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  1. #66
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    Exclamation Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by JORY LANNES View Post
    A friend, A fellow inspector had a seller's realtor get angry with some of his observations as she shadowed him thru the house. The realtor and seller told my friend to leave. The inspector had his tools in the basement when this happened. The seller would not let him go down and retreave his tool bag.

    My friend called the police. The officer told the broker and the seller to let the inspector get his tools. The broker got angry and hit the inspector.

    My friend got his tools as the broker was being led AWAY in handcuffs to the police car. She was charged with "simple battery". She spent a couplle of hours in a JAIL cell until she was bailed out.

    TRUE STORY...HAPPENED IN APRIL. THE CASE WAS DISMISSED.

    DON'T YOU LOVE STORIES WITH HAPPY ENDINGS.
    I hope this was reported to the Real Estate Board for review. If they don't do anything, I would refer it up to National. This behavior is intolerable. Yes, I've seen seller's agents get pushy with inspections. Stand your ground and don't be afraid to call their broker or Real Estate Board. I would also send them an invoice for the incomplete inspection and take the bum to smal claims court for preventing you from earning your fee under a legally binding contract with the buyer.

    Unreal.

    F.I.R.E. Services
    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  2. #67
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    I hope this was reported to the Real Estate Board for review. If they don't do anything, I would refer it up to National. This behavior is intolerable. Yes, I've seen seller's agents get pushy with inspections. Stand your ground and don't be afraid to call their broker or Real Estate Board. I would also send them an invoice for the incomplete inspection and take the bum to smal claims court for preventing you from earning your fee under a legally binding contract with the buyer.

    Unreal.
    BH: Reporting an agent to the realtor organizations is a total waste of time. In Texas, reporting them to the Texas Real Estate Commission is an even bigger waste of time.


  3. #68
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    BH: Reporting an agent to the realtor organizations is a total waste of time. In Texas, reporting them to the Texas Real Estate Commission is an even bigger waste of time.
    I'm thinking finding a hungry bulldog of a lawyer and sue them for every thing the lawyer can come up with, assault, attempted theft, theft of service.
    You might not come up with any real money at the end of the day, but sometimes it is not just the money, right AD?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  4. #69
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    You might not come up with any real money at the end of the day, but sometimes it is not just the money, right AD?
    JL: Quite so.


  5. #70
    Michael Greenwalt's Avatar
    Michael Greenwalt Guest

    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    My client is the paying part of the deal, I would never steal thier candy. Clients are the reason for my business, not a distraction to it.


  6. #71
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Greenwalt View Post
    My client is the paying part of the deal, I would never steal thier candy. Clients are the reason for my business, not a distraction to it.
    MG: I might maintain that it is money that is the reason for your business, but I could be wrong.


  7. #72
    Robert Flaa's Avatar
    Robert Flaa Guest

    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    The other day I invited the client on the roof with me. He said lets go. After 10-15 Min trying to get him down. His coment was I will take your word for it I trust you.


  8. #73
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Flaa View Post
    The other day I invited the client on the roof with me. He said lets go. After 10-15 Min trying to get him down. His coment was I will take your word for it I trust you.
    RF: If he had fallen, who would have been held utlimately responsible, given that it was your ladder and that you "invited" him on the roof?


  9. #74
    Robert Flaa's Avatar
    Robert Flaa Guest

    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    you can't tell the ones that can from the ones that lock up.


  10. #75
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I welcome them to follow me around. They can ask all the questions they want.
    I always tell them this first....
    1. A lot of what I do is like watching paint dry, just not all that exciting.
    2. I do have a routine, and please do not distract me from it. Do not double team me, and do not ask me to "come look at something". If they pull me away from my routine, I may miss something important on THEIR house.
    3. I am available, after they read the report, for all the questions they may have. Just call me.

    I find if they follow me around, I will have less questions later.
    It also gives me a chance to get to know them, and have a dialog with them. If they "like" me, they might be less likely to sue me.

    They are my client. They are paying me. Without them, I would not be earning a living. I see no reason for them not to be there. I WANT them to be there to SEE just how hard I am working for them.

    While I make not like the kids, or the in-laws, it's only 3 or so hours out of my life. I can live thru just about anything for 3 hours.

    If I was so easily distracted, and could not do a good job just because there were some people talking to me while I was working, I think I would look for another line of work.
    As far as homeowners go, I AM a guest in their house. I am always polite to them, but also let them know I am working for my client, and can not discuss my findings with them, without my clients permission.

    I have had very few homeowners harass me. However, I have fired a couple clients, been tossed out of a few houses, and driven away with a huge headache more than once.

    But I have also had sellers that threw me out of their house, call me later to schedule an inspection for them.

    The highlight above????????????????????????????

    Are you serious. Being a home inspector has to be the easiest job in life. As far as them "seeing how hard I work" ????????????????? Actually no matter how difficult an inspection is and how long it takes it has never been something that I would refer to as hard work.

    I know that was said as a little comic relief...right?

    And then Jim readily and quickly agreed with you. Now I don't know Jim well but I have talk a few times. I know he knows what hard work is all about so he must have been agreeing with that portion as comic relief.

    I seriously doubt that any home inspector that has ever worked in life would think a home inspection is hard work and doubt they would have turned to home inspection if it was hard work. The vast majority of a home inspection is just looking around....period...and decoding what is going on in the home..


    Not. Not hard work mentally or physically.

