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  1. #1
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    Default 10,000 Inspections .... and more

    At educational seminars, I continually run into presenters who have personally "completed 10,000" home inspections. At one seminar in 2008?, I ran into a presenter who personally "completed 20,000" home inspections. These numbers typically come from presenters who spend a large amount of their time educating the rest of us and/or are involved in other business ventures.

    These numbers beg some questions and I recall early-on being acquainted with a "proposed mentor" who counted each service as a separate inspection: eg hi = 1, wdi=1, radon=1, and that each unit in a multi-unit was considered to be 1 (or 3 if other services were performed).

    Also, my current thinking is that the busiest/best/most energetic home inspector in the world, working full time at nothing but home inspections would max out at about 500/year. I suspect that reality for most of us would be considerably less, even when the market's booming.

    So, here's the question: Are these claimed numbers based on actual completed inspections performed; are they calculated in some special way of which I am not aware; are they simply lies?

    This issue has been bothering me for years and I chose today to raise it for comment.

    Any thoughts?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: 10,000 Inspections .... and more

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Peake View Post
    These numbers beg some questions and I recall early-on being acquainted with a "proposed mentor" who counted each service as a separate inspection: eg hi = 1, wdi=1, radon=1, and that each unit in a multi-unit was considered to be 1 (or 3 if other services were performed).

    Also, my current thinking is that the busiest/best/most energetic home inspector in the world, working full time at nothing but home inspections would max out at about 500/year. I suspect that reality for most of us would be considerably less, even when the market's booming.
    First of all, counting H,T, & R as three inspections is totally bogus. So is the multi-family units.The qustion is how many HOME inspections have been performed. You could probably cut in half, at least, the number of claimed inspections.

    Back when I worked for someone else I did up to 625 inspections per year when real estate was booming (late 80's and 2000-2004). Add in septic inspections and well sampling sometimes for a H,T,R,S,W, three times a day, six days a week and you've got one exhuasted inspector. Add to that stopping at phone booths to return calls way back when and using maps while driving.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: 10,000 Inspections .... and more

    Honestly I think that when folks start quoting that they have done X number of inspections, you can take that number with a grain of salt. Simple math will tell you real quick just how many a person can do in X number of years.

    A good solo inspector can do 2 inspections a day with little trouble. Add in a 3rd job and it is possible but it will take its toll. So let's say that a person is averaging around 10 inspections a week, 40 a month or 480 a year. That is a five day work week with not time off and you are booked solid every week of every month of the year. So, it is possible to do that many jobs in a year.

    Then we have the group of folks that use a handwritten punch-list/check-box type report. This type of report allows the person to do 3 and possibly 4 quick inspections a day.

    If they are working as a team 2+ inspectors then they can do upwards of 4-6 inspections a day.

    So as you can see it is possible for a person to do 500 inspections a year. Is it likely, I don't think so. Even at 500 inspections it would take a person 20 years with very little time off to make the magic 10,000 number.

    I think that many times folks are including any type of inspection or service they offer in their numbers. I know many who include termite, radon, pool/spas, draw, phase and other speciality inspections into their numbers.

    In my best years of 2000 to 2004 I averaged around 375 inspections working five days a week. I worked on the average 2 inspections a day and during the summer with extended daylight I even did 3 a week for a little while. It just about burned me out!

    I started my business in 1994 and went full time in 1995, it has taken me a little over 15 years to reach 4,500+ inspections. Those are pure home inspections. Add in another 700+ EIFS inspections and I'm over the magical 5,000 mark. I have also hired an extra inspector I would say for 200 or so inspections when I tried the team concept.

    I honestly do not see how a solo inspector could do 10,000 or more inspections in less than 25 years. One thing I think we will all agree is that with an increase in numbers the quality of those inspections will suffer.

    Right now I will be happy to complete 200 inspection for the year, I have about 31 to go to hit 200 for the year.

