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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    3,471

    Default 4th Quarter Blues

    The mortgage woes are really showing up in the 4th quarter numbers. I averaged 20 inspections per month January - September and the way things are going now, I'll be lucky to hit 20 inspections for November and December combined. The phone is dead, website hits are way down, and e-mail inquiries are rare. I'd like to hope relief is just around the post-holiday corner but given the current state of affairs in the housing and mortgage industry, who knows when things will improve.

    Tough times.

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    OREP Home Inspector E&O Insurance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
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    3,177

    Default Re: 4th Quarter Blues

    Nick - I think I've come up with a way to make up for the slow times here at the end of the year.
    I'm simply going to price my next inspection at $25,000.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ft. Myers, FL
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    363

    Default Re: 4th Quarter Blues

    Nick, same here in Colorado. Its been a month since my last inspection. I might have to get a real job.....Weird thing is I have 2 friends that each have their own mortgage business, they are both having their best year ever...and their business isnt all from people dumping the risky mortgages.

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Oregon
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    2,365

    Default Re: 4th Quarter Blues

    Things are pretty much the same here in Oregon.... for months everybody's been talking about how we've missed the bubble burst.... wrong.... like a lot of other things, we're just a bit behind the rest of the country.

    I'm actually glad my job today was a total dump... Writing the report will give me something to do and it may feel like I'm employed again.


  5. #5
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    Mar 2007
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    Chicago, IL
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    Default Re: 4th Quarter Blues

    Had a $750 inspection last weekend, two home on the same lot.

    Ouch. What a mess - later, it turns out two previous contracts at this properly have already fallen apart after inspections.

    After an hour I had to ask, "Do you want to continue, or have we see enough?".

    They bailed on the property.

    I collected $200, and went home feeling that I couldn't have done anything else.

    But still...

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: 4th Quarter Blues

    Things seem to have picked up here in the Dallas area the last couple weeks, but Dallas in my opinion does not always feel the crunch as the rest of the nation.

    We're seeing a lot of buyers from the California area. Maybe their being smoked out.

    rick


  7. #7

    Default Re: 4th Quarter Blues

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Had a $750 inspection last weekend, two home on the same lot.

    I collected $200, and went home feeling that I couldn't have done anything else.

    But still...
    If you got arrested and were dead bang guilty, would your attorney ask for less and tell you he couldn't do anything else?

    What you did for them, force them to walk away, was worth more than the $750 you should have collected.


  8. #8
    Brian Cooper's Avatar
    Brian Cooper Guest

    Default Re: 4th Quarter Blues

    December has been good for me! I know I'm small potatos, but I have done more this month than the last three combined. Still in the "new business" phase, so I can only dream of doing 20 per month right now.

    I'm looking forward to 2008! I have been struggling in 2007, but that's normal for a new startup. My phone book ad starts in Febuary, and the few realtors I have are all eager to continue using me.

    Things look good for me, even though by most people here's standards I'm starving.

    Just remember every time you have a slow month, I only did four inspections in September and October combined!!


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Chicago, IL
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    Default Re: 4th Quarter Blues

    Quote Originally Posted by John Ghent View Post
    If you got arrested and were dead bang guilty, would your attorney ask for less and tell you he couldn't do anything else?

    What you did for them, force them to walk away, was worth more than the $750 you should have collected.
    FWIW, an attorney would charge a lot less for advising you to cop a plea than to take your case to trial.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
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    Default Re: 4th Quarter Blues

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Had a $750 inspection last weekend, two home on the same lot.

    Ouch. What a mess - later, it turns out two previous contracts at this properly have already fallen apart after inspections.

    After an hour I had to ask, "Do you want to continue, or have we see enough?".

    They bailed on the property.

    I collected $200, and went home feeling that I couldn't have done anything else.

    But still...

    I've done similar things numerous times.... An appearling part of this career is helping people make a good decision on the biggest purchase of their life.... And something in my work ethic won't let me take money when I don't earn it. Funny an attorney analogy surfaces here....

    I've got repeat business many times after the buyer wanted out part way through the first.... I can't imagine a buyer coming back to a guy who charged $750 for an hour's work.... and he'd probably tell 10 people what crook you were too.