    Now keeping the phone ringing on a steady basis....that is hard work no matter how many referrals one gets.


  11. #76
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    no way

    if they want to come on the roof.. get your inspection agreement out and write and write, not resonsible for you getting on roof. i have this written in my agreement. make them sign on the dotted line

    hello lawsuit-i have fallen off one roof. never again

    charlie


  12. #77
    Jim Begley's Avatar
    Jim Begley Guest

    Default When clients want to "shadow" you

    A couple of recent "First Time Hm Buyer" inspections had the buyers dad's in tow... as suggested in the threads, had them participate by running around with the outlet tool...
    than handed them spare knee pads, flashlight and gloves to "Crawl Along".... both of them kept with me and were an extra set of eyes....
    Tagalongs are distracting but we gotta feel they are "on our team" when we put them to work.....
    PS..... this has been one or the best thread on the board....
    Sempre Fi


  13. #78
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    The highlight above????????????????????????????

    Are you serious. Being a home inspector has to be the easiest job in life. As far as them "seeing how hard I work" ????????????????? Actually no matter how difficult an inspection is and how long it takes it has never been something that I would refer to as hard work.

    I know that was said as a little comic relief...right?

    And then Jim readily and quickly agreed with you. Now I don't know Jim well but I have talk a few times. I know he knows what hard work is all about so he must have been agreeing with that portion as comic relief.

    I seriously doubt that any home inspector that has ever worked in life would think a home inspection is hard work and doubt they would have turned to home inspection if it was hard work. The vast majority of a home inspection is just looking around....period...and decoding what is going on in the home..


    Not. Not hard work mentally or physically.

    Now keeping the phone ringing on a steady basis....that is hard work no matter how many referrals one gets.
    Ted, would you prefer the word "diligently"?
    I feel that I do work hard at providing a quality product for my client and to have them see the steps I go through to leave no stone un-turned makes sense to me. Now if you compare my work to concrete finishing, roofing, ditch digging; your're right it's not hard in the manual labor sense.
    If an inspector does not want their client at the inspection, does that mean they have something to hide? Hmmm...

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  14. #79
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Are you serious. Being a home inspector has to be the easiest job in life. As far as them "seeing how hard I work" ????????????????? Actually no matter how difficult an inspection is and how long it takes it has never been something that I would refer to as hard work.
    I find H.I.ing challenging and sometimes I find it hard work. I have one opportunity to see many systems and components throughout the home and it's necessary to be on all cylinders on each job. I write a report on site and have one chance to get it right - no first drafts. While doing this I have to communicate with the client and explain the "how to dos" and what the significance is of conditions found. On each job I draw on 16 years of fulltime home inspection experience and hundreds of hours worth of C.E.s. To be honest, if I thought that this job was easy I'd have to take a step back and wonder what I was doing wrong. This is not to say that I don't enjoy what I do.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  15. #80
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Ted, would you prefer the word "diligently"?
    I feel that I do work hard at providing a quality product for my client and to have them see the steps I go through to leave no stone un-turned makes sense to me. Now if you compare my work to concrete finishing, roofing, ditch digging; your're right it's not hard in the manual labor sense.
    If an inspector does not want their client at the inspection, does that mean they have something to hide? Hmmm...

    Something to hide.

    As you say Hmmm

    I will look at diligents. I will look at professionalism and concentration.

    I have run companies and yes dug ditches as well. I have been a foreman, supervisor and manager of differnent types of work loads.

    I have hung drywall. Built commercial and residential structures etc etc etc.

    Hard work. My opinion is it is not hard work in the slightest.

    Writing a paper (what it amounts to) on your step by step inspection and incorporating pictures can not amount to nearly any of the work I have done in life.

    No, there is nothing to hide in an inspection but My opinion is your time is much better spent for your client with them leaving you alone to accomplish your complete, thorough and professional inspection with out interruption.

    As far as leaving no stone unturned...I usually never see stones inside the home

    Seriously folks.........This is hard work ??????????? Maybe tiring if you are fortunate to do a couple in a day....But then of course you are pulling in some serious money.

    Let me see....2 inspections...serious money....How hard is it ????? Where else can any of you think of working that you can make the type of money you do on a 2 inspection day with no employees.....office to speak of....material overhead such as shop, offices, vehicles, crazy taxes, accountants, tax men, equipment etc etc etc etc and at worse case scenario....a little sweaty and a little tired. No one breathing down your neck, setting deadlines for job completion, hiring and firing, workers comp. My God men.

    This is the best job anyone could ever wish to have and you could do to times end if you wished...barring good health of course.

    Easy job.................Yep.

    So deep gentlemen and so serious. Lighten up and look at reality and think of what else you could be doing in life

    Hundreds of hours of CEs over the years.........Seriously. Is that a tough thing to do??? I don't care if you sit in class a solid week out of every year. That is hard ?????? The only thing you have to do is keep up with changes as the years go on. Most stays the same in the general part of your inspection. The vast majority of a home inspection is quite simply looking around no matter how technical and thorough you do it and you want to try to make it sound.

    This is an easy job folks

    Again the only tough part is keeping up with the changing needs in marketing to keep busy. Like I said...that is a tough job.

    Oh yeah...This is just my opinion...Other than getting the work...I smile every day of my working life on how fortunate I am for such an easy job.


