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want to change career into HI


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I'm currently in the IT industry and can tell you the office politics and very long extended hours on top of unnecessary stress has made me actively research and pursue the HI field.

However on this board, i'm seeing a lot of gripes and horror stories.

I know all jobs has thier share of bad days, and normally they are the cause of some sort of human presence.

But really is the Job that bad?

I'd be making a slow transition until it can support me and my family.

Thanks Guys

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Sean,

My company is abt 30-4-miles away from you. Stop by and chat or call and one of us can chat with you.

There is nothing on this board that I would call life changing. Your question is "But really is the Job that bad?" My answer is yes it can be "that bad". Fully 90% of new inspectors never stick around.

I am interested in why you think the job may be bad.

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Les,

Thank you for your quick response. I currently work in Livonia, MI, I can call at 4ish when leave the office for a chat, or buy you a cup of coffee. Not sure what area (north, south, east, west) your at.

My situation is unique. I currently run a successful rental business. Low maint, but i do understand lease agreements, and the whole accounting business aspect. I been doing that for 5 years.

There is a book i plan to buy on lunch break "21 things to know about HI"

Can you PM me your contact info and number? My email is Spine302@gmail.com.

I'm new to the board and have seen some posts from others who don't seem or sound to happy doing what they do. That's why i asked if it really is "that bad"

Thank you,

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HIs come to this board to complain about stuff that no one outside the industry would understand or care about. All jobs have their downsides.

I enjoy seeing/finding the unusal old stuff or way in which a building was built. I often enjoy my clients. The daily grind of boring stuff is just daily grind boring stuff.

Lots of topics and posts on this board about switching careers and the possible pitfalls. The question I always ask potential converts is Why do you want to become an HI? Of all the pssible jobs in the world, why HI?

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Well, I guess the question is why not?

My situation on the outside my seem glamorous. I have worked 22 years in this industry. Sr. Systems Engineer.

I no longer leave the day happy and filled. What took me years to learn and countless hours to figure out, some kid out of college does now for half the price they pay me.

The office politics, the wake up your family at 1-2-3am calls because a server is down.

Right I know all jobs have their pitfalls. Honestly to sum it up, I think i'm just burned out of desk jobs and fighting to prove myself to children.

I'm very smart and technical. If I can do the level of IT that I do, i'm sure i can figure out homes.

Plus the idea of being my own boss entices me. No micro managers, no rush rush rush to get back from lunch. The IT industry is one of the top ten most stressful Careers.

Does it pay good? Of course, but it took me ages and sacrificed much to get here. Is the end goal looking good? Hard to tell. With so many young ones coming out of school they kind of retire people like me.

I guess if anything I felt that home inspectors are left alone to do their work.

I'm old fashioned and believe that if you want something done right, do it yourself. Not none of this teamwork and collaboration stuff I do now.

I'm sorry, the list goes on and on. I'm a honest guy and you asked and I sorta answered. No this isn't a venting session. It really does pique my interest.

Plus I love homes

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Yeah, I got complaints about Realtors, builders, regulatory bodies and about lots of things but ask me to quit and I'd say...No way, I love this doggone job.

I don't know why.

Marc

Ditto what Marc posted.

Take a good span of time and spend it with Les. He has been in this gig for a long time and has seen almost everything.

As with any job there are ups and downs. I spent 35+ years in the corporate world and that included over 10 years of commercial inspections. I've been doing my own business and residential (some commercial) inspections for 12 years now and would not go back I simply would not survive in the corporate world today.

I tell my clients that I feel like I'm similar to Detective Columbo in that I'm always looking for clues to help put a puzzle together. In this job the extra challenge is that I don't know what it looks like ... except that I have a pretty good idea of how things should operate and "look like" and I can attest that I learn something new at almost each and every inspection.

.

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But you can't bitch about somebody else if you're not getting any work. It's ALL on YOU!

The best inspector in the world is out of business if he can't make the phone ring.

Some good marketing people are in the business because they can make the phone ring, even if their inspections ain't diddly.

Some good inspector go out of business because they can't make the phone ring.

Love that autonomy.

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I would think most of the 90% that leave the home inspection business do not do so of their own accord. The vast majority just cannot survive long enough to make a living and give up. Part time is a good strategy (or a wife with a good job.)

Also remember this job is seasonal in most areas of the country and you need a war chest to get through the slow times.

I would hate to go back to the corporate grind.