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

  4. #4
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10,000 Inspections .... and more

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Honestly I think that when folks start quoting that they have done X number of inspections, you can take that number with a grain of salt. Simple math will tell you real quick just how many a person can do in X number of years.

    A good solo inspector can do 2 inspections a day with little trouble. Add in a 3rd job and it is possible but it will take its toll. So let's say that a person is averaging around 10 inspections a week, 40 a month or 480 a year. That is a five day work week with not time off and you are booked solid every week of every month of the year. So, it is possible to do that many jobs in a year.

    Then we have the group of folks that use a handwritten punch-list/check-box type report. This type of report allows the person to do 3 and possibly 4 quick inspections a day.

    If they are working as a team 2+ inspectors then they can do upwards of 4-6 inspections a day.

    So as you can see it is possible for a person to do 500 inspections a year. Is it likely, I don't think so. Even at 500 inspections it would take a person 20 years with very little time off to make the magic 10,000 number.

    I think that many times folks are including any type of inspection or service they offer in their numbers. I know many who include termite, radon, pool/spas, draw, phase and other speciality inspections into their numbers.

    In my best years of 2000 to 2004 I averaged around 375 inspections working five days a week. I worked on the average 2 inspections a day and during the summer with extended daylight I even did 3 a week for a little while. It just about burned me out!

    I started my business in 1994 and went full time in 1995, it has taken me a little over 15 years to reach 4,500+ inspections. Those are pure home inspections. Add in another 700+ EIFS inspections and I'm over the magical 5,000 mark. I have also hired an extra inspector I would say for 200 or so inspections when I tried the team concept.

    I honestly do not see how a solo inspector could do 10,000 or more inspections in less than 25 years. One thing I think we will all agree is that with an increase in numbers the quality of those inspections will suffer.

    Right now I will be happy to complete 200 inspection for the year, I have about 31 to go to hit 200 for the year.
    Hallelujah....can you imagine trying to JUST get 200 in. I bet a year or so ago you more than likely did not think it would be trying to be lucky to get 200 in.


  5. #5
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10,000 Inspections .... and more

    10,000 inspections at, lets just say, 300.00 per or $3,000,000.00

    Lets take away after write offs on the taxes and operation cost....40%

    So, that would be 90,000.00 spendable cash each year after you do 10 inspections every single week for 20 years and are now dead from doing so. That is 10 every single week for 50 weeks of every year for 20 years of course 2 weeks vacation every year.

    Now take away all those days there is nothing in the severe dead spots and start piling on all those inspections on the 10 per week and you are officially dead

    I know a guy that boasts of the inspections he does as well. He has a partner.....that means that they are only getting half the inspections. I know another that always boasted as well that had folks working for him. He was counting all that they did and putting them on himself as if he did them.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: 10,000 Inspections .... and more

    Great question and topic... it's always annoyed me reading my competitor's advertising junk stating they've done "20,000" inspections.

    I'm right on par with Scott P's numbers. I've been in this about 10 years and am just over 3,000 real/full inspections (pest/dry rot included with each one so I guess I'm at 6K ).

    I'm actually doing more now personally than back in the "boom" a few years ago. I co-own my company with another person and we had +/- 6 employees other than us during the busy years and I just didn't do that many. Now, most of the employees are gone and I'm out huffing it everyday.... I hope.

    These guys claiming 500+ a year are either lying or doing a piss poor job.... or both.

    Anything over about 400 and you're spread too thin. 300-350 is a good number where you're plenty busy.

    20,000? Are we talking about cheesburgers at a drive-thru?


  7. #7

    Default Re: 10,000 Inspections .... and more

    During the boom years around here, 3 inspections a day (full) was pretty much a given. On odd days there weren't full inspections, there were sometimes 5 or so other types of inspections (Single systems, WDO, repair, etc.)
    So if you figure that during good times an inspector was working 6 days a week at 3 inspections a day, times 52 weeks a year, that equals 936 full inspections a year. Make it 7 days a week and the number jumps to 1092.