  16. #81
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    Red face Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    I tell them that they are welcome to follow me if they. I explain that I don't talk very much during the inspection process. So that I can pay full attention to what I am doing. I also explain that I will take what ever time necessary when I am done to go over what I have found, educate them about the house and answer any questions they may have. When I have a client decide to folow me he or she typically does not do so for more then a few minutes.


  17. #82
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    I enjoy it when they want to tag along, ask questions, learn a little about their house. I would rather talk to them at their property than have them call me 20 times the following day as I am inspecting another home or driving to an appointment. Its always worked well for me.

    I rarely get a call/email after the inspection asking me about something in the report.

    I estimate about 70% of my customers follow me for the entire inspection. Usually they shadow for about a half hour and bail on me when they start sweating.


  18. #83
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by imported_John Smith View Post
    I enjoy it when they want to tag along, ask questions, learn a little about their house. I would rather talk to them at their property than have them call me 20 times the following day as I am inspecting another home or driving to an appointment. Its always worked well for me.

    I rarely get a call/email after the inspection asking me about something in the report.

    I estimate about 70% of my customers follow me for the entire inspection. Usually they shadow for about a half hour and bail on me when they start sweating.
    You know. I keep on sounding like the evil home inspector that wants to beat up all his clients that show up for the entire inspection.

    Truth of the matter is that I strongly prefer them to ONLY come at the end of the inspection which most do.

    Everyone says almost the exact same thing. "they follow me for a short time and then either go sit outsdie or in the kitchen or tell you they will be back in an hour or 2".

    My question is....Why invite them at all. Why not tell them that it is much to their advantage to come in the end after you have done the inspection and you can spend quality time with them and walk them thru the findings. At that time they may have questions. That is the time to answer them...not during your due diligent inspection when you should not be disturbed and get off track.

    How about their job and their life. All of them have something else that they could be doing. Or get caught up on work. Or take care of some things at home.

    Most...almost all of my clients come at the end. None I talk to are ever insulated or hurt or mad or disappointed that they only came in the end. All are happy that they could just do their lunch hour at the inspection instead of missing a half day or mom could get things done with errands instead of hanging out for a few hours.

    The amount of calls I get the next day or two or the next week are so far and few between that you might as well say that they do not exist. Questions the next day or that evening about the inspection just do not exist. Questions from realtors just do not exist. All of them are so happy that I did not hand them a forty or 80 or a hundred page report that they had to filter through to figure out what the concerns are. My inspections might top out at 20 pages and the homes with little to no concerns are maybe 15 pages. Writing does not expand a report. It is the pictures that grow the report. 20 pages is a lot of concerns.

    Everyone needs to do what they feel is best and what they feel comfortable with. If you actually ask your client to give you a few hours so you can do an undisturbed, uniterupted inspection (both are better for your client) and then offer them good solid quality time in the end I think you will be amazed at how many jump for the chance to not have to hang out for a half day doing absolutely nothing.

    Again folks. If they want to come...tell them "sure come ahead". What ever you feel comfortable with. I do believe you will be shocked at how many jump for the chance to just come in the end. I think you will also be shocked at how few if any telephone calls you get because they did not come.

    If they are calling with 20 questions after the inspection then I suggest you take an outside look at your reports and find out what you are not saying or how you are saying it for them to have to call you or maybe it is just to much garbage and unecessary disclaimers and to much fill and hype and fluff etc etc that you are adding which is taking their attention away from the hard plain and simple facts that they need to know.

    Maybe there is a bunch of how to about the home mixed in to the report that needs to be separated and attached in the end. Get rid of disclaimers and put a disclaimer book (as I see in many inspection reports that are mixed into the report) in the end.

    Most of all if it needs fixing...tell them so, both in the report and verbal walk around in the end. If they need an electrician for a further eval and repair then tell them etc

    Sorry about the morning rant.


  19. #84
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    I have no problem with clients but I think I'm going to start charging an extra $100 or more for DADS of clients who consider themselves "knowledgeable" about construction.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  20. #85
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    I know what you mean Stuart. Recent HI, client told me the father in law knows about houses and construction and would be reviewing my report. He had already 'checked out' the house prior to my inspection. Client wanted me to be aware.
    I did the HI, submitted the report, couldn't help ask the client what Mr. Knowledgable thought. Stated he thought it was thorough and lengthy. Client told me later F-in-law didn't understand most of it.
    I've had them with too, they are almost the worst. I think the worst are "the family contractor friend".

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  21. #86
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    I think the worst are "the family contractor friend".
    MK: Agreed. Especially when the contractor friend is an electrician.


  22. #87
    Matt Hawley's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    We introduce ourselves and explain what we are going to do, see if they have any areas of concern. I explain that I will give them a real detailed post inspection wrap up and that if they have any questions in the mean time feel free to ask.
    After each system I will give them a quick update on any items that are found. Once you start pointing out defects they seam to be more at ease and are confident you are doing a good thorough job for them. Then most of the time they find something to do. After the inspection I go over every detail about the items I found, educate them about the home, where the main water shut-off is, main disconect, where to re-set the master GFI outlets, chenge their air filter, preventive maint. tips ect.

    A couple times a year I have a customer that follows me the entire time, they are normally first time homebuyers, I understand that this is their largest investment. Once they know they are in gooid hands they tend to relax, but for the most part we do a good thorough post inspection wrap up.

    Customers are putting a lot of trust in us as home inspectors.


