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Thread: TAgalong

  1. #1
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    Default TAgalong

    Interested in your opinions on taking a new inspector under your wing to get their 100 inspections in for lisence.
    Do you charge per inspection.
    I keep going over it in my mind
    but my pea brain sees no good reason for me to help out what will add to my competition.
    I truly enjoy helping people, and especially someone in my own field
    I would really appreciate any thoughts or experiences you al have had with this.
    I have worked by myself for 15 years doing inspections and would like a partner to cover when i can't, but!
    What, I don't know.

    F.I.R.E. Services

  2. #2
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    Default Re: TAgalong

    Here in Washington with our home inspector laws there is a requirement for 25 hours of ride-along time. I do it for a fee and the inspector must be from greater than 75 miles away. This way I am not sharing my experience and knowledge with a future competitor.

    I have a page on our website that talks about
    Mentor for Washington State Home Inspectors
    Mentoring for Washington Licensed Home Inspectors

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  3. #3
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    Default Re: TAgalong

    Nothing increases your knowledge and sharpens your skills better than instructing someone.
    An instructor told me once, "You don't know it untill you can teach it"

    As for being competition, better a friend than a foe.

    Have them commit to 20, 30, or even 40 rides.
    Set a fee for all of them, payable weekly or monthly, even if he drops out.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  4. #4
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: TAgalong

    I have no interest in having someone tagging along after me while I work. They can learn like I did....by actually doing it.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: TAgalong

    I have done it and will continue to do it. I advocate ride-alongs with new as well as experienced inspectors. Sharing knowledge is one of many ways to improve an inspector. I would rather my competition see and understand the level that they will have to achieve in order to be competitive as a home inspector in my area. I believe it elevates my knowledge as well as the quality of the whole profession when I participate in my local CREIA chapter meetings, contribute to this message board and help-out someone who may end up competing with me.

    Stepping down from my soapbox now.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  6. #6
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    Default Re: TAgalong

    I do it for free. I'll even answer questions from newer inspectors via phone or email. Nothing better than training someone and having them spread the word. Heck, my overflow goes to the guy who trained me 9 years ago.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: TAgalong

    Ken,

    While its great to give back to the inspector community your time / experience is worth something. Personally I have worked hard to be a better inspector and spent time on places like Inspection News to learn more about our trade.

    As with any business there are start up costs. The new inspector should be will to learn from a pro. If I would have had the opportunity to spent two weeks in the field with an experienced inspector I would have jump at it. As it was I fumbled my way through the first 50 inspections without killing myself or missing something major.

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  8. #8
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    Default Re: TAgalong

    When I started I "apprenticed" under an experienced inspector per the state licensing requirements at the time. He got 1/2 the inspection fee. We wrote up a contract that outlined the fee structure, who would write the report, time frame the other party would have access to the report for revisions, how each party could get out of the contract, etc. One page thing we wrote up without the help of a lawyer.

    I had to find all the clients and he attended the inspection. First several he lead the inspection and I followed. After a few I lead and he corrected me. A few more and he basically trailed along behind me occasionally asking leading questions.

    Somewhere within the first 5 inspections, I got stiffed for the fee. I still owed him 1/2 the fee even though I did not collect. His point was he did his job, it was my job to collect the fee. Very powerful lesson having to pay him that day.

    I have been on ride-alongs with seasoned members of the local HI association. In those cases, it was just a handshake deal. I bought a cold drink or snack after the inspection. They asked me how I would have done it differently. They were more of a gut-check for me to see where I stacked up against the more experienced inspectors in my area. In each case we agreed that they would tag-along on one of my inspections. They have never followed thru to schedule with me.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  9. #9
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    Default Re: TAgalong

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    Ken,

    While its great to give back to the inspector community your time / experience is worth something. Personally I have worked hard to be a better inspector and spent time on places like Inspection News to learn more about our trade.

    As with any business there are start up costs. The new inspector should be will to learn from a pro. If I would have had the opportunity to spent two weeks in the field with an experienced inspector I would have jump at it. As it was I fumbled my way through the first 50 inspections without killing myself or missing something major.

