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  1. #1
    Gary Lane Smith's Avatar
    Gary Lane Smith Guest

    Default Should I stay in or get out??

    Would appreciate some feedback if you feel inclined to:
    I have been in the business a little over 2 years and have done a total of 3, count 'em, 3, inspections. Main reason is that I have not promoted my business. I really enjoy learning the business, but I think the main reason that I am reluctant to promote my business is that I am paranoid about getting sued for missing something on an inspection. My business is an LLC, and I do not carry E & O insurance. I really don't enjoy having to virtually kiss a real estate agent's behind to get him/her to consider me for one of their deals.
    It may simply be that I need to find something else, but I really hate to, considering the study, money, and time that I have spent thus far.
    Any suggestions?

    Thanks!!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    West Coast Canada
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    Hey Gary,
    Don't really know how to respond to what you've expressed.
    Ya, not an impressive batting average.

    You're in a bit of a situation; the E&O insurance that is so important to protect us from litigation is so very costly, but since you aren't covered, it causes you to be so paranoid that you are fearful of putting yourself out there.

    Insurance does to a degree, remove some of the paranoia but we are all litigation conscious which I believe tends to benefit the profession. One of the positive aspects of the fear is that it tends to make the inspector more diligent, thorough, careful, articulate, better at his job, which benefits us all as professionals.

    The insurance I think, is as expensive as all get out, but I wouldn't dream of engaging a client or setting foot on that clients prospective property without it. Whatever way you look at it, being insured is the best course.

    I'm wondering Gary, is it because of the fear of litigation that holds you back from promoting your business, or that you are not sure of how to promote it?

    Rick


  3. #3

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    Depends on your market. If houses are moving and other inspectors are busy I would stay in it, but only if you feel qualified enough to not keep worrying about getting sued. Also, get E&O insurance-- look into E&O insurance that you pay per job until things pick up for you.

    If you are as slow as you say you are, I hope this is just a weekend job for now.


  4. #4
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    I you put a line in the water it will get wet !!!

    Get with the program son. get in the game. Can't hit a ball boy if you don't swing. i say i say i say boy now get in there and hit for all of us.

    We are behind ya. come on get in the game.

    PLAY BALL!!!

    Best

    Ron


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Lane Smith View Post
    My business is an LLC, and I do not carry E & O insurance.
    I'm not an expert in corporate protection or insurance, but it's my understanding that LLC effectiveness in terms of shielding your personal assets varies by state. I would not rely on it alone. E&O is expensive for someone doing very few inspections, so I think you either need to bite the bullet and go for it, by spending more money on insurance and marketing (like a good website, for one), or maybe decide this isn't for you. Don't let your investment of time and money spent so far get you into something you're going to regret.
    This isn't any easy way to make a living. You are going to have to enjoy it to be successful.
    My two cents.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,822

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    Go work for a large inspection company. You will get the experience you lack and coverage through them. You will not make alot of money but far more than 3 inspections. Then when you feel you have learned just the right tecnique for applying the chapstik and kissing ass you may want to go out on your own.


  7. #7
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    Ok if you can think like this you gona be ok. the next time you see a sub-area access hole or an attic opening. if you can say that my hole and be happy. you gona be ok. after 30 years i have one thing to say each job has its draw backs. that sub-area and attic is not that bad.

    Did i just say that. Its been a long time. Dude you got to love what you do.

    I get to help people every day buy and sell homes and tell them the good the bad and if they had any safty items. Thats big in my book. my job is not about me. its about the people that have invited me into there homes and offices and ask me to help them with there building issue/problems.

    Best

    Ron

    Last edited by Ron Bibler; 05-14-2008 at 03:36 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    West Coast Canada
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    40

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    Well said Ron,
    You gotta love doing it!
    Although I now need a kleenex.

    Good idea Wayne, an inspector firm will give you the feel and help with the confidence.

    Rick


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Zeeland Michigan
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    143

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    Ron,
    What deal!
    ROFLMAO!
    That's my hole! Ok Rick pass me a keenex!

    If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest
    Benjamin Franklin

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    3 inspections in 2 years.

    Thats not a job, its not even a hobby.

    Now if you charged 75K per inspection, your not doing so bad.

    Probably be best if you moved onto something else if your worried so about getting sued. We're all going to get sued someday.

    Will be my excuse to wear a suit and tie.

    rick


  11. #11
    Jon Randolph's Avatar
    Jon Randolph Guest

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    I don't know Gary, that is a question that only you can answer. Though many inspectors do not carry E&O, I would not recommend doing an inspection without it, even if you do business as an LLC. In this business, your name is everything. If you operate under the umbrella of an LLC and after building the business for XXXX years, then have to fold to prevent a lawsuit that E&O would have covered, you have to start all over again from square one and re-build the business with a new name. Even then, it will be difficult for you to explain to those who remember you from your last business why they should trust you with their inspection when you are willing to fold up instead of making it right.

    3 inspections in 2 years is not a good start. Are you not confident in yourself, do you have any construction experience? In this business, you will continue to learn new things all of the time, if you want to provide the best inspections to your clients. Getting sued is a real fear and I hope that I never have to face it, but the more value that your client gets from your inspection, the less likely you will get sued. Don't bow down to anybody and down play issues. Your #1 priority is to provide an inspection, at the best of your abilities, to the person buying the home. Remember that if you do bow down for the sake of referrals, you are the professional that was hired to give the inspection and in enough time you will most likely be sued.

    Working for another company may be a good start for you, but you may find it hard to get on with a company only having 3 inspections under your belt. Try to find a company that has you go with them on inspections during your training period. It will help you learn and increase your confidence. If you do go with a company, you may have to sign a no compete clause that will prevent you from starting your own business and marketing in their service area for a period of time after you terminate employement with them. You may be doing 2-3 inspections/day and have to work weekends while only getting about 1/4 - 1/3 of the fee for each inspection.