  23. #88
    Cory Hett's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    It depends on when your next appointment is, too. Some people can follow and not get in your way and some people will follow and constantly pull you away from where your at. I believe in good service and like most guys said here within a few minutes most people find something else to do. Ive had grandma and father in law and so on and so forth waiting around a corner listening or watching me ...Thats when I start talking to myself ...I work with alot of inspectors who politely explain they need a little space and will explain the important things at the end. The guys that dont feel comfortable with people following them should just make sure your available for any follow up phone calls from the buyer. Personally I tell people they can do whatever they want during the inspection and this relaxes them and usually I have no problems.


  24. #89
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    MK: Agreed. Especially when the contractor friend is an electrician.
    Or, my favorite.... "You won't find anything wrong here. The seller is a contractor"


  25. #90
    Michael Kulikowski's Avatar
    Michael Kulikowski Guest

    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    I usually tell the client that I prefer to inspect first then review the area with them. I usually inspect the exterior first then walk around and review it with them dropping any maintenance tips as I go. Afterwhich I go inside and inspect for a while usually the kitchen where I start the dishwasher. Seems to work for me and they usually understand I need to focus on the inspection so I don't miss anything.


  26. #91
    Ralph Schade's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    My mandate is to educate the client about their new home. I expect them to be there. Personally, I don't like to go over things twice...as in " oh, can you show me where the furnace filter is" etc. I get irritated when they wander off. They can measure things or show the house to their family on their own time. Overall, I love interacting with my clients. As for the handy father-in-law, or contractor friend, ask them for input. There is always something that you will know that they don't and most appreciate learning something new. Also, they will warm to you for respecting their opinion. Lastly, a second set of eyes never hurts. I admit that some things have been found that I may have missed. The only time I grit my teeth is when I see toddlers in tow and I have to compete with them as I try to explain how the house works. But hey, for 3-4 hours at $100 per hour, I might even be persuaded to change a diaper and check for moisture.


  27. #92
    Michael Kulikowski's Avatar
    Michael Kulikowski Guest

    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Ralph,

    I agree with you on many parts however when they are glued to my hip there is constant interruption. "Whats this" ..."hows that work" and I tend to loose focus and could and probably have missed some things. I find it better to inspect first, then talk. I have found it easier for me to go through and point out any issues and make maintenance suggestions after I've looked at the area. I first do the exterior.. walk the roof if possible and SAFE and then do the exterior. Afterwards we tour around the house .. point at any issues on the roof (photo backup). Then go inside. Start the dishwasher and clothes washer and inspect from their on. When inspecting the interior including the basement I usually have them nearby so when I open and inspect the furnace I can show them where the filter is and how to replace it....


  28. #93
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    I agree with Ralph 100%. This is how I conduct my inspections also. Except I'd never change a diaper.

    A few of the things I've learned; When I outline my inspection process to my clients as soon as they arrive, they are less likely to jump ahead of me, ie asking about the furnace before I've looked at it. Secondly, if I talk continuously throughout the inspection, explaining the different systems and appliances, their attention stays with me and I'm less likely to waste time on call backs or answering questions later via telephone.

    I strongly believe it's not only my job to document the condition of the building but to also educate the buyers about the home they purchased.

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

  29. #94
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    I take it (not that any of you have said it out right,,,,well maybe a few) that you all want the clients there the entire time to get a contract signed before you start and that is the real reason they are there from beginning to end. Other than that I can here (not necessarily written) that most of the real truth tellers would say "Give me about three hours and then come and I will do a thorough walk around with you."

    For those that are saying they don't mind,,,,I am guessing that that means you have accepted it as a necessary evil for the clients to be there in the beginning just to get that contract signed which means they will be there the entire time.

    I cannot accept the fact that many of you are telling your client to take at least a half day out of their busy schedule and working life to be there for the entire inspection instead of a lunch break or finish up a little early so you can get home before 7 at night.

    I also cannot accept the fact that looking at many important items you almost have to be hugging them for them to get to the same vantage point as you to check out what you are talking about.

    For those of you that are with the clients the entire time while inspecting with them glued to your hip going over every totally unnecessary detail of the home and finishing any home in under 3 to 4 hours is insane. Talk talk talk, explain explain explain, point out point out point out. It takes me a minimum of three hours with no one up my backside tpo do a decent inspection on a do nothing great shape 2000 square foot home and I have been doing this for 30 plus plus plus years. If no one is there I do the report on sight and that is at least an hour. And that is for a do nothing house. Another half hour for medium finding and another half hour on top of that for a lot of findings and lets add more time to the inspection for heavy findings.

    For those of you that say you can do three inspections a day and also do all the reports that day then you are not a home inspector at all because it is impossible to do a good inspection and report in one waking day hours. Most of the time you cannot get in till after 8 am, also drive to the next and drive to the next and meet with three different families etc etc etc,,,,hmm, how about something to eat, get gas, schedule other inspections, do follow up if there is any.

    As far as getting calls from clients about inspections and calls from realtors.............. Your are not doing good inspections and reports if you always get calls. I have almost no buyers, sellers, buyers agent, listing agents at any of my inspections with the exception of the walk around at the end (almost every inspection) and I will say that I never get any calls about the inspection ..... ever. When I say never I am talking it is so rare that I cannot give an honest number. That is why I say I never get inspection related calls after an inspection.

    As far as 3 to 4 hour inspections ... a hundred and hour ... I am sure you guys are not including re[port writting, initial scheduling and all the calls for that, any sending off of reports, marketing, marketing, marketing, website adjustments, emailing, insurance, gas, office supplies ... and holy crap ... everything else. You are lucky if you make fifty an hour. Don't take your time at inspections so lightly. You are only making half per hour than what you are thinking.

