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  1. #1
    Jim M.'s Avatar
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    Default Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    Hello and thanks in advance for taking the time to read my first post on this awesome site!

    I've been reading through the forums on this site and it's amazing the wealth of knowledge the membership here provides. I'm sure this site will be a huge benefit to me in the future.

    My hope here today is to let you know my situation and my goals and I look forward to any and all feedback or advice you may have for me!


    As the title states, I'm getting into the HI industry and jumping in with both feet!

    My situation is I currently run a successful business here in AZ but it is completely un-related to the HI industry aside from working closely with clientele. My buisness is very seasonal and the income isn't enough to last throughout the year. I typically have a summer job to make up the difference but it's been a hassle trying to find a summer job in recent years. None of my jobs that I do or have done are related to the housing industry. My experience with the structure and systems in a home are limited and this is the main cause of my being nervous! My wife has a stable job and her income basically covers all our bills so most of the money I make is extra and I'm not needing a big income to survive. Through my current un-related business I've made a lot of friends in the housing/real estate business and have a lot of contacts in areas that would be benificial to a HI professional. Also, with my current business, I'll have some income throughout the fall and winter as I try to get my HI business started.

    With all that being said, I "think" i'm in a fairly safe position to give the HI business a shot. I'm signed up for a HI training program that starts next week and I've already purchased the Home Gauge software. I also already have a contact who is a seasoned and successful HI professional and he is willing to oversee my required 30 parallel inspections to get certified and send me his overflow business...if I make it to that point!

    The biggest hurdle that I see is my lack of experience in home construction and it's systems. This is primarily what causes me to be nervous and scared at this point. I do know a little and I know the class will only provide a brief overveiw but I learn fast, common sense is my strong suit, and I'm very willing to get educated.

    So, now that you know my situation, I would love any of your advice, negative or positive, and would love any helpful tips or ideas you may have for me.

    Thanks again if you've read through my post and thanks in advance for any replies! Jim M.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    Jim,

    Welcome to InspectionNews. There is a lot of good information here that will keep you busy for a long time.

    If you get a chance, you may want to go to some of the different educational meetings that we have around the state. You do not have to be a member to go. Just sign up and pay your fee and then go.

    Do a search and check out the Arizona ASHI web site. Look under upcoming events. I'm always meeting new inspectors at their meetings.

    The second place that I recommend that you check out is Arizona Building Officials (AZBO). I think their next educational conference is in October in Prescott. I don't know if they will be doing it this October or not. But their two day inspect-a-house turned out great the last time I went. I also enjoyed some of their different building code classes.

    If you have any question feel free to shoot me an email.

    Jeff Euriech
    Peoria Arizona


  3. #3
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    Jim...

    I consider a HI to be an extension of another trade...be it a GC, electrical contractor, HVAC contractor, etc. The reason I say this is that being in a trade exposes you to the other trades that you will be required to inspect as as HI. If you are a plumber and you have at least seen an electrician wire a house then you are better off than someone who has no first hand experience of either. Have you ever seen a house being built?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    Why home inspection?

    If you have no experierence or background knowledge in buildings or the trades, what made you choose Home Inspection? If you only need summer work why not landscaping, pool maintenance, or summer camp staff? What is the appeal of home inspection?

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    Jim, welcome to the flock!

    Does it make it easier to understand homes if you have been involved in their construction? Sure it does, but that does not mean that a person can not learn. It just means that you have to hit the books more, ask more questions and be more observant. I'm the product of not have a construction background and I have been at this gig full time since 1995 and part time a year before that.

    I think I have made it in this profession, so if I can do it then I think just about anyone can do it if they have some active brain cells.

    FYI, after being in this profession for a few years I did get an immersion into the trades when my brother decided to build homes. I have swung a hammer, I can cut a mean miter and I know how to add 2+2! I had OJT and really no choice in the matter. I think we have about 38 homes that are still standing and he is still at it but only on the custom end.

