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Thread: Jumping Ship

  1. #1
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    Default Jumping Ship

    Over the last week I've had several calls for pricing and many have told me that many of the HI's phones are not working or out of order.

    I've had several HI's that I have got to know that have called me about buying some of their equipment because they have decided to bail out.

    Guess this downturn in the market is putting the squeeze on many. It has to be tough if your a new HI in this market at this time.

    I would be curious how many have decided not to renew their license this year.

    rick

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  2. #2
    Leslie Stone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    Not to try and discourage anyone, but in many areas around the country this definitely is not the most opportune time to be starting a new career as a HI. Here in Northern VA the competition has become fierce among inspectors. The market is flooded with foreclosures and people are dumping their properties desperate to get out from under their ARM and Interest only loans. Logic would tell you, “hey, it’s a buyers market” and there should be a windfall of investors picking up on all of the spoils...so our phones should be ringing off the hook, but people are scared. To compound the problem, there are a number of these “Home Inspector Factories” in the area (not to knock them for a profitable business) who are turning out “certified” inspectors by the dozen each month, thus flooding the industry with lots of ambitious new entrepreneurs looking for a piece of the action. That’s capitalism so hey, no foul for wanting the dream, but local markets can only support a certain number of HI’s at a time. Home inspections are a very specialized field and demand for our particular area of expertise is, unfortunately, often dictated by such men as Ben Burnanke.

    I’m pretty well connected here in Northern VA and have lots of friends who are realtors, mortgage writers and real estate investors, but in spite of all this, business is definitely slowing down. I’m blessed to own a separate general contracting business as well, because it may get tougher before it gets better.

    On the bright side, this may help to weed out the remedial among us and create more breathing room for the long-term committed pros.

    Hang in there guys!

    Last edited by Leslie Stone; 02-21-2008 at 06:47 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    The recent 'boom' didn't do us any favors either. It brought people into all facets of real estate in record numbers, at least in my area. Anyone with a phone could make a living inspecting or appraising homes, writing loans or selling homes over the last few years before the slowdown.

    Now, there are just too many people chasing too few dollars. I'm really trying to just watch my business vs the overall market rather than year over year sales.

    If there is any good news here it's that this should weed some people out and there should be nice run of business as we come up out of this valley, whenever that is.


  4. #4

    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    I've had similar calls, one guy asked if I was still doing inspections, he said the reason he was asking was that many he had alreadt called were no longer doing them. I have not gone the lowering my rate route so I very rarely hear back from these callers.

    Clarksville Home Inspection
    JW Goad
    TN License #307 | KY License #2402

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    It’s pretty frustrating – the first half of last year – my third in the business – jobs from previous customers and referrals were steadily picking up, then around Sept it was like someone turned a tap, things really slowed down, and it’s been very slow since, for example though I’m on Google’s first page for my community there is almost no one currently searching for inspectors and I’ve see my hits as a result of searches for inspection services go down from 20-30 a week last spring to 2-3 a week so far this year!

    As a result while I just wrote the check for another year’s insurance there are many other things I can’t do, for example I was planning to start doing IR this year and that’s just very difficult to justify at the inspection volume of the last few months.

    OTOH ….I’m getting some business, and several of the people who started around the same time I did are getting close to none, while my neighbor – a very competent ASHI guy who has been in the business for 20 years - has seen his volume go *way* down as well, so it’s clearly a general slow-down and not a bombed marketing effort on my part or a problem with unhappy clients unwilling to refer new business my way.

    My decision has been to see what else I can do to stir up some additional business and give it at least another year – what I won’t do though is cut either prices or corners: either can I get paid what I must to earn a decent living doing what I consider a quality job, or it’s not worth doing.

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 02-21-2008 at 05:51 AM.
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    There is a plus and a minus to every situation. My feelings on the last year are this, The cream will rise to the top. Not only are alot of semi pro inspectors hanging it up but the part time homemakers who have nannies and maids are failing in Real Estate for the same reason. They didn't know what they were doing in the first place and now it's too obvious to ignore. YAHOOOOOO!!! Good Riddance!!!