    Changing a diaper ... how about an extra 300.00

    I did a one year warranty on a home today. 2700 square feet total. The owner had received marketing from inspectors (2 inspectors) where on was 200 and the other 220. Both included warranties and both included a free trip back to inspect repairs made. Both of them were franchises NPI and I forget the other , maybe PTP. They both pay franchise fees. What are they working for ... 25 an hour when all is said and done ???????? I got the inspection due to a referral. My calls for one year warranties have either cut down or they were price quoting (both actually) and these marketing clowns are doing the give away thing and getting them all.


  30. #95
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Ted: I have to disagree on a few areas. I like having the clients there to educate them about their home. Most of my inspections seem to be for first time home buyers and they want to know as much as they can and are more than willing to take a half day off work to do so. My inspection agreements are all done online, I don't get anything signed on site. I have also heard from several clients or agents that they wouldn't have an inspection done by an inspector that did not want them there.

    I talk, do the inspection, and complete the inspection report on my touch screen notebook computer all at the same time. My software allows me to point and click exactly what I want to say, I've already preset the verbiage. I also add photos into my report, usually 20 to 30 but that literally takes only about 5 minutes at the end of the inspection. My reports are complete by the time I leave the inspection. If the client wants a hard copy, I'll print one on site, otherwise they're emailed. This is something I've done since starting this 7 years ago...just something I've gotten used to. I have to get the reports to them, same day, as here in MN they normally have a 3 day inspection period and by the time they book they're on the last day.

    I used to do 3 sometimes 4 inspections a day, 6 days a week for 4 years. The software I used allowed me to do this. With my current software I only do 2 inspections a day and they generally take 3 to 4 hours each, whether someone is present or not. Keep in mind in MN the typical house is about 1500 sq ft including the full basement. We don't have much for crawl spaces. Most of the houses I do are cookie cutters of different vintages. Once you've done 500 houses of the identical design they get pretty easy.

    I don't take booking calls or answer the phone during an inspection. My office handles bookings. My inspectors average $75 to $100/hr and all they do is inspections. They drive to the house, do the inspection and upload the report to our server and they're done. Their reports are also done on site, so they don't take their work home with them. I generally take care of marketing and other management stuff but I have no expenses since I actually work for a company as a state manager. If you're not making that much maybe you should look in to coming to work for us

    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 12-03-2009 at 11:38 PM.
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  31. #96
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    I suppose, that at the end of the day, we all have our systems that work for us individually. Most importantly, our clients can make an informed decision and have an education on what they investing in. That's what should let us sleep well at night. Those that fail their clients will answer for it, at some level, somewhere down the road. So, is it "tomahto" or "tomatoe"?


  32. #97
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Schade View Post
    I suppose, that at the end of the day, we all have our systems that work for us individually. Most importantly, our clients can make an informed decision and have an education on what they investing in. That's what should let us sleep well at night. Those that fail their clients will answer for it, at some level, somewhere down the road. So, is it "tomahto" or "tomatoe"?
    Agreed. I'm not saying the way we do it in MN is the correct or only way it should be done. It's just the way I was originally trained to do it and it works well for us. Most of my referring agents like it this way, but some agents (or clients) don't want to be there at all or only show up at the end. That's fine too. It's their inspection and I'll abide by their wishes.

    I absolutely hate it though when they show up half way through the inspection.

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  33. #98
    Neil Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    First of all, I am not an inspector but a homeowner who has just completed an 1100sq ft addition single-handed including demolition and foundation work. While I didn't have any major corrections from the city inspectors, I always went round with the inspector during an inspection. The inspectors of course knew I was an 'owner-builder' and all the inspectors were more than willing to discuss any corrections with me as they arose during the inspection. I think it saved the inspector some time and also enabled me to see and understand the corrections so minimizing the possibility of corrections on corrections. I found the inspectors to be friendly, reasonable and professional. I never tried to be a know-all and was always aware that they do it for a living and not as a hobby!


  34. #99
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I did a one year warranty on a home today. 2700 square feet total. The owner had received marketing from inspectors (2 inspectors) where on was 200 and the other 220. Both included warranties and both included a free trip back to inspect repairs made. Both of them were franchises NPI and I forget the other , maybe PTP. They both pay franchise fees. What are they working for ... 25 an hour when all is said and done ???????? I got the inspection due to a referral. My calls for one year warranties have either cut down or they were price quoting (both actually) and these marketing clowns are doing the give away thing and getting them all.

    I hear you Ted, same thing has been happening to me lately. Low baller competition on the warranty inspections and then offering to re-inspect for no charge. I'm assuming they are a franchise or other type of multi inspector firm where the inspector only gets a cut of the pay anyway.

    I'm still booking (fewer) warranty inspections but I really have to hard sell them on my service and why to use me based on my credentials, experience and detail. I also tell the potential clients that they will get what they pay for and need to wonder why the other inspectors are so cheap and why they have enough time to come do a re-inspection for free (we all know why). Regardless, when I entered this business 5 years ago, I asked market price for my service and never low balled. Low balling sets a bad standard for the industry and for your future inspection rates, i.e. income. And I'm not talking about temporary discount specials or marketing coupons to pick up the business a little bit, I'm talking about practically giving inspections away.

    I know this has been a topic of much discussion lately, but inspecting 3000 square foot homes for 225-250 and doing a free re-inspection is hard to compete with when people are price shopping (which many people are now, with the economy down). I refuse to lower my prices that much and must say that I believe it is bad for our industry in general for these low ballers to do so.

    Bottom line is, any of you jokers out there uber low balling, Cut It Out!! Sell your self and your service for what it is worth and get paid what you are worth and quit driving our fees down as a whole. You might be surprised to find out that if you bring your prices up to market level (prior to all the lowballing), people will still hire you to inspect their properties.

    Our inspections save people money and typically pay for themselves on nearly every inspection. We offer a valuable service that is worth a fair price and carries a lot of liabilty. Charge accordingly.



    Free re-inspections, sheesh.


  35. #100
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Man, this is a long thread and well worth the reading.
    My 2 cents:
    I work for the client. It ain't my say as to who does what.
    More than once, the client has eyed a small detail I missed or might have missed.
    I work well with most clients. If I can get a non-refering agent there too, I have a shot of winning them over and getting on their referal list. Happended this week. Made me money.
    Like iterated earlier: Most bail after a few minutes anyway and go chat or watch TV.
    My favoite will always be the big tough guy who wanted me to know he was in charge. When we hit the crawl space, I gave him a flashlight and cover-alls. He went in 4 feet, got real quite for a second, and then said, "I'll catch you when you're done."
    Attending and attentive clients result in fewer calls after the fact.
    JLMathis

    JLMathis


  36. #101
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Schade View Post
    I suppose, that at the end of the day, we all have our systems that work for us individually. Most importantly, our clients can make an informed decision and have an education on what they investing in. That's what should let us sleep well at night. Those that fail their clients will answer for it, at some level, somewhere down the road. So, is it "tomahto" or "tomatoe"?
    RS: Actually, it is tomato.


  37. #102
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Hunter View Post
    First of all, I am not an inspector but a homeowner who has just completed an 1100sq ft addition single-handed including demolition and foundation work. While I didn't have any major corrections from the city inspectors, I always went round with the inspector during an inspection. The inspectors of course knew I was an 'owner-builder' and all the inspectors were more than willing to discuss any corrections with me as they arose during the inspection. I think it saved the inspector some time and also enabled me to see and understand the corrections so minimizing the possibility of corrections on corrections. I found the inspectors to be friendly, reasonable and professional. I never tried to be a know-all and was always aware that they do it for a living and not as a hobby!
    NH: You were dealing with municipal inspectors. These are not real inspectors, but rather tax collectors masquerading as inspectors. And, as municipal employees (civil servants), it is their responsibility (job) to spend time with you and give you direction regarding a particular permitted project.

    This thread is primarily devoted to the discussion of the pros and cons of having potential real estate purchaser clients buzz around their third-party independent inspectors like flies while the inspectors are attempting to find all of the problems that may later plague them, should they opt to purchase the house.

    So then NH, your observations are significantly off point.


  38. #103
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    I seem to notice that Mr. Miller frequently finds it appropriate to insult people. I'm not sure I get the point. But that's his cross to bear.
    Municipal inspectors are certainly not tax collectors and they perform a perfectly legitimate function. That's to protect the public. Can they be as sorry as the next human? Sure. Can they save me from killing myself? Yes they can. They're there to read and interpret one book-code. That's all.

    But what's the point of Mr. Miller's invective and insult that I can read in several threads on this site? I think he may need attention.

    JLMathis


  39. #104
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    For the most part, the inspection is the only time that you get to spend with your clients. I incourage my clients to walk with me and ask any questions that they might have.
    Most of my clients are first time home buyers and they appreciate the fact that you explain the function of certain items. Explaining your findings as you go along will prevent misunderstandings as to what you put in your report.
    Building trust with your client goes along way to making the inspection go smoothly and will lead to more referrals.


  40. #105
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Who are doing the inspection for? If you make the client feel apart of the process you will find most appreciate it. I encourage all my clients to participate.


  41. #106
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    I'm not sure I get the point.
    JLM: That goes without saying.

    But that's his cross to bear.
    JLM: I would appreciate your not using biblical [sic] language with my name in the same paragraph.

    Municipal inspectors are certainly not tax collectors
    JLM: You are mistaken.

    and they perform a perfectly legitimate function.
    JLM: Yes, they collect taxes.

    That's to protect the public.
    JLM: You are living in a dream.

    I think he may need attention.
    JLM: So then, are you up to the task, is the question.


  42. #107
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Who are doing the inspection for?
    CR: The client, of course. Who sets your clients' expectations of how it should be carried out? If not you, then it will be the muddle-headed posters on the Internet, their agents, et al. You are the professional in charge at the time of the inspection. It is your responsibility to insure that you focus on inspecting and not chit-chatting. You otherwise do your client, yourself and ultimately your entire profession a grave disservice.


  43. #108
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    CR: The client, of course. Who sets your clients' expectations of how it should be carried out? If not you, then it will be the muddle-headed posters on the Internet, their agents, et al. You are the professional in charge at the time of the inspection. It is your responsibility to insure that you focus on inspecting and not chit-chatting. You otherwise do your client, yourself and ultimately your entire profession a grave disservice.
    I don't feel that explaining the systems, your findings and such is "chit-chatting" and is a vital part of the service the client is paying for.

