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Thread: help me!!!!!

  1. #1
    bobby adams's Avatar
    bobby adams Guest

    Exclamation help me!!!!!

    Hi, My name is Bobby Adams I am just getting ready to start doing.
    Home inspection here I need help on getting ready.I will be doing
    my report right on site with a labtop. When I get inspection software
    what is the best software out there now?
    And with my labtop do I need any other business softwear other then
    the the inspection softwear I will be getting? I need all the help I can
    get to make this right.When I do somthing I like to make sure I do it
    right the frist time. So if anyone can give me some help I thank you
    very much ahead of time.

    Thank you
    Bobby Adams


    p.s. if you can get back to me as soon as you can I thank you.

    F.I.R.E. Services

  2. #2
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    Bobby. In my opinion... that's one big azz mistake.

    If you are just starting out, you should *NOT* be doing your reports on-site.

    Go back to your office in the comfort of your home and take your time. Review the phots again. Take extra time and review your notes, then remember the little things that you thought of at the time when you took the photos, remember the things you explained to your clients as they were asking why you were taking those photos.

    If you are just starting out, being rushed at the inspection site to quickly and efficiently type and remember everything so you can generate the report on-site is bad medicine. Tell the client and their realtor (especially the realtor) that the report will be there early in the a.m.

    That way, you are not trying to quickly generate a report about something that you may have questions about. Utilize your resources available and do things on your terms... not the agents time-line.

    Just my opinion...

    Richard


  3. #3
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    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Rushing View Post

    If you are just starting out, you should *NOT* be doing your reports on-site.

    Richard
    Ditto,

    I run the pictures through Bome's Image Resizer attach the photos I want from the group in the sections of the report, make a pdf file using Primo PDF and email to the addresses the client wants within 24 hours.

    Bome's Image Resizer and Primo PDF are both free downloads.

    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.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    Bobby, I agree dont do the report onsite. When I started, I worked with a guy in South Florida, and we did 3-4 inspections per day (the boom of 2005), I would do the inspection he would generate the report onsite. Now I dont know of anyone who does an onsite report (except the dinosaurs who do a paper checklist onsite.) The 2 biggest reasons are in my opinion, is being comfortable and not rushed if you do it at home, and when you see something that doesnt look right or you dont understand, you can post a question here and usually have an answer before the report is finished. The second part is invaluable advise you will receive from here.

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  5. #5
    Jon Randolph's Avatar
    Jon Randolph Guest

    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    Oyu neeed somehting wtih a buitl in, atuomatic spellling and gramamar chekc.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by bobby adams View Post
    ...When I get inspection software
    what is the best software out there now?
    ...
    Ditto regarding doing the report onsite. Not a good a idea when just starting out. As far as software - there is no "best". If you do a search of this forum you'll find quite a few opinions about the different programs. The only program I've ever used is PalmTech. I'm not crazy about it, but I have nothing to compare it to. I do not deliver reports on site. I thought I was going to when I got PalmTech, but then I discovered that no one cared. Clients were quite happy to get the report emailed to them within 24-48 hours.


  7. #7
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    Smile Re: help me!!!!!

    I agree with the other posts here. Stay away from generating on-site reports. Get back to the office, look up serial and model numbers to get ages, look over the NEC, ICC or other codes that are followed in your area. Check references that you have for any questions on if something was done wrong or not. Ask questions here if you have any concerns, these guys are great about sharing info and experience.
    Email your client, and their realtor, the report as a PDF or other format that can't be altered. Copy pics that aren't a part of the report to a PDF document to reduce the size of the attachment and email separately.
    Which software to use? Geez, there are a ton of packages out there, most can be downloaded as a free trial, check several out before settling on one. There are a number of threads here where software systems are discussed, read those and see what others say, there may be points that you haven't considered yet.
    Alton


  8. #8
    Steven Meyer's Avatar
    Steven Meyer Guest

    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    I do NOT give onsight reports. Learned long ago as a contractor, not to give information/prices on sight. Found that being in a hurry, I missed some small (and larger issues) and you can't correct your report "after the fact" with out looking like an idiot.
    Best to get back to the office, go over all that you hae noted on your inspection, then write up the report. Having to hurry to do an onsight report, usually with the RE agent looking over your shoulder and pushing you to hurry up, I found quite anoying and distracting.
    A next day e-mailed or hand delivered report isn't going to break a deal or cause any undue delay in closing.

