Jump to content

So you want to be a home inspector


Recommended Posts

Lately we have had many posts on several of the home inspector forums and I have received several emails that are dealing with entering the profession and the longevity of persons entering this profession. As I enter my ninth year of this profession, I have seen an untold number of inspectors come and go and from what I can tell they had their expectations set too high and entered into a new profession with little knowledge and limited income reserves.

Why do they have their expectations set so high? As with any profession you will have a core group of people who have made it and they are looked upon as examples of success in the profession, they almost make it look easy. You also have many and most of training schools that depend on the constant influx of new students to keep their doors open, this can only be accomplished by painting a rosy picture of the profession.

And then we have the professional association on the other end. Over the past several years we have had an increase of home inspector originations popping up left and right, most have been created by individuals as just another source of personal revenue, some were created with good intentions, large promises and titles with little meaning just to persuade new inspectors to join and only a couple of the original professional organizations that have standards set high enough for membership so that is takes testing, experience and knowledge to achieve their highest level.

My first couple of years in this profession, I worked part-time in a sporting goods store and did inspections four days a week, I had to do this to make ends meet. Inspections were slow to come, I did around 60 inspections my first year; 100 inspections my second year; and 170 inspections my third year. In my third year I went into it full time, I joined a professional origination based on its high standards and not for what it promised at that time.

What does it take to make it as a home inspector?

I would say that the largest factor is you. Your personality, demeanor, finances, and your knowledge of the profession are your largest assets in regards to success or failure in this profession. From what I have seen we have many individuals who enter into this profession without any business plan or a realistic idea of how much it is going to cost to succeed; I am afraid that this is one of the main reasons we have such a high turnover.

Another observation is that our profession has about a 60% or greater failure rate the first two years of a home inspector’s carrier. Those that can survive the first two years stand a real good chance of making it.

The reason for this post is that I received an email today from a person wanting to become a home inspector, because he/she has no money to start a business and they were told that they can make $100,000 doing home inspections their first year.

I am just trying to get the truth out.

Any other thoughts or comments that might help prospective home inspectors are welcome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Scott,

I'd say that you've got a real good start on an article that could be a very valuable piece of information for non-inspectors seeking more information about the business.

Why don't you take that beginning and flesh out the rest of it - best qualifications (background, education, experience); average start-up capital needed to put together a company that can survive beyond the 12 to 18 months that most new guys do before they hit bottom and have to leave; training sources, mentoring concepts, etc. - and submit it TIJ for publication in the submissions forum below? We can clean it up a little bit and then put it up in 'What's New'.

What do I pay? Well, er..uh,...nothing actually [:-ashamed] but I can feature you in Member's Spotlight (Which will probably soon change to Author's Spotlight and rotate between author's) and probably spring for a CodeCheck of your choice.

Waddaya Say?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Scottpat

Lately we have had many posts on several of the home inspector forums and I have received several emails that are dealing with entering the profession and the longevity of persons entering this profession.

I get 1 or 2 calls per month asking about this. I start by telling them what E & O costs; that usually cools them off.
As I enter my ninth year of this profession, I have seen an untold number of inspectors come and go and from what I can tell they had their expectations set too high and entered into a new profession with little knowledge and limited income reserves.
I resemble that remark!
My first couple of years in this profession, I worked part-time in a sporting goods store and did inspections four days a week, I had to do this to make ends meet.
Yep, I'm still a carpenter when inspecting isn't happening. Pure neccessity.
Inspections were slow to come, I did around 60 inspections my first year;
You beat me by 8.
What does it take to make it as a home inspector?

I would say that the largest factor is you. Your personality, demeanor, finances, and your knowledge of the profession are your largest assets in regards to success or failure in this profession.

I can go along with that. I must admit to certain amount of luck as well, at least up to this point. I have 3 local brokers who recommend me freely, including one who is always at or near the top in sales. God bless them, every one.
Another observation is that our profession has about a 60% or greater failure rate the first two years of a home inspector’s carrier. Those that can survive the first two years stand a real good chance of making it.
Absolutely. My plan was set-up for 3 years, at which point I will be entirely out from under my original debt. If I make it to there, I'll be hard to kill off.
The reason for this post is that I received an email today from a person wanting to become a home inspector, because he/she has no money to start a business and they were told that they can make $100,000 doing home inspections their first year.
Where do I sign up?!...oh yeah, I already did. [:-headache]
Any other thoughts or comments that might help prospective home inspectors are welcome.
I found it impossible to get any reliable information on how many inspections were being done in my area. Most of the info I got from local realtors was exaggerated.

If I were advising someone I would say to get as much info as possible on local sales, how much competion there is, what are the requirements (if any) for a license (if any), and what will all of it cost (double whatever you think it is). Also, if you don't have a war-chest, get your debts and expenses down as low as you can. I don't think there are any secrets.

Brian G.

1/2 Way to Debt-Free Solvency [8D]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FYI- I did $100,000 in my first year. That was sales. Take home was about half that.

This is a tough business. I've started businesses in the past, so I had a leg up on the average Joe. I still had a ton of startup costs, and had to make some expensive marketing mistakes[:-banghead]

If I wasn't such a bad employee, I might have gone to work for an established firm for a year, before venturing out on my own.

Like everything else in the world, most people fail most of the time[:-headache] I don't know if the schools and fly-by-night organizations are ALL bad, At least the provide us with free marketing to the masses, and they give us a gauge with with to measure ourselves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...