View Full Version : How to write a report that clients understand

Brian Hannigan
05-15-2018, 03:06 PM
How to write a report that clients understand

Published on 2018-05-11 15:13:56

Second only to pre-inspection agreements, reports provide home inspectors with great claims protection. By providing a detailed account of both defects and sufficiencies, inspection reports can provide evidence of the home’s condition and the inspector’s competence at the time of inspection. Inspection reports can support an inspector’s defense and lead to quicker claims resolution. Better yet, a home inspection report that clients understand can stifle claims before they begin.

But how can inspectors write an easy to understand report and still make sure all the important information is there? We asked your fellow inspectors to explain the logic behind their home inspection report template: Why include and omit certain information? How do you communicate complicated findings in layman’s terms? And what do you do to mitigate risk? We share their thoughts below.

Keep it simple

In the 20 years he’s been inspecting, George Hart, Founder of VisionSpec Home Inspection in Pennsylvania, has learned that it’s important to write straightforward reports.

“[You’re] speaking to possible first-time home buyers, so you’ve got to keep that simple,” Hart said. “We know what certain items are, for example, a condensing unit for an air conditioner. I could [just] call it that, and they wouldn’t know what I’m talking about. So we call it the outside A/C unit, [too].”

For Barry Wong, Owner of Building Specs Hawaii, LLC in Hawaii, part of keeping it simple is answering the basic questions: What? Where? Why?

“If [we]’re making any statement [in] the inspection [report], we back up our statement [with] why we’re making the concern on the report,” Wong said. “If there [are] issues on the roof, obviously there’s potential [for] leaks [to] happen.”

Keeping it simple also means not including unnecessary details and making the report specific to the home.

“You don’t want to add additional information unnecessarily into our inspection report,” Wong said. “You don’t want to make [the report] look like it’s a cookie-cutter.”

Stephen Kiefer, Owner of WIN Home Inspection Henderson in Nevada, agrees that it’s important to be clear and concise, but, according to Kiefer, there’s a balance. He also cautions home inspectors to not use their reporting formats as excuses to do the bare minimum. Kiefer suggests doing all you can to determine the quality of each aspect of the home.

In addition, Kiefer has found that inspection clients appreciate having enough information to orient themselves in the home.

“You don’t have to show them there’s a keypad on the garage. I do it anyway because I find that people appreciate that,” Kiefer said. “The more information that [clients] have, the more comfortable they are.”

Be consistent
From Verbal to Written
To avoid confusion, verbal communication and written communication (a.k.a. your inspection report) should be relatively the same..... More (https://goo.gl/i9DDFc)

Article Submitted By: InspectorPro Insurance (https://goo.gl/161wAc)