Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 66 to 82 of 82
  1. #66
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    I looked at KR's sample report ... and for me it's Ok. Not great, not horrible. I see it as a standard HG report. A lot of duplication of info to make that 73 pages. Seems to me it would flow better if some of the info at the back were at the beginning. I personally don't like reports that don't have an Ex Summ or list house components in general (that aren't defective) but that's just me.
    As a critique Ken, honestly not to bash, I would recommend (not that you asked)
    - checking your page breaks, a lot of the page breaks seem very disjointed where info from one section is on the same page as info from another section; makes reading a little awkward.
    - check picture and comment alignment, on numerous photos the text under a picture doesn't coincide with the pic. I get it but it may be a bit confusing for Joe homebuyer.
    As far as agents, how cares.

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

  2. #67
    Kary Krismer's Avatar
    Kary Krismer Guest

    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    The answer to your question for me would be NO.

    rick
    One other follow up to this. I would say it's dangerous for an inspector to do work for an agent that wants a certain result, because subconsciously you might actually be more inclined to give them that result, and end up getting sued.

    By way of analogy, when I come up with a proposed list price I try not to know things that will affect my result--like for example what they owe on the property or even worse what they think the place is worth.


  3. #68
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    I looked at KR's sample report ... and for me it's Ok. Not great, not horrible. I see it as a standard HG report. A lot of duplication of info to make that 73 pages. Seems to me it would flow better if some of the info at the back were at the beginning. I personally don't like reports that don't have an Ex Summ or list house components in general (that aren't defective) but that's just me.
    As a critique Ken, honestly not to bash, I would recommend (not that you asked)
    - checking your page breaks, a lot of the page breaks seem very disjointed where info from one section is on the same page as info from another section; makes reading a little awkward.
    - check picture and comment alignment, on numerous photos the text under a picture doesn't coincide with the pic. I get it but it may be a bit confusing for Joe homebuyer.
    As far as agents, how cares.
    KRs report is not a 73 page report. 33 pages are "items for consideration" with massive pictures ans a serious amount of white space. None of that is the report. It is a seriously over blown summary.


    On top of that I am not sure if his summary is a copy of the report of the report is a copy of the summary with seriously bloated pictures and the exact same white space and the exact same information.

    From what I see his entire report was "items in need of consideration" I am not sure why the summary.

    I know so many of you are hot on summaries but think about it. A very large part of what you would put in a summary is already in the report and you are repeating the exact same story. In Kens see that his report could actually been down to about 25 pages at best even with the checked off items and informnation section.

    The idea of more in the report or in this case bloat (sorry Ken) is simply protection for Ken. The bigger it looks the better it must be.

    In this particular example of a report (sorry Ken, yours was put up on the block) I see serious bloat and repeated information along with huge pictures and a lot of white space. Pictures half the size (if that) would have showed the same thing. To have a report after the summary or a summary at all in this case is completely fruitless.

    This is not like an AD report where he goes into great depth about the items at hand and the history of codes and better building practices or how this or that should be done base on ....what ever. This is strictly hype and fluff and big pictures with few words. AS far as the words go it is about as simplistic as I have seen in any report. No real depth at all but thats OK. Going on forever about something is also totally unnecessary.

    Again, for those that think this is a 73 page report it is far from it. I see about the low 20s in here. The rest is a completely not needed summary and bloat. His summary is about 10 pages longer than need for the entire report.


  4. #69
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Ted, Agreed, I just didn't have time to spell it out as you did, phone rang.
    Wait a minute, did I just agree with Ted? Is that an earthquake I feel?

    Last edited by Markus Keller; 06-21-2010 at 09:34 AM. Reason: add thought
    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  5. #70
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,628

    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Ted and Markus,

    Your actually looking at two reports. One is the summary report and the other is the property information report. These are delivered separately to the client, but were made together for the purpose of this sample report.

    The pictures are not huge. I doubt if you actually printed out the report, but probably looked at it on your computer screen. When printed the largest of the pictures is only a few inches wide. Remember a printed page is only 8 1/2 x 11".

    If you're familiar with Homegauge, the white space and column breaks are an issue the developer cannot seem to correct. It's the software, not the inspector.

    The pictures are aligned with the words. The written description comes first with the picture following, not the other way around. There is also a list of house components checked. It starts on page 32, which is actually the first page of the Property Information Report.