  7. #7
    Kevin VanderWarf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    I sure miss it but I'm glad I jumped ship when I did. My phone #s never changed, I closed up (sorta) back in Oct. I've had 1 call for an inspection since then. Calls were few and far between before that.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    What I won’t do though is cut either prices or corners: either can I get paid what I must to earn a decent living doing what I consider a quality job, or it’s not worth doing.

    I thought the same way about my prices until things really reached "rigor mortis" status around here in January. Then I decided I needed to do something to break out of my self-imposed box if I didn't want to stare at the walls and watch the checking account get smaller by the day. Discounts are not the way I want to go long term but they have helped me get business since I started offering them and I am actually right on pace with my 2007 volume for both January and February. I am making a little bit less per inspection but the reduction is something I am able to live with as it is a temporary means to an end. When the market begins to right itself, my prices will go back to or above the pre-slowdown rate.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    Even the "Dark Side" is having problems
    California sees drop in real estate licensees

    Last edited by Victor DaGraca; 02-21-2008 at 02:32 PM. Reason: bad link
    Critical Home Inspection Services
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    A woman called today that got my name from a previous client. I gave her my price and she said she was going to continue to call around. She said she had got a quote of $190.

    I didn't get the job.................didn't want it at that price.
    JF


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    That's pretty good Jack. I talked to a previous client of mine a couple weeks ago who I actually declined to work for again because we were not in the same hemisphere on price. He wanted me to perform a HI with WDI inspection for over $100 less than my normal fee. I told him if he felt my services were worth that little based upon my previous work that he would need to look elsewhere for his HI needs. I thanked him for calling and hung up. Discounts are one thing but some people are just insulting in what they expect.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    Also from the article Victor linked to: (bold is mine)

    Total Realtor membership, which includes U.S. members and Realtors in Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands, fell 3.7 percent in January 2008 compared to the same month last year. The association reported 1.29 million Realtors as of Jan. 31, 2008. Realtor membership has fallen on a year-over-year basis since Oct. 31 and on a month-to-month basis since Sept. 30, according to association statistics.

    The association reported that its membership stood at 1.37 million as of Aug. 31 and has since fallen about 5.9 percent. Realtor membership in California peaked at 200,681 in November 2006.

    Realtor membership declined most in Michigan, falling about 12.8 percent from January 2007 to January 2008. That state had 27,398 Realtors as of Jan. 31, 2008. Membership dropped 10.6 percent in Minnesota and 10.3 percent in Florida during the same period.

    Realtor membership in Florida dropped 15.2 percent between Oct. 31, 2006, and Jan. 31, 2008.

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

  13. #13
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    Sounds like an old Cheech and Chong movie...
    "Things Are Tough All Over"

    What ever happened to those knuckle-heads?

    RR


  14. #14
    Jon Randolph's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    We are really the lowest paid professional relating to a real estate purchase. I will not lower my price because I feel that more can be cut elsewhere for the client to save money. Realtors, appraisors, surveyors, mortgage brokers, etc. are a dime a dozen and can easily be replaced by the buyer as it is hard to stand out from others in their industries.

    A realtor working for the buyer simply looks for homes that the buyer may be interrested in and shows them the home.

    Appraisors calculate square footage and ammenities in the home and base a value against other homes within a given area.

    Surveyors are using a GPS or other device to make measurements against a given dimmension.

    Mortgage brokers are falling all over themselves trying to get business. They are simply the middle man and use your credit rating and hook you up with someone willing to take the risk and len you money. The main factor here is the vuyers credit.



    Home inspecting, on the other hand, is a skill. It is based on knowledge, experience and education, as well as trouble shooting and deductive reasoning. While everyone else can be replaced and still achieve the same results with the real estate transaction, the difference from one home inspector to another is huge.



    I may give a discount to a repeat customer, but if a person is only calling and shopping based on price, I will try to sell myself but will not present a bargain.


  15. #15
    Leslie Stone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    Miracles never cease.

    I got a call for an inspection a couple of weeks ago from a local REA that I know. Starting to feel the pressure from the slow market I quoted him a price somewhat less than I usually would. When the agent heard the price (which was still fairly lucrative) he RAISED IT by $50 and presented it to his client...I got the job!

    Now you see...there is a God!!!

    I will never waiver again.



  16. #16
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    "A realtor working for the buyer simply looks for homes that the buyer may be interrested in and shows them the home.

    Appraisors calculate square footage and ammenities in the home and base a value against other homes within a given area.

    Surveyors are using a GPS or other device to make measurements against a given dimmension.

    Mortgage brokers are falling all over themselves trying to get business. They are simply the middle man and use your credit rating and hook you up with someone willing to take the risk and len you money. The main factor here is the vuyers credit."

    Jon, I think I know what you are saying, but I think you are over-simplifying these jobs a bit. There are people in all these lines of work that are good enough to make a difference for their client. However, we as HIs must not think as much of ourselves or we would be able to demand and get more money for our services. If we are worth so much more than these other services, why in the world do we make so much less than they do on average? Part of the reason for our less than professional wages is the fact that most home insectors do not know how to truly market their services so they try to get work on price alone. To make it even worse, most home inspectors get most of their biz from realtor referrals and the realtors know what everyone is charging and some of them think they are doing their client a favor by getting the lower priced inspection for them.

    Another reason is the fact that the business is too easy to get into so many folks do it part time. Now don't get riled up if you are part time, because I too started that way and it is probably the most common way to do it. But you don't see many licensed professions of any kind where the majority of the practioners are part timers. Why, because you have to be more committed to getting that license in most professions. We must first raise our standards before our pricing will be on par with other professionals.

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

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    The $100/hour or more we typically bill out is not bad income for a job that only requires a high school diploma. For that matter, states without certification don't even require that.

    To try and knock down the other professions in the housing industry is pointless. This is the USA and at the heart of it is our (mostly) free economy and things like supply and demand. If others are making more, than their services or product are more in demand and people are willing to pay more for them. Agree with it or not, that's just the facts.

    I agree in a perfect world crawling through rat crap would pay more than filling out numbers on closing documents. But we don't live in a perfect world. A teacher, policeman or social worker should probably make more than a home inspector. You can try and justify and rank things all day long but, in reality, the money isn't always in line with the job done. I'm too young (and not enough of a history buff) to know but I belive if the money lined up directly with the job done our system would be called Communism or Socialism or some 'ism' that we don't have here.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    Jon said, "Realtors, appraisors, surveyors, mortgage brokers, etc. are a dime a dozen and can easily be replaced by the buyer as it is hard to stand out from others in their industries."

    I think you can substitute home inspectors for any other category and they could say the same thing. Face it, home inspectors are a dime a dozen, and can be easily replaced. It's happening every day when jobs are being scheduled by the $99 inspector.

    Sure the bargain basement inspector is worth next to nothing compared to the high class service we all give (wink wink), but the reality is the average consumer does not know the difference, and sometimes doesn't care.

    I ask a lot of my clients if they have ever had a home inspection. Many say "No". I then tell them that they really don't know if they just had the best home inspection possible, or an average one. In fact most clients are not going to know how good an inspector was, until they have something to compare it to.

    Your attitude toward those other real estate related occupations, is what's wrong with ours. Everyone on your list thinks that THEY are the end all in the loop, and everyone else is just not as important, or "a dime a dozen". That's why realtors tell their clients to look for the lowest price, or they look for the lowest price when they are calling around for them. They do not value our profession.

    Some of us think of ourselves as being indispensable in this whole process. Well here is how you check to see how indispensable you really are...

    Get a 5 gallon bucket of water.
    Put your arm in the bucket and touch the bottom.
    Let it stay there 20 seconds.
    Gently remove your arm.


    Now measure the hole you left in the water and you will know how indispensable you really are.