    //Rick
    I agree that my time and experience is worth something. I get paid the full amount to do the inspection so there's no need to charge the apprentice. Before I take someone on they have to know the fundamentals first. I'm not going to teach them how to turn on their computer. I'm not going to teach them construction terminology. I'm not going to teach them their reporting software or how to import pictures from their camera to their computer. But I will teach them how to inspect the building.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  10. #10
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: TAgalong

    When I do an inspection the buyer has my full attention. That is why I do not use a lap top and enter data during the inspection and why I do want a gawker following me around asking questions. An inspection is not a social event....it is a serious matter for the buyer and should be treated that way.....imho


  11. #11
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    Default Re: TAgalong

    I have little experience with ride alongs. With the exception of one guy who has become a very good inspector, the ones who tagged along showed little interest in going to the depth that I do. They were more interested in "Blue Light" Inspections.

    When I do come across someone who is serious about getting into this field I'll bend over backwards for them. But there aren't many people like that around.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  12. #12
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    New Westminster, B. C., Canada
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    Default Re: TAgalong

    Hi (ALL) &

    I look at it this way:

    If I don't, someone else will & they'll still become a competitor, so why not just take their $$$ as supplementary income ?

    This is the cost of 'higher-learning' for new /wannabee Inspectors & they need to pay-up.

    Have done this, still do-so & will continue to do so...

    Also catches them & teaches them to do it right, to help 'raise-the-bar' for our profession.


    CHEERS !

    -Glenn Duxbury, CHI

  13. #13
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: TAgalong

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Duxbury View Post
    Hi (ALL) &

    I look at it this way:

    If I don't, someone else will & they'll still become a competitor, so why not just take their $$$ as supplementary income ?

    This is the cost of 'higher-learning' for new /wannabee Inspectors & they need to pay-up.

    Have done this, still do-so & will continue to do so...

    Also catches them & teaches them to do it right, to help 'raise-the-bar' for our profession.


    CHEERS !
    The reason not to do it is because it takes your time away from the inspection to deal with a person who has zero to do with the inspection. If you were doing an inspection for me and showed up with a "friend" I would not be a happy camper from that point on. Like I said...it is not a social event where you bring anyone you see fit...heck..bring your wife and let her follow you around and ask questions...no different than bringing a paying pest.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: TAgalong

    James you make us all wonder why you even post here, someone might learn something from you!!! how dare they!!! sharing what you learn and getting paid for it is what you do. teaching a new inspector is something to help support the future of the business and make sure it is lead in the right direction. A new inspector has a real interst in learning as well as finding defects that You might miss. we all know you will not find everything everytime. experince is one of the most valuable things you will have in your skill set, but teaching others is for the masters and those who are not afraid to learn more too. New inspectors do have a real interst in the house you are inspecting and in learning. they want your client to feel they have more than just one person looking out for them too. what they don't have in knowlage they make up for in energy and help make the client get the most bang for their buck!! If you don't want to share then don't but saying new people are not worth the bother means you still have sooooo much to learn... jmho


  15. #15
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    Default Re: TAgalong

    Thanks for all the replies gents and keep them coming.
    I am intending to present this applicant with this entire post so he can see just what he is up against.
    So lets keep it civil


  16. #16
    Carl Miller's Avatar
    Carl Miller Guest

    Thumbs up Re: TAgalong

    I have been a tag-along with an experienced inspector. I was fortunate enough to find an experienced inspector who would act as a mentor for me. I find it very valuable to have a mentor in any field of work. We do not see each other as potential competition, but rather as friends and professional associates who now has someone who can take the overflow when needed and fill in when we want to take a vacation without the fear of the other stealing our customers. It is not always easy to find an experienced inspector who is willing to mentor a new inspector. My mentor made me wait until I had my license before taking me on any inspections with him. He did take me on some job sites to show me some things to look for in new construction before I was licensed, but that was not while he was inspecting them. I will also be willing to mentor someone after I get enough experience.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: TAgalong

    Yes, I do “ride alongs.” Yes, I charge a fee.