    This is not like an AD report where he goes into great depth about the items at hand and the history of codes and better building practices or how this or that should be done base on ....what ever. This is strictly hype and fluff and big pictures with few words. AS far as the words go it is about as simplistic as I have seen in any report. No real depth at all but thats OK. Going on forever about something is also totally unnecessary.
    This report is written for the general homeowner. Basic, for them to understand. Sure, I could add technical drawings, cite codes and everything else to make myself look smart. But, what does that do except confuse the client. I don't know about you but most of my clients don't know what a GFCI outlet is. Why on earth would I write a technically exhaustive report for them?

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

  6. #71
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Ted and Markus,

    Your actually looking at two reports. One is the summary report and the other is the property information report. These are delivered separately to the client, but were made together for the purpose of this sample report.

    The pictures are not huge. I doubt if you actually printed out the report, but probably looked at it on your computer screen. When printed the largest of the pictures is only a few inches wide. Remember a printed page is only 8 1/2 x 11".

    If you're familiar with Homegauge, the white space and column breaks are an issue the developer cannot seem to correct. It's the software, not the inspector.

    The pictures are aligned with the words. The written description comes first with the picture following, not the other way around. There is also a list of house components checked. It starts on page 32, which is actually the first page of the Property Information Report.


    This report is written for the general homeowner. Basic, for them to understand. Sure, I could add technical drawings, cite codes and everything else to make myself look smart. But, what does that do except confuse the client. I don't know about you but most of my clients don't know what a GFCI outlet is. Why on earth would I write a technically exhaustive report for them?
    I agreed with you on the minimal writing. I agree that there is not a need for a book on every topic in the report.

    My question about the summary was ......why? I see two reports. The summary being almost half of the entire report when the report reads the same as the summary with little differentiating the two.

    Markus

    That could be a good thing in agreeing with me. may rattle a bit but I study a lot. I am one of those folks that do not always do things just as they should be done but can point out to folks exactly how things can and possibly should be done

    Nah.....no earthquake. Believe it or not the venerable AD has actually agreed with me on many occasion but truly hates to admit it. Sometimes he agrees with me without saying it. Sometimes things left unsaid say a lot Sorry AD. One just has to call things like they really are

    Now all I need is some work to put it all in play. That's another one. I can guide folks into rolling in work on a constant basis even in slow times. Lately in those slow times I am not rolling in work......Go figure. To smart for my own good


  7. #72
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    OOH, I feel the love growing in Texas. How far is Fort Worth for AD's intergalactic Texas base station.?
    If Texas weren't on the other side of the planet from civilization I might ride my bike down there and have lunch with the two of you. Should make for a great new version of the Odd Couple.

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

  8. #73
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,628

    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post

    My question about the summary was ......why? I see two reports. The summary being almost half of the entire report when the report reads the same as the summary with little differentiating the two.
    You're correct, there are two reports. As I stated previously the client will get a copy of both the summary and the full property report. The sample report was made this way to allow one download instead of two.

    Why? The full property report will contain things like stained floors, cosmetic damage to doors, etc. Generally things that the client can see with their own eyes, but are included in the report for documentation purposes. The full report also documents every item that is present, inspected or not inspected and the reason why. The client will generally give a copy of the summary to their RE agent who shares it with the sellers agent. This keeps the full report in my client's hands and not being distributed to several people. Plus, clients and agents like to have a punch list of the most important issues in the home, which is what the summary gives them. If I give them just the summary, it doesn't meet the ASHI standards. If I give them the full report, without a summary, the clients and agents have to search through the report to find the important issues.

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

  9. #74
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    You're correct, there are two reports. As I stated previously the client will get a copy of both the summary and the full property report. The sample report was made this way to allow one download instead of two.

    Why? The full property report will contain things like stained floors, cosmetic damage to doors, etc. Generally things that the client can see with their own eyes, but are included in the report for documentation purposes. The full report also documents every item that is present, inspected or not inspected and the reason why. The client will generally give a copy of the summary to their RE agent who shares it with the sellers agent. This keeps the full report in my client's hands and not being distributed to several people. Plus, clients and agents like to have a punch list of the most important issues in the home, which is what the summary gives them. If I give them just the summary, it doesn't meet the ASHI standards. If I give them the full report, without a summary, the clients and agents have to search through the report to find the important issues.
    You mean the clients an the Realtors are forced to read the entirety of the report and discuss with one another what the client may want to have repaired/replaced.