    Maybe it's just me, but in the realm of human characteristics, I view egocentric as a negative, and humility as a positive. That's just my 2 cents for what it's worth.
    JF


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    Well said Jack. While we as HIs play an important role in the home buying process, we are just one cog in the machine. We should neither sell ourselves short or take ourselves too seriously.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    $100 dollars an hour is good. But I would venture to say that the average HI is pulling in about $15 dollars an hour when you figure in cost of biz and their annual salary compared to a full time job. I guess that is fine for some people, but not in line for what most people are expecting that are entering the field. I do much better than that, but from the prices I hear around here, I would say they would be doing good to make $15 per hour.

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

  21. #21
    Leslie Stone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    "Another reason is the fact that the business is too easy to get into so many folks do it part time. Now don't get riled up if you are part time, because I too started that way and it is probably the most common way to do it. But you don't see many licensed professions of any kind where the majority of the practioners are part timers. Why, because you have to be more committed to getting that license in most professions. We must first raise our standards before our pricing will be on par with other professionals"

    Frank raises a good point. "To certify or not to certify...that is the question!" When I relocated last year to the doorstep of our nations capital I quickly discovered that people in this area are very impressed with titles, creditentials and certifications. If you don't have some organizations stamp of approval card you can forget about referrals from other real estate related professionals. So even though I already have 21 years of experience as an HI and a Builder, I dropped my $2,000 and attended an 8 day "home inspection training course" so that I could add the word "certified" to my business cards. 8 days later I had my "certification". If it wasn't for the fact I already had extensive experience I would have learned next to nothing. It was frightning to see fellow classmates who by the end of the class still couldn't tell the difference between a piece of BX cable and a piece of PVC pipe. And these people all received "certifications" from a nationally recognized HI training institute.

    My state of VA is a voluntary certification state. Any one with $75 dollars and 45 minutes of spare time to fill out a business license application can legally become an HI. So I agree...there needs to be some sort of national standard, but who is the one to establish it and who will enforce it?

    There are good organizations out there such as ASHI, NAHI and NACHI, but membership is voluntary, not mandatory. I personally use the ASHI standards of practice, but again, there is no one looking over my shoulder to hold me accountable.

    So...what's the solution?


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    You have home inspectors that have dropped out, then you have home inspectors that have reduced expenses/prices. I just talked to somebody from Allen Insurance and many home inspectors have stopped paying for E&O insurance before their policy is up. For those people, I would imagine that a % of them will have lawsuits during that laps of coverage and will close up shop at that point.

    I didn't realize till recently how many part time home inspectors are in the Northwest part of Indiana.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    Slower times, such as the current Bush administration-induced recession, merely serve to shake out the flakes. This will leave the stalwart amongst us in high cotton when the Democrats take office. Goes to show you that even "W" can do something right, albeit inadvertently. . .

    Aaron


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    Don't get me wrong, the market system works and those who deserve more money can get it with training and experience. I certainly was not worth as much the first years in this business as I am now or will be next year for that matter. I think we can all say that about ourselves or anyone in any line of work, but the starting point could be much better if it took more effort to get started. I think the allure of this business is the ease at which one can get started. I know it was a big factor for me, but I had no idea of how difficult it would be to excel and lucky for me, I am just stubborn and idealistic enough to make it work. So all I am saying is that it takes longer to get where you want to be due to the low standards and I think we as a group get less respect due to the same.

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

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Bombardiere View Post
    Don't get me wrong, the market system works and those who deserve more money can get it with training and experience. I certainly was not worth as much the first years in this business as I am now or will be next year for that matter. I think we can all say that about ourselves or anyone in any line of work, but the starting point could be much better if it took more effort to get started. I think the allure of this business is the ease at which one can get started. I know it was a big factor for me, but I had no idea of how difficult it would be to excel and lucky for me, I am just stubborn and idealistic enough to make it work. So all I am saying is that it takes longer to get where you want to be due to the low standards and I think we as a group get less respect due to the same.
    I know that people love to say that the more education and experience we have = more money, but that is not what I've seen in my life time. Who you know and what type of personality you have takes you that step further. I have known people that have average knowledge but because of the way they sell themselves, is how they excel. Even when that person has messed up, it is likely that their clients or the Realtor won't be as upset at them.