    If you decide to train, it must be for the right reason, which is to prepare the trainee to enter the inspection field, well trained. Don’t do it just for the money.
    I have no problem training what may become my competition to do a quality inspection. If they turn out to be that much better than I am, then it’s me who should be going out of business not him.

    I make it clear that I can drop them at any time for any reason.

    I make it clear how they are expected to dress and act before they meet me for the first inspection.
    (No jeans, t-shirts, sneakers, - clean and properly groomed. No jokes whatsoever. No political opinions. No flirting. No ethnic, racial, religious or gender preference comments. You don’t want them offending anyone)

    I expect them to be on time and not get antsy when an inspection ends up taking 4+ hours because of a disaster-type home or a client who has questions about everything)

    After 3 inspections, I require the “trainee” to write an inspection report for each inspection (on the report software of their choosing). It only takes half an hour to read it and suggest ways to improve it... This usually weeds out most Newbies because all of a sudden this isn’t such an easy job anymore.

    I also make them aware of startup costs for a new business and the cost of doing business. I thinks that this is one of the biggest hurtles of get over. To many of these guys think that all they make is going to be theirs to keep.

    One last thing… Some inspectors allow the trainee to do the inspection and then sign off on it… If you do this, PLEASE consult a good lawyer to find out what your liabilities are.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: TAgalong

    I have received calls for this for years and years now. I used to tell newbie inspectors to "hit the bricks" in a polite way. A fellow inspector pointed out the obvious, which wasn't so obvious to me at the time.. "Tim, you don't have them come to *your inspections*, you go to *their locations*" It's proven true, and it's also requiring new inspectors to do the legwork on their own... ie EFFORT.

    I will be happy to shadow or mentor a new home inspector when I have time, but I go to where THEY HAVE AN INSPECTION or an available home/condo/apartment etc...

    Simple, no?


  19. #19
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    Default Re: TAgalong

    Ok Tom, now you have me thinking.
    It sure would make life easier by letting them do the leg work
    The only problem I see is that if you have a job at the same time, you won't be able to get there.
    Here in PA, a newbie can't do an inspection (without an experienced guy signing off on his report) until he has 100 inspections in.
    I would not be willing to sign his report if I wasn't there


  20. #20
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    Default Re: TAgalong

    We do ride along training. I charge $100 per inspection.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  21. #21
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    Default Re: TAgalong

    Tim,
    I think you're on to something big. I've gotta think this one through a little, but at first glance, your approach appears to be a stroke of genius.

    I've taken people on ride-alongs (no charge) and I ask them to follow the same protocol I was given - "dress like a professional, be early, and don't say a word during the inspection".
    Eyes and ears ONLY. Ask all the questions you want following the inspection when it's just you/me. The ride-alongs I've taken with me were mostly an "introduction" to the field and didn't develop into a training process that resulted in a qualified inspector.

    "the relentless pursuit of perfection"

  22. #22
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    Default Re: TAgalong

    I agree. I have never have a ride-along follow through and finish the 100 inspections to qualify to do them on their own inspections in PA.

    They all think this is and easy, quick buck gig. When they find out just how many hours, how many evenings, weekends, or holidays they need to work they fade away.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: TAgalong

    Tim,
    I think you're on to something big. I've gotta think this one through a little, but at first glance, your approach appears to be a stroke of genius.
    Thanks for the kind words.

    Call me a fool... but, I've collected the same amount from HI's as I have from the trade referrals... it's a nice, even number $0

    The only way our profession improves is when we take the lead and help others to do better. The worst thing for our profession is when a buyer finds no value in our services as Home Inspectors. Like the old addage, bad news spreads faster....

    And what better way for a new HI to show commitment is to actually do some of the legwork themselves, along with other requirements you may discuss with them.

    And if you don't have time for the whole kit and caboodle.. help where you can / when you can.


  24. #24
    Terry Griffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: TAgalong

    Generally I dont mind taking a new inspector along on an inspection. But I let the buyer know up front why he/she is there and I am not responsible for any statements he/she makes about something they may see.
    I like the company and a fresh set of eyes and the opportunity to share experience. But, when we arrive at the location and the first thing the new inspector says is "Lets go see how many code violations we can find." I know its going to be a long long day.


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