    I know this discussion goes round and round but I just don't break the report down form the report to what I think may be major items. Sometimes the stains on the floor may be considered a very major item to some and they want it fixed so it has to be added into the list. Some buyers just want an item or two fixed and not the whole laundry list and then the rest of the items separated out or broken down before going to the sellers agent. The summary does no good in most cases for the items actually being requested to be fixed. I create a report for the sake of the client. The rest of the work goes to the Realtor for negotiating the repairs. My report are clearly marked with no doubt or blurry thought about what may be the concerns in the home. I want them to see and be very aware of everything in my report. I never get phone calls, and I mean never get phone calls from any client or Realtor about the concerns in the home ... ......never. The only time I ever hear from the Realtor of the client or the client is when I do follow up or I am getting a referral from the client of Realtor.

    Summaries are for Realtors.


  10. #75
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,628

    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post

    Summaries are for Realtors.
    While summaries may make the Realtor's job a little easier, it also brings the inspector's concerns about the property to the forefront. This is beneficial to the client.

    Burying major defects, safety concerns etc in the body of a 20 to 100 page report, using tiny or no pictures, and technical wording which the layman cannot understand is what the bad agents look for when referring an inspector.

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

  11. #76
    Lisa Simkins's Avatar
    Lisa Simkins Guest

    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    It's the home inspectors job and ethical duty to provide an honest, thorough home inspection report, to whomever is paying them. I think we owe it to our profession to represent that. Of course agents are going to be a source of referrals, it's just part of the practicality of the business. When I was in land surveying, lawyers would refer their customers to our company, because the buyer wouldn't know anything about legal land surveys and relied on the lawyer to help with that piece of the puzzle.

    In researching setting up my own home inspection business I have found almost no home inspectors advertising to home buyers, whereas realtors advertise everywhere. How are the home buyers even going to be aware of us? Why don't we put ads in the local papers and have great websites? At least that's what I've found in my area. Seems like the market is ready for us to be more visible independently instead of relying on realtors referrals.

    The prospective buyer is responsible to make sure they get a good inspector and it would help us if we put more information out there about why it's so important to have an independent home inspection.

    Also I feel that the reputation of "deal killer" could be softened up if we presented inspections to the buyers as learning opportunities and tools for home management, instead of "look at this awful mess". This could help our relationship with agents to make the home buying process more comfortable.

    Anyway I'm just learning about the nuts and bolts of home inspection and marketing this business, etc. and finding the whole industry fascinating.

    Looking forward to learning from you all. Thanks!
    Lisa


  12. #77
    Kary Krismer's Avatar
    Kary Krismer Guest

    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Lisa, I agree with a lot of what you say. One thing about the whole "deal killer" thing is that if agents were a bit better at spotting things, then inspectors wouldn't be seen as such because the offers wouldn't be made on questionable houses in the first place. Of course you can have things pop up that are not apparent, because the client showings usually don't include the attic and crawl space. But to the extent agents view inspectors as deal killers that's probably largely the agents' own fault.


  13. #78
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    It's funny.... the only place I ever hear the term "dealkiller" is on this site. Finding problems with a house doesn't make you a "dealkiller" - it's the communication. Agents don't mind good honest communication. What they do mind is some blowhard jumping up and down in the driveway like a kid in a candy store.

    I've talked many people out of buying houses and their agents have thanked me for it..... when I see them at the next one


  14. #79
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa Simkins View Post
    In researching setting up my own home inspection business I have found almost no home inspectors advertising to home buyers, whereas realtors advertise everywhere. How are the home buyers even going to be aware of us? Why don't we put ads in the local papers and have great websites? At least that's what I've found in my area. Seems like the market is ready for us to be more visible independently instead of relying on realtors referrals.
    The most logical answer to your question in the cost of advertising. Many folks enter the business on a shoestring budget and just can not afford anything other than business cards. The problem with paper advertising is that you are throwing it out in hopes you will catch the attention of a prospective home buyer. The odds are against you right now with home sales being the lowest since the 1960's!

    The best thing an inspector can do to make the phone ring is a good website. For a new inspector a good website (not a cookie cutter template) is the best way to get your name out to the public. Put your picture and your name on your site so folks will know who they are dealing with. The next best way is to have a good and unique business card that you hand to everyone you see and meet. I go through about 1500+ business cards a year and I do not visit real estate offices. I ask/tell all of my clients to give their friends, relatives and work associates one of my cards. I hand 2-3 cards to every client and their agent at the inspection.

    The prospective buyer is responsible to make sure they get a good inspector and it would help us if we put more information out there about why it's so important to have an independent home inspection.
    How do they know the good from the bad?