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

  6. #6
    Jim M.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    Thanks for the replies!

    Also, thanks a ton for the offer and advice Jeff, I'm sure I'm gonna need all the help I can get!

    Scott, your reply explaining your experience gives me hope and I appreciate you sharing it.

    As for the questions,

    I have not seen a house being built from start to finish. My father owns an HVAC business and through that I've been exposed to some construction while working here and there for him. I also worked in the auto glass industry for 11 years and am very comfortable with driving to many different houses every day and meeting many different people every day. I've never been a "desk jockey" but I have a lot of experience with computers, typing, contracts etc.

    I am interested in the HI business because I need a job that will allow me the flexibility to make my own schedule if needed. With my other business I work in Mexico for 1 or 2 months every winter and can work here in AZ for several weeks per month in the Fall if I choose to do so.

    I have employees that can do my work for me with my other business so if I have a bunch of HI work coming in I will have all the time I need to get it done and cater to my customers. BUT, if I don't have much HI work, then that just means I can work in my other business during the Fall and Winter.

    I have some great connections, I've got a person willing to help me get started in the HI business, and because the more I look into it the more it becomes a challenge that I want to succeed at! I am overwhelmed right now and nervous because of my lack of experience, but at the same time I'm excited to learn everything I can and hopefully be successful in the future.

    I've read through a bunch of old threads started by folks like me and the majority of the replies have been negative. I fully understand that this is a very hard industry to be successful at and I fully appreciate honesty, but anything is possible if a person tries hard enough. So what if I don't have a skillset in the construction business, anybody that does started with nothing at some point in the past, right? I'm not looking to get rich or make tons of money, I just hope that I can create a business that will provide some extra income while also providing the flexibility that I wouldn't have with a normal 9-5 job with only 2 weeks off per year.

    What I'm hoping to find here with this thread is some advice on the steps I'm about to take, any words of caution or things to avoid, and of course all the helpful tips I can get! My class starts in a week, I'm learning the Home Gauge software now, and I know I still have many more things to do before actually doing my own inspections. You all know better than I what my next steps are at this point so advice on these steps would be much appreciated!

    Thanks again and take care, Jim.


  7. #7
    jack smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    I just joined so Hello to all.


  8. #8
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim M. View Post
    Thanks for the replies!

    Also, thanks a ton for the offer and advice Jeff, I'm sure I'm gonna need all the help I can get!

    Scott, your reply explaining your experience gives me hope and I appreciate you sharing it.

    As for the questions,

    I have not seen a house being built from start to finish. My father owns an HVAC business and through that I've been exposed to some construction while working here and there for him. I also worked in the auto glass industry for 11 years and am very comfortable with driving to many different houses every day and meeting many different people every day. I've never been a "desk jockey" but I have a lot of experience with computers, typing, contracts etc.

    I am interested in the HI business because I need a job that will allow me the flexibility to make my own schedule if needed. With my other business I work in Mexico for 1 or 2 months every winter and can work here in AZ for several weeks per month in the Fall if I choose to do so.

    I have employees that can do my work for me with my other business so if I have a bunch of HI work coming in I will have all the time I need to get it done and cater to my customers. BUT, if I don't have much HI work, then that just means I can work in my other business during the Fall and Winter.

    I have some great connections, I've got a person willing to help me get started in the HI business, and because the more I look into it the more it becomes a challenge that I want to succeed at! I am overwhelmed right now and nervous because of my lack of experience, but at the same time I'm excited to learn everything I can and hopefully be successful in the future.

    I've read through a bunch of old threads started by folks like me and the majority of the replies have been negative. I fully understand that this is a very hard industry to be successful at and I fully appreciate honesty, but anything is possible if a person tries hard enough. So what if I don't have a skillset in the construction business, anybody that does started with nothing at some point in the past, right? I'm not looking to get rich or make tons of money, I just hope that I can create a business that will provide some extra income while also providing the flexibility that I wouldn't have with a normal 9-5 job with only 2 weeks off per year.