    Back to office, go over notes, think about anything you might have missed, document your findings = keeps you out of court!

    An e-mail report is ok if time is short, but I prefer to deliver report in person to the buyers real estate agent, that way I can answer any questions they may have, so they can give better advice to their buyers.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    Back to office, go over notes, think about anything you might have missed, document your findings = keeps you out of court!

    An e-mail report is ok if time is short, but I prefer to deliver report in person to the buyers real estate agent, that way I can answer any questions they may have, so they can give better advice to their buyers.[/quote]

    I still like to email the reports.
    #1. Proof of delivery (if you check "request read receipt" in your email program)
    #2. I have a copy retained on my pc in my office & a copy that I emailed to myself that I can compare to any other copy that might surface.
    #3 The copy that I emailed to myself now resides on another server, giving me secure off-site storage of my reports (along with a copy backed up on another hard drive, also stored off-site.) . Just in case my pc fails or some other disaster strikes.

    I always take time to try to explain any major points to the buyer or their agent as I go through my inspection. I always take time to explain these points again as I finish up. I usually give a verbal summary before I leave the property and give all a chance to ask questions. I always tell my clients to call with any questions. When my report is emailed I follow up with a call later to make sure that the report was received, I ask if there are any questions, and I log everything down.
    Alton


  10. #10
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    Thumbs down Re: help me!!!!!

    So Bobby....still going to do the report onsite.

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  11. #11
    Steven Meyer's Avatar
    Steven Meyer Guest

    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    Good point on e-mail vs hand delivery as far as having a paper trail. However, when I hand deliver report, I have a "recept of report" which I have the agent (or the buyer) sign. That way, they can not claim they never received the report and want the money back. I also include copy of the invoice, marked "paid" if the inspection was paid for at the time of the inspection, or "balance due" if billed to escrow. I also include in that document, that this report is for the exclusive use of (name of buyer), (or person who ordered the inspection) and is not for the use of any other potential buyers, as my gurantee (and legal responsibality/ liability) is only to the original person who ordered the report.

    I always go over my findings at the time of the inspection with the buyers and their agent (if that agent shows up!!!), but always follow up after their receipt of the written report. Also, hand delivering does give me the opportunity to interact with the agent and hopefully have them recomend me in the future. The more time you have with the agent, the better your chance of future business. Cheaper than donuts and advertising!!!!

    Last, but not least, the agent some times (in my experience) needs information/help in necogating repairs, etc. between buyer and seller, and some inspectors I know of charge for that time. By delivering the report in person, you can also go over the report with the agent, if they have any questions as to your recommendations.

    Just my thinking on matters. After all, we are a "service" industry, and the more personal service you give, the better your chances of repeat business is!!!

    Guess one could hand deliver, then follow with a e-mail, which I just might consider, the more they see/hear your name, the better. And, ALWAYS cover yourself from a legal standpoint!!!!!


  12. #12
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    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    Steven, you make a good argument for hand delivering. I admit that you have thought of some things that I overlooked. I will also admit that I am shameless when it comes to using the ideas of someone else, and I will be borrowing some of these. Thanks.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    Most people do not want a hard copy of The Report.

    Email can be opened at their (& my ) convenience. Plus great Pictures.(printed photos lack quality and detail.) ( stored and transferable media.)

    If you are in a small enough Market hand delivered might work for you.

    I've meet Agents that stated they Hate paper copies.( file,copy,fax,dig back out of the files.) If you are using a check list form given on site some of your customers are talking behind your back.

    I for one will not be chasing someone down to hand them a Report.

    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.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Meyer View Post
    Good point on e-mail vs hand delivery as far as having a paper trail. However, when I hand deliver report, I have a "recept of report" which I have the agent (or the buyer) sign. That way, they can not claim they never received the report and want the money back. I also include copy of the invoice, marked "paid" if the inspection was paid for at the time of the inspection, or "balance due" if billed to escrow. I also include in that document, that this report is for the exclusive use of (name of buyer), (or person who ordered the inspection) and is not for the use of any other potential buyers, as my gurantee (and legal responsibality/ liability) is only to the original person who ordered the report.

    I always go over my findings at the time of the inspection with the buyers and their agent (if that agent shows up!!!), but always follow up after their receipt of the written report. Also, hand delivering does give me the opportunity to interact with the agent and hopefully have them recomend me in the future. The more time you have with the agent, the better your chance of future business. Cheaper than donuts and advertising!!!!

    Last, but not least, the agent some times (in my experience) needs information/help in necogating repairs, etc. between buyer and seller, and some inspectors I know of charge for that time. By delivering the report in person, you can also go over the report with the agent, if they have any questions as to your recommendations.

    Just my thinking on matters. After all, we are a "service" industry, and the more personal service you give, the better your chances of repeat business is!!!

    Guess one could hand deliver, then follow with a e-mail, which I just might consider, the more they see/hear your name, the better. And, ALWAYS cover yourself from a legal standpoint!!!!!

    Steven,

    All of this hand delivering time, when do you have time for it? I can't imagine running all over time doing such.

    If they don't show up for the inspection (agent) in my opinion that shows their lack of real interest in their client and I personally would not be chasing them down at their convience to go over the report with them.

    Your caring about the interaction with the realtor should not be your priority either. Doing so usually comes back to haunt the HI as he'll get accused of kissing ass with the agent. When HI's learn to quit relying on the agents for the referrals maybe then we'll be considered a "Professional" and not the "Service industry" that many are too comfortable being called.

    JMHO


  15. #15
    David Banks's Avatar
    David Banks Guest

    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Steven,
    Your caring about the interaction with the Realtor should not be your priority either. Doing so usually comes back to haunt the HI as he'll get accused of kissing ass with the agent. When HI's learn to quit relying on the agents for the referrals maybe then we'll be considered a "Professional" and not the "Service industry" that many are too comfortable being called.

    JMHO
    Rick I agree with your comment of being accused of kissing ass with agent. One guy I did a inspection for and saved him from a nightmare house and he was very thankful. Second house I did for him I got there early and the Sellers Realtor was there so we were talking as he pulled up.
    First thing he said to me was " So the fix is in" This after I had just saved him from disaster the house before. Now most would not be this paranoid but he did not like that house either and our relationship was not the same and he never called me for the third house. Its all perception!


  16. #16
    bobby adams's Avatar
    bobby adams Guest

    Talking Re: help me!!!!!

    I just read all the message you guys sent me and I thank you with all
    my heart you save me alot of time.When I start I will not be doing
    report on site now.Thank you all for your reply.


    Mr.Adams


    bobbyedgewood@aol.com


  17. #17
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    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    Bobby,

    Check out this site for your reporting system

    http://www.knightssoftware.com/


    Darren

    New Jersey Home Inspection - About the House!


  18. #18
    David Argabright's Avatar
    David Argabright Guest

    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    Bobby;
    What is your experiance and background? Have you attended any home inspection classes? Why have you decided that home inspections are for you? It will help us give you honest answers if we know more about your qualifications.


  19. #19
    Steven Meyer's Avatar
    Steven Meyer Guest

    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    To clarify my prior postings on this subject, what works for me, may not work for you, just sharing my experience and opinion. I do not kiss A** as some of you infer, but I do try and get along with RE agents, as they can make or break you under the right circumstances. Keep in mind, the RE agent is a componant of the HI business.

    As a contractor, I got into the inspection business at the suggestion of a realtor I have done business with (repairs/corrections of others inspection reports) for over 15 years. Although I can not now work on pre seller inspections nor buyer inspections that I do due to conflict of interest, I can still do work on others inspections. Double dip so to speak.

    Most of my business comes from referrals, from prior buyers/sellers I have done inspections and/ or repairs for, others in the trades that I have had a business relationship with over the years.
    Therefore, I do NOT have to kiss the A** of any realtor, nor do I have to count on them for business, but if they do throw something my way, not about to turn it down.

    Note some of you have a dislike, problem with RE agents, but like it or not, if you are going to stay in this business, better learn to get along with them. Think a Dale Carnige course or his book "how to win friends and influence people" might be a good read.

    Professional vs Service? Like the term or not, we provide a service!
    Basic economic theory, there are 2 sectors in an economy, GOODS and SERVICES. Goods are tangable items (TV, Computer, etc) Service is
    non tangable (home inspection, computer help, etc).

    So, those of you that are stuck on this PROFESSIONAL identy, then guess we could qualify that we offer a professional service. As for me, I could care less what I am called, the bottom line is all I care about, it all spends the same.

    E-mail vs hard copy, both can work and I have never had an agent cut me down for a hand delivered copy. The advantage (at least for me) is that I can include in the hard copy of any recalls/consumer protection alerts along with the inspection report that I noted on the report. I stick with a reasonable geographical area, so, hand delivering does not take that much time nor effort and can usually be done on the way to, in between, or the way home from an inspection.

    Yup, still use the old fashion hand check off inspection report, but only for my own use during the inspection, much as I use (as a private pilot) a check off list before every take off.

    I then transfer from that, my notes, etc. to computer program (I use XL PRO), and print that out for my own hard copy, and attach my notes to that copy and file it away. Guess I am old fashioned, still like paper copies of everything, and have little trust of computers.

    Each HI inspector needs to work at their own comfort level, and what works for them.

    My business format has worked for me over the years in the construction business, and now in the HI business. It's just a matter of personal opinion and preference.

    Wish all of you continued success, and Bobby, best of luck in your new adventure into the HI business, it is a challenging but rewarding business!!



  20. #20
    bobby adams's Avatar
    bobby adams Guest

    Thumbs up my experiance in home inspection.

    I am just getting started in this I did take a 54 hour classes for this.
    So as for my qualification and experiance in home inspection I do not
    have any.I was going to get into selling home but the more i got into
    the classes and found out how hard it is to get your money after you
    do all the work.I said noway then someone told me about this and i
    check into it and like what I found out.I know it hard but I do not
    care about hard work.So what ever I have to do to make it in this
    I will do it.
    My wife and kids need me to do this for right now I will be doing this
    part time I have a full time job right now I work at McCormick & Comp.
    have for around 12 years.I am looking for a change in life. So there
    you have it.I do plan to make this work for me I am a guy that do not
    give up.

    bobby adams


  21. #21
    michael ivie's Avatar
    michael ivie Guest

    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    Hi Bobby,
    I am also looking at this field of work. I thought I knew a lot about building. I have worked from hand digging footers to pouring the concreate. Framing, roofing, dry wall, plumbing, ect. But after spending a week reading the threads on this site I realize I got a long way to go before I do my first paid inspection. I would suggest you spend some time and let the people on this site do some of your study work for you. I have found they don't mind helping out with just about any problem you or anyone else may run across. I for one plan to read and ask my heart out.
    to me you can't pay for better information.
    Jmo


  22. #22
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    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    Also, IMO in most markets this is a very tough time to be getting into the business unless you have some sort of strong existing referral base - not only is the business getting more expensive to enter, but in many areas even experience inspectors are cutting inspection fees to attract business.

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

  23. #23
    Kevin Neyland's Avatar
    Kevin Neyland Guest

    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    I have also just started out in this profession after years in the home construction field. I have done some investigation and have a program called Home Gauge to be very professional looking and the folks there provide training and assistance. Check it out and best of luck!!


  24. #24
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    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    I agree that you should not be doing an on site report when you first start out.

    You may even want to get some of the pre printed paper reports and use them as a check list to make sure you are covering all of the systems. You will be at a double disadvantage - learning how to do an inspection, AND learning a reporting software system. That's a lot of stress.

    I have been doing on site reports since 1989 and don't seem to have the issues that some of these folks are talking about. I do some inspections back in the office, but those are usually a more involved inspection.

    I also don't understand the paranoia about hand delivering the report. I have never had a client claim they didn't get a report. When I used the paper reports , they got the report if I got the check. Now they get the password when I'm paid (check/cash/credit). The only calls I get now are password issues - they can't read/type, or the rare case when I transpose the numbers (happened yesterday).

    In the rare case when I have a head slap moment and forgot to include something, I just amend the report and call the client and let them know. I have a part in my contract that tells them I have 5 business days to remember something and add it. I also TELL them all that stuff, AND to be sure and call me with any questions AFTER they have read the report.

    My suggestions:
    Find whatever reporting system you plan on using and practice, practice, practice many times BEFORE you go out on a job using it. An added plus would be to find another inspector that would give you a copy of their library and save you a bunch of time tweaking it.

    Get some paper reporting systems and practice, practice, practice inspecting your own house, your parents house, your friends house - ANY house. Just not for real, not for money, just for practice. It will give you a sense of how you are going to proceed during the inspection. There have been many threads on inspection process, and just about as many opinions on the
    best" way to go thru a house. It seems that everyone thinks their system is the best and ONLY way. You just need to find your own system.

    Practice your dialog on family and friends, and in front of a mirror. How you handle yourself can matter a lot more than your technical ability. Do not be afraid to say, "I don't know - but I will find out for you". Remember, the person you are trying to BS may know a lot more about that particular item that you ever will.

    Good luck
    JF


  25. #25
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    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    Half of performing inspections is the physical inspection. The other half is communicating what you found. Communicating verbally with the client while on site and while on the phone selling your services. Written communication skills are also key when writing the report and other correspondence.

    Written communication has a number of standardized rules. Correct spelling, correct punctuation, and formatting. For instance, there are typically two spaces between a period and the next sentence.

    You may want to check out some books from the library regarding writing and communicating. Also make sure you use a spell checker. They don't catch everything, but they should do help.

    I know this may seem like a nit-pick, but there is no such thing as a labtop. They are laptops. So named because they are portable and frequently rest in your lap when using them.

    One of the most useful things I had while starting up my inspection business was a spouse who had a job that paid enough to support the family and full medical insurance benefits. Typically it takes 2-3 years in this business before you are making a profit. The first years are spent pumping any money back into the business.

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

  26. #26
    Michael Joyce's Avatar
    Michael Joyce Guest

    Talking Re: help me!!!!!

    Bobby,IT took me three hours to type my last report, adding pictures coments and three hours for the inspection. It is a special breed of people that can do it on site. Also since you are asking about software you are unaware of the severe learning curve to get handy with some of the software. The hardest part of my software inspectit pro is the part were you customize the auto text which is the part you need to do a report on site. If the reportsoftware is in word then you need someone sitting next to you to get you out off tiny problems that take a unfair amount of time because you did not know word. I have many times taken pictures of electric service boxes then sent the pics to my electrician for his comment which is a thorough way of dealing with strange set ups instead of sending your client to a electrician.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: help me!!!!!

    Bob. best to ya. dude take a lot of photos 2 or 3 or 4 shots of the same thing go R go L, inside and from the outside this takes no time to do.
    keep a second camera in the truck. then go back to you office/home and look over every photo you will find things you over look on the job site.
    or think of other ways to state your finding in the report. and keep all the photos of every job on a back up hard drive. you never known you may need them sometime.

    Teach your agents from the start. Its your company so run your way.

    God bless you Bob.

    You will do good!!!

    Ron
    Excellence Exterminating and Thermal Imaging


  28. #28
    John Gogal's Avatar
    John Gogal Guest

    Wink Re: help me!!!!!

    Hi Bobby,
    Ive been doing inspections 20 yrs and have gotten away from on site reporting. It sounds good, but.... sometime you need time to research and do some thinking (Without the distactions) we use 3D reporting utilizing a dell hand held in the field with a good digital camera. The report is written that evening and posted to a secure web site in tha AM. Client has direct access anyplace. (And you don't have to print)


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