    I guess it's all the way you look at your business.... Do you want people to be happy and come back or do you want to take them for all you can the one chance you get.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
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    3,177

    Default Re: 4th Quarter Blues

    Matt - I'm with you. I've also done the same thing. In one extreme case, I convinced my client to bail within five minutes and didn't charge her anything. I felt sorry for her. It was already too late for her to get her deposit back, so she didn't need me to write up anything. I couldn't wait to get out of that place!


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    3,471

    Default Re: 4th Quarter Blues

    There have been times where I would gladly take less than a full fee just so I didn't have to finish inspecting a dump of a house and waste my time putting all the defects into the report. I have offered to cut inspections short in exchange for a partial fee when I quickly realize the house is a disaster. Sometimes my clients take me up on the offer, most of the time they do not. Regardless of which option they choose, I think my clients come away with the knowledge that I'm there for more than just to collect a check.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Chicago, IL
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    Default Re: 4th Quarter Blues

    That's exactly what's happening here. I've already done one full price inspection for them - young couple just starting to get the concept of "property condition is not equal to curb appeal", and I'm sure I'll do at least one more. I just would not feel right taking their money for a brief inspection exterior and basement only - terminated, with the written report waved - for a property that is just not right for them. Plus, I *know* I will keep getting their inspections until they choose the right property.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Chicago, IL
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    Default Re: 4th Quarter Blues

    Underpirce THIS!:

    "Professional Home Inspection - FREE!"

    Janglo - Free Swap: Professional Home Inspection - FREE!

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    5,829

    Default Re: 4th Quarter Blues

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Underpirce THIS!:

    "Professional Home Inspection - FREE!"

    Janglo - Free Swap: Professional Home Inspection - FREE!
    Hey it might be the custom in Israel. The phone number ( 052-673-3704) for Andy Hass goes back to Seymour J. Abrams Orthodox Union Jerusalem World Center - Schedule - OU.ORG

    The site is an Israeli site mostly for the city of Jerusalem
    Janglo was started in June 2001 as a free community service to help people in the Jerusalem area exchange information about "stuff", like jobs, apartments, events, and sales. About a year later, we launched a similar site, Taanglo, for the Tel Aviv area. Both email lists quickly took off and became some of the most popular sites for English-speakers in Israel, with many imitators. The site you are looking at now, Janglo.net, combines the best of both lists and builds on them, strengthening their community aspects while expanding them to the entire country.
    Not much to worry about in the States, I don't think!

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

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: 4th Quarter Blues

    It appears my reading skills need some improvement.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
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    Default Re: 4th Quarter Blues

    I've seen a lot of guys in my area offer similar things... Usually, it's posted on Craigslist or something like that. They're usually pretty honest and just tell you they are new and need buildings to practice on. I suppose it's not a bad plan to get some practice. Maybe I'd try it in a city other than where I planned to market my business.

    I was lucky enough to learn the business from somebody who had lots of work to expose me to. Just starting out cold turkey is tough.


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ingleside Illinois
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: 4th Quarter Blues

    4th quarter blues are continuing into the 1st quarter for me. January started out OK but its been 3 weeks and not a single worth while call has come in. I changed my Yellow pages ad to the lower price because I doubt there will be much activity this year. I don't plan to spend anything for flier ads or Realtor magazines. I'll keep my insurance at the same limits but won't spend more then I have to for education this year.

    A good family friend and one of the top Realtors in the Chicago area hasn't ever seen anything this bad in her 25 years in the business. Fortunately I'm retired and do this for spare change, currently I have no spare change in my pocket. It will get get better.


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: 4th Quarter Blues

    Feb. is almost over and so far I've only done 1/2 of what I did in January.

    Hope its not the trend for the rest of the year. Its usually April before the season picks up much here.


  20. #20
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: 4th Quarter Blues

    Interesting run of numbers. I was way over Jan-2007 in Jan-2008 and so far (Feb-2008...to date), I've had 20 HIs and have already booked 3-days into next week.

    Then there are those I "may" have locked in had I been willing to lower my price ... NOT!

    It's a weird time, but I know that Texas has not had the huge hits the East/West coasts have had.

    I consider myself very fortunate.


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