    What I'm hoping to find here with this thread is some advice on the steps I'm about to take, any words of caution or things to avoid, and of course all the helpful tips I can get! My class starts in a week, I'm learning the Home Gauge software now, and I know I still have many more things to do before actually doing my own inspections. You all know better than I what my next steps are at this point so advice on these steps would be much appreciated!

    Thanks again and take care, Jim.
    Anyone can do anything when applying the fundamentals. The problem is you have about zero knowledge going in and trying to get started.

    One of the problems with this profession is everyone believes the money is going to be phenomenal. Very few make serious money at this as in most trades. One of the reasons we do not make more money is because everyone believes like you and Scott that you don't need a background to get into this. Anyone can be a home inspector. When you are wanting to make 100,000 a year and the man you are inspecting for believes that his hundred grand far out ways your worth because he got a bachelors degree and then advanced it with a masters to get his hundred thousand. You hundred thousand is a joke to m0ost because everyone believes up front that you just are not worth it because you do not measure up.

    I know one guy that was a photographer, another in financing, another actually was a doctor. The story told above is why everyone believes that ANYONE can be a home inspector. Trust me, those guys are not. They read some books and got out there after taking and passing a test as a "Professional Home Inspector"

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 06-15-2011 at 07:36 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    15 years in the business, I still study EVERY day, my goal is to protect my clients and have them happy in their homes for many years.
    Whether i win or lose on the deal.
    It takes as long as it takes and you have to talk to them as long as it takes to have them understand their home.
    That brings me referral business. Some days are better than others, some years are better than others.
    That's life!
    Your success in the beginning, unfortunately involves getting the most difficult audience in the world to trust you with their paycheck.
    Real Estate Brokers.
    Walk into a Real Estate office tommorrow and walk up to the first broker you see and tell them who you are and what you are doing and ask them if they would be likely to try your services.
    First impressions mean alot.
    A good persomnality, with verbal skills and a sense of humor will get you alot farther than a knowit all with a snarl.
    Even after 15 years, I could walk in behind you and strike out, when you may very well get lucky.
    My odds are better, but Real Esate brokers are not defined by logic,
    What do you call a taxi driver with no license and no meter


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    Awsome deal, good luck. Sounds like everyone want to protect theirs. You made to right choice. I bless you with great success in your business.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    There is no substitute for experience, the school of hard knocks is very educational.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky Skinner View Post
    Awsome deal, good luck. Sounds like everyone want to protect theirs. You made to right choice. I bless you with great success in your business.
    Go back to posts before Oct 08 and read the ones where people asked about getting into the business. The answer was pretty similar. In a down market where 1/4 of all the home inspectors in my state gave up their license last renewal period, why would anyone recommend someone enter the field?

    The OP lives 2000 miles away from me. If he can make it work, more power to him. He is not going to steal any of the business in my area. Once he solves the problem of how to get more customers, I would love for him to come back and tell us how wrong we were and share his magical method of generating new leads.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Very few make serious money at this as in most trades. One of the reasons we do not make mopre mioney is because everyone believes like you and Scott that you don't need a background to get into this. Anyone can be a home inspector.
    Maybe one of these days I will figure it out and be a good inspector like Ted.

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

  14. #14
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Maybe one of these days I will figure it out and be a good inspector like Ted.
    A wittle thensitive are we.

    I did not name Scott. I referred to a few, and there are a lot more, that believe they are an inspector and did not have any background and all they are is technicalities. They believe they know it all and do a great job and none can top them or better them because .... they just do not know.

    As far as you , you have more than outdone yourself over the years. That is far from the norm for folks with zero background or almost zero background as in history of dealing with or actually performing the tasks of many tradesman.

    I literally know a few that before they became an inspector never saw a list of goods that go into a home including taking a walk thru a building supply house or home store. All they saw was a book, some articles, a few codes floated past them and a test in the end and walked out and started inspecting.

