YouTube. A big core, again, that we talked about is you’ve actually stuck with it. Started with posting wobbly ceiling fans [chuckle] and…
AS: Grown into talking, actually… Your YouTube videos have been really great as far as structured, but they’re very structured videos. You do a great job of outlying what the actual topic is at the very beginning, having a short little introduction, getting to the meat of the topic and really concluding with it, so I really… I think that’s a really great way of going about it. Where do you see yourself going with this in the future?
RS: The big project that we have planned right now is an education platform for home inspectors. I think getting home inspectors out from… Well, getting a home inspector from, “I’ve never done a home inspection,” to, “I’m doing home inspections out in the field by myself.” That’s one of the biggest challenges that home inspection companies have all over the country, is there’s no great training curriculum. There’s home inspection schools, and it’ll be 14 days, 21 days of education, which it just scratches the surface on what you need to know to be a home inspector. So we’re working on a platform to take people through the entire process. And that’s coming down the pipeline. It’s gonna be, basically, a learning management system. It’s gonna be a ridiculous amount of videos and quizzes and animations, and all this fun stuff. And a lot of hand-holding for larger companies to help show them how to get people out in the field. That’s our big, I don’t know, maybe five-year project right now. It’s gonna be a ridiculous amount of work, but that’s what we’re focused on. And everything else is just a sideline to that.
AS: That’s really great, and it’s funny how you’ve… It seems not… Like you just took a little piece that you saw an opportunity over here and just adjusted a little bit so that way, you have your regular business going. You know, as you’re growing your business online, you’ve really realized this other opportunity that’s out there for you as a business person, right?
AS: So what would you recommend to wrap up for any kind of real estate agent, any business person, any home inspector, whoever out there is wanting to get started, whether it’s social media, blogging, podcasting, anything digital online? If there’s any overarching lesson that you would have to teach after… Is it been over 10 years? How long have you been doing this now? Since 2008.
RS: Yeah, started blogging in 2008. I’d say just a few little sound bites. [chuckle] We all have the same amount of time, so just decide what’s important to you. Be consistent, stick with it. Don’t expect results overnight, you’re playing the long game. Be helpful. And done beats perfect. Don’t worry about creating perfect content, don’t worry about what other people think about it in the beginning. Nobody is gonna be reading or watching any of your videos anyways, [chuckle] so they don’t need to be perfect. What’s much, much more important is getting them done and getting them published, and the quality will improve over time.
AS: I think that’s a great point. Getting them done, just pushing them out there. I think, myself included, I struggle with that, is I wanna record a YouTube video, but I struggle with wanting it to be perfect and getting that quality that I want. Austin, did you have anything that you wanted to add here?
AH: No, I think, Reuben, you covered a lot of great points. And I think one of the main takeaways that you just touched on there is just start, right? Just start, just get it done. It’s going to be a process. As far as, you mentioned taking some time to actually get up and running, as far as it actually paying off and what you’re seeing from it, but you have to start somewhere, and it’s better to make the time to start now rather than wait a few months trying to have the perfect set-up because now, you’re a few months behind, and it’s gonna be a few more months until you start seeing the results. So just record that terrible video that you’re gonna cringe at 10 years from now, but record it and put it out there because that, at least, gets you started.
RS: Yes, yes, exactly. I can’t remember his name, the guy who founded LinkedIn, he said, “If you’re not embarrassed by your first efforts, you started too late.”
AH: That’s a good saying, I like that.
AS: Alright, Reuben, where can people find you and check out your awesome content?
RS: They can go to the website. Go to structuretech.com. If you Google “Structure Tech” you’ll find us, and we’ve got links on the website to everything. You can find links to YouTube and the Facebook and the blog, and all that other fun stuff, it’s all there, structuretech.com.
AS: Awesome. Reuben, well, I appreciate you sharing your insights with us. Everyone, if you would please go to structuretech.com, check out his awesome content. You know, even if it’s not home inspection related, or his podcast. He’s really got some great book recommendations, too, that I like. But thank you, again, Reuben Saltzman for coming on, we appreciate it.
RS: Thanks, guys. Thanks for having me, appreciate it.
AS: Yeah, have a good one. Enjoy.