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  1. #1
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    Aug 2008
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    Atlanta, GA
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    162

    Default Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    Buyers here think weekends and late nights are an unlimited commodity and that inspectors are lining up just to serve them. Frequently, I'm asked if I can start an inspection in the evening when the husband gets off work.

    I work the same hours they do. Usually more. My availability for next week is great, but you're apparently willing to waste 5 more days of due diligence to wait for a weekend.

    If it's important enough for you Mr. & Mrs. home buyer, take a couple hours off and come see me during the week DAY!!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    26,251

    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    Don't say no ... say yes, and ...

    ... inspections which start after 3 pm (or whatever time you set) require clearance from all parties as you will be disrupting the sellers ... and (the biggie) ... and the fee is double the normal hours fee, paid at the time of scheduling the late hour inspection. Weekend inspection fees are triple the weekday fee, paid at the time of scheduling the weekend inspection.

    NO REFUNDS for inspections which are rescheduled to a different day or time from an after hour or weekend inspection.

    You will be there are their convenience, in exchange they make it worth your while.

    If they really want the convenience, they will pay for it, if they just did not want to take time off from work because 'it would cost them too much', then let them factor the additional inspection fee into that equation.

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    2,446

    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    For the most part, I do inspections at 9am and at 1:30pm, Monday thru Friday. Once in a while, I will start a little later in the day to try to accommodate someone, but I will not start later than 2:30pm.
    I will work on a Saturday only for special circumstances.

    When I get calls from someone that wants Saturdays, I tell them that the next two Saturdays are already taken. If they want a 5pm start because thats when they get off work, I tell them I might be finishing at 5pm, but I can't start that late.
    I go on to explain that while its good to attend the inspections, I have many clients that are not even in the State, and they have no problems. My report is very easy to read, and I'm always available for questions afterwards. Most of the time they either find a way to get off work early, or decide they don't have to be there after all. Or, they move on to someone else that will work late in the day, or on weekends.

    I guess it also depends on just how much someone needs the job. I'm lucky enough to have more business than I really want.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Maryland
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    2,777

    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    Aaaaaaaaah the good old days. Stores opened at 8 or 9am closed at 5 or 6pm weekdays and noon or 1 on Saturdays, nothing opened on Sunday. Life was good and somehow everything was accomplished. How about a restaurant that is open for breakfast and lunch 7am to 2pm and closed on Sunday. Owner set the schedule and is happy as a clam. Even though customers would love it to be open 7am to 9pm and 7 days per week.

    How brash of someone wanting a service that meets their schedule or desires. I am sure that no one here would have the same thoughts for services provided to themselves. Naaaaaaaaaaaaa.. No way.

    Pragmatically speaking, you can not evaluate the exterior in the dark. The interior walls and ceiling do not show issues as easily in artificial light. In today's society most have come to expect services 24hrs a day or at least 7 days a week.

    The great thing about being the owner of a business is that you make the schedule, set the hours and price. All part of a business model, formal or otherwise. Lock the doors and go fishing, all part of the liberal leave policy that your business may have.


  5. #5
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    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    3,473

    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    I'm getting to the point of the year where I have about had it with Saturday inspections. It starts to bother you after a while when you stop to grab coffee on the way to a Saturday morning inspection and see everybody else in there with their kids going to their baseball games or the beach and you're reminded that you have chosen work over your own family.

    I work Saturdays for a little while during the first half of the year or so to build up the bank account but this coming Saturday is going to be my last one for a while. Time for me to enjoy the weekends and stop sacrificing them because others can't/won't take time off from work. That said, I have worked a few 6 days weeks this year so I can't say I need to work Saturdays. I love the line "well the buyers work during the week and need a Saturday". And what the heck do they think I'm doing all week???? But when somebody asks me what my Sunday looks like because I don't have anything else available, I really want to scream.

    One inspection per day is my limit now and has been for the past 2-3 years. I'm done running around killing myself and being exhausted. Inspections scheduled in the morning only and afternoons back in the office for paperwork and phone calls. It's nice to have some stability and routine.