    Now as far as Scott goes. Never mentioned him at all Mr sensitive.

    And yes, I am a good inspector and yes I have a multitude of years behind me. As you are and now you do.


  15. #15
    Jim M.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    I understand where some of you are coming from and understand that the more background I have with home construction the better. But what I don't understand is why some of you peach that since I don't have that background I'm doomed before I ever begin.???

    I'm 35 years old, I've got nothing but time and the desire to learn.

    I started a business 12 years ago in an industry that allows any person who passes a test and gets the license the ability to book the same clientele and do the same jobs that I do. The clientele has to do their homework calling referrals and researching to make sure to hire the right person but some don't. Some guys lay out tons of money in advertising and lie about their experience and they will get clients and make money. But, they rarely have repeat customers and some eventually get a bad reputation and they are done. The first year in business taught me how much my success was going to be dependant on my reputation. In my business reputation is everything and it sounds like the HI industry is similar in that respect.

    Please don't take this as being boastful, but only to give you a better idea of my background. I've built my other business up to be one of the best in AZ and there are lots of people around the country that know who I am. I've been featured in many magazine articles, I've been on covers of magazines and heck, I'm actually a featured guest on a TV commercial that's airing every day this week. My business isn't the biggest and I don't make the most money, but I'm known for my pride in workmanship, character, honesty and for the results I produce for my clients and that is why I have one of the best reputations and I've worked hard to build it.

    I'm hoping that with the same qualities I've used to build my current reputation with, I can build a good reputation in the HI industry. I have no expectations of being successful right at the start but I will have goals in place that I plan on achieving.

    Through the years of operating my other business I have become friends with lots of folks who are in the real estate business or other business that are beneficial to somebody in the HI industry. All those people know that I'm getting into the home inspection business and they all have said that once I'm comfortable and up and running they will send all their business to me. I feel that it's because of the reputation I've already established with my other business. Those folks know the type of person I am and know how much pride I take in everything I do. I won't do something that I am not comfortable with or that I don't think I'm ready for, but hopefully one day I'm in a position to take my contacts up on their offers!

    Sorry for the long rant and thanks for reading and for any replies! Take care, Jim.


  16. #16
    MARVIN TOWNSEN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    All in all I think most people would agree that it is not impossible to do, but experience in the field gives you a huge leg up. I dont think anyone doubts you can do it, it is just a matter of mistakes made from lack of experience could doom you from the start. My question is why the HI field and not something you have experience in, even advising small businesses on how to operate more effieciently. You would have a leg up in that field.
    I agree 100% on reputation, I started my construction company from the ground up, after two years I never had to advertise for the next 18 years till I closed it due to health reasons. I was busy 60 hours a week year round and I was turning down business. Yes you can be successful, but is it worth the effort considering we all are learning about this every day, You have to stay on top of all the new codes and product changes. And if you are having a bad day and miss one minor thing, you could get sued. I think you should apply your talents where you have exp. But if you go into this business I wish you good luck


  17. #17
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    From what I understand...home inspections are 10% knowledge and 90% marketing. This is because there is no immediate significance from the inspection and it is easy to blow smoke up an uninformed buyers behind. This guy should do great!

    Last edited by James Duffin; 06-15-2011 at 06:26 PM.

  18. #18
    MARVIN TOWNSEN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    roflmao


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    "I started a business 12 years ago in an industry that allows any person who passes a test and gets the license the ability to book the same clientele and do the same jobs that I do. The clientele has to do their homework calling referrals and researching to make sure to hire the right person but some don't. Some guys lay out tons of money in advertising and lie about their experience "

    A lot of inspectors are saying that same thing.
    Grass always looks greener

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

  20. #20
    Jim M.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    "I started a business 12 years ago in an industry that allows any person who passes a test and gets the license the ability to book the same clientele and do the same jobs that I do. The clientele has to do their homework calling referrals and researching to make sure to hire the right person but some don't. Some guys lay out tons of money in advertising and lie about their experience "

    A lot of inspectors are saying that same thing.
    Grass always looks greener
    I stated the above only to illustrate that I understand where you guys are coming from and why a "wanna-be" such as myself get's the negative and non-supportive feedback. I also stated it to show that I at least have experience in a field where success is driven by reputation and although it isn't home construction experience, it is experience that I'm guessing is beneficial to the HI business.

