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The Inspector's Journal

Making Inspections more fun & productive


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I had actually assumed that everyone was using inspection software and was quite happy with it. Perhaps there are other parts of the business that can be improved.

I've spent many years improving business process' as a job for large corporations so yes I would love to be able to offer the same services to small business and make a living out it.

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I had actually assumed that everyone was using inspection software and was quite happy with it. Perhaps there are other parts of the business that can be improved.

I've spent many years improving business process' as a job for large corporations so yes I would love to be able to offer the same services to small business and make a living out it.

I used the most expensive HI software in the business for over ten years before abandoning it a few years ago. Too constricting. They all are, IMHO. I now use Word, Acrobat, a couple photo editing software I download for free and a bunch of tricks and command shortcuts I learned on my MacBook. Beautiful report but I can't do more than one inspection per day because the report generation takes twice to three times longer than inspecting the house.

So if you want to make an improvement, build something with all the features of Word, a DB to handle all data (bookkeeping and scheduling included) from the first phone call to the final report and make the boilerplate alterable at all times.

Marc

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So if you want to make an improvement, build something with all the features of Word, a DB to handle all data (bookkeeping and scheduling included) from the first phone call to the final report and make the boilerplate alterable at all times.

Marc

In my annoying and endless haranguing about report systems, let me suggest you don't really want Word, and that a DB property designed and formatted does all the things you want.

The large problem with HI report systems is the misguided and entirely outdated idea of Word documents. Word is a kluge. Great for creating encyclopedias, term papers, Phd dissertations. Lousy for HI reports.

How many times does one hear "it takes too long to generate reports"? Let me propose that one cannot achieve desired ends while insisting on methods and processes that are at odds with the goal.

Also....scheduling systems. What seems to be the problem? I have my DB set up for scheduling. We run all sorts of stuff into and through it. Trades and materials all over the ****ing place. What's so complicated about scheduling software?

I propose the idea that no one currently developing software for this gig understands much about it. HI's, lemmings to convention that we are, continue to insist on all sorts of stuff that doesn't work.

I propose there are simple and easy ways to deal with all this shit. My ideas are accepted and agreed on by a lot of corporate DB systems folk. HI's, OTOH, continue to insist otherwise.

I have no proposals for convincing HI's about much of anything anymore. Some get it, most don't.

So, I wanna hear what this new guy has in mind for us.

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I have tried numerous demos and looked at about every home inspection software product on the market. Been inspecting since 2006, I feel that there's definitely a need for a new and better inspection program out there.

That's funny.

It sure is, especially since you use the same software as me.

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I really appreciate all the great feedback from everyone. The comments suggests to me that there is plenty of software out there but they aren't fun to use and they waste your valuable time/money.

There are simple and easy ways to solve these problems. I don't have them yet but I do know a process that can uncover them and find the best solutions.

The process is collaborative. I would need to interview experts(ie. you!) to understand your business and find where the process is ineffective and inefficient.

Then we would discuss options and agree on what would be the best possible way of solving the problem.

After that I would build clickable prototype that you play with. We would refine that prototype many times before building anything. Then once you are excited about it and can't wait to use it I will build it.

I would be aiming to build a simple, easy to use solution that is focused on solving the most important problems and isn't a kitchen sink of features.

All I need is to interview you for about 20 minutes. If you are interested in participating please contact me privately or reply on this thread.

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I've been involved in software development as a job for 16 years, as a developer, as a software development manager and a project manager.

In my spare time I've tried to start many business' unsuccessfully because I've always focused on the technology and solution first and then tried to find customers.

Spending all your time on the software thinking its going to make it big is a great way to fool yourself until you release it and you realise you're kidding yourself.

I'm a slow learner but I'm persistent so I eventually learnt that I need to focus on solving real problems for real people. Hence here I am talking to real people, trying to find real problems :)

This is my linkedin profile

https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottb1978

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My deafness doesn't allow me to call but there's this:

  • On the first call is entered into an input form the client name, address, his number, the date of inspection, time of inspection, the inspection fee and sometimes agent/seller or insurance agent contact info. I need to insert some of this info into files several times and in more than one place sometimes. I need a way to do this quickly if not automatically into partially formatted documents with file types like .doc and perhaps others.
  • I have a boilerplate document full of individual sentences and paragraphs totalling almost 40 pages. I need to enter a word into a search box and receive in a drop menu in real time all entities from my boilerplate that match. As I refine the search word with other words in various combination, I need the drop menu to update in real time. When I find what I want, it has to paste the selection into a pre-specified location on work document with only a few clicks or preferably single command (Mac)
  • Boilerplate document must remain amenable on the fly at all times.

There's more but these are the fundamental needs.

Marc

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Marc, my stuff does all that. Better actually; you didn't describe a few of the things I figured out about process that I include in my interface.

You gotta get over the .doc part, though. It's a disease. People've been convinced it's necessary, and infect everyone around them with the same bad idea.

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I have tried numerous demos and looked at about every home inspection software product on the market. Been inspecting since 2006, I feel that there's definitely a need for a new and better inspection program out there.

That's funny.

It sure is, especially since you use the same software as me.

I like HomeGauge. The customization options are endless. The standard comments are not very good but they are easy to change on the fly. Adding new comments is a click away. I even use the same template for all of my inspections. I just turn sections and inspection items on and off with a click.

What features would you like that are not already available.

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What features would you like that are not already available.

Double-column printing (select on the fly) and less empty white spaces are the main reasons I dropped 3d for Word and an array of other apps.

Marc

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So I'm assuming that the number of inspections per day you can do directly influences how much money you can make.

Is maximising the average number of quality inspections per day one of the main business goal with home inspections?

If it is an important measure what is the average inspections per day that you are doing. Marc says that he does 1 per day because he is using Word.

Do many people do most of the report on site? Do you spend much time completing the report after the inspection?

Kurt described challenges with scheduling. How do most people do their scheduling?

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It's not just my use of Word that keeps me from doing more than one per day. It's lots of things. My business approach is that if you take care of the clients needs first, the client will pay for it.

Even if you come up with software that can do everything to my satisfaction, I doubt I'd begin doing more than one per day. It would just allow me to finish by 5. My last report kept me until 7:40 PM and that's about as fast as HI reports currently go for me. The one before was past midnight.

Kurt might well be correct. He exceeds me enormously in experience. One day I'll pass by for coffee, ask for a demo, and steal his secret.[;)]

Marc

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It's not just my use of Word that keeps me from doing more than one per day. It's lots of things. My business approach is that if you take care of the clients needs first, the client will pay for it.

Even if you come up with software that can do everything to my satisfaction, I doubt I'd begin doing more than one per day. It would just allow me to finish by 5. My last report kept me until 7:40 PM and that's about as fast as HI reports currently go for me. The one before was past midnight.

Kurt might well be correct. He exceeds me enormously in experience. One day I'll pass by for coffee, ask for a demo, and steal his secret.[;)]

Marc

Using HomeGauge I can complete most reports in about 45 minutes. That includes pictures, download from the camera and drag into the report. Then add arrows etc with a click. Some POS may take longer but I rarely spend more than an hour on report preparation. Click upload then sent. Done.

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