    Last edited by Nick Ostrowski; 06-13-2014 at 05:08 AM.
    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  6. #6
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    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    5,847

    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    I work Monday - Friday with inspection times of 9am and 1:30 pm, I do allow for an hour either way to accommodate for clients and traffic. I do not work on Saturdays or Sundays and in 20 years I have never seen the need to do so. When folks ask if I work weekends, I simply tell that I work M-F with a morning or afternoon inspection time. I seldom have anyone not book an appointment simply because I do not work weekends.

    Honestly, I have been staying booked 5-7 days out as are the other inspectors in my area. If folks want a home inspection they need to book the first time slot they find. Right now I have three time slots open for next week.. Even when it was slow from 2008 to 2011, my weekends were for the family and not the business.

    I'm sure I loose out on some work because of my M-F schedule but I decided a longtime ago that if you let others control you, your schedule or your work then you will never have control over the inspection or situation. If you are the authoritative expert(which we should be) then you need to be in control and that includes the day and time you are available to work.

    Now if you are hungry and need all of the work you can get, you still need to pace yourself or you will burnout and become complacent and your work and personal life will suffer.

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 06-13-2014 at 07:27 AM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    No. San Diego Co., CA
    Posts
    562

    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    I'm pretty flexible and actually prefer to work week-ends but only schedule one a.m. Inspection per day. However, I rarely schedule Wednesday (or Monday if I've worked the previous days). It takes a bit of schedule juggling sometimes but works for me. I find the vast majority of clients and homeowners appreciate Sat/Sun inspections so I accommodate whenever I can. Occasionally I'll book a week day afternoon Inspection but nothing after 1.00 pm.


  8. #8

    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    We schedule inspections at 9:00am and 2:00pm. Saturdays carry a $50 premium and Sundays carry a $100 premium. Our kids are grown, though, so we don't have the conflicts that younger kids present.

    Welmoed Sisson
    Inspections by Bob, LLC, Boyds, MD
    "Given sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    162

    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    Thank you all for your insightful replies after my rant. I can identify with most of the comments. Yes, Welmoed & Jerry, weekends and evenings should come at a higher premium for those willing to pay for it. Like Scott & Jack, I'm as busy as I can be and like Nick, I'm frustrated that I'm missing out with family and friends while others are at play.

    I actually do work most weekends. I just won't do 4 inspections over that span. Tomorrow (Saturday), I leave before 8 AM. Today, I looked at a town home plus a 10,000+ square foot home with a detached garage apartment. I still have the big report to complete. You should have seen that leaning chimney that I could push back and forth!

    The thing is, try this trick of getting service when you want with a cable company or utility company. They'll tell you, "Yes, we'll have a technician there between 8 am and 5 pm and we are coming on Tuesday of next week." How about getting to the doctor or dentist exactly when you want?

    Sure, we expect more service and longer hours from service providers. But, I wouldn't want the home theater guy having to stay until 8 PM. I find sometimes that businesses are closed when I'm finally off too. I can't seem to get to the bank before 5 or to the firing range before closing time.

    Like Garry said, I can choose to say "no" and I have done that several times this week. Yeah, I'm in charge but I do like to say "yes" more than "no."

    It's time to find a weekend warrior who wants to work for a guy like me. Business is great and I am truly blessed. Perhaps I'll rename my company: "Walmart Superstore Inspections" or "Waffle House Inspections" and my tagline is "Open 24/7 for You, the Demanding Client" LOL.

    Thanks again guys.


  10. #10
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    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    As luck would have it, the realtor for today's inspection called me at 5:15 last night and said the deal fell through so the inspection is off. Normally I would be annoyed at the fact that this appointment was booked for over 1 week and clogged that slot on my schedule while I turned other buyers away. But at the same time, it's nice to get an expected Saturday off. Time to start enjoying weekends again.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Atlanta, GA
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    162

    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    Good for you Nick! Sometimes those last-minute cancellations are a big relief.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    Last year, I was doing two a day, seven days a week for almost six months. I couldn't say "No" after so many slow years. It made for a nice bank account but by August, I was starting to burn out. But I knew that pace wouldn't continue, so I figured make as much hay as I could while it was growing.
    This year, I resolved to take weekends off, but this year has been very different. Getting time off is no problem. I'm not nearly as busy. I'm running about six inspections a week (which is a pace that I like), and I'm getting weekdays off occasionally. So, when I got a request late yesterday for an inspection today, Saturday, I took it. I had last Tuesday off. (Unfortunately, I spent the entire day setting up my mother-in-law's new computer....oh, well) I have this Sunday off and most Sundays off. I will only accept very well paying inspections on Sundays.
    I've always tried to be flexible with setting appointments. Last year, I was strictly on a 9:00 and 2:00 schedule, but this year, I'll adjust within reason. Last Thursday, some guy wanted me to start at 6:00pm. I told him that I would start at 4:00 and he could join me at 6:00. He was happy and I was ok with that.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Atlanta, GA
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    162

    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Last year, I was doing two a day, seven days a week for almost six months. I couldn't say "No" after so many slow years. It made for a nice bank account but by August, I was starting to burn out. But I knew that pace wouldn't continue, so I figured make as much hay as I could while it was growing.
    This year, I resolved to take weekends off, but this year has been very different. Getting time off is no problem. I'm not nearly as busy. I'm running about six inspections a week (which is a pace that I like), and I'm getting weekdays off occasionally. So, when I got a request late yesterday for an inspection today, Saturday, I took it. I had last Tuesday off. (Unfortunately, I spent the entire day setting up my mother-in-law's new computer....oh, well) I have this Sunday off and most Sundays off. I will only accept very well paying inspections on Sundays.
    I've always tried to be flexible with setting appointments. Last year, I was strictly on a 9:00 and 2:00 schedule, but this year, I'll adjust within reason. Last Thursday, some guy wanted me to start at 6:00pm. I told him that I would start at 4:00 and he could join me at 6:00. He was happy and I was ok with that.
    Yes Lon, my scenario parallels yours in some ways. I worked a 5 hour job today, picked up a radon test on the way home and I am done. (Except for the remainder of the report)

    I do what you do and say something like: "meet me half way. Let me get a head start and then I'll catch you up when you arrive at the home."

    Now, I would rather work through the weekend than set up or fix anyone's computer. No offense to my mother-in-law.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    Something I've been getting more of lately is somebody not understanding me or not listening to what I tell them about my availability. I tell somebody I don't have any availability until next Wednesday but they come back and say they need the inspection done by Saturday at the latest and ask again if I can fit them in. ?????????? If I could fit you in sooner, I would say so. Really, I would.

    I guess people think a spot will magically appear if they ask twice. Oh well. It could be worse and nobody would be calling for inspections. After a slow start to the buying season, things have really picked up. It's a lot like it was in 2007 before the economy crashed and the housing bubble burst.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  15. #15
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    Aug 2008
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    Atlanta, GA
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    162

    Exclamation Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Something I've been getting more of lately is somebody not understanding me or not listening to what I tell them about my availability. I tell somebody I don't have any availability until next Wednesday but they come back and say they need the inspection done by Saturday at the latest and ask again if I can fit them in. ?????????? If I could fit you in sooner, I would say so. Really, I would.

    I guess people think a spot will magically appear if they ask twice. Oh well. It could be worse and nobody would be calling for inspections. After a slow start to the buying season, things have really picked up. It's a lot like it was in 2007 before the economy crashed and the housing bubble burst.
    Ask twice and tell me the password. Things are a lot like 2007, Nick. I wish sellers would maintain and repair their homes. Seems like people are totally ignoring routine maintenance related items and repairs.


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
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    2,365

    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    I'm similar to many here.... start times are 9 & 1 and every once in a while I'll do a weekend if it fits my schedule. And it usually has to be a newer house. There's no way I'm spending hours writing up some dumper on the weekend.

    Really, it just all comes down to supply and demand. If you can fill your schedule with appointments when you want them great. If not, you gotta do what you gotta do.

    I know 5 years ago I (and most others on here) would gladly have taken a Saturday job or a 3PM start just for the sake of working. I'm also not negotiating or really being asked to negotiate any fees these days. My local area is crazy busy like it hasn't been since the 2005-2007 run up. I definitely have my eyes open wider this time and am saving more than I spend.

    Nick pretty much summed up my feelings..... I use to get annoyed at cancellations. Lately, I get excited at the thought of having a couple hours of free time to get something done.


