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I bet I'm not the first with this idea but here goes anyway.

What do you think about the idea of regulations that prevent RE's from recommending specific inspectors. Lets face it, isn't that the fox watching the hen house?

Let them direct people to ASHI, NAHI, NACHI.... etc. Let them recommend the yellow pages or Better Business Bureau. Do you know what I mean? The heck with, "use this guy, he's good" It just doesn't seem right. It's wide out in the open. I know I cannot be the only one that feels this way.

There are ways to clean this act up don't you think?

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That's already the law in Massachusetts. Why direct them to ASHI, NAHI, NACHI, etc., do you think the other 75% of inspectors out there all don't know what they're doing? There are plenty of independents who do superlative inspections and don't belong to any of the associations because they just got fed up with the inter-organizational B.S. or they didn't feel that being a member was benefiting their businesses. We all don't advertise in the yellow pages. I don't; did for 5 years and spent about $3K a year to do it. I think I got a total of about 10 jobs off the yellow pages. I belonged to the BBB for several years and never got one single job because someone said they'd chosen me because I was a member of the BBB.

The profession will never be "cleaned up" until the majority of home inspectors are those who entered the profession as reasonably educated young adults planning to make it a career, , learned it from the bottom up, stayed, got better at it, eventually move from the students to teachers, and eventually go out on their own.

Right now, we're top heavy with guys well past 50 like myself, who backed into this business from something else and it's a 2nd, sometimes a 3rd career. Most are only interested in making as much money as possible in the shortest amount of time before they pull the plug in a decade or so. They don't want anything to get in their way and they don't really care what's going to happen to the profession after they're gone. They came in late in life, they intend to get theirs, be gone in a few years, and not look back. They'll fight tooth and claw any effort to establish anything that will require them to really prove that they truly know what they're doing or hold them to a tougher standard than the barely functioning inspector level tests.

There are many who really, really care about what happens to this profession, but, sadly, they're greatly outnumbered by those who don't want to disturb the present inspector/reel-tour paradigm, because doing so will be bad for business. It's pretty hard to make headway against that kind of culture. There needs to be a wholesale shift in the way inspectors think about this business before we can move it from a trade service under the heel of the real-tours who consider us near-laborers like carpet cleaning guys and dog walkers to a true discipline and consider ourselves a real profession.



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Tell ya what, John. You just dipped your toes into the pool and now you want to pull the plug down at the bottom.

You are just starting out, have little experience, I'm guessing you don't have an endless budget for advertising/marketing and you are proposing to collapse a potential lead conduit for your business.

I have inspected homes for only 6+ yrs and <40 yrs old, however, when I started out I immediately recognized who my target market was....buyers of homes. Who best to contact to reach those "buyers of homes".....the agents of the buyers of homes. Coming into a market that was entrenched with inspector lifers (i.e., the AmeriSpecs, Pillar to Posts, Boswells, Highlands, etc), I was determined to grab just a small share of the inspection pie. We ramped up very quickly and figured we captured nearly 10+/-% of the market (immediate county) by the end of our second year. Happy to say 90% of those inspections were the result of a buyer's agent recommending my company (usually with a couple others) to inspect the house. A referral network between complementing industries is INVALUABLE!! I would regret the day big gov't poking its nose into an all to common business practice. JMHO.

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John, developing an attitude that realtors are the enemy is not good for business.

I believe there is a false idea out there that if you do inspections and write reports like Hausdok or Jim K. that realtors won't like you and that realtors like only the crap that W.J. tells us not to write like. Thats absolutely not true except for the zoidistsid="blue">.

It's true that zoids (my word for the car salesman type of realtor) will go with the inspectors who convention up their reports, segment and clasify findings that makes it easy for the zoid to partition away everthing but the very worst stuff, but there are many more realtors, in my experience, that are above this, have been burned by that crap or are smart enough to see it for what it is: useless crapid="blue">.

Not all realtors are car salesman, In fact most are not even natural salesmen. Almost all have backed into it just like we did with the HI biz.

One thing is for sure, realtors like anyone else, don't take to people who don't like them.id="blue">

In the beginning when a zoid would ask me to go easy on the house I would smile and be niceid="blue">. Then I would do my absolute best to find every little thing I could find and write it up for correction. They either never used me again or they never again asked me to go easy on a house.

Be professional, be nice, make friendsid="blue">. If you have a bad experience with a zoid poisoning things, bring it here and lets discuss it. Hausdok has repeately reminded us that at the inspection we are the boss and the client is ours.id="blue"> The better you understand how real estate works in your area the easier it will be to stay in control at the inspection and garner referrals from good realtors.

Chris, Oregon

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I did not intend to convey the message that I thought realtors were an enemy. I'm sorry if I led anyone to believe that. I am fully aware that the realtors are an important part of an industry that brings work our way.

I was just thinking in the best interests of the clients mainly. How the clients decide to choose their inspector is not going to change the number of homes sold, or the number of inspection jobs available, is it?

So what was the law in Mass intended to achieve?

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Today's inspection and conversation w/ the realtor :

R: So you're here already.

C: Hi, Yeah I've been here a few minutes.

R: Are you in the habit of starting before the agent arrives?

C: I'm just looking around I haven't really started, but sure... I usually start as soon as I get to the home.

R: StructureSmart? Never heard of you

C: I've never heard of you either, I guess the world's not that small. (now I'm getting agitated) I don't market to relators.

R: whatever. How long, an hour or so?

C: Uh, it'll probably take me more like three

The screaming, whining and bitching that ensued ended with:

R: I know a ton of good inspectors that will have this done in less than an hour.

C: Sorry, I must be slow...can I get started now?

R: What,are you trying to find things wrong?

C: Yes Ma'am. I'll tell you what...I'll start inside and when I'm done there you can leave. How's that?

R: Three freaking hours...start inside.

I swear,verbatim conversation. It put me in a foul mood and I have to go back because I did attic before roof and when on the roof I found a springy spot that I didn't see in the attic....grrrrrr

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Wow, Chad was that the listing agent or the buyers agent?

I have had listing agents make snide comments to buyers durring the inspection. Some just freak out as soon as you look cross eyed at something or they see you writing something down. They say things like" I hope your not going to run out of ink or paper"

Even as nice as I try to be I don't think I would have been in that situation. I have only closed up shop on one inspection and that was over the theatrics of the listing agent. In the middle of his tirade I looked him right in the eye and said "Were done, goodbye" he tried to back peddle and engage me and I just kept repeating "Nope were done" as I packed my stuff up and got the hell out of there.

Chris, Oregon

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I never got any meaningful pushback from the RE ladies, for a whole lot of reasons. They were a little afraid that I'd write about them, rat 'em out to their brokers, or otherwise blow the whistle on 'em. Another reason for no pushback: here in Nashville, the real estate ladies are sweet as sugar, and are blessed with perfect manners. That said, I do know that your average RE agent would gladly throw an HI -- or a busload of kindergarteners -- over a cliff if it would help the sale along.

I do have one suggestion for the times that the RE agent complains about the time it'll take to do the inspection.

I said something like this: "If you'd be so kind as to leave me your cell number, I'll be glad to call you about 20 minutes before I finish up. That way, you don't have to waste your time hanging around here, and you'll get a chance -- with the customers' permission -- to hear my whole wrap-up speech.

Before I gave the speech, I'd sit everybody around the kitchen table, and I'd always sit next to the RE lady, so the customers could watch her face and body language.


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