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  1. #1
    Jeff Wait's Avatar
    Jeff Wait Guest

    Default Finding a Home Inspector to follow.

    Hello Home Inspection News,
    I am currently training to become a home inspector in Southwest Missouri. I realize that simply taking a class does not prepare you to be a home inspector. Because of this, I want to find an experienced Home Inspector in my area to follow and learn from. My question is, how opened are experienced home inspectors to having a future home inspector follow them. Do they consider you competition, or do they enjoy having help. My second question is should I try to start my own company or work for an established company once I am ready to do inspections on my own.
    Thanks for the advice.

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  2. #2
    Sam Sloane's Avatar
    Sam Sloane Guest

    Default Re: Finding a Home Inspector to follow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wait View Post
    Hello Home Inspection News,
    I am currently training to become a home inspector in Southwest Missouri. I realize that simply taking a class does not prepare you to be a home inspector. Because of this, I want to find an experienced Home Inspector in my area to follow and learn from. My question is, how opened are experienced home inspectors to having a future home inspector follow them. Do they consider you competition, or do they enjoy having help. My second question is should I try to start my own company or work for an established company once I am ready to do inspections on my own.
    Thanks for the advice.
    I wouldn't suggest starting your own company until you have gained significant experience as a HI. Its a lot of responsibility to run a business.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Finding a Home Inspector to follow.

    Jeff
    Getting into the Home Inspection business may be difficult at this time.
    Home sales are still down compared to a few years ago. Therefore there are Home Inspectors with many years of experience that are hungry for every inspection job available.
    Inspection companies prefer to hire experienced inspectors instead of those just looking for training and experience.
    If not right away you will some day be competition to the person that trained you.

    You might look for an Inspector that is planning to retire or getting out of the HI business. They may be willing to sell their business and offer training to you.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Finding a Home Inspector to follow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wait View Post
    Hello Home Inspection News,
    I am currently training to become a home inspector in Southwest Missouri. I realize that simply taking a class does not prepare you to be a home inspector. Because of this, I want to find an experienced Home Inspector in my area to follow and learn from. My question is, how opened are experienced home inspectors to having a future home inspector follow them. Do they consider you competition, or do they enjoy having help. My second question is should I try to start my own company or work for an established company once I am ready to do inspections on my own.
    Thanks for the advice.
    Hi Jeff,
    I'm going to echo a little different opinion. I think now is the perfect time to start learning about the profession and to start a business, with one caveat. You must realize that it will be several years before you will see an income that you can really live off of. In a good market the rule of thumb is about 3 years, in this market I would say it is going to be more like 5 years.

    Something that you need to also consider is the area you live in. Last time I visited Branson, MO I think the population was around 15,000(with 40,000 hotel rooms!) or so in that area. It is really a rural area in southern Missouri so you will need to expand and service a good size area, possibly up to Springfield, MO.

    If you can find an experienced inspector who is willing to let you "shadow" him/her I would highly recommend it. You will need to find an inspector that will be out of your service area as most do not want to train their compatition. I use to allow folks to follow me, but I stopped a few years back. It was really not worth the trouble and time it took, but I do miss someone to lug my ladder and other stuff around for me!

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,481

    Default Re: Finding a Home Inspector to follow.

    Jeff,

    Find a chapter of an organization like ASHI (or if MO has a state organization) and go to the meetings. In my experience, you are more likely to find inspectors at a chapter meeting that are willing to help you out.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  6. #6
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Finding a Home Inspector to follow.

    Well, a bit of mix of opinion.

    I must say that just due to this board I think fairly highly of Scott. But in saying that.....WTF. I am not quite sure where he is coming from. A great time to learn to be a home inspector.

    The hay days are over for a good period of time until the world gets its head out of its backside. You mentioned something about being a help to someone you shadow. No, you won't. That is about as direct as I can get. You will be of absolute no help what so ever and the inspector may ask you to pay him to tag along due to the fact it will take him longer with you there. It will be like, class is in.

    As far as competition? Your competition is already out there. You may not be competition in the sense that you will offer more or have more knowledge that the inspector you shadow. That will never happen as he is still learning after a decade or 2 or 3 of inspecting.

