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You arrive at an inspection. Nobody is there. You do not have a cell phone contact for your client. How long do you wait before you leave?

My situation- I have a client that I have done previous inspections for in the past. They have been late in the past. I confirmed the appointment time the evening before the inspection and told them I have a tight schedule. I had a 9 AM appointment (vacant home) and at 9:25 AM I slipped my card in the storm door with a note that let them know I was there, waited until 9:25, but had to leave because of my tight schedule.

I started getting calls on my phone about 15 minutes later from an unknown number but did not answer. I knew if I returned for the inspection I would be late for the rest of my appointments for the day.

Shortly later I got a call from my office and was told that the seller drove 2 hours to open the house and was upset. The buyer (my client) told my office that they knew the person was running late and decided to be late as well. I told them to tell the people that I was busy on appointments and would call them when I got back to the office. I am inclined to terminate my relationship with these clients that do not respect my time.

What would you do?

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I don't have any strict policy for the company. Mostly it is decided by the indiv inspector. I would do what you did. I would not initiate the termination of relationship, but would let it go if possible.

I get a little nutty about being on time, so dealing with late people ain't my strong trait.

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I'd lay it out to the client just like here; everyone was late, I got a day to coordinate, sorry but I had to go, I'd like to keep working with you but my biz is like a delivery business and it's gotta run on schedule, sorry, etc., etc.

If I got anything other than "yeah, we're sorry, you're sorry, next time we'll get it together", I'd politely stick to my guns and put the ball in their court. If they call in the future, fine, if not, fine.

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Why do you not have a phone number for someone? How does that happen?

I concur. People are often late, and I call them. Can't remember the last time one wasn't carrying their cell phone, and can't fathom one not having one.

If not, though, yeah, leave if you have to. What more to explain?

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When we book an inspection, we always ask for a phone number where the client and agent can be reached the day of the inspection. We phrase this as "in case we get stuck behind an overturned tractor trailer," i.e. so we can contact them if WE are late.

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I plan on people being late.

I carry a Supra key because agents are late.

I deliver the inspection agreement and ask for it to be returned electronically so I don't have to deal with that at the inspection before I begin, because people are late.

IF I have to rely on someone to unlock and they are late, I begin without them and call the agent or whoever was supposed to unlock. As others, I can easily spend 45 minutes to an hour outside between the roof, grade, electric and water.

I have already "spent" my time when I booked the inspection so I really have nothing more to lose by inspecting even if they never show. I have enough time to do the entire inspection built into my schedule and so long as I am productive while waiting I am not getting behind.

95% of my inspections are started with no one else there and I like it that way. In fact I recommend my clients give me 2-3 hours head start and then show up toward the end of the inspection for an overview, payment, etc. Even if they never show, I complete the inspection and handle everything by email or phone.

Bottom line, plan on people being late and you won't be disappointed.

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.......My situation- I have a client that I have done previous inspections for in the past. They have been late in the past. I confirmed the appointment time the evening before the inspection and told them I have a tight schedule. I had a 9 AM appointment (vacant home) and at 9:25 AM I slipped my card in the storm door with a note that let them know I was there, waited until 9:25, but had to leave because of my tight schedule. ........

The buyer (my client) told my office that they knew the person was running late and decided to be late as well. ......... I am inclined to terminate my relationship with these clients that do not respect my time.

What would you do?

The problem is not with your clients but with you. You have experience with the client that they are consistently late. You expect this job to be different, though you have not changed the conditions that would change the outcome. What do would you expect.?

Then there are the questions:

-What are you doing the first 30 min of the inspection?

-You have nothing that you could do on the exterior?

-If 30 or 45 min knocks out the inspection time allotted for the inspection, is the problem really with you time management?

-Are you allocating to little time to perform a thorough inspection?

-If you find that you consistently have to wait to begin the inspection, why not schedule it 30 min earlier and have the clients/owners wait?

-Why do you not have contact numbers for everyone involved in the inspection?

-There are more but you should get the idea.

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I typically have contact info and can call my client.

House was vacant, private sale, no key box. Buyer was old school, no cell phone.

I know that they tend to be late. I confirmed the appointment the night before.

I will only perform an inspection with my client present. It is my style. I like to explain as I go. It has worked for me since 1981.

I am content with how I handled the situation. I was just curious about how others deal with late clients.

I conclude that sometimes the best clients are the ones you don't work for.

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I typically have contact info and can call my client.

House was vacant, private sale, no key box. Buyer was old school, no cell phone.

I know that they tend to be late. I confirmed the appointment the night before.

I will only perform an inspection with my client present. It is my style. I like to explain as I go. It has worked for me since 1981.

I am content with how I handled the situation. I was just curious about how others deal with late clients.

I conclude that sometimes the best clients are the ones you don't work for.

I agree.

It remains my opinion you did the "right" thing.

