Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    R.A.Flem's Avatar
    R.A.Flem Guest

    Default Suggestions for starting up?

    Hi everyone! I'm interested in all thoughts regarding getting myself started. I've completed a Home Inspection course through local technical school. But, the next step? Do I need insurance? Should I attempt employment with an established inspection business? Go alone and attempt to work with various realtors?
    Thanks for all ideas,
    Rick

    Similar Threads:
    2018 ASHI InspectionWorld

  2. #2
    Jeff Remas's Avatar
    Jeff Remas Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    Your next step may be based on your experience. What trades did you work in? Did your training involve any hands on inspections? If so, how many.

    If you are limited with experience in any of the trades you probably want to make mistakes as an employee on someone elses dime before you go out on your own.

    I have trained 4 different inspector who each accompanied me on at least 100 inspections and they all said the same thing at the end. They thought they were ready after their "training/school" but had no idea how much they did not know until after they assisted with 100 actual inspections.

    Welcome


  3. #3
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    What is your background ????????????????


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    My first thought is "wait a few years".

    Of course you won't listen to that, so I'll go on with step 2.
    Try to hook up with someone and do ride along's or better yet, see if you can sign on to work for someone, or train under them.

    Jeff is right on about the 100 inspections. You have no idea how much you DON'T know until after you have done 100 or so, and the learning process never stops.

    That said, you probably wont do that either. So you need to get insurance. Get a license if required in your State. Get a web site and print up some cards and/or brochures and start marketing yourself. Relators will be your first stop, since you are an unknown, this is the most common starting place.

    Go and visit a chapter of a home inspector organization such as AASHI or NAHI. You will meet other inspectors, that can be a valuable resource.
    Good luck.

    By the way, I wasn't kidding about waiting a couple years.


  5. #5
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    If you have had the ______ to get this far can't stop now. When you get on you first inspection take about 400 PHOTOS of the home. everything and then go back and go over and over and over every tag, every plate and ever system in the home. and look it up on the net and hang on this board like a life line... the dimmest question is the one that is never ask

    Best

    Ron


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

    Default Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.Flem View Post
    Hi everyone! I'm interested in all thoughts regarding getting myself started. I've completed a Home Inspection course through local technical school. But, the next step? Do I need insurance? Should I attempt employment with an established inspection business? Go alone and attempt to work with various realtors?
    Thanks for all ideas,
    Rick
    Be sure you have a good paying night job and or your wife or significant other has a good paying job. When homes are selling it takes about 18 months to see that this can be a profitable profession. After about 3 years you should be fairly comfortable. Keep in mind homes are just not selling like they have been for the past 5 or so years, so you will just have to be patient.

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

  7. #7
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Be sure you have a good paying night job and or your wife or significant other has a good paying job. When homes are selling it takes about 18 months to see that this can be a profitable profession. After about 3 years you should be fairly comfortable. Keep in mind homes are just not selling like they have been for the past 5 or so years, so you will just have to be patient.

    Didn't you mean to say "you just have to be seriously patient?


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    579

    Smile Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    Here's my punch list.

    *If your only home inspection education is a short course or home inspector training school and you have no construction background you should seek additional training. Before I started I helped a friend build a home, even when I wasn't helping I stopped by just to watch and see a home being build from the ground up.

    *Get some good home inspection software. Don't make the mistake I made and use some cheap program at first. And remember no matter how great the software is most of the pre-worded auto comments are poorly written, overly wordy crap.

    *In my opinion after you have the proper training the most difficult part of the business is report writing. As I mentioned don't rely on any software to do the report writing for you. Learn how to properly word common problems with the least amount of words. Stay away from the common statement(recommend having a qualified contractor further evaluate and repair) on everything you call out. Only use when necessary.

    *As a new inspector use this forum for everything it's worth and ask as many stupid questions as you would like.

    *Once you have your inspection software and inspection tools. Inspect several homes for free, use friends and family.

    *As mentioned take lots and lots of photos, especially on items you are calling out or are not sure about.

    *Also as mentioned you will need an additional source of income if you plan on breaking into this full time. In most cases it takes about 3 years before you will see a decent income.

    *If or when you start making good money save up your nuts for the winter my friend, because in most areas it slows down significantly during the winter. Be prepared for significant monthly income fluctuations throughout the year.

    *Take your time on your inspections and develop a systematic efficient inspection routine.

    *Always take an inventory of all of your tools and make sure they are in your vehicle before locking the house up.


  9. #9
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    Here's my punch list.

    *Always take an inventory of all of your tools and make sure they are in your vehicle before locking the house up.
    I just lock my truck keys in the house. Just a few weeks back...