    Example, there was a test where two female teachers went in and read from the same book to the same children. When the children were asked which teacher was better, the children (by majority) picked the prettier teacher. Yet the so called uglier teacher had more experience and won some awards. I think we are also seeing this with the two Democrats that are running for president.

    Experience can only take you so far in some cases.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    Kevin,

    So what I get out that comment of yours is that with myself being such a damn good looking man, I have not a chance of making as a Home Inspector.

    rick


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    I think what he was trying to say was that if:

    A. A brunette with a degree in Sociology
    B A redhead with a degree in Astrophysics
    and
    C A blonde with a degree in Economics

    All apply for the same job...... the position will be given to the one with the biggest breasts.

    Critical Home Inspection Services
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  28. #28
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    I disagree. I'm a perty feller myself Ill have you know. It does help you get started, but when you screw up. Don't nobody care what ya look like, they want a piece of your arse. It is just like they say about beatiful women, it doesn't matter how good looking she is, somebody somewhere is sick of her crap. I do think having a good personality is a must to get ahead, but you need to know what you are doing to stay in the game.

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

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    I agree that there are enough inspectors to make us a "dime a dozen". What differentiates us is our knowledge and the thoroughness of our inspection.

    While some realtors do work much harder, they are still working off of the mls. Just because realtor A found 123 main street for the buyer doesn't mean that realtors b, c, d, e, f, ... can't do the same.

    An honest appraisor can not add value to a home that it does not add, nor can they take value away. A home is worth what it is worth.

    Surveyors can not take land from another to extend your property line, nor can the give your land to another.

    Mortgage brokers can not adjust your credit cscore or legally give you access to money that you don't have to make it appear that you can afford the home that you are in. If your credit sucks you get a crappy loan, if you are gold you get a good loan.


    Yes there is training in all of these areas and in most cases licensing is involved, but they have no room to interprit what they are presented. In their world it is either black or white, they have no room for grey. The inspectors world is filled with infinite shades of grey. Our experience and knowledge hels us determine theseverity of issues.


    As far as being the lowest paid during the transaction, that is sad but it is true. In reality, a home inspection is not required - every oone else is.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Randolph View Post
    Mortgage brokers can not adjust your credit cscore or legally give you access to money that you don't have to make it appear that you can afford the home that you are in. If your credit sucks you get a crappy loan, if you are gold you get a good loan.
    At least this is true now..... 3 years ago? Not so much.


  31. #31
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    Gentleman called me last week and was intersted in getting into the business. He saw that one of us billed a job for maybe $250 or $300 and was there a couple of hours. His 1+1 equaled a nice hit.
    After I documented the number of players in this relatively small market and how many were full time, he was less interested but went on. He asked what was the most important thing to have. I said "A wife with a job". I think he was discouraged.
    In North Carolina we need young blood in due time. The average age of an HI is disturbingly high and attrition is significant. But this might not be the year to venture in without a safety net.

    JLMathis


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    He asked what was the most important thing to have. I said "A wife with a job".

    Very true Jeff. I've been in business now 5+ years and I do OK, but in order to support our entire household by myself AND pay for insurance out of pocket, I'd have to run myself ragged. Even then, the slow times like these would have me sweating bullets. I am very lucky my wife has a teaching job with good benefits.

    I had a guy call me this past October about possibly becoming an HI and he wanted info. In addition to the normal stuff, I advised him very bluntly about the economics of being in business by yourself and how expenses, insurance, and taxes nearly cut the inspection fee in half. Nobody told me about the economics of the business when I started so it is something any prospective HI should know.

    This is not the type of profession where you can open your doors one day and hit the ground running immediately. Even during the best markets, you need a financial safety net to get you through.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    Frank BombardiereI disagree. I'm a perty feller myself Ill have you know. It does help you get started, but when you screw up. Don't nobody care what ya look like, they want a piece of your arse.