    The oldest HI Society American Society of Home Inspectors, ASHI does a good job at marketing their members as being he best of the best, even though we all know that you have some duds in all organizations. The consumer tends to go with the most recognized name in the profession. Age and experience tends to be what they are looking for, it is just human nature.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  15. #80
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    In the large picture of things an association does not make an inspectors.

    As far as ASHI marketing "their" inspectors as the "best of the best" or a Realtor knowing who is the best of the best or if a home buyer sees your add or website and they try to determine who is the best of the best or if you market in the local news paper (total waste of time and serious money. Very poor return on your marketing dollars). As far as an independant inspector or having an independant inspector inspect the clients home.......We are all independant. There are Franchises or employees of other inspectors but the real thing to understand here is that every one of those inspectors is only as good as he or she is. The boss or franchise owner may oversee "their inspectors" but it still does not say whether the master is standing over his slave to see if he is actually catching everything.

    Lisa

    Before you run out there throwing adds in news papers and letters off to Realtors and and and and please do a serious amount of home work before you throw all your money away.


  16. #81
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    I have tried many avenues of advertising and it has been my experience that the only ones worth the money are

    1. Referrals from past clients
    2. Referrals from Realtors (The fastest way to get referrals from past clients since you need to get referrals from Realtors to get enough past clients to refer you)
    3. A decent web presence (Fast becoming the most important way to get work)
    4. Give first time homebuyers classes.
    5. Give new agent training seminars.

    Worst ad investment

    1. Phonebook - worthless, won't even pay for itself if you get a decent sized ad. and most will only want to price shop you.
    2. Newspapers - total waste of money. nobody looks for an inspector in the newspaper.
    3. Running an ad in a Real Estate Folder/Handout - Worthless, they will still steer the clients to whomever they like regardless of if you are in their folder or not.
    4. Networking groups - Too much time invested for the return.
    5. Real Estate magazines - You would think these would be decent, but no luck with them either.

    Like it or not, if you want to get a decent start in this biz, it will be difficult without getting agents to refer you. It does not mean that you have to sell your soul as some would have you believe. You reap what you sow. If you cater to agents, you will get the type of agent that will cause you trouble. if you do your job for your client in good conscience, you will attract agents that care about more than making the sell. After all, they have the buyer, it might delay their sell, but ultimately they will usually buy a different home.

    I agree that the biggest problem with many inspectors that end up on someones **** list is that they make a mountain out of a mole hill or call out for further evaluation over every little possible sign of an issue, rather than giving a solid opinion.

    If it weren't for lawyers, we would never need them.

  17. #82
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Getting Agents out of referrals..

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Bombardiere View Post
    I have tried many avenues of advertising and it has been my experience that the only ones worth the money are

    1. Referrals from past clients
    2. Referrals from Realtors (The fastest way to get referrals from past clients since you need to get referrals from Realtors to get enough past clients to refer you)
    3. A decent web presence (Fast becoming the most important way to get work)
    4. Give first time homebuyers classes.
    5. Give new agent training seminars.

    Worst ad investment

    1. Phonebook - worthless, won't even pay for itself if you get a decent sized ad. and most will only want to price shop you.
    2. Newspapers - total waste of money. nobody looks for an inspector in the newspaper.
    3. Running an ad in a Real Estate Folder/Handout - Worthless, they will still steer the clients to whomever they like regardless of if you are in their folder or not.
    4. Networking groups - Too much time invested for the return.
    5. Real Estate magazines - You would think these would be decent, but no luck with them either.

    Like it or not, if you want to get a decent start in this biz, it will be difficult without getting agents to refer you. It does not mean that you have to sell your soul as some would have you believe. You reap what you sow. If you cater to agents, you will get the type of agent that will cause you trouble. if you do your job for your client in good conscience, you will attract agents that care about more than making the sell. After all, they have the buyer, it might delay their sell, but ultimately they will usually buy a different home.

    I agree that the biggest problem with many inspectors that end up on someones **** list is that they make a mountain out of a mole hill or call out for further evaluation over every little possible sign of an issue, rather than giving a solid opinion.
    Agree 1000%.... very well put on all points.

    Advertising to the general public in our business is totally useless. Inspections are our life but we're in the minority. Aside from us, people never think about an inspection until the exact moment they need one. And, then never again until they need another one. So, advertising to the general public would require so much repetition to make people to remember that nobody could afford it.

    Even somewhat focused advertising (real estate books, yellow pages, etc.) is a total waste of money.

    Unfortunately, the best advertising is to just do a good job... damit!


Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •