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  1. #1
    britney harstine's Avatar
    britney harstine Guest

    Cool new member from Ohio

    hi my name is Britney Harstine and i started studying home inspection back in November im almost done with the course if anyone would like to share some tips with me i would appriciate it greatly also im looking into buying a handheld for the inspectit software would i be able to use a tablet?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    I personally don't care to use a handheld device while doing the inspection other than a digital camera. I've tried them the handheld and the tablet and felt as if I was nursing the things all the time. Where can I lay it, is it exposed to hazard, the buyer's kid wants to play Crazy Birds on it, protecting it from the enviroment. Just too much trouble to me.

    JMHO

    Rick


  3. #3
    britney harstine's Avatar
    britney harstine Guest

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    you would recommend the inspection forms


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

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    No, nothing wrong with Inspect-it software. I've used it for many years. I was talking of using a handheld and possible attempting to do the report on site. That all was popular to do a few years back and now I see most HI's doing the report back at office and then emailing them out.

    When I attempted to do reports on site, I'd always have that 3am. waking up thinking OMG I forgot to note something.

    Plus when your rushed to crank one out on site, most reports become to vague or become a check box type of report.

    Rick


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Circleville, Ohio
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    I agree with Rick. I tell my clients they will have the report by 7:30 AM the next morning. I take photos on-site, I go home, do the report and let it set until the next morning. I get up, reread the report, always make a few changes and then e-mail it. Your whole product is your report. It should always be your best work, don't rush it.

    Jeff


  6. #6
    britney harstine's Avatar
    britney harstine Guest

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    thank you i appreciate it


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgetown, KY
    Posts
    537

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    Get a REAL thick skin, Britney. You'll need it.

    Read ALL the advice, Use what you can, ignore the rest and the naysayers.

    Kentucky Home Inspector Startup

    -

    Erby Crofutt, Georgetown, KY - Read my Blog here: Erby the Central Kentucky Home Inspector B4 U Close Home Inspections www.b4uclose.com www.kentuckyradon.com
    Find on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/B4UCloseInspections

  8. #8
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    Quote Originally Posted by britney harstine View Post
    hi my name is Britney Harstine and i started studying home inspection back in November im almost done with the course if anyone would like to share some tips with me i would appriciate it greatly also im looking into buying a handheld for the inspectit software would i be able to use a tablet?
    My opinion is forget about a tablet. I have one sitting behind me that once upon a time I thought was a good idea. Just never worked out. As far as the handheld????? My opinion on that is they are too impersonal. Every report sounds alike and looks alike. No matter how good your prepared remarks are they still have to be too generic to fit every instance in every home of the same items.

    People like the personal touch. They want to know you put your heart into just their inspection.

    If you are thinking out taking off running on your first inspection then you really need to rethink that. Your first inspections and I mean a lot of your first inspections, like your first year you need to learn to write a report as it should be instead of some generic looking piece of ****.

    Take your time. Don't think about cranking out 2 a day for a very long long time. Go home, do the report, reread it and I am sure you will be making corrections.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    1,078

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    Collecting data via a handheld or tablet is very different from generating the report onsite. All reporting software packages require the inspector to enter data, regardless of where you are physically located. Some of you may be jumping to conclusions about the intent of the OP.

    If you want to complain about software pre packaged statements, they are all lousy. All packages allow the inspector to modify the prepackaged statements.

    Read the question. Can Inspectit run on a tablet? She never said anything about delivering the report onsite.

    Britney, the general consenus of the regular and most vocal posters of this board is that generating the report onsite is a bad idea. How you record your notes during an inspection is entirely up to you. Handheld recorder, paper notes, photos, or a mobile computing device. You just have to figure out what works best for you.

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

  10. #10
    britney harstine's Avatar
    britney harstine Guest

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    about the finish report did any of you use any type of software?