    It's easy to see that I'm just a "wanna-be" here and I understand I'm being lumped into the stereotypical category that any other "wanna-be" gets lumped into. The shoe fits and yes I am a "wanna-be", but what doesn't fit is the type of person I am and everyone is different. I'm not one of those guys that will lie about his experience to help gain clientele and I'm not one of those guys that will jump into doing solo inspections prior to being educated enough to provide a good solid service to the client. I know there are lots of folks out there that do just as I stated and I think it's wrong. I also know there will always be folks with more education and experience out there but each one of you here also has someone else in the business that knows more than you and has more experience than you!

    Another point that I know is true is that just because somebody has some past experience in home construction does not mean that person knows the right and wrong way the job can be done. It also does not mean that person is educated in current code or product changes. So, with that in mind, it is possible for me to take classes and read books and have a better understanding of current codes or construction materials or procedures than somebody who had some experience in the trade years ago and is promoting that experience to gain business now.

    I'm learning that you need to continue your education throughout your HI career and I'm curious how many operating HI out there actually do this?

    Lastly, I'm wanting to get into the HI business because of many reasons, some I've stated earlier such as the flexibility. The business that I currently run is very seasonal and basically operational from July to January. When I'm running that business myself it takes me away from home for 5-6 months out of the year. I don't have kids yet but being gone that much is very hard on my wife and I need a job that keeps me home more often. I've got employees that can run my business for me but I obviously don't make much money when they do the jobs. The HI business appeals to me now because of the great contacts I have and the situation I'm in allows me the time and my family is willing to give me the support that I'd need in the beginning. Plus, my other options are all 9-5's with very limited time off and I'm trying to stay away from that.

    Thanks, Jim.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    Jim
    I believe you misunderstood my meaning.
    I was pointing out that the same problems you were and are having, are the same problems that you (and everyone) will have as an inspector.
    Nothing changes, well except that you will likely be the one working for less money for the next few years.

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

  22. #22
    MARVIN TOWNSEN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    I have no doubt you could succeed, I once to started in a career that i knew little about, by the time I closed it due to health reasons my little business was taking business away from national companies and I was solving problems they couldnt. With that said I had to lease my home out for a year, I had to sleep in my office, In other words it drained all my resources getting started. It was a long road getting my reputation up. It was about 5 years til I didnt have to worry about money. You said you have contacts, but you also stated in so many words they wanted you to get experience. As a realtor business is business and their reputation is on the line also, I would not use an inspector for friendship reasons. I also would not use inspector til they had been established for several years. One mistake can cost them their a$$ also.

    Have you thought about freelance advice to small businesses, I would have loved for someone to come in and give me advice and i would have gladly paid for it. That would fit your work schedule.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim M. View Post
    So, now that you know my situation, I would love any of your advice, negative or positive, and would love any helpful tips or ideas you may have for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim M. View Post
    I stated the above only to illustrate that I understand where you guys are coming from and why a "wanna-be" such as myself get's the negative and non-supportive feedback.
    So do you want all of us to say, "Way to go, you can do it!". Or do you want the truth?

    I started doing home inspections 9 years ago, and worked for a few national companies. I broke free last November and started my own company. The past couple years I've done over 300 inspections per year. Since I started my own business I had to purchase my own insurance. The carrier I chose prices the policy per inspection. When I attempted to purchase 300 blocks of insurance for my first year of business the agent laughed at me and refused to sell me 300 block. She told me that "new inspectors" always think they'll have hundreds of inspections when in reality a first year inspector will only do about 20 inspections. She insisted I only purchase twenty inspection coverage. I then explained my situation to her again, a couple times, in order for her to understand I was not a new inspector.