    So is it possible to get huge numbers quickly? Sure.
    Is an inspector doing their clients a disservice?? I believe so.
    Is that inspector going to age quickly.....heck yeah.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: 10,000 Inspections .... and more

    Matt said: "These guys claiming 500+ a year are either lying or doing a piss poor job.... or both.
    Anything over about 400 and you're spread too thin. 300-350 is a good number where you're plenty busy."

    I've been in this game since 1989. I have had several years I did over 500, and 450 was not all that uncommon during the really good years.
    Of course in 1989 I only did 80. This year I won't break 300.

    Matt, just because you can't do 400 does not mean that others can not, AND do an excellent job. You really have no idea what skill levels are out there, or the kind of homes they are inspecting.

    I've read on here guys giving the opinion that "you can't do a good inspection in less than 3 hours. What if the inspector has mostly 1200 SF slab homes, or small condos in his area? 3/day would be easy, 4 not out of the question.

    10,000? After 20+ years. I'm not there yet, but I do have a pretty good tally.

    When I was a verifier for ASHI, I got one that claimed he had his 250 in a very short time. In fact, he was claiming up to 6/day. When questioned about it, he explained that he was part of a 3 man team.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: 10,000 Inspections .... and more

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Matt, just because you can't do 400 does not mean that others can not, AND do an excellent job. You really have no idea what skill levels are out there, or the kind of homes they are inspecting.
    Sorry Jack... I wasn't intending to ruffle feathers but after re-reading my comments I guess I could have been a bit more elequent.

    I think there may also be a regional thing in play here too. In my part of the world 75% of the houses have crawl spaces... many of them really small, full of problems and overall time consuming. Physically, they take a toll too.

    I also think over the years the bar has been raised in our profession and where a guys use to be able to churn out 3 check box reports that's no longer possible as the standard has changed.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: 10,000 Inspections .... and more

    Matt,
    When I was in So CA I had one area where pretty much all the homes were 1200 - 1400 on a crawl, and another area where they were all on slabs. Slab homes took less time than the crawls.
    Here in Knoxville we have slabs, crawls, basements, and high rise condos (though our high rise is nothing compared to places like Chicago and New York).
    But I can have 900SF 100 YO houses on a crawl that will take me twice as long as a 10 YO 3000SF slab house. But then the high rise condos take no time at all. I could probably do 4-5/day if they were all high rise condos.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: 10,000 Inspections .... and more

    I did s 950sf condo last week in downtown Nashville. All electric one bedroom and one bathroom. Hot water and HVAC was supplied by the building, unit only had an air handler.

    The inspection was complete in 30 minutes! Inspection time is very dependent on the individual property that is being inspected.


    Friday I had a 5300sf home that was clean and very easy to inspect. 3 bathrooms, finished basement, etc.... It took me 3 hours.

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

  12. #12
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10,000 Inspections .... and more

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I did s 950sf condo last week in downtown Nashville. All electric one bedroom and one bathroom. Hot water and HVAC was supplied by the building, unit only had an air handler.

    The inspection was complete in 30 minutes! Inspection time is very dependent on the individual property that is being inspected.


    Friday I had a 5300sf home that was clean and very easy to inspect. 3 bathrooms, finished basement, etc.... It took me 3 hours.

    And then you get that 5300 sf home that takes you all day and a serious report. Same thing with the condo. The buyers there and the place is a mess and they want to talk about everything when there is nothing to talk about that could not be handled in 30 minutes.

    I did an inspection on a 10,000 sf home and it only took me a half day there and then of course the report later. I have also done a 10,000 sf home that has taken me a day and a half and a full half day or more on the report.

    At the moment I would settle for a steady 4 a week until things pick back up. Instead it has been nothing one week, 6 the next, maybe a couple the next and so on.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 11-14-2010 at 08:56 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: 10,000 Inspections .... and more

    Do the math................
    All inflated inspection numbers are bogus.