    Cell phone was in the truck. The agent was lone gone... There was a painter down the street so I hit him up for his phone to call the real estate office to send some out to open the house. Good news is i just did an inspection for that agent the other day... all works out in the end.

    Good advise Trent.

    Best

    Ron


  10. #10
    Richard Moore's Avatar
    Richard Moore Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.Flem View Post
    Hi everyone! I'm interested in all thoughts regarding getting myself started. I've completed a Home Inspection course through local technical school. (1) But, the next step? (2) Do I need insurance? (3) Should I attempt employment with an established inspection business? (4) Go alone and attempt to work with various realtors?
    Thanks for all ideas,
    Rick
    Hi Rick. I'm going to be a bit negative here, so please forgive me...I mean well.

    1: I assume your local technical school HI course took a few weeks. It does not bode well for your business sense that, only now, you are asking these questions.

    2: If your state does not require you to have insurance, then it's up to you to determine whether you wish to gamble or not. That decision may be partly based on your net worth and how much you stand to lose. Keep in mind that if you think insurance is expensive now, wait until after your first claim (no personal experience...touch wood).

    3: If this was 2007 (or, hopefully, 2010...maybe 2011), that would be my suggestion but, with home sales as slow as they are right now, it seems very unlikely that most established inspection business have enough work for their regular employees. In other words, I doubt many, if any, are hiring newbies.

    4: See 1. What do you think you can ethically bring to the table that a whole bunch of existing and hungry inspectors, with proven track records, are not already doing? That's a very serious question and I don't have any answers for you. This is a tough business to market for a start-up in the best of times...and now ain't them.

    As Scott alluded to, you just can't beat a rich wife(????). I wish you the best but it's tough out there.

    Having said all that, I'll now try to be a bit more constructive if you do decide to go it alone. Others above have some good suggestions. My recommendation for your next step is that you decide on a good report format, and then talk your friends and relatives into letting you inspect their homes. As many as possible. At some point in your marketing you are going to have to produce an excellent sample report. It would be wise to learn how to do that before your first paid job.

    Last edited by Richard Moore; 03-01-2009 at 01:20 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Didn't you mean to say "you just have to be seriously patient?
    that might not be a bad idea...

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

  12. #12
    R.A.Flem's Avatar
    R.A.Flem Guest

    Thumbs up Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    Thank you to all who posted their ideas, knowledge, and experience. Knowing that I no experience in this particular field, I'm seeking your advice so that I don't go about it unethically. I don't want to be one that promotes a HI business as being an experienced inspector.
    That being said, I can bring some hands-on knowledge. I have worked on many residential construction jobs, many residential roofing jobs, gut and renovate homes, re-wire electrical, update plumbing. Most of all, being a veteran full-time firefighter, I have seen "almost" everything imaginable within our citizen's homes. So my goal is supplement my income through this interesting field. Start the right way. Hopefully be up and running when the housing market turns upward again.
    I still would like suggestions regarding insurance. Do I need liabilty ins.? Should forming an LLC be necessary? E&O insurance?
    I thank you again for those that recommend tagging along with an experienced inspector. All of which is very good advice.
    Rick


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.Flem View Post
    Thank you to all who posted their ideas, knowledge, and experience. Knowing that I no experience in this particular field, I'm seeking your advice so that I don't go about it unethically. I don't want to be one that promotes a HI business as being an experienced inspector.
    That being said, I can bring some hands-on knowledge. I have worked on many residential construction jobs, many residential roofing jobs, gut and renovate homes, re-wire electrical, update plumbing. Most of all, being a veteran full-time firefighter, I have seen "almost" everything imaginable within our citizen's homes. So my goal is supplement my income through this interesting field. Start the right way. Hopefully be up and running when the housing market turns upward again.
    I still would like suggestions regarding insurance. Do I need liabilty ins.? Should forming an LLC be necessary? E&O insurance?
    I thank you again for those that recommend tagging along with an experienced inspector. All of which is very good advice.
    Rick
    You need insurance to protect your assets and your clients. GL at a minimum, this protects the home if you damage it or something in it. As for E&O, this is a business decision you need to make. I have had E&O for 10+ years, and I would not work without it. It is also required by the states I hold a HI license in.

    I would go the LLC route, it is cheap and easy. Many states you will let you do it all online.