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  44. #109
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    I don't feel that explaining the systems, your findings and such is "chit-chatting" and is a vital part of the service the client is paying for.
    KR: Neither do I, as long as those explanations are left to the end of the visit and AFTER your inspection has been completed.


  45. #110
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey L. Mathis View Post
    I seem to notice that Mr. Miller frequently finds it appropriate to insult people. I'm not sure I get the point. But that's his cross to bear.
    Municipal inspectors are certainly not tax collectors and they perform a perfectly legitimate function. That's to protect the public. Can they be as sorry as the next human? Sure. Can they save me from killing myself? Yes they can. They're there to read and interpret one book-code. That's all.

    But what's the point of Mr. Miller's invective and insult that I can read in several threads on this site? I think he may need attention.

    JLMathis
    While I may have been a little off point on this thread, I agree with you. Municipal inspectors are there to make sure that permitted construction projects follow all the appropriate building codes and titles. Their primary focus is safety. Yes, there are fees for obtaining the required permits but calling the inspectors tax collectors is a bit of a stretch. As for Mr Miller's condescending remarks, I didn't join this forum to be treated in this manner but I will continue to be active and hopefully learn and contribute to this very interesting forum.


  46. #111
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Hunter View Post
    While I may have been a little off point on this thread, I agree with you. Municipal inspectors are there to make sure that permitted construction projects follow all the appropriate building codes and titles. Their primary focus is safety. Yes, there are fees for obtaining the required permits but calling the inspectors tax collectors is a bit of a stretch. As for Mr Miller's condescending remarks, I didn't join this forum to be treated in this manner but I will continue to be active and hopefully learn and contribute to this very interesting forum.
    NH: Obviously we are not working from the same pools of experience.


  47. #112
    Neil Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    NH: Obviously we are not working from the same pools of experience.
    Putting a smiley face at the end of your comment does not change the fact that you are clearly being very arrogant, condescending and unpleasant. I guess we don't have a moderator for this forum to remove this kind of offensiveness.


  48. #113
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Had a client show up today and want to follow me around. The thing was that she brought along her newborn baby with her.

    When she rolled the stroller in the front door, I greeted her and looked down to see the ugliest baby in the world. I just stood there looking at this kid and trying to think of a compliment but was having a hard time so I just blurted out "What a beautiful stroller!"

    I'm sure she hears that line quite often.

    rick


  49. #114
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Hunter View Post
    Putting a smiley face at the end of your comment does not change the fact that you are clearly being very arrogant, condescending and unpleasant. I guess we don't have a moderator for this forum to remove this kind of offensiveness.

    Neil

    Moderators are not needed. More regulation is not needed. Why is it that everyone feels that there needs to be someone to protect everyone against everything.

    For those that deal with folks face to face everyday and have to deal with OCD, manic depresoes, crazy, control freaks, whacked hormone levels, way to much energy, not enough energy ... personalities why is it that you (no one in particular) have such a difficult time dealing with minor personality differences on an inspector forum.

    There is nothing wrong with Mr Miller. I love (PEOPLE THAT ARE) annoying and insulating to other folks. They are the easiest to deal with. Especially when it is just done to keep things from being boring.

    Don't be so serious. Talk with Mr Miller. He is actually a pretty nice pain in the ass. Pretty intelligent, well read and very knowledgeable about a vast amount of subject material.

    Monitor, schmonitor. Smile. Life is to short. Brian has better things to do than spank someone.

    The red highlight is for those who don't understand

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 12-08-2009 at 08:36 AM.

  50. #115
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Had a client show up today and want to follow me around. The thing was that she brought along her newborn baby with her.

    When she rolled the stroller in the front door, I greeted her and looked down to see the ugliest baby in the world. I just stood there looking at this kid and trying to think of a compliment but was having a hard time so I just blurted out "What a beautiful stroller!"

    I'm sure she hears that line quite often.

    rick
    That was Billies cousin Rick. I am sure he is pointing her to the forum right now


  51. #116
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Ted
    I wanted to say something, but did not know how to put it into words, you did a good job.

    Rick H
    Stop it. I laughed so hard, I thought I was going to have a heart attact.

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

  52. #117
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    . . . I love annoying and insulating folks. . . .
    Do you mean that you like folks that are annoying and insulting or that you like to annoy and insult folks?

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
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  53. #118
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Rick H

    How do you ever expect to have your own HGTV show if you don't learn how to schmooze just a little.

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

  54. #119
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Breedlove View Post
    Do you mean that you like folks that are annoying and insulting or that you like to annoy and insult folks?

    I guess that depends on the situation and the mood.

    Today a stop sign was down and I started to cross the intersection. The man to my right came out and literally stopped right in front of me (intentionally) with me slamming on the brakes. Then the older man (I am old enough) sits there with his wife just staring at me. And staring. And staring. He then points to the corners with the stop signs. Then sits there and holds his hands up shaking his head with his wife next to him shaking her head. I still tried to be nice, instead of getting out and dragging him out the window at this point, Put my hands up, saying oops with lip reading and then motioned for the guy to move along and get on with life. He still sat there and shook his head with his wife shaking her head.

    Sorry. That did it. I mashed the brakes on and hit the gas smoking the rear tires of my brandy new truck staring him in the face shaking my head and it seriously looked like the guy was about to have a heart attack. He hit the gas and almost drove into traffic crossing the intersection. He hits the breaks and the guy he almost runs into (which like an idiot also stopped dead in front of him) holding his arms up and shaking his head. I busted out in laughter and slowly drove off.

