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I was wondering if any of you had opinions on different personality types and how they effect what kind of inspector a person would be.

I had it explained to be early on about the difference between an RE man and a client man. I have only done one real job so far and I believe my personality traits as they relate to home inspection have surfaced. I can sum them up with the following announcement.

To whom it may concern;

"I am a client man hands down. If you are an RE and you expect me to sugar coat anything the inspection of a home you probably do not want to recommend me"

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Hi,

We all have experienced what you're feeling right now. At the risk of it being dissected by Bonnie & Walter, here's a commentary of mine from the debut of TIJ back in 2002.

----------------------------------

Regaining Focus and Remembering Who Your Real Client Isid="size4">

by Mike O'Handley

A few weeks ago, a fellow who makes his living helping home inspectors find ways to market their business posted a question to an inspectors' internet forum. He wanted to know what everyone felt were the five most important points (the unique selling proposition) to make to a real estate professional, in order to get that real estate professional to refer clients to one home inspector over another.

To seasoned home inspectors, this question must be as vexing as sand in one's shorts. Nearly every home inspector has been mentored by old timers in this business who taught them that the only practical way for any home inspector to market this business effectively is to market primarily to real estate professionals. In fact, the old timers all point to National Association of Realtors© (N.A.R.) studies that indicate that most of the home buying public in this country (more than 70%) reaches inspectors through an agent's referral. Therefore, inspectors need only to market to real estate professionals to be successful.

Maybe this is true, but should it be the norm? Hardly a day goes by without some home inspector posting an appeal on one of the internet inspectors' forums, asking for other inspectors to assist him/her devise methods through which the inspection business can be marketed directly to the end user, the buyer, without relying on referrals from those in the real estate business. Most of these discussions eventually denigrate to either diatribes against manipulative real estate agents or become polarized debates between inspectors who actively solicit business from those in the real estate business and those who do not.

Personally, I have no problem accepting referrals from real estate 'professionals'. It's the other real estate folks I've got problems with - the unprofessional ones. Many of whom seem to view home inspectors as toadies beholden to those in the real estate business. If home inspectors must speak to the real estate industry about referrals, here is what I think should be said:

1. When I arrive on site, I'm in charge. The buyer is no longer your client. Until the inspection is over, the buyer is my client. Don't presume to think otherwise. I appreciate the fact that you refer buyers to me, but don't expect my appreciation to mean I have a ring in my nose and will allow you to manipulate me. I don't think of you as a '"referral customer" - I think of you as a professional real estate agent who sought my services for a client and one who should understand that, as a professional, I am to be left alone to do my thing with my client. If you can't respect that, please refer your clients to somebody else.

2. I don't "handle" clients. You can expect me to report every deficiency I find and to explain it plainly to my client. The report will be written the same way. If the client begins to panic and shows signs of walking away from the transaction as a result of an issue being explained, don't expect me to "sell" the issue by minimizing its importance and "putting it in perspective." If you can't accept that, please refer your clients to somebody else.

3. Don't ever try and put words in my mouth during one of my inspections or convince me to minimize an issue by making statements like, "Well, I've been doing this for 20 years and so-and-so inspector, who I've worked with for most of that time, says this is nothing to be concerned about." I resent being compared to unprofessional inspectors who sugarcoat deficiencies - no matter how minor those deficiencies are. If you habitually do that to inspectors, please refer your clients to somebody else.

4. Don't ever stand behind the client and use body language to send me signals of approval or disapproval of what I'm saying when I am doing an inspection. The inspection is done when I say it is done. There is no set time, so expect it to take whatever time is necessary to satisfy the client that he or she knows all that needs to be known about the home. Do not start looking at your watch, look impatient, or make slicing motions across your throat with your hand behind my client's back, to indicate that you don't want me to say anything else about an issue when you think I have told them too much and you want me to move on. Especially don't try to suddenly distract the client from the issue by stepping up and saying to the client, "Oh, excuse me for interrupting, I just remembered, we have to sign some papers before we're done here today. Do you think we could do that right now? I'm sure the inspector won't mind if you catch up with him later." If you can't restrain yourself from doing that, please refer your clients to someone else.

5. I'm a professional. I'm good at what I do. I'm honest and I won't play any of the wink-and-nod games that so many real estate agents have grown accustomed to since home inspections first came on the scene. The buyer will get the best damn inspection I am capable of providing, regardless of whether it will blow the sale or not. When I'm done, our clients will be very satisfied with the inspection received and know they got for their money's worth. It's very possible that you may end up losing the sale. If so, be glad I was there to uncover those issues for your client, because they might have come back to haunt you later if they'd gone undiscovered. Understand that there are others like me in this profession and we're working hard to affect a sea change in the way home inspectors do business. Maybe you don't like that fact. Too bad, get used to it. Expect it to be the wave of the home inspection future and learn to accept it. Otherwise, please refer your clients to someone else.

----------------------------------

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by AHI

I was wondering if any of you had opinions on different personality types and how they effect what kind of inspector a person would be.

The subject is very interesting, not just as it applies to inspectors but also as it applies to your everyday interactions with other people. If you've never looked into it, consider getting a book about or taking a class on personality profiling. I attended a seminar on it at an ASHI convention many years ago and it changed the way I looked at my business relationships.

Check out "Positive Personality Profiles, Personality Insights" by Robert Rohm. Also, "Understanding How Others Misunderstand You" by Ken Voges and Ron Braund.

I had it explained to be early on about the difference between an RE man and a client man. I have only done one real job so far and I believe my personality traits as they relate to home inspection have surfaced. I can sum them up with the following announcement.

To whom it may concern;

"I am a client man hands down. If you are an RE and you expect me to sugar coat anything the inspection of a home you probably do not want to recommend me"

I think every inspector feels that way and describes himself that way. It's their actions, not their words, that tell.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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If you market heavily to agents and get most of your work from agents then you're making agents happy.

Closing deals makes agents happy.

Selective reporting can fall into the realm of "I see it that way all the time so I don't report the condition", or "I know it's wrong but it likely won't be an issue so I won't report the condition",or "I hear this is a great school district", or "man, what a lovely bucolic setting".

Around here every single garbage disposer is wired poorly with NMS. I'm tired of writing them up but I still do.

Jim Katen said what I've felt for quite some time.

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Originally posted by AHI

I was wondering if any of you had opinions on different personality types and how they effect what kind of inspector a person would be.

I had it explained to be early on about the difference between an RE man and a client man. I have only done one real job so far and I believe my personality traits as they relate to home inspection have surfaced. I can sum them up with the following announcement.

To whom it may concern;

"I am a client man hands down. If you are an RE and you expect me to sugar coat anything the inspection of a home you probably do not want to recommend me"

Whomever fed you the line should reconsider saying it anymore. He/she is only fueling a long-standing fallacy (the agent and the client are nearly one and the same - any disservice you provide to the client only falls back onto their representative, the agent and vica versa). I don't believe I could tell you the difference between a real estate man and a client man.

Personally, I have never met an agent who would stake his/her reputation and career on simply pushing through a deal with help from a home inspector. All Realtors are held to many of the same standards of business practice as we inspectors are. Real estate agents are customer service professionals, not "snake oil salesman".

I have also never met an inspector who has knelt before an agent to "wash his/her feet" for the sake of future referrals. We, too, are customer service professionals.

I would venture to guess nearly all agents and inspectors conduct their relationships in a manner that provides current and future success without sacrificing ethical and professional behavior.

I do, however, know of a few inspectors who are very dramatic with their position and seem almost "confrontational", i.e., "Just look at that roof, it MUST be replaced," or "Do these owners know where to find a maid, this is ridiculous!". You are not only putting yourself in the position of being a knucklehead, but you are not doing the job that was asked of you. My understanding is that as inspectors, we are hired to inform to position someone else to make an educated decision and that is pretty much it. If you do that, everyone concerned will be happy.

I got way off topic didn't I? I like what Dok said.

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Originally posted by slinger2k

Personally, I have never met an agent who would stake his/her reputation and career on simply pushing through a deal with help from a home inspector. All Realtors are held to many of the same standards of business practice as we inspectors are. Real estate agents are customer service professionals, not "snake oil salesman".

You are indeed fortunate, but this guy has: http://rismedia.com/wp/2007-10-26/the-p ... ate-truth/
I got way off topic didn't I? I like what Dok said.
Well, thank you for that.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Figuring out whether a given HI is a "client man" or a RE agent toady is real simple.

Just read the guy's report.

Things I've seen that identify a toady:

*Telling the buyer that the sellers aren't obligated to fix this or that.

*Recommendations to fix broken things as part of the next remodeling. (If it's worth noting as a defect, it's worth fixing now.)

*Telling buyers to "monitor" things that need to be fixed now. (See parenthetical comment above.)

*Burying useful information via passive-voice writing and circumlocution (fancy name for roundabout bullshit).

*Telling buyers to get this or that "evaluated" when any decent HI could do the evaluation himself. (Recommending "further evaluation" often puts the RE agent in control of finding a cheap and friendly "evaluator.")

*Not citing reputable sources (codes, mfr's specs, etc.) when it would help a customer, especially in a conflict over new construction.

Crazy things I have seen:

*A local HI did two inspections on a house. After the first inspection, he told the customer that the roof had some few years of life left. After the second inspection, he said that the same roof had more years left than he'd predicted the first time. In other words, he made the roof "better" the second time around. (Same realtor referred the HI for both jobs.)

