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  1. #1
    Clint White's Avatar
    Clint White Guest

    Default Starving.....Need Advice

    I need some advice please. My business has all but dissappeared in the last 3 months. 5 - 7 a week have turned into 2 a month. Two other local inspectors are gone in the last 6 months and Realtors are dropping like flies. It seems as if the inevitable is upon me (and our area). I OBVIOUSLY have to find a "real job" and fast but I want to preserve my business just in case this sink hole economy actually turns around. What type of employment that allows me to keep "my schedule" would you guys recommend. I don't want to end up stocking shelves at Walmart like like the "architect" I saw tonight. I have inspected 50+ of this guys houses in the past couple of years and now he has been reduced to a Walmart stock boy.

    Thanks
    Clint


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    2,446

    Default Re: Starving.....Need Advice

    What did you do before you started inspecting? What job skills do you have? 2 a month is not really working.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: Starving.....Need Advice

    Home Depot loves to hire former Home inspectors. Don't expect a 40hr. week though. They don't have too many full time workers anymore.

    Just a thought till better times comes around.

    rick


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

    Default Re: Starving.....Need Advice

    Clint lets work on getting your inspection service back on some kind of a track... there must be some homes being sold in your area ? yes or no ?

    If yes how many with 75 miles of your home. My company has ups and downs. it been slow for a week now for me. but there are things that can turn you service around.

    Get back to us with some info on your area. you can call me at 707-570-2000 or email (ronofexcellence@earthlink.net ) now if you have no sales in your area they you have a problem. but if you have 100 sales each month in your area then you can turn you company around.

    Best

    Ron


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Starving.....Need Advice

    I did a lot of restaurant work when I was younger and first starting out at this. Mainly waiting tables and bartending. The schedule worked out great as most of the money is to be made in the evenings and weekends. Of course, this isn't exactly conducive to family life but the money ins't bad.

    It also takes a certain ability to put up with a bunch of BS while keeping a smile on your face.... kind of like HIs.

    Try to find something part time and hang in there. This can't last forever. I've been at this 10 years and my company has been around 20 and every month is struggle.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Starving.....Need Advice

    To keep bread on the table and oil in the lamps I increased my service area to about a 100 mile radius of my location without charging extra for the travel. I don't like it but it has paid off. As the economy recovers I will shrink my service area or increase my fees based on the travel.

    Clint, in your case it looks like Boise is the largest city near you. I looked up Eden and you only have about 1,100 or so folks that live in your town. Heck the population of Idaho is only 1,523,816 - (July 2008-Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division). This is about the population of my normal service area and I'm working hard to keep 3-5 jobs a week on the books.

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 10-13-2009 at 05:59 AM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    26,252

    Default Re: Starving.....Need Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Clint, in your case it looks like Boise is the largest city near you.
    I see Boise is about 135 miles away ... ... but at least most of it would be on Interstate 84.

    I used to regularly drive 80-90 miles each way to my inspections, fortunately that was on the Florida Turnpike or on I-95 - depending on where I was going.

    Looks like you would have long trips through the country to get to the other towns.

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

  8. #8
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Starving.....Need Advice

    Ad Boise, Nampa and all the other little towns in your game. Like Scott I'm driving to Sacramento on Saturday to inspect a 4 plex. thats about 90Miles one way for me.

    Small fish in a big pond...

    Ron

    Best


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Starving.....Need Advice

    Are you from the trades? If so, diversify. Regular HI is only a small part of what I provide. If you have the background for it, consider construction insp., defect or REO insp, code compliance, remod project cnsltg, are muni's in your area doing NSP work?

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

  10. #10
    Clint White's Avatar
    Clint White Guest

    Default Re: Starving.....Need Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    ... there must be some homes being sold in your area ? yes or no ?
    According to the Greater Twin Falls Association of Realtors, we had 31 closed deals last month. With over 250 agents, thats a very small number. I only did 3 inspections , thats roughly 10%. As for the rest of those deals, I know of quite a few that "waived" the home inspection. Alot of realtors aren't pushing HI's ( I think it is because closed deals are so hard to come by and they don't want to risk "the deal" ).