    Even highly reputable - very educated inspectors inflate their numbers.
    It's human nature.

    mf.

    Matt Faust
    Real Estate Inspector

  14. #14
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    Talking Re: 10,000 Inspections .... and more

    When the "inflating" is done by a presenter, it calls into question everything else that comes out of his mouth. Meaning, I can't give his technical info the weight it would otherwise deserve until I research it myself - and requires a lot of additional time/effort. "Inflating" makes the whole presentation less valuable to me.

    I'd be duly impressed if a presenter said "I've personally completed 3500 complete home inspections while simultaneously passing my accumumlated knowledge on to others at national/regional presentations" OR "I led and supervised a team of 5 inspectors who collectively completed 20,000 home inspections over a 15 year period".

    When I first entered this profession, I liked the fact that credibility and ethics were paramount ... and, of course, limited liability and getting paid in full up front beat the heck out of engineering and construction. Overstating it a bit, but "No payroll = no worries" , so I'm reticent to ever expand to become a multi-inspector firm.

    "the relentless pursuit of perfection"

  15. #15
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    Default Re: 10,000 Inspections .... and more

    Quote Originally Posted by matt faust View Post
    Do the math................
    All inflated inspection numbers are bogus.

    Even highly reputable - very educated inspectors inflate their numbers.
    It's human nature.

    mf.
    The term "inflated" can be somewhat subjective. I know guys in my area who have performed at least 10K inspections. I have a few under my belt as well. It's not too hard to do if your in an all slab, lots of condo/townhome area, like i am. I do however, question the 15-20K guys.
    mm

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
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  16. #16
    Tim Allison's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10,000 Inspections .... and more

    It shouldn't be necessary to pump up fake numbers like that to get credibility for a talk. Who cares beyond a certain point anyway.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: 10,000 Inspections .... and more

    JACK SAYS - I think he was talking to the other Matt............
    "Matt, just because you can't do 400 does not mean that others can not, AND do an excellent job. You really have no idea what skill levels are out there, or the kind of homes they are inspecting."

    Do the math......
    I know a couple of inspectors who were dong 600+ inspections a year
    at the height of the bubble - I know because I was taking their over flow.

    However.........
    1. Over a decade, this doesn't go on.
    2. Of the, let's say 50, CREIA members in my chapter maybe
    3 had this type of output.

    I have often said that you cannot provide a quality standard of care
    if you do 3 or more inspections a day.
    Don't bother disagreeing with me - everybody always does.............

    When I was an inspector for "Inspectec" I did 3 a day frequently.
    And - they paid for my insurance, but it still bothered me.
    Once I got on my own - I never did it again.

    Is there a point to the thread anymore,
    Nobody in the world did as many inspections a Jim Farmer. (GBH)

    How many guys do you know who have been inspecting for 30+ years.

    mf

    Matt Faust
    Real Estate Inspector

  18. #18
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10,000 Inspections .... and more

    Almost 12 years full time and then 25 years part time inspecting....I have done a few!

    I never did 3 a day in my life. Then again I never used a check list either. I always typed out a report even decades ago. I always did the full narrative. I used to take pictures decades ago, not many due to the processing or cost of film for the old Kodak Instamatic or what ever they were called, Polaroid.

    If you are talking of apartment buildings or complexes and individual units I have done countless in a day. Walking in and out of apartments with someone else taking notes as I was mumbling away does not take to long. Walk, snap pics, dictate, done.

    I could not tell anyone how many I have done total. I never counted them. I lost all my records a few years back. Yes, even the disc back ups or old hard copies as well as the computers.

    I never took much stock in throwing numbers around. What I did was just that....what I did. Some find it so important to be able to rattle of some known number. I never saw it.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: 10,000 Inspections .... and more

    Wait a moment....I've done 3 a day many times...They were, however, less than 1000 sq ft condos.

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

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