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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Plano, Texas
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    Default Home maintenance verbiage

    I am contemplating providing home maintenance inspections apart from the traditional home inspections as part of a real estate transactions.

    For example, my sister's house is about 15 years old and she has no plans to sell, but there are many issues that need maintenance or correction.
    She needs a list of what needs to be done and who should be doing it.

    My plan is to go in take pictures and provide much of the same information but trying to figure how much information and time I can cut out to reach a affordable product.
    Does any one have any comments? I am looking for tips, pitfalls, etc. from those who have gone down this road before.

    Specifically looking at verbiage for the first page of the report describing the scope of the inspection.

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    Inspection Referral SOC
    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    3,473

    Default Re: Home maintenance verbiage

    Tried it. Got nothing. Moved on.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Home maintenance verbiage

    Also tried it because I was doing it on an informal basis for friends and relatives. Figured there was a market for it. I still think there is but have no idea how to tap it.
    Once it comes to paying for this service people seem to prefer to get 'free estimates' from contractors. There seems to be a clear misperception of value for this 'product'. People seem to think 'why pay for it, when I can get it for free' without understanding the difference between what they are getting for free and the value of the unbiased info they would be paying for.
    Unless you are a marketing wiz, I'll have to agree with Nick.
    I have had some luck with doing this type of work for commercial clients under the 'capital improvements' banner. Corp client A has X dollars to spend next year on the building/grounds. What are their options for spending that money and what are the benefits for spending the cash on this rather than that. I tried a few adds in trade papers and didn't get anything out of it. All the work came from knowing someone connected and then getting referrals from there.
    Sorry.

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

  4. #4
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Home maintenance verbiage

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    I am contemplating providing home maintenance inspections apart from the traditional home inspections as part of a real estate transactions.

    For example, my sister's house is about 15 years old and she has no plans to sell, but there are many issues that need maintenance or correction.
    She needs a list of what needs to be done and who should be doing it.

    My plan is to go in take pictures and provide much of the same information but trying to figure how much information and time I can cut out to reach a affordable product.
    Does any one have any comments? I am looking for tips, pitfalls, etc. from those who have gone down this road before.

    Specifically looking at verbiage for the first page of the report describing the scope of the inspection.
    Almost impossible Jim.

    By the time you get finished addressing all the maintainence issues you have looked at everything inside and outside the home. You might as well call it what it is...A Home Maintenance Home Inspection Report. Nothing wrong with that but the marketing is the killer. You have no direct contacts. I guess you can build a site that all key words that have to do with home maintenance will find your site. Realtors are out because they have no contact with home owners other than marketing the listing of their home.

    Just some thoughts.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mesa AZ
    Posts
    1,181

    Default Re: Home maintenance verbiage

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    I am contemplating providing home maintenance inspections apart from the traditional home inspections as part of a real estate transactions.
    Does any one have any comments? I am looking for tips, pitfalls, etc. from those who have gone down this road before.
    .
    I tried it a few years ago on Mobile Homes.
    I direct mailed apx 1000 color flyers, got 2 calls, 1 from a little ole lady that I had done a lot of work for a few years earlier, I ended up having tea and cookies, and didn't charge her

    The other one thought $150.00 was too much.

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: Home maintenance verbiage

    Jim,

    I've tried it as the others have mentioned but seriously do you think people really care whats wrong with their home? If so, we wouldn't be writing these HI novels every night.

    rick


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Home maintenance verbiage

    I've tried it as the others have mentioned but seriously do you think people really care whats wrong with their home?
    What I need to do is figure out how to market to the wife (or spouse that does not trust the others work) that wants a list of stuff to add to the "Honey Do List."

    I just did an inspection for my sister as practice and saw lots of stuff that needs to be taken care of, mostly cheap stuff that would save big $$ in the long run.
    Messed up attic insulation, failing chimney box, etc.
    Just fixing the insulation will pay for the repairs in the first few months.
    The just replaced the condensing unit in 2007 with an over sized unit just to make up for the lack of proper insulation in a 15 year old house.

    I get the lack of market for the product, but I do get asked from various acquaintances for such a service but it never goes past the price.
    I'm kind of in the research stage right now just to see how quickly I can inspect the average house to deal with the typical maintenance stuff just to see what price point would be possible.
    I think the level of detail and liability would be reduced compared to the standard real estate transaction inspection.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Home maintenance verbiage

    I agree with Rick.... most people's idea of maintanence is to fix it when it breaks, prop it up when it falls, plug it when it starts leaking or unplug it when it starts making noise.

    In reality if you're looking for a market to target I'd shoot for the higher end neighborhoods that are in the 15-20 year old range. My modest 1979 2500 sq ft house happens to border an neighborhood of mid-90s 3-4K+ sq ft places and as I drive out each day I just can't believe how many work trucks I see.

    I've often tried to think of a way to help these people out, inspect the work that was just done, etc. but I just don't think anyone is willing to pay. There's just an assumption that 'the contractor' knows all and fixes all perfectly. That's why there's such a surprise when we inspect the house and it's all messed up.


  9. #9

    Default Re: Home maintenance verbiage

    I thought about marketing to that group of individuals who's parents have gone to nursing homes, passed away, etc. Now the relatives have the house and have no idea about the condition of the home, or they are taken aback because they sell the home and we come in and point out things that are wrong that end up costing them money. I have mentioned it to a few people I know who are in that situation and it received an almost positive response with some folks who hired me.

    Problem is, how do you market to this group without coming off as insensitive or looking like you are trying to take advantage of folks in their emotional state. Eventhough you are trying to help them know about the home that they rarely look at and curb alot of shock as to the condition.

    Michael Carson
    Inspect It Right Home Inspections L.L.C.
    www.inspectitrighthomeinspection.com

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