    I tried posting what type of competition you will be but I could not format it right. No matter how much you will want to hold your prices up to the norm the only way you will get in with Realtors, and they will be newer Realtors, is to give everything away free and large coupons and bright smiles and soft reports. You will wind up trapped in that mold they make of you. The only way you will get good standing next to the Google map or even on the front page for a while is to pay for it. They will set you up with phony reviews and articles they submit pointing to you and a phony address toward the middle of town. Google will soon figure that out and away you go into Google obscurity.

    My suggestion is to go get a rela job with a decent salary and benefits. You will never have that in this b usiness for a long time to come. You live in a small area which will require you to travel and advertise long distance.

    Have I discouraged you yet? I certainly hope so. You see, I care about people and will tell them straight whether they want the straight talk or not.

    Inspectors are dropping out of this business due to such a small flow of inspections. Others are getting part time side jobs until it picks up a bit again.

    No....This is not a good time to become a home inspector. The market is seriously flooded as it is. You will just add to the mix and pull an inspection here and there away from someone else with lower pricing. And then you won't be able to live.

    Now, back to my report that I did an inspection on in the sub freezing cold today that took me an hour to get to due to the sheets of ice all over the highways. This man wanted no bull and straight pricing and was willing to pay for it and did not want make believe give aways and free this and free that. Imagine that. He wanted a home inspection. He could not be sold on the bull.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Southwest US
    Posts
    585

    Default Re: Finding a Home Inspector to follow.

    Jeff Wait: I agree with Scott. I have been super busy and the agents all tell me they are extremely busy. I feel the market is turning right now. The lower the prices go, the more buyers there will be. This is a good time because there are way fewer home inspectors than there were 5 years ago. If you called me to "shadow" I would probably tell you to try one of your relatives, perhaps go to Helen Wait, as I have had bad experiences with this.

    If you can get a position with an existing company, that is for sure the way to go but I doubt you can. Most of us are 1 person operations.

    Keep the day job and do HI part time until you can make it a career. Even in the good times it might take 2 years. Meanwhile, learn as much as you can from this site. Experience is a tough teacher. Online is much more forgiving.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: Finding a Home Inspector to follow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    ... Snipped ...

    Now, back to my report that I did an inspection on in the sub freezing cold today that took me an hour to get to due to the sheets of ice all over the highways. This man wanted no bull and straight pricing and was willing to pay for it and did not want make believe give aways and free this and free that. Imagine that. He wanted a home inspection. He could not be sold on the bull.
    Don't you love those folks? I bet, "How much?" weren't the first words out of his mouth either.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  9. #9
    James Olson's Avatar
    James Olson Guest

    Default Re: Finding a Home Inspector to follow.

    Jeff, I'm in a situation similar to yours and [yesterday] was going to submit a post that would have sounded much like Ted's. But, coming from me, it wouldn't have been very authoritative.
    I've spoken to a number of inspectors and their sentiments were very along what Ted posted.

    Therefore, I'm considering the following:
    - continue doing what I've been doing while inspecting "on the side",
    - focus on combining my architectural design and inspection services for clients wanting to remodel, as well as,
    - for clients wanting to repair and stage their home for sale

    My thought is that by dealing with a homeowner that is motivated to talk about their experiences with the home it will help me identify the less obvious problems. It will also help me avoid the homeowner who is purposely trying to conceal problems with paint and spackle. Also, because clues may be seasonal or weather related, the homeowners testimony will help me to help them understand the implications of their situation.

    By combining inspection services with related services (which don't violate Code of Ethics) I hope to serve a niche other inspectors may not. By not relying on inspections for a living...well, I get to live.

    One caveat, advice you get will generally pertain to the markets of the advice giver. Unless they are in your market their experience/conclusions may not pertain to you and yours. However, if you're creative, honest, and sincere I'm sure you'll be able to get the experience and word-of-mouth reputation to get you on your way.

    Last edited by James Olson; 02-04-2011 at 05:32 AM. Reason: clarification

  10. #10
    Jeff Wait's Avatar
    Jeff Wait Guest

    Default Re: Finding a Home Inspector to follow.

    Lots of different opinions.
    I will consider all of this before moving forward. Thanks again for all the comments!


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