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

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.Flem View Post
    Thank you to all who posted their ideas, knowledge, and experience. Knowing that I no experience in this particular field, I'm seeking your advice so that I don't go about it unethically. I don't want to be one that promotes a HI business as being an experienced inspector.
    That being said, I can bring some hands-on knowledge. I have worked on many residential construction jobs, many residential roofing jobs, gut and renovate homes, re-wire electrical, update plumbing. Most of all, being a veteran full-time firefighter, I have seen "almost" everything imaginable within our citizen's homes. So my goal is supplement my income through this interesting field. Start the right way. Hopefully be up and running when the housing market turns upward again.
    I still would like suggestions regarding insurance. Do I need liabilty ins.? Should forming an LLC be necessary? E&O insurance?
    I thank you again for those that recommend tagging along with an experienced inspector. All of which is very good advice.
    Rick
    All of those things and as someone else mentioned a "rich wife" to pay those new bills you incurred for 3-4 years.

    Personally, I can't imagine jumping into this business at this time with no really experienced contacts and I'm not talking about a few friends that might happen to be realtors that sell a couple homes a year that tell you that they'd use you.

    FWIW

    Rick H.


  15. #15
    Bob Schlack's Avatar
    Bob Schlack Guest

    Smile Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    Hello,
    I am in pretty much the same type of situation as Rick (not a firefighter though). All your comments have answered many of my questions. Having said that.... What would you recommend as a list of equipment for getting started in the field?

    Thanks,
    Bob


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    Bob,

    Check out the section called tools. This is gone over quite frequently on here.

    rick


  17. #17
    Bob Schlack's Avatar
    Bob Schlack Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    Thanks Rick. I really appreciate it.

    Bob


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,049

    Default Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    Rick,

    You asked if you should form an LLC. My opinion on that question is an absolute YES.

    An LLC can help shield your personal assets from liability if your business were to get sued.

    If you remain a sole proprietor, your personal assets are up for grabs.

    This business has a fairly large share of liability risk. Do what ever you can to protect yourself. An LLC is well worth the expense and effort.


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Delmar NY
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.Flem View Post
    Hi everyone! I'm interested in all thoughts regarding getting myself started. I've completed a Home Inspection course through local technical school. But, the next step? Do I need insurance? Should I attempt employment with an established inspection business? Go alone and attempt to work with various realtors?
    Thanks for all ideas,
    Rick
    I think your questions should of been covered in your schooling. Learning what is needed to run an inspection business is just as important as learning how to inspect. I would look into joining a local home inspection association. You can learn alot talking to experienced inspectors. Good luck.


  20. #20
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
    imported_John Smith Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    My understanding is an LLC wont do squat for a sole proprietorship type business. If you have employees (e.g. other inspectors) working for you then there could be some benefit.

    An LLC wont protect you from the types of mistakes an owner/inspector would make - like errors and omissions.

    Invest in a good insurance policy, have lots of money to survive on why you are building your business, dont get discouraged, do the best you can do, maintain high integrity.


  21. #21
    Kevin Blehl's Avatar
    Kevin Blehl Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    I just finished a HI course at the local college, taught by an inspector that's been in the business for some time. Even though I have new construction experience (from framing to doing HOW repairs) and renovation experience, I learned ALOT.

    I bought the instructors "software" which is his HI agreement, checklist, report template, a verbiage list he uses to plug into the report concerning issues and such, and a copy of his escrow billing invoice. I've played around with it to make it more of mine own. Along those lines, I think I'm good.

    I have just finished building a website. I've gotten business cards, shirts (to look professional), car door magnets, and a lawn sign to put out in front of the home while inspecting.

    What suggestions do y'all have for actually bringing in business??? Does dropping off cards at realtor offices work? Should I maybe bring doughnuts along with the cards to get their attention? How about e-mail marketing?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!


  22. #22
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions for starting up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Blehl View Post
    I just finished a HI course at the local college, taught by an inspector that's been in the business for some time. Even though I have new construction experience (from framing to doing HOW repairs) and renovation experience, I learned ALOT.

    I bought the instructors "software" which is his HI agreement, checklist, report template, a verbiage list he uses to plug into the report concerning issues and such, and a copy of his escrow billing invoice. I've played around with it to make it more of mine own. Along those lines, I think I'm good.

    I have just finished building a website. I've gotten business cards, shirts (to look professional), car door magnets, and a lawn sign to put out in front of the home while inspecting.

    What suggestions do y'all have for actually bringing in business??? Does dropping off cards at realtor offices work? Should I maybe bring doughnuts along with the cards to get their attention? How about e-mail marketing?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Yep ..... throw the escrow billing invoice away. You have to understand that if your client buys new tires they do not get the keys until they pay. That is just an privation you do not need. You will only know what marketing works in you area ....... after you tried it. Remember that everything you are about to do or try ......... someonr else is either doing it or tried it. I just hope you have a lot of money tucked away or a working spouse. It may be busy now but this us the busiest month if the year.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •