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Don'tya just love an audience?

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My wife is tired of hearing me complain, so I'm doing a little venting here.

I try to get the roof done before the buyer arrives, for a variety of reasons. You know it's going to be one of those days, when you pull up to the house 20 minutes early and find the buyer already there. Then, of course, as you pull up behind them, they immediately get out of their car and start walking toward you.

When I can't get the roof done early, I go over the contract with the buyer, explain what the inspection will encompass and what the limitations are. Then I tell them that I'm going to take a quick tour of the house to get acquainted with it, and after that, look at the roof. "WHEN I GET DOWN FROM THE ROOF, I'LL COME GET YOU AND WE'LL GO OUTSIDE AND GET STARTED. I'LL START BY GOING OVER WHAT I FOUND ON THE ROOF". That seems simple and easy enough to understand to me. And most people do understand. After they read and sign the contract, they spend that time wandering through the house, touching and messing with things that I end up being blamed for - but that's OK.

I don't know about anybody else, but I hate being stared at. Once in a while, the buyer decides that reading the contract and signing it isn't important - what's important is to follow me outside and stare at me. When that happens, once I'm on the roof, I can figure on a window of between 30 seconds and a minute before someone yells up: "how's the roof?" Depending on how assoholic (thanks for the word WJ) I think they are, I might patiently remind them that as I already said, I'll discuss it when I'm done looking at it ........ or I might just ignore them.

Today, my hearing wasn't too good.

Hey, you know ............ it feels better getting that out of my system. Life is good again!

Grumpyjoe

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Maybe it's just me, but for about 20 years, I told customers to show up about 90 minutes after I show up. I told them why: my co-inspector and I had a routine. I told them I had to "learn the house" before I could "teach the house." I told 'em that I couldn't do it with people looking over my shoulder. Catchphrase: "I'm not smart enough to figure out this house and keep up a running dialog."

I told 'em I'd take all the time they needed to explain things, but I would do all my explaining at the end of the job, after I was done looking, and after I finished writing the report.

All customers nodded in agreement. None complained. All understood.

I could be wrong, but I'm convinced that this method saved me a lot of trouble. I'm sure I missed some things over 20 years, but I think I would've missed a whole lot of things if I'd been inspecting and tour-guiding all at the same time.

Of course, others' experiences will vary,

WJ

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Hi Joe,

To each his own, I suppose. What you need to ask yourself, though, and what you really should ask the client, is whether they expect something else.

I've found in my demographic that there are some clients (damn few) who couldn't care less about what I'm doing during the inspection; they just want to get the inspection over with, get the report and move on with the transaction. However, the majority tend to be very analytical and they want to learn the house, not just get a laundry list of issues. I try to determine which type of clients they'll be during the ice-breaking stage, right after we meet at the house and I'm taking down their information for my report. That gives me an opportunity to ask what they do for a living and to ask them whether they are experienced homeowners or novices. Then, based on their answers, I'll know how to couch my findings so that they'll have a clearer understanding of what I'm finding and the inspection will more closely fit their expectations.

Mine's a walk-n-talk. I call it the School of the House. I'm not real bright about a whole lot of things on this rock; in fact, I'd say the opposite is closer to reality. However, I read houses really well and after years as a cop and investigator, and later teaching troops from all walks of life, it got to be second nature for me to keep a running dialog with those observing me work, explain issues/concepts, why they are, and provide solutions, while the other half of my brain processed what I was doing and seeing, made mental notes, directed my hands to jot 1 or 2 word notes down to key my memory later, and calculated my next step in the process. It's nothing special, I think most former NCO's and most experienced trainers are like that.

it's not like we were born that way. Everyone is self-conscious when in front of strangers and that feeling is increased when all eyes are on you; getting used to it requires one to make an effort to conquer it or it never goes away. I remember the first time I ever had to get up in front of troops and teach a class, it scared the bejezus out of me and my knees were shaking so bad I thought I'd fall down. However, when one teaches for a living one doesn't really have a choice; it's swim or sink, you either learn to get over the self-consciousness and get better at teaching or you eventually find yourself doing something else - I eventually conquered it. Now, after years of training those barely out of adolescence and more than 12-1/2 years of presenting the School of the House, I think I can put up with and teach just about anyone.

Like I said though, to each his own; as long as your clients go away feeling like all of their questions had been answered and they got what they paid for, it really doesn't matter which method is used.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Actually, my rant was an (apparently feeble) attempt at humor.

Mike, I do what you do: a walk and talk and to use your term, school of the house, and I try to tailor it to that particular buyer. I just try to make it clear that it starts when I'm done with the roof. I don't like shouted conversations.

It turned out that the buyers were actually great to work with. This was their first house and they were eager to learn as much as they could about it. They just had a jerk for an agent who insisted on being a know it all. He was leading them around like a Collie herds sheep.

I promise, no more attempts at humor.

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Originally posted by Richard Moore

Sorry, that's as far as I could bother reading. How was the roof?

Now, that's funny.....

Here's the magic of the gig. Run it however you want. How many jobs do you get to do that?

Personally, I like it when they watch me on the roof. They're all astounded that I'm even up there, so they're in my pocket for the rest of the job.

"Is that a customer in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?"

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Originally posted by Inspectorjoe

Actually, my rant was an (apparently feeble) attempt at humor.

Mike, I do what you do: a walk and talk and to use your term, school of the house, and I try to tailor it to that particular buyer. I just try to make it clear that it starts when I'm done with the roof. I don't like shouted conversations.

It turned out that the buyers were actually great to work with. This was their first house and they were eager to learn as much as they could about it. They just had a jerk for an agent who insisted on being a know it all. He was leading them around like a Collie herds sheep.

I promise, no more attempts at humor.

Oh, OK.

I didn't realize that. Me, I could tell the best joke in the world perfectly and it wouldn't get a laugh, so it went right over my head. Sorry to ramble.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I know

Same happens to me

I show up a litttle early to get the roof done and all of a sudden the neighborhood shows up wondering what's up.

usually i show up with my co inspector and while one is on the roof the other explains to the crowd what's going on.

Goo opportunity to pass out some cards and pamphlets and drum up some new business.....lol

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Originally posted by kurt

I've had officers pull over and ask for ID when I get out and set my ladder up to get on a roof.

I'll take customers anytime.

Yep,

Very rainy winter day with ice on the roads. I drive down to South Seattle to do a job and the driveway is too steep to drive up with the ice so I have to park a few hundred feet down the street from the drive and haul all of my gear up there. Realtor lets me in, says the client will be about an hour late, and then runs off to show another house, leaving me alone.

I wasn't enthused about doing the outside in that freezing rain so I opted to alter my normal routine and start inside. I start going through the house room-by-room. I'm in the kitchen, literally under the kitchen sink on my hands and knees looking up at the connections and am backing out from under the sink when I hear, "Freeze motherf****r," and feel a really hard object on my shoulder. I said, "Man, I sure hope to hell you're a cop."