  17. #17

    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    Seems to me to be a slippery slope. Once you start to let someone cancel on short notice you will be hard pressed to stop a later claims of precedence and prejudice. Might seem to be a good idea to get a contract signed before commencing work and have the terms spelled out to protect you.


  18. #18
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    Aug 2011
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    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Betschman CFDI,CML View Post
    Seems to me to be a slippery slope. Once you start to let someone cancel on short notice you will be hard pressed to stop a later claims of precedence and prejudice. Might seem to be a good idea to get a contract signed before commencing work and have the terms spelled out to protect you.
    If you get paid prior to showing up for an inspection, then you have mastered something that I have not. We are in a business where forces beyond our control or the control of buyers and agents have the ability to stop the show dead in its tracks. Buyers get turned down for their loan, something comes up on the title work that kills the deal, and more, can kill the deal. I accept that as a hazard of the business. I had two cancellations this week and the day off today so it's not much of a hardship to do sizeable inspection tomorrow on Saturday.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  19. #19
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    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Betschman CFDI,CML View Post
    Seems to me to be a slippery slope. Once you start to let someone cancel on short notice you will be hard pressed to stop a later claims of precedence and prejudice. Might seem to be a good idea to get a contract signed before commencing work and have the terms spelled out to protect you.
    We are a service profession; I can't think of the last service I paid for in advance or paid for without getting that service. Can you?

    Folks that try to force others to pay for missed or canceled appointment either have an unlimited and waiting supply of new clients or just don't care about ticking folks off. It goes with the territory of the service professional, things happen that that we have little control over and when it does, just smile and say "Next"!!!!!!

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

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    We are a service profession; I can't think of the last service I paid for in advance or paid for without getting that service. Can you?

    Folks that try to force others to pay for missed or canceled appointment either have an unlimited and waiting supply of new clients or just don't care about ticking folks off. It goes with the territory of the service professional, things happen that that we have little control over and when it does, just smile and say "Next"!!!!!!
    What Scott said. We can't make people have an inspection and trying to force a fee upon them for canceling is a guarantee you won't hear from them again. If I was a buyer and was told I had to pay for my inspection before it took place or put money down, I'd look for another inspector.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  21. #21

    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    I guess some people like the stone age mentality. Seems to me a Doctor expects to be paid for a patient not showing up or cancelling far enough ahead of time. Maybe this will change in the next decade!
    1.)Hotels expect reservations to be guaranteed. If you think about it you can add some more.


  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    1,394

    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Betschman CFDI,CML View Post
    I guess some people like the stone age mentality. Seems to me a Doctor expects to be paid for a patient not showing up or cancelling far enough ahead of time. Maybe this will change in the next decade!
    1.)Hotels expect reservations to be guaranteed. If you think about it you can add some more.
    So, do you get paid in advance or are you just full of bluster?

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    5,847

    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Betschman CFDI,CML View Post
    I guess some people like the stone age mentality. Seems to me a Doctor expects to be paid for a patient not showing up or cancelling far enough ahead of time. Maybe this will change in the next decade!
    1.)Hotels expect reservations to be guaranteed. If you think about it you can add some more.
    Hotels are a little different but I understand where you are going...... Sure we as home inspectors could do the same but unless we all do the same (like hotels) it would be a moot point. Frankly, cancelations happen so infrequently for me it is not an issue. I don't depend on a full schedule in order to pay my light bill or the mortgage. I actually relish a cancelation every now and then, it offers me a time to just worry about me and to take care of a few things that I have not had time to do.

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

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    2,446

    Default Re: Do you work Saturdays OR How late can you stay?

    While sending a bill might make you feel better, the chance of collecting is very slim. However, you will ensure that client will never use you for that inspection, or any others in the future. They will probably tell everyone they know about the SOB inspector that had the gall to send them a bill.

    Like Scott, I am sometimes relieved when I get a half day off. Sure, it ticks me off, but its fairly rare, so I don't get all bent out of shape about it.

    I missed a dentist appointment once, and was sent a bill. When I called her and explained why I missed it, she told me to forget about it. (I did call to cancel, but it was only an hour or so prior to my appointment). She understood that things happen, and she wanted to keep me as a client.


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