    In all reality a green inspector will loose money their first few years in business. If you count your insurance, marketing, software, license, association, education etc, etc. Most green inspectors have some construction experience. You say you have none. In all likelihood your inspection business will fail...if you are the inspector. Is there a chance you can succeed? Sure, just not very likely.

    On the other hand there are other options if you'd like to open your own inspection company. Hire other inspectors to perform the inspection while you take care of the business end, marketing etc. The owner of the first company I worked for did just that. He had no knowledge about houses whatsoever, but he hired the right people and built a two man operation into a national company with over 100 inspectors.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
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  24. #24
    MARVIN TOWNSEN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    I have over 20 years of construction experience, My dad built and remodeled homes I was plumbing under homes when I was 13 with his guideance, framing roofing wiring you name it with him til I was 19 and started on my own. I owned and operated my own company for over 15 years. I was highly sought after by some of the biggest realtors in my area to do repairs after inspections. Then I was sub contracted by a major home company to do custom care work on new homes. The major goal was to have all repairs done before a walk through of the home. Then I met with the consumer worked out any issues, that customer was mine for the next year until the warranty ran out. In the 7 years I was with them I never had one single complaint lodged against me. I was the only one. Then I had an issue with lyme disease that shut me down. I am starting back up again in this field. With the economy the way it is, with all my experience and all the contacts I have in the real estate world, It has been rough on me. I know how to run a business, I know about marketing sales taxes Ive dealt with all of it. I have run more than one business at a time. But as qualified as I am, I am having a rough time. You need to use your experience that you have, It is an asset, lack of it is a liability. Can you succeed, yes. Will you doubtful


  25. #25
    Jim M.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    Thanks Ken and Marvin for sharing your history on how you got started, that is probably what interests me most. I'm only wanting the truth and past experiences in order to get a good grasp on what to expect and I'm not needing false encouragement.

    To be honest guys, i am just having a hard time trying to see where the odds are stacked so high against me? So high in fact that most folks are quick to say that I'm gonna fail!

    Is it because I won't get enough work to survive? I've already said that I don't need the money or the work to survive, i've got a working wife and a self-run business in place already.

    Is it because you say I'm guaranteed to screw up and get sued? What is all that insurance, bonds and legal disclaimers in the reports/contracts for? And like I said, I'm not going to jump into doing my own inspections any time soon. I only do things I'm comfortable with and only when I feel I can do a good job for the client. Even then, it sounds like anyone can screw up, even a seasoned vet, but that risk goes with any customer service job.

    I'm in a situation where I have huge connections in the real estate business, I've got financial support from several sources, I've got all the time I need and desire to learn, and I am a person with strong ethics and values that I know are beneficial in business. On top of that, I have a very successful and established home inspector willing to take me in and teach me with hopes that in the future I can take all his overflow work so he doesn't have to turn it away anymore.

    I sincerely appreciate all your replies and your honesty and I have learned a ton of info already from other areas on this site. Thanks guys!


    Lastly, the way I look at it right now, I am scared, all the doom and gloom I keep reading about definitely doesn't make me feel any better. But it's a challenge and I've already set my mind to it and I'm going to give it a shot. If I fail, oh well, I can then say that I gave it an honest effort. If I succeed, than you all will get tired of hearing about it! LOL! Take care, Jim.


  26. #26
    MARVIN TOWNSEN's Avatar
    MARVIN TOWNSEN Guest

    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    I think you have leg up financially on most of us than when we started. If you are so set on it, I wish you good luck.


  27. #27
    Bob Bassett's Avatar
    Bob Bassett Guest

    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    You've bought some professional software, signed up for some training and it sounds like you've made your decision, now just "Go For It" and don't look back.

    The class you are about to take will be a good start. It sounds like you will have a mentor to guide you along, which is something most of us probably did not have, but wished we did. It also sounds like you have a great attitude, a desire to learn and are smart. That all adds up to a great start.