I love my job when I am working... but even after 18 years I still get nervous when the phone is not ringing.

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. . . I'm very smart and technical. If I can do the level of IT that I do, i'm sure i can figure out homes.

"Figuring out homes" is actually a small part of the job and has almost no bearing on whether or not you suceed. Jim Luttrall was actually off by a bit. The last hard numbers I saw showed 96% of new inspectors failing within 2 years. The vast majority of those inspectors were just fine at "figuring out homes." They were lousy at running a business. People fail at home inspecting because they enter it believing that it's a "job." It's not. It's a complete business The things that determine success have to do with people skills, marketing skills, money management skills (knowing when to spend money as well as when to save it - the inspectors who fail are also, almost always, woefully undercapitalized), and old fashioned business savvy.

Plus the idea of being my own boss entices me. No micro managers, no rush rush rush to get back from lunch. The IT industry is one of the top ten most stressful Careers.

Hah! You haven't seen micromanagers till you swim in the sea of realtors. And talk about rush, rush. . . they snap at your heals like a pomeranian on meth.

I guess if anything I felt that home inspectors are left alone to do their work.

That's how I prefer to work, but it's not always possible. Especially when you're new, the realtors aren't going to leave you alone. Clients tend to want to follow you around. Imagine you doing your IT job while the client is looking over your shoulder asking what you're doing with every keystroke and wanting to "take a turn at the keyboard" now and then while you explain what you're doing as you're doing it and, all the while, the realtor is looking at her watch and asking you in a chirpy voice "how's it going?" Honestly, I always envied IT guys because they're left alone to do their work.

Plus I love homes

It's got nothing to do with loving homes.

That said, it is a great occupation and, if you do it right, a lucrative one. I imagine that a longtime IT professional has had many days in his work life where he's stared at the clock, watching the seconds tick by and just waiting to get the hell out of there. I can say, with complete honestly, that I've never had a day like that as an inspector. The job is mentally all consuming and physically engaging - at times even physically challenging. I've never been bored while inspecting. It's also great to be able to work as much or as little as you please. While my kids were growing up, I was always available to go on field trips with their classes, attend their recitals, competitions, plays, etc and take as much or as little vacation as I pleased.

If you want to jump into the pool, go for it, but jump in with open eyes and a clear understanding of what's really entailed. Make sure that your expectations are realistic. Don't jump in and then find out too late that you don't know how to swim.

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It's got something to do with loving homes, or more accurately, building stuff.

Do you enjoy writing? It's the foundation for all of it; reports, communicating with clients, and marketing.

The biz end of this gig isn't particularly complicated. Way, way simpler than most businesses. Much is made of the business side, but it's almost nothing. Car, cell phone, laptop, pay your taxes before you pay yourself. Our other operations are ridiculously complicated compared to home inspecting.

What's complicated is staying alive while you get it going.

There's no road map for that other than get used to the idea of working every Saturday and Sunday so you can keep your day job.

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Thank you all for the responses.

And all of what you say seems to fit me.

As mentioned I currently run a side business renting a home I own. So I do understand that side of things. As far as office equipment, I have 20 grand in high end systems I use for testing. Printers, faxes all that. So no expense worry there.

I have done 2 basement remodels, from venting to electrical to plumbing. So I can work a hammer. And have most tools needed according to some lists I seen on these forums.

The marketing I do agree with you all is something i'll need to get more engaged on.

Some have mentioned that they'd never go back to the corporate world and enjoy being on their own. That shoe fits me as well.

I'm doing the research and my due diligence now. And "when" i jump in, it will be with two feet. However i see myself starting out part time until things ramp up.

Hard work has never stopped me from reaching what I wanted. And it has never deterred me.

I plan on reaching out to Les, I'm very grateful for the people that wish to help me and hope one day to return the favor.

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Sean,

been in and out of the office for couple of days; have a re-model going on at home!

Couple of things are very important to any consideration of this work. This job is stress filled. The liability issue gets to many new inspectors as does thinking you know too much. On any given day one of our inspectors will inspect a $900,000 house and a $25,000 house. Both demand particular skills, but the $900,000 will likely be the easy one to do.

We are in the Lansing area and you are welcome to ride along or just come over to the office. This company does a wide variety of tasks related to inspection. Call Paula our office manager and she can get us together or be sure someone is in the office for a visit. 517-669-0521

see my profile for email and website stuff!

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