    Kevin wrote:
    Who you know and what type of personality you have takes you that step further.
    I'm just saying that looks and personality can help or hinder your business and that education and experience is not the only factors.

    This makes me think of when President Bush was elected for the first time. I personally don't think he became President because of his experience or education, but he must have brought other things to the table that others liked.

    I was hesitant on posting this because of the example I used. I'm hoping that you focus on the point of this post and not the political aspect of it.







  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    He asked what was the most important thing to have. I said "A wife with a job".

    Very true Jeff. I've been in business now 5+ years and I do OK, but in order to support our entire household by myself AND pay for insurance out of pocket, I'd have to run myself ragged. Even then, the slow times like these would have me sweating bullets. I am very lucky my wife has a teaching job with good benefits.

    I had a guy call me this past October about possibly becoming an HI and he wanted info. In addition to the normal stuff, I advised him very bluntly about the economics of being in business by yourself and how expenses, insurance, and taxes nearly cut the inspection fee in half. Nobody told me about the economics of the business when I started so it is something any prospective HI should know.

    This is not the type of profession where you can open your doors one day and hit the ground running immediately. Even during the best markets, you need a financial safety net to get you through.

    Last paragraph is true with most if not all business.

    I know that where I lived in Kentucky, my business would never have been able to support my family. When we moved up to Northwest part of Indiana, the population and attitudes are different and over all, I feel good that this is all I do and my wife can pursue her interest(s).

    We are talking about her going back to work and using her paychecks for savings only. Then I can retire/slow down years earlier. Her aunt and uncle did that where they retired when they were 55.


  35. #35
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    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    Jon,
    I think you may need to get over yourself, or maybe climb down off the pedestal. Or at least take off that shiny white suit of armor.

    While Realtors are not always my favorite people, I do recognize just how hard many of them work. To say that all they have to do is sit in front of a computer and dial in to the MLS, is just plain ignorant. That's the kind of thinking that brings scores of new agents into the real estate business. They think that all they have to do to drive around a little bit and make $200K/year. I teach a class at a real estate school, so I see that attitude a lot. I also see, and recognize just how hard many of them work.

    How about that appraiser that is sent out to house that is unlike any others in the area, and a house hasn't sold there in years? I'm in a business group with an appraiser, and after spending a couple hours with him having a "one on one", I have a new appreciation for the work they do, and how difficult their job can be.

    Your comments about the mortgage broker and surveyor also show your ignorance of what they really do, or the ramifications if they screw up. How about the surveyor that misses (or catches) the fact that the neighbors garage is on the other's property?

    I have heard the following comments from people talking about the home inspection industry. It shows how little they really think about what we do.

    1. How hard can it be, all you need is a flashlight and a clipboard. You just walk around and look at things and write them down.
    2. I used to be in construction, but I'm getting old and don't want to work hard any more. I'm going into home inspection.
    3. I only want to do a couple a week for extra EASY money.
    4. How many do you do a day? I could do one after work a few days a week...looks pretty easy to me.

    These are from people that just don't get it. Of course our job looks easy - IT IS! Sure going in an attic during summer is tough, for a little while. Yep, crawling under a house isn't much fun, but it's only for a short time. Most of the time we are just walking around looking at stuff, and taking notes or inputting into a computer. ("Hey, all they have to do is sit in front of a computer and make the big money!". But the reality is - This profession does not look all that hard to most people.

    Sure, there are lots of people that RECOGNIZE that what we do is not all it appears to be. They understand that it's not our actions that make a good inspector, it's what's inside our head - or what we know. THEY GET IT!

    The same can be said for those other occupations that you brushed your hand aside dismissing their knowledge and experience, and their value. It's not always as simple as it looks, and not everyone is a dumb ass, or dishonest.
    JF


  36. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    All I can say is "thank God for referrals! Of the 9 inspections I did this week, 5 were referrals from previous clients. These people did not refer me or choose to call me because I was doing $150.00 inspections because that is someting I will not do, so I must be doing something right!