*HIs who let RE agents tell them how to describe defects.

*HIs who "bless" serious defects; for instance: Telling customers that K&T wiring run through insulation is just fine. In one such case, there was this notation: "Should be OK unless insurance company has a problem with it."

*A new house that had $30K in water damage (siding had to be removed/replaced 3 times). The HI (who's also a builder) made only two comments in his report. One was: "Well-built house!" The other was a recommendation to "discuss with builder" the presence of non-pressure treated lumber used in a place where the building code required pressure-treated lumber.

Anyhow, it all comes down to this: An HI shouldn't "pitch for both teams." If he works for the sales team and the disclosure team, he has a conflict of interest. He should make up his mind if he wants to sell houses or write up defects in houses.

Finally, there's this: All HIs say they're fair, objective, diligent, honest and dang fine human beings. They all say they're working for their clients. All RE agents say the same thing. Some are lying.

All HIs should read the court report for Herner vs. HouseMaster. HouseMaster is about as mainstream as any HI operation. However, a New Jersey Appellate Court said that HouseMaster's report in this case was "worthless" and "pablum," and that RE agents -- not the HI's customers -- were HouseMaster's "clients in fact."

If you're interested, read the court report here: http://lawlibrary.rutgers.edu/courts/ap ... 9.opn.html

WJ

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Originally posted by SonOfSwamp

[snip] a New Jersey Appellate Court said that HouseMaster's report in this case was "worthless" and "pablum," and that RE agents -- not the HI's customers -- were HouseMaster's "clients in fact."

If you're interested, read the court report here: http://lawlibrary.rutgers.edu/courts/ap ... 9.opn.html

WJ

Yeah; that's true, franchises do mostly push the idea to their franchisees that the reel-tours are also the "client."

When a franchisee does something that ticks off a reel-tour, and the reel-tour calls franchise HQ to complain, you can bet the franchisee either gets a phone call, warning letter, or an invitation to come down to HQ to a come to jezzuz meeting - kind of like going to the principal's office - and gets read the riot act, for creating an issue that has the potential to give the entire franchise network a black eye with the reel-tours.

It doesn't matter that the franchisee is supposed to be an independent business owner - as far as the franchise is concerned, if the reel-tours are upset with a franchisee, the franchisee isn't being "part of the team."

However, one doesn't necessarily have to be part of a franchise to develop that attitude; there are plenty of non-franchise folks - independents, as well as those in the organizations - that use the same business model. From what I've been hearing, ASHI GLC's latest newsletter just featured an article by someone who also follows that model and it turned into a huge imbroglio on the ASHI board.

Imagine that?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I never entered a RE office to solicit work, but I used to stop at Open Houses and introduce myself to agents and ask for thier referrals.

After a couple of difficult inspections including a challange, I realized that I never wanted to be in the position of the inspector that was brought in to dispute my findings.

I pictured some inspector, depending on the refferals from the RE's, trying to figure out how to pay for his kid's tuition and uneasy to tell it like it is. Trying to be an honest, trying not to "kill the deal", having to sugarcoat.

There is not enough Mylanta.

Sure, If I happen to run into an agent, I will give them my card... just like I give my card to many other folks I meet. But I drive past Open Houses... I no longer target agents for work.

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As some of you may know I have written heavily on this topic in the past. In relation to the inspection business, there is only one true alliance to be made. It is to one's own integrity first and foremost in representing the true nature of a property.

1. One's own integrity (truth, honesty, lawfulness, self actualization and moral integration etc.)

2. to one's clients who are usually the buyer.

3.....and way down the list is the seller and

4............then under them the agents and any government entities.

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Originally posted by carle3

I think if one is truely being neutral and objective then the home is the real client.

Uh, the house is an inanimate object. Can't be a client. Sorry.

So, I must throw the home-inspector folklore flag. The house-as-client theory is a fantasy, and won't hold up to scrutiny.

Did you hear that theory at HI school? Just curious.

WJid="blue">

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Originally posted by SonOfSwamp

Originally posted by carle3

I think if one is truely being neutral and objective then the home is the real client.

Uh, the house is an inanimate object. Can't be a client. Sorry.

So, I must throw the home-inspector folklore flag. The house-as-client theory is a fantasy, and won't hold up to scrutiny.

Did you hear that theory at HI school? Just curious.

WJid="blue">

That's what I was told at HI school..--- "The house is your client; be fair to the house..."

We had a biology Phd. in our home inspection class --- the instructor spent a lot of time with him during our breaks (many breaks) --- They're in business together now doing mold inspections and mold remediation.

The training here (and at theother big HI discussion board) is better.

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Hi Bob,

Yeah, that's what the franchise taught me too. It's a way of getting you used to the mindset that they want you to adopt, which is that from their point of view you have more than one "client."

