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Worrysome trend in the HI business


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Chad asked for an inspector recommendation over in King George County, VA so I started checking sample reports in that area and found nearly the entire first page filled with Review/Ratings organizations like:

  • porch.com
  • homeadvisor.com
  • tophomeinspectors.com
  • homeguage.com
  • homeinspector.org
  • yellowbook.com
  • inspectopedia.com
  • angieslist.com

I hear google is getting into it also.

What's happening with appraisers is taking over HIs now: consumers are migrating towards Review/Ratings organizations (middlemen) that do the selection based on fees and not on competency. What little metric existed before for consumers on inspector competency is about to vanish.

Before you know it, These middlemen are going to be hiring the inspector and selling the service to consumers. At that time Dodd-Frank will kick in for HI's. Dodd-Frank will specify what the middlemen must pay the inspectors, regardless of experience or competency. It's scary.

We need a metric of our own that consumers can use to find their own inspector, a test whose score will measure the knowledge of an inspector. It's easy enough for a consumer to find out what an inspector will charge for an inspection, what they need now is a way to find out how much they know.

Marc

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They ask their friends and work associates. That's my biz. After that, people better get smarter, with people meaning us.

Amazon's getting into it too. Professional services online. I was ranting over on the ASHI board about old school vs. new school reporting and language, but didn't bother getting into the why's associated with how reporting systems need to change.....because....predictably....the old guys lined up shoulder to shoulder to insist the old way is fine. And better.

This is one of the why's.

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No one's going to break any mold. Folks will continue going to Mike Crowe's "who wants to be a millionaire" sales schtick meetings, handing out the same crappy software reports, and the whole thing will, in the broad sense, be kinda stupid. It's been getting set up for stupid for as long as I've been in the gig.

OTOH, there's always room for the single or small shop practitioner that does an excellent job. If that sole practitioner doesn't want to get buried in competition from Amazon Professional Services vendors, they'd better have a plan.

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  • 5 months later...

homeinspector.org is NOT a ratings/review site for home inspectors. It is ASHI's website and features our "Find an Inspector" search program for ASHI members in whatever area in which a home buyer/seller is looking.

homegauge.com is one of the larger home inspector report writing software and has nothing to do with ratings/reviews of home inspectors.

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What's happening with appraisers is taking over HIs now: consumers are migrating towards Review/Ratings organizations (middlemen) that do the selection based on fees and not on competency. What little metric existed before for consumers on inspector competency is about to vanish.

Marc

I don't see that at all. Most people are looking for good reviews. Get good reviews on these sites by promoting your happy clients to post a review.

I have had two inspections this year from investors from CA because they saw my reviews on Yelp. I live in Illinois.

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Chad asked for an inspector recommendation over in King George County, VA so I started checking sample reports in that area and found nearly the entire first page filled with Review/Ratings organizations like:

  • porch.com
  • homeadvisor.com
  • tophomeinspectors.com
  • homeguage.com
  • homeinspector.org
  • yellowbook.com
  • inspectopedia.com
  • angieslist.com

I hear google is getting into it also.

What's happening with appraisers is taking over HIs now: consumers are migrating towards Review/Ratings organizations (middlemen) that do the selection based on fees and not on competency. What little metric existed before for consumers on inspector competency is about to vanish.

Before you know it, These middlemen are going to be hiring the inspector and selling the service to consumers. At that time Dodd-Frank will kick in for HI's. Dodd-Frank will specify what the middlemen must pay the inspectors, regardless of experience or competency. It's scary.

We need a metric of our own that consumers can use to find their own inspector, a test whose score will measure the knowledge of an inspector. It's easy enough for a consumer to find out what an inspector will charge for an inspection, what they need now is a way to find out how much they know.

Marc

That test would be word of mouth referrals. Plenty of good inspectors in that area of VA.. JD Grewell and Jim Funkhouser comes to mind.

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Lead aggregators are flooding the internet with their ads. It's not just our profession but most of them.

Give them a big enough check and you too can be at the top of the list.

Angie's List comes to mind since they started charging the companies instead of the consumers.

Home Advisor

Amazon services

Zillow,

etc, on and on.

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Lead aggregators are flooding the internet with their ads. It's not just our profession but most of them.

That's right. If you wanna get big, you're gonna play that game. If you're looking to be a small shop, it's pretty much a separate universe and that stuff almost doesn't matter.

There are lots of people that understand this, and they're the ones looking for the right guy, not the Yelp flavor of the month.

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Lead aggregators are flooding the internet with their ads. It's not just our profession but most of them.

That's right. If you wanna get big, you're gonna play that game. If you're looking to be a small shop, it's pretty much a separate universe and that stuff almost doesn't matter.

There are lots of people that understand this, and they're the ones looking for the right guy, not the Yelp flavor of the month.

So true! Love "Yelp Flavor of the Month!"?

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I get jobs from Yelp and Angie's List because of consistent 5 star and straight A reviews. I don't advertise in either though they are relentless in soliciting. I think Yelp wants about $800/month to get special placement. I don't know what Angie's List charges but I know they now want contractors to pay for people to see your reviews.

All I want is consistent work and I will take it any way it comes.

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