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The last client I had just called me up to tell me that the 400 bucks she gave me was the best money she ever spent. She took my report to her lawyer who used it to negotiate w/ the bank that she was buying the house from and had them knock 33 grand off the the price.

So, after she thanked me, I suggested that nothing says thanks like splitting the savings. She laughed. Sheesh

I'm going to like this job. All I lack now is clients, working capital, experience, knowledge and a CO meter. Other than that I'm poised to go.

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Thanks for the pat on the back, George

It's odd, but I didn't really post for the affirmation of a job well done, because that inspection rattled me and I know that the 45 pages of defects with no fluff wasn't comprehensive. But now that George said "well done", I admit I feel better about the report.

I guess I just posted for the funny part and to keep y'all abreast of where I am. It's still fresh to me and everyone's been so much help getting me going that I wanted to let you know the tutoring has been effective.

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I did a job for a gentleman and his family from Nepal several years ago. When I was done w/ the job, he looked @ me w/ admiration and said,

"you have the best job in the world; you make your living telling the truth."

I kinda keep that as the guiding phrase in my work; it's hard to go wrong when you simply tell the truth.

Now, as to that 45 pages of defects.....

Maybe it was necessary, but probably not. Did you ever read "A River Runs Through It" (or see the movie)? In a pivotal scene, the dad is teaching his son to write; it is very instructive. Pare it down to essentials. I remember my first commercial reports; they were around 35-50 pages. They were a mess of redundancies & nearly incomprehensible, althought factually & technically accurate. Accurate, but not precise. Accuracy & precision are both required; they are the bedrock principles of technical writing.

Writing is the hardest part of the job; those that say it isn't are fools, or have no idea of what good technical writing is. Sometimes I get it right, but hardly ever. It is a never ending pursuit of paring language down to the essential necessary to communicate clearly. Much easier said than done. I bet that w/ editing, you could cut it down to 1/3 (15-16 pages) of what you have now. Pictures, of course, add pages, but a well written sentence conveys everything that a picture does; if you don't believe it, read one of Jowers reports.

Then there is money; how can you get paid for your time if you are putting together 45 page reports? If it is T&M, fine, but if you are on a flat fee, you're screwed.

I don't have any pat answers, only advice; pare down the size of your report. Quantity is not necessarily quality.

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Yeah. I know. I didn't get paid enough and the whole thing took forever. The house was a total wreck... really bad. Every system was faulty. If I had double spaced and listed the defects "bullet" style, it probably would have taken eight to ten pages. I'm new and I have lawsuit allergies. My first 6 reports were around half that long including all the disclaimers and such. I should have just said; house needs to be demolished, site needs decontamination.

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When I get a call like that I ask the client if they would mind if I used them as a reference. On rare occasion, they will even write me a letter.

Even if they got your name from one satisfied client, you can ask prospective customers if they would like you to send them some addtional references. You would be surprised how many people respond positively to this.

I have a file with this information and one day I plan on posting a testamonial section onto my website.

Luckily, my testamonial file is thicker than my complaint file![:-banghead]

I hope that your client tells all of their friends and your phone starts ringing like crazy. Good Luck!

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What happened to our funn'in posts between myself, Dennis, Geo, and yourself which were on this thread? I thought everyone took them in stride and I don't think they were offensive. I didn't receive any PMs to lay off. If I had I would have. Damn, now I have to call the Boston Globe and retract another statement.


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