    Some suggestions:
    • After your class, join one of more home inspector organizations that will let you in without a lot of inspections under your belt. Look for ones which offer a lot of educational courses. InterNACHI has an unbelievable amount of good, free online training.
    • Continue to read this and other blogs often. They will prove to be extremely informative as they are for those with much experience.
    • Ask numerous friends and family members if you can inspect their homes (at no charge of course). You will learn and gain confidence from each inspection. When you have some good questions that you can't find the answers to, post on this and other blogs. This blog has many pros with a desire to help. Look at all the responses you've gotten from this post.
    Any good profession has a learning curve. If you enjoy and stick with it, I bet you will do fine.


  28. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anacortes, Washington
    Posts
    395

    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    Jim,

    I wasn't a GC, plumber, electrician or framer. I was a business person who was knowledgeable about homes and willing to spend time learning the trade. That was 10 years ago. My big advantage was my business and marketing background. I knew how to run a business and market my services. I was fortunate in that I was able to do this in some very good years. Getting myself established has also help me through some very dire years.

    Put together a business plan and execute it. Set goals for yourself and measure the success/failure. Make mistakes and learn from them.

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    BTW, one of the misapprehensions many people entering the home inspection industry have about the home inspection business is that "you set your own schedule" - the reality is that in this business your clients set your schedule, not the other way around.

    This is especially true when you are getting started, and need every job you can get.

    Things have improved in my market since the start of the year. and I've been working six and seven days a week for the last several months.

    Nevertheless, typically I won't have a *anything" scheduled more than four or five days out; basically the client's scheduling horizon is sent by the expiration date of their inspection contingency, and my schedule is driven by their requirements.

    Of course, I can control my own schedule to the extent that I can choose to turn down work if I've got it.

    But there is little to nothing I can do to create work if I know that I need some next Wednesday.

    And in a business where work you obtain by personal referral is the kind of work you most want to have, you don't want to be turning down many jobs that come to you via former clients.

    The only exception I know of to this rule are the inspectors who are so well established in the business that they can (for example) set of policy of turning down work on weekends.

    But such inspectors are very much the exception, and they're certainly not the people getting started in the business.

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

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    And in a business where work you obtain by personal referral is the kind of work you most want to have, you don't want to be turning down many jobs that come to you via former clients.

    The only exception I know of to this rule are the inspectors who are so well established in the business that they can (for example) set of policy of turning down work on weekends.

    But such inspectors are very much the exception, and they're certainly not the people getting started in the business.
    When I started back in the mid 1990's I worked on Saturdays the first two years. Since 1997 I have not worked a Saturday.

    I don't advertise that I do not work weekends, and I seldom have anyone ever ask. Seems like I'm able to schedule everyone that needs an inspection during the week with no problems. I do agree that new folks need to be flexible in scheduling.

    My main reason for not working weekends is my family and that you only have one life so you need to make the most of it.

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

  31. #31
    Jim M.'s Avatar
    Jim M. Guest

    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet...and nervous!

    Thanks for informative replies everyone! I appreciate it and I will look into the organizations and attend as many seminars and classes that I can.

    I fully intend to invest as much time as needed even if it is 7 days a week.

    I'm sure it will be a long time before I'm comfortable enough to take on my own work but when that time comes i'm sure I'll appreciate any business I get and take full advantage of it even if it means working on Sundays.

    The flexibility that I'm looking for is simply NOT being bound to the normal 2 weeks off that you get with most jobs or the mind numbing, clock in and out, daily grind, working for the "man" type job. It's a whole different thing when you are working hard for your own business and your own clients and much more rewarding.

    My wife has put up with me being gone for months at a time for most of the year while building my current business. She's put up with that for 10+ years and is excited that I'm trying to make a career change and that it doesn't involve me living in Mexico for 2 months every year!

    I hope this all works, I'm going to give it my best shot. Thanks again and in advance for any more advice or tips! Jim.


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