    That was annoying. A man that had a death wish stopping dead in front of me. Seeing the sign down. Made it his job to point the down sign out to me and then had the audacity to scold me by him and his wife shaking there heads with their hands up. And then almost the same thing happens to him with someone scolding him.

    Now .... The only reason I told you that tale was to explain to you things in life that really annoy me. Someone that believes it was their God given duty to scold me thru closed glass windows shaking their heads when he could plainly see it was not the fault of me and then continued to sit there with total disbelief on their faces holding their hands up and shaking their heads at me. That is the kind of bull I cannot put up with.

    Little comments from Aaron or you or anyone else ........................ ........................ Seriously... I don't get it. Whats the big deal.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 12-08-2009 at 08:33 AM.

  55. #120
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I love annoying and insulating folks.
    So Ted, if I follow you correctly, you enjoy getting under other peoples' skin and them covering them with fiberglass batts??




  56. #121
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Hunter View Post
    Putting a smiley face at the end of your comment does not change the fact that you are clearly being very arrogant, condescending and unpleasant. I guess we don't have a moderator for this forum to remove this kind of offensiveness.
    NH: Poor baby, must've led a sheltered life. Many PC folks, once confronted by a man who speaks his mind, fall back into the offended position. If it's comfortable, remain there.


  57. #122
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Breedlove View Post
    Do you mean that you like folks that are annoying and insulting or that you like to annoy and insult folks?
    Yes, I like people that are annoying and insulting. They leave themselves wide open for banter and cannot get their back up if you do the same to them. All guards are down and you wind up being able to have a real conversation with them as you don't have to watch every word. It actually becomes more a relaxing and refreshing conversation. To try to talk to folks with their head up their buts and words have to be chosen so carefully so as not to insult sucks.


  58. #123
    Patrick McCaffery's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    NH: Obviously we are not working from the same pools of experience.
    I am a New York State Licensed Home Inspector and a New York State Certified Code Enforcement Official. Both are doing Safety Inspections, both have a lot of responsibility. Both are working from very similar pools of experience. Neil you asked a very important question, please continue to post dispite the insults that you may receive on this site.


  59. #124
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick McCaffery View Post
    I am a New York State Licensed Home Inspector and a New York State Certified Code Enforcement Official. Both are doing Safety Inspections, both have a lot of responsibility. Both are working from very similar pools of experience. Neil you asked a very important question, please continue to post dispite the insults that you may receive on this site.
    PM: No insults intended. Anyone who is insulted by the unvarnished truth has some other problem they need to deal with; such as waking up to reality.

    I also have sufficient credentials and experience in both arenas and know the landscape well enough to understand that the "safety" story is a gloss-over, tap-dance, whatever.

    If you are an inspector working for a municipality you understand the politics involved and you know - you may not admit - but you KNOW that you are a glorified tax collector. You are bought and paid for by the developers and builders in your area.


  60. #125
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    PM: No insults intended. Anyone who is insulted by the unvarnished truth has some other problem they need to deal with; such as waking up to reality.

    I also have sufficient credentials and experience in both arenas and know the landscape well enough to understand that the "safety" story is a gloss-over, tap-dance, whatever.

    If you are an inspector working for a municipality you understand the politics involved and you know - you may not admit - but you KNOW that you are a glorified tax collector. You are bought and paid for by the developers and builders in your area.
    Has anyone ever called you a real sweet heart.

    I am not talking about someone getting sweet on you either

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 12-08-2009 at 04:45 PM.

  61. #126
    Neil Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick McCaffery View Post
    I am a New York State Licensed Home Inspector and a New York State Certified Code Enforcement Official. Both are doing Safety Inspections, both have a lot of responsibility. Both are working from very similar pools of experience. Neil you asked a very important question, please continue to post dispite the insults that you may receive on this site.
    Patrick,
    Thank you for that. Now that you have brought some clarity I WILL continue to post. As far as Mr Miller's juvenile insults are concerned I will ignore them from now on and concentrate on what this forum is supposed to be about.

    Last edited by Neil Hunter; 12-08-2009 at 05:07 PM.

  62. #127
    Neil Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    NH: Poor baby, must've led a sheltered life. Many PC folks, once confronted by a man who speaks his mind, fall back into the offended position. If it's comfortable, remain there.
    You know nothing about me - your juvenile posts now make me laugh!


  63. #128
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Hunter View Post
    You know nothing about me - your juvenile posts now make me laugh!
    nh,
    welcome and continue to participate. i see you were greeted at the door by ad the nuetered and toothless pit bull. he'll sniff you and mount you but he's harmless


  64. #129
    Neil Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by brian schmitt View Post
    nh,
    welcome and continue to participate. i see you were greeted at the door by ad the nuetered and toothless pit bull. he'll sniff you and mount you but he's harmless
    Thanks for the welcome. I own two dogs so are quite familiar with the species


  65. #130
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    Default Re: When clients want to "shadow" you

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    NH: You were dealing with municipal inspectors. These are not real inspectors, but rather tax collectors masquerading as inspectors.
    Gosh, I bet the contractors where I am doing AHJ inspections and plan review would have another take on that.

    As far as collecting tax money goes ... we collect far less than the private inspectors (i.e., home inspectors) do, and we spend more time there overall for that lesser amount of money.

    Of course, as a home inspector and construction consultant, there is more liability and no enforcement power, only 'the power of suggestion' is available to us.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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