    I like working for myself. No body can tell me that I have to inspect homes in certain areas (although I haven't turned one down yet), you make your own schedule and have to answer to no body except for the clients who are ultimately your real boss anyway. If you are very thorough in you inspecting and documentation and it takes you 4-5 hours to inspect a home, that is the way you schedule them. If you are less thorough in your inspecting or documentation and can do 2 in a day, you decide if that is something that you want to do. You make all of the business decisions, provide your own insurance and do your own marketing, but keep all of the profit. But you have to market, at least in the beginning. If you offer a good product, referrals will keep you busy in the future but you need to market now in order to even have the opportunity for future referrals.



    Good luck with whatever you decide.


  12. #12
    Gary Lane Smith's Avatar
    Gary Lane Smith Guest

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    Thanks, everyone!! I think you all have helped me make up my mind what I should do.
    Best to you all!!

    Gary Smith


  13. #13
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    Get out fast!!! This line of work sucks. why woulkd any one wnat to be a H.I.

    Get your self a nice set duds a tie and hang around an office with nice dressed ladys all day ...

    Get out!

    Best

    Ron


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
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    4,517

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    Ron,

    Remember he's in Oklahoma.


  15. #15
    Gary Lane Smith's Avatar
    Gary Lane Smith Guest

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    Rick, are you taking a shot at me for being an Okie?
    FYI, I have a full time job and I was doing the H I business only part time anyway. I plan to retire 11 months from now, and will need a good part time job then, to supplement my social security. Thought the H I business might be just that job, but maybe not. Think I will take the one guy's suggestion that I hire on with an inspection company once I retire.
    Thanks again, men!!


  16. #16
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    Rick

    So what are you saying they don't have office there ?

    Ron


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Rockwall Texas
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    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Lane Smith View Post
    Rick, are you taking a shot at me for being an Okie?
    FYI, I have a full time job and I was doing the H I business only part time anyway. I plan to retire 11 months from now, and will need a good part time job then, to supplement my social security. Thought the H I business might be just that job, but maybe not. Think I will take the one guy's suggestion that I hire on with an inspection company once I retire.
    Thanks again, men!!
    Gary,

    Isn't that what Texans and Okies do? Razz one another. Just fun.

    In my opinion, your in a great position. If your retiring you'll have that income and you could easily supplement with just a few inspections a month.

    If you got out and promoted yourself a bit and get over that fear of being sued, you could probably do well.

    If you don't have the confidence in doing the home inspection, maybe you just need to do some more research.

    You can do it.

    rick


  18. #18
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    Hey gary. Its all in good fun. don't take it to heart man.

    We all just get along on this site. So now can i poak some fun at you?

    Or do i need to be bland? I like the fun stuff.
    My wife is an Okie and she from Cannada and she's part polllock. L.O.L.


    But she can cook up some gravy and biskets bub that will send back home to W.V. where im from. now let me tell you about the hill billies from W.V.

    OK another day.

    Best

    Ron


  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    Gary,

    I'm in a similar situation. I started my business 5 years ago when the company I work for started laying off a lot of people. Luckily I did not end up being one of those laid off, but I have continued with my inspection business because I really enjoy it, and I love to continue learning.

    I started by taking the ASHI training. I would like to take the code classes and exams, but have not done so yet, so I only do resale inspections. I do about 10 inspections per year, so I can not afford the E&O insurance. Hence, I have an LLC. I have not had any problems with any of my inspections, but yes, it could happen. I would recommend a good pre-inspection agreement form, that you have your clients sign, which lays out what you do and don't inspect, and defines the limits of your liability (usually up to the cost of the inspection itself).

    I really have not promoted my business much, and really just have 1 agent that gives me business (I need to get out there and try to get 1 or 2 more). My goal is to gradually increase my business, take the code classes, and some day take an early semi-retirement.

    So I guess my suggestion is to figure out why you want to be a home inspector. If it's just for some extra cash, that's probably not a good enough reason. You really have to be interested in the business, and enjoy it.

    Good luck!!!


  20. #20
    Richard Moore's Avatar
    Richard Moore Guest

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    ...My wife is an Okie and she from Cannada and she's part polllock. L.O.L.
    ...
    Ron...did you mean "Polack" (or more PC, "Polish")? I'm just having a hard time imagining your wife as part pollock...which is a FISH!

    For your sake, I hope she doesn't read your posts!


  21. #21
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    Well... if there is a pican-type smell eminating from that direction, your use of the fish venicullar would be appropro.

    Chad


  22. #22
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    Richard are you picking on me ?

    Back to the biskets and gravy.

    She can cook some very good gravy and biskets just the same.
    And she rides a harley. Thats my Polish/Okie from Cannada.

    From a California boy by way of smithville W.V.

    Did some one say something about a Texan ?

    Best

    Ron


  23. #23
    Richard Moore's Avatar
    Richard Moore Guest

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    Richard are you picking on me ?
    Just a teensy weensy bit. My wife has Scandinavian blood, but she wouldn't be at all pleased to be called part suede!

    BTW...that other Richard needs to keep Chad, whoever he is, away from his keyboard.


  24. #24
    Gary Lane Smith's Avatar
    Gary Lane Smith Guest

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    Thanks guys....I appreciate the encouraging words. I will do some serious praying about my situation and go from there.
    Have a great week end!!

    Gary

    "Go Sooners!!"

    (Rick, that's for you)


  25. #25
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Should I stay in or get out??

    It's that damn Chad Fabry who keeps hacking into my computer....

    Rich


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