The differences in our own markets are huge. For instance, I have never had an inspection agreement signed prior to inspection. While my company has every inspector with a supra key, I remain steadfast that I will not enter any house/home without an agt or owner present. The protocols are really different dependent upon your market.

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Me too. I won't enter a house without a representative of the board or the buyer. I've got a few dozen war stories to indicate that's the only sane way to do it. Folks thinking it's fine to be alone in a house are taking a chance I just won't take anymore. All the success stories in the world is absolutely no guarantee of continued success stories.

You are completely right.....some of the best jobs are the one's you don't do.

Expectations go both ways....it's not just us, it's the other folks too. My expectation is that people are going to be reasonably on time, and they'll have ways for me to contact them. Someone refusing to enter the world carrying a cell phone.....honestly, I don't even want them as client. They're asking me to conform to their completely unrealistic expectations.

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I start inspecting site, exterior, roof and start writing the report for those parts. For a full inspection I'd usually be 45mins to an hour doing all that alone. I'll do whatever I can to stay busy waiting for a late client. Got my laptop with me and mobile wifi. Always something to do. Once I had a client never even show up but I called the agent and had them open the door. I did the inspection and took payment over PayPal before delivering the report via email.

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I conclude that sometimes the best clients are the ones you don't work for.

You are completely right.....some of the best jobs are the one's you don't do.

To each their very own way. Besides, now you're going to piss off other clients by you being late if your schedule was that tight.

While I certainly agree with the statements above, it seems there's a failure to set expectations on both sides.

I usually give them 25 minutes or so but then I'm out of there if I don't get some confirmation, even just a phone call that they do still want the inspection. Twice, early on, I did two ,though no one showed up, with no shows that had changed their mind early that day but blamed each other (realtor vs buyer) for not letting me know. Wasted time no more.

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I prefer them to be late anyway.

But always have phone #'s to call if nobody opens the door. About 10 minutes after the time on my schedule, I am searching for the numbers.

A couple of weeks ago I arrived at the house and a bank appraiser was waiting for me to let him in. [:)]

No, I don't have a key. No, I don't know who is supposed to be here. I start the outside, mosey around, he is fretting and doing circles in the driveway, phoning realtor, boss, anybody. I find the back door is wide open, OK, we're in, never a dull moment. [:)]

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I prefer them to be late anyway.

But always have phone #'s to call if nobody opens the door. About 10 minutes after the time on my schedule, I am searching for the numbers.

A couple of weeks ago I arrived at the house and a bank appraiser was waiting for me to let him in. [:)]

No, I don't have a key. No, I don't know who is supposed to be here. I start the outside, mosey around, he is fretting and doing circles in the driveway, phoning realtor, boss, anybody. I find the back door is wide open, OK, we're in, never a dull moment. [:)]

Things are different around here. If that happened in my neck of the woods the next day headline may read:

"Home Inspector Arrested for Illegally Entering Home"

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I prefer them to be late anyway.

But always have phone #'s to call if nobody opens the door. About 10 minutes after the time on my schedule, I am searching for the numbers.

A couple of weeks ago I arrived at the house and a bank appraiser was waiting for me to let him in. [:)]

No, I don't have a key. No, I don't know who is supposed to be here. I start the outside, mosey around, he is fretting and doing circles in the driveway, phoning realtor, boss, anybody. I find the back door is wide open, OK, we're in, never a dull moment. [:)]

Things are different around here. If that happened in my neck of the woods the next day headline may read:

"Home Inspector Arrested for Illegally Entering Home"

Well we were lucky we were in the right house, eh? At least I think it was the right house. [:)]

My clients were happy with the report. So far. [:)]

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I typically have contact info and can call my client.

House was vacant, private sale, no key box. Buyer was old school, no cell phone.

I know that they tend to be late. I confirmed the appointment the night before.

I will only perform an inspection with my client present. It is my style. I like to explain as I go. It has worked for me since 1981.

I am content with how I handled the situation. I was just curious about how others deal with late clients.

I conclude that sometimes the best clients are the ones you don't work for.

I agree.

It remains my opinion you did the "right" thing.

The differences in our own markets are huge. For instance, I have never had an inspection agreement signed prior to inspection. While my company has every inspector with a supra key, I remain steadfast that I will not enter any house/home without an agt or owner present. The protocols are really different dependent upon your market.

Regional differences for sure. I don't recall seeing a Listing Agent at a property in the past several years. I've talked to a few as some have the listing set up where the inspector "has" to talk directly to the agent or their team to get permission for the time/date of the inspection.

I occasionally will interact with the Buyer's Agent as they "sometimes" show up toward the end of my 'data collection' time. Have noticed seeing fewer of the Buyer's Agent recently as well.

Sometimes client is there for entire event and most times can only carve out a little bit of time to quick overview at the end. Two recent properties at $1M-plus and over 6000 s.f. ... buyer's never showed up. Their schedule was too busy. Just send the report and be sure to CC their agent.

Wide variable here.

Go figure .. [?]

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