    As for expanding to surrounding areas, I have been serving those areas for a few years, with little success. The Boise area is "saturated" with inspectors.

    Previous experiance: ASE Certified Master Auto Tech. Management. Construction. And a little bit of everything else.

    I really appreciate you guys taking the time to give me some advice.


  11. #11
    Brad Deal's Avatar
    Brad Deal Guest

    Default Re: Starving.....Need Advice

    Clint

    What a mess, the real problem for us as an industry is that it is so hard to predict what is going to happen in the future. To stay in the business or go onto something else is dependent on your location. My business is off 80% from last month to this month and I do not know why. Mathmatical permutations, act of God, the Realtors have ganged up on me. Crazy thoughts go rampant, but after 10 years inspecting and 20 years in construction the main thing you learn is to be patient and do not over react. Be steady, do your marketing and watch your money. Do your best job every time and diversify.

    Good luck

    Brad Deal


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    2,303

    Default Re: Starving.....Need Advice

    I think Brad is doing a Viagra commercial on the side . (Sorry Brad, couldn't resist)


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: Starving.....Need Advice

    Clint,

    I just read your signature line. "Never give up...Never surrender!"

    Get out there and hustle man! You can do it.

    rick


  14. #14
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Starving.....Need Advice

    Clint: I did this with better return then going into real estate office.

    You see a REO. Home Put a flyer on the front door. If you doing an inspection go up and dow the block with a flyer.

    you see a for sale sign put a flyer on the door...

    Best

    Ron

    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Ron Bibler; 10-14-2009 at 11:01 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma City
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    356

    Default Re: Starving.....Need Advice

    I think what Fritz said is a good idea. If you don't want to do that, look for some businesses that work 12 hr shifts 3 days a week. Large printing companies do this and some manufacturing plants. You can then have 4 days a week off to try to keep the HI end alive until it picks back up. You may have to go to Boise to find such work. I did that when I first started and it was tough working 12 hrs 7pm to 7am 3 days a week and trying to market and do inspections the other days, but I made it and was able to quit the other job 7 years ago. You just gotta do what you gotta do. Jobs are tough to find in some places, I don't have a clue about your area. You may have to move where there is work. Wish you the best.

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

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgetown, KY
    Posts
    537

    Default Re: Starving.....Need Advice

    Maybe you need to broaden your sources. Remember this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clint White View Post
    INot any more....

    I am strictly "referral only". If someone hasn't referred me or given you my card....I don't want to deal with you. The Yellow Pages is a sham....an expensive sham at that!! Whenever I'd get a "yellow" call, I couldn't help but envision that hefty woman on welfare who "accidentally" slips on the wet floor at Walmart on the other end of the line....

    "You inspected my house and now I have whiplash ...."

    I once heard that you are less likely to be sued by those you know, like and trust.....

    Just my opinion
    I do, for the most part, agree with the yellow pages thought though.


    -

    Erby Crofutt, Georgetown, KY - Read my Blog here: Erby the Central Kentucky Home Inspector B4 U Close Home Inspections www.b4uclose.com www.kentuckyradon.com
    Find on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/B4UCloseInspections

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Starving.....Need Advice

    Erby, you beat me to the punch. I was just reading that thread and double backed here.

    If you haven't already altered your course of business Clint, now is no time to turn away price shoppers or non referrals. I'm not saying you need to slash prices but referrals and past clients can only account for so much of your business. You need some infusion of new clients with whom you have no previous contact to keep that referral source alive. People only buy so many houses and just because they are a referral is no guarantee they will book a job with you. I'm not saying turning away non-referral business has put you where you are now but I'm sure it hasn't helped.

    We all started out as newbies in the profession at some time and were grateful for whatever work we got. I just don't understand what changes in people after they have some success. The type of clients who took a chance on them when they were new and helped get them where they are suddenly are substandard.


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

    Default Re: Starving.....Need Advice

    I have stop all yellow page ads for my company. and now all Web site and past clients.

    Best

    Ron


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