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    When I started using a computer generated report, I had a Dell Axim hand held. I put it in an Otter Box case and hung it around my neck. It was protected from the elements, and I could use two hand on a ladder, etc. I found it to be a pretty good tool to use as I walked around looking at things.

    Then I had a problem with the sync and quit using the handheld. I just set my laptop up in the kitchen (as usual) and generated the report directly on the laptop. I really didn't notice much of a difference in how I did my inspections, or the time doing them.

    To me, its just another piece of equipment to buy, and worry about breaking or messing up. Kind of like how I used to carry a printer around and print out reports. The handheld didn't save me any time, and trying to use the small screen was a problem sometimes. I'm all about "minimalist" now days.

    My suggestion to Britney is to take her time doing the inspection, take a lot of photos and notes, then go home and write the report - and take her time.
    Take time to practice with the report software, until you are very comfortable using it. Find a way to figure out if you have missed something. get to know the software inside and out.

    ABOUT ON SITE REPORTS: While I am very comfortable doing on site reports (over 21 years now), its not for everyone, and I don't recommend it for someone just starting out. I first bought the HomeTech reports and used them for a while, then moved up to the ITA reports. The good thing about using the ITA reports is that it was very easy to see if you had missed something (with a quick scan of the pages).


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    I have used 3D software for years, since it was in DOS! Upgraded many times over the years and I have been happy with it, but.......

    After I get the report looking the way I want I will most likely be switching to Home Inspector Pro. 3D lost my business when the wanted just about the full price for the program after I misplaced the software during my move for me to install it on a new computer.

    What's that saying about customer service?? Dominic really has the best customer service for software in our profession.

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

  13. #13
    Bode Cavallaro's Avatar
    Bode Cavallaro Guest

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    Britney, I'm new at this too. A newbi. Just passed the Oregon Certification exam. I've been contracting and construction managing for 31 years and I look forward to embarking on this new adventure. I've looked at (not used) a lot of the report writing software and one that looks good to me for a start up is ReportHost.com because of it's no start up cost, layout and report posting via the web amongst other things.

    I'm interested to know if any of the "oldbi's" are using it or have an opinion on it's merits and/or downfalls?

    This is a great site and I'm glad to see that the posts on this thread are positive.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    869

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    Try reading sample reports from different companies and inspectors, until you find something... a style you like, and look at it as an untrained home purchaser would see it. It should be easy to read, and in plain english.

    Don't try to sound like a lawyer. Don't stuff your report with fill, making the client have to read a novel and pick out the important information.

    You should also prepare an Inspection Agreement (contract). The wisest thing to do is to speak to an attorney. It may be helpful to get some samples of that too.

    Read alot in this and other forums. You can learn more here by reading than you will learn in most inspection schools.

    Finally, don't be nervous. Do what you know how to do. It may be a good idea to mentor with a seasoned inspector until you feel comfortable.

    Good luck.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Baton Rouge, La.
    Posts
    91

    Thumbs up Re: new member from Ohio

    Bode & Britney,
    I have been using Report Host for over 9 years now and love it! It is very custimizable just like all others. Easy and fast to upload photos and pricing is reasonable if you purchase the bulk deals and then switch to pay as you go during slow times. I can work from a wireless laptop in a parking lot between inspections or hit a local library's computers if needed.
    Like all software out there, you will need to custimize your boiler plates and edit for each individual inspection. They do have a tablet PC download which I have used but like others have said, too bulky, fragile for my liking. I print out the field notes to mark up as I go around the home then write report off the field notes and pics!

    James

    James Bohac

  16. #16
    britney harstine's Avatar
    britney harstine Guest

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    i really do appriciate all the information you guys are offering me and i am riding along with another experienced home inspector to get a feel of how things are done out in the field


  17. #17
    Bode Cavallaro's Avatar
    Bode Cavallaro Guest

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    Thanks for the feed back James and everyone else. I also appreciate it. Report Host also gives new inspectors 15 free published reports to get familiar with the program. The sample reports I've read look good to me.

    Now another question. Have you set up a website. I see that Home Inspector Pro (another report program) offers website production tailored to the industry. Is there another website producer (for the lack of the right term) that is recommended by the seasoned inspectors?


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    869

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    I use HomeInspectorPro for both my reports and websites, and wouldn't think of changing either.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Holladay, UT
    Posts
    565

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    James, I also use ReportHost and Love it. I was just curious how many pictures you put in reports, how many concerns do you average per report and how long does it take you to write a report? I know the numbers can vary widely but I was just curious as to how others are doing there reports. Thanks!!

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  20. #20
    Thomas Jones's Avatar
    Thomas Jones Guest

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    Hi Britney. I also use inspect-it, for now, and I have found that it does not cover every observation, and needs to be tweaked. On the other hand microsoft word, at least for me, has been a steeper learning curve. There are many great tutorials on line that will answer questions, and show you tricks and shortcuts with word.

    As a newbie myself I listen to what the seasoned veterans have posted here, and other threads. The only advice I would give, advice I gave when training others at my previous job, is to:

    1) Never stop learning.
    2) Get yourself into routines until you see something that another inspector does that you like better, then incorporate that into your system. Dont take short cuts, and ask questions.
    3) Do things that will keep you one step ahead, i.e. look at the listing online to research the property, always have back-ups on some equipment (flashlights), keep your vehicle fueled up, etc.
    4) Dont get too chummy with the real estate agents. Be friendly and nice, but at a distance.


  21. #21
    Richard Anderson's Avatar
    Richard Anderson Guest

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Jones View Post
    Hi Britney. I also use inspect-it, for now, and I have found that it does not cover every observation, and needs to be tweaked. On the other hand microsoft word, at least for me, has been a steeper learning curve. There are many great tutorials on line that will answer questions, and show you tricks and shortcuts with word.

    As a newbie myself I listen to what the seasoned veterans have posted here, and other threads. The only advice I would give, advice I gave when training others at my previous job, is to:

    1) Never stop learning.
    2) Get yourself into routines until you see something that another inspector does that you like better, then incorporate that into your system. Dont take short cuts, and ask questions.
    3) Do things that will keep you one step ahead, i.e. look at the listing online to research the property, always have back-ups on some equipment (flashlights), keep your vehicle fueled up, etc.
    4) Dont get too chummy with the real estate agents. Be friendly and nice, but at a distance.
    well said


  22. #22
    britney harstine's Avatar
    britney harstine Guest

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    I'll never stop learning


  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    Quote Originally Posted by britney harstine View Post
    hi my name is Britney Harstine and i started studying home inspection back in November im almost done with the course if anyone would like to share some tips with me i would appriciate it greatly also im looking into buying a handheld for the inspectit software would i be able to use a tablet?
    Just a question and not a trick question. Why did you decide to go into home inspection?

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

  24. #24
    britney harstine's Avatar
    britney harstine Guest

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    I was looking into going back to school and I saw home inspection and i read more into it and knew it was what I wanted to do with my life I thought it would be interesting ans helpful to know everything bout a house and inspect them that way when I get my own place ill know what to look for and ofcourse ill inspect every house as if it were my own thoughout my course when i got off work is go home and study the rest of the day its somethin i really look forward to doing


  25. #25
    Michael Avis's Avatar
    Michael Avis Guest

    Default Re: new member from Ohio

    Hi Britney. I wrote my own inspection software because I felt I could create a report that was more meaningful to my clients than what I found available commercially when I last looked. After a couple years of tweaking it has worked well for me.

    Your integrity is the greatest asset you have to offer your clients. They rely on you to avoid buying into any ugly surprises so be their advocate and your reputation will take care of itself.

    It may take you time to get established but persevere and never let go of your dreams.

    Good Luck!


  26. #26
    britney harstine's Avatar
    britney harstine Guest

    Smile Re: new member from Ohio

    Thank you


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