The late great Norm Sage had a saying that I think would be a perfect retort for any reel-tour who complains that one isn't being "fair to the house," "I've never killed a deal, but I've seen a lot of houses commit suicide right before my very eyes."

Rest in peace, Norm, you're a pistol and we miss you dearly.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by hausdok

Hi,

We all have experienced what you're feeling right now. At the risk of it being dissected by Bonnie & Walter, here's a commentary of mine from the debut of TIJ back in 2002.

----------------------------------

Regaining Focus and Remembering Who Your Real Client Isid="size4">

by Mike O'Handley

A few weeks ago, a fellow who makes his living helping home inspectors find ways to market their business posted a question to an inspectors' internet forum. He wanted to know what everyone felt were the five most important points (the unique selling proposition) to make to a real estate professional, in order to get that real estate professional to refer clients to one home inspector over another.

To seasoned home inspectors, this question must be as vexing as sand in one's shorts. Nearly every home inspector has been mentored by old timers in this business who taught them that the only practical way for any home inspector to market this business effectively is to market primarily to real estate professionals. In fact, the old timers all point to National Association of Realtors© (N.A.R.) studies that indicate that most of the home buying public in this country (more than 70%) reaches inspectors through an agent's referral. Therefore, inspectors need only to market to real estate professionals to be successful.

Maybe this is true, but should it be the norm? Hardly a day goes by without some home inspector posting an appeal on one of the internet inspectors' forums, asking for other inspectors to assist him/her devise methods through which the inspection business can be marketed directly to the end user, the buyer, without relying on referrals from those in the real estate business. Most of these discussions eventually denigrate to either diatribes against manipulative real estate agents or become polarized debates between inspectors who actively solicit business from those in the real estate business and those who do not.

Personally, I have no problem accepting referrals from real estate 'professionals'. It's the other real estate folks I've got problems with - the unprofessional ones. Many of whom seem to view home inspectors as toadies beholden to those in the real estate business. If home inspectors must speak to the real estate industry about referrals, here is what I think should be said:

1. When I arrive on site, I'm in charge. The buyer is no longer your client. Until the inspection is over, the buyer is my client. Don't presume to think otherwise. I appreciate the fact that you refer buyers to me, but don't expect my appreciation to mean I have a ring in my nose and will allow you to manipulate me. I don't think of you as a '"referral customer" - I think of you as a professional real estate agent who sought my services for a client and one who should understand that, as a professional, I am to be left alone to do my thing with my client. If you can't respect that, please refer your clients to somebody else.

2. I don't "handle" clients. You can expect me to report every deficiency I find and to explain it plainly to my client. The report will be written the same way. If the client begins to panic and shows signs of walking away from the transaction as a result of an issue being explained, don't expect me to "sell" the issue by minimizing its importance and "putting it in perspective." If you can't accept that, please refer your clients to somebody else.

3. Don't ever try and put words in my mouth during one of my inspections or convince me to minimize an issue by making statements like, "Well, I've been doing this for 20 years and so-and-so inspector, who I've worked with for most of that time, says this is nothing to be concerned about." I resent being compared to unprofessional inspectors who sugarcoat deficiencies - no matter how minor those deficiencies are. If you habitually do that to inspectors, please refer your clients to somebody else.

4. Don't ever stand behind the client and use body language to send me signals of approval or disapproval of what I'm saying when I am doing an inspection. The inspection is done when I say it is done. There is no set time, so expect it to take whatever time is necessary to satisfy the client that he or she knows all that needs to be known about the home. Do not start looking at your watch, look impatient, or make slicing motions across your throat with your hand behind my client's back, to indicate that you don't want me to say anything else about an issue when you think I have told them too much and you want me to move on. Especially don't try to suddenly distract the client from the issue by stepping up and saying to the client, "Oh, excuse me for interrupting, I just remembered, we have to sign some papers before we're done here today. Do you think we could do that right now? I'm sure the inspector won't mind if you catch up with him later." If you can't restrain yourself from doing that, please refer your clients to someone else.

5. I'm a professional. I'm good at what I do. I'm honest and I won't play any of the wink-and-nod games that so many real estate agents have grown accustomed to since home inspections first came on the scene. The buyer will get the best damn inspection I am capable of providing, regardless of whether it will blow the sale or not. When I'm done, our clients will be very satisfied with the inspection received and know they got for their money's worth. It's very possible that you may end up losing the sale. If so, be glad I was there to uncover those issues for your client, because they might have come back to haunt you later if they'd gone undiscovered. Understand that there are others like me in this profession and we're working hard to affect a sea change in the way home inspectors do business. Maybe you don't like that fact. Too bad, get used to it. Expect it to be the wave of the home inspection future and learn to accept it. Otherwise, please refer your clients to someone else.

----------------------------------

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Mike,

Excellent! I don't need to say more except thanks.

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