    Granted, as said before, the TX market is not ailing as bad as other areas.

    I will not lower my prices, in fact I recently raised them to help off-set the royal scewing we are recieving from the profit hungry major oil companies.

    I am not prone to throwing the competition under the bus but when it comes to cheaply priced inspections, I am pretty certain that it is the new guys trying to get a foot hold or keep their heads above water.

    Newbies who are low-balling, beware. I will tell others that low prices usually equal new guy on the block when I am selling my inspection for the price it is worth. I know times are hard but I was new to this game once and when I started in this business, I started with pricing that was at the market price set by good inspectors. Anyone who is lowballing is only hurting themselves and our profession as a whole. If you are throwing out low prices to get work you are going to be referred as the guy who is cheap and you will be expected to have low prices always. That's going to get old after you have been doing this a while and referrals become a bigger part of your income.

    Eric


  37. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    What I won’t do though is cut either prices or corners: either can I get paid what I must to earn a decent living doing what I consider a quality job, or it’s not worth doing.

    I thought the same way about my prices until things really reached "rigor mortis" status around here in January. Then I decided I needed to do something to break out of my self-imposed box if I didn't want to stare at the walls and watch the checking account get smaller by the day. Discounts are not the way I want to go long term but they have helped me get business since I started offering them and I am actually right on pace with my 2007 volume for both January and February. I am making a little bit less per inspection but the reduction is something I am able to live with as it is a temporary means to an end. When the market begins to right itself, my prices will go back to or above the pre-slowdown rate.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Shuman View Post
    All I can say is "thank God for referrals! Of the 9 inspections I did this week, 5 were referrals from previous clients. These people did not refer me or choose to call me because I was doing $150.00 inspections because that is someting I will not do, so I must be doing something right!

    Granted, as said before, the TX market is not ailing as bad as other areas.

    I will not lower my prices, in fact I recently raised them to help off-set the royal scewing we are recieving from the profit hungry major oil companies.

    I am not prone to throwing the competition under the bus but when it comes to cheaply priced inspections, I am pretty certain that it is the new guys trying to get a foot hold or keep their heads above water.

    Newbies who are low-balling, beware. I will tell others that low prices usually equal new guy on the block when I am selling my inspection for the price it is worth.

    Eric
    Eric

    What works for you might not work for everyone everywhere.

    I would rather book a $275.00 inspection than Quote a bunch of $350.00 Inspections .

    The free market sets the cost of goods and services.

    Too Low can't stay in business.

    Too high be prepared to loss market share.

    If you take your truck to the Dealership and they say we have a mechanic with 5 years experience and the price is $xxx.00 or we have a 30yr. man at $xxxx.oo what would you tell them?

    BTW. I agree with you on the Oil Companies looks like a buck a gallon is not enough of a gouge for them and $2 a gallon would be a more reasonable profit margin (for a while).

    Last edited by Billy Stephens; 02-23-2008 at 01:27 PM. Reason: space added
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  38. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,471

    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    What works for you might not work for everyone everywhere.

    I would rather book a $275.00 inspection than Quote a bunch of $350.00 Inspections .

    The free market sets the cost of goods and services.


    Amen to that brother. Most areas will have a threshold for what the general public is willing to pay and I know my area does. If you price yourself above that threshold, whether you think you are worth it or not, you may just end up doing more quoting than working.

    I'd love to be able to charge $500+ just for a home inspection but I know I wouldn't be getting much work that way.


  39. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Jumping Ship

    Billy, Nick,

    Good points all around. What the market will bear definitely affects pricing. A good inspection and well written report are worth a fair price though. I feel I charge accordingly and though I may miss a few price shoppers my prices are fair and well within the market average in my area. As they say, "I'm not the cheapest but I'm not the highest."

    I think as a whole, though, we cut ourselves short enough already and extreme price undercutting does not help that issue out.

    We all gotta support ourselves, let's hope the market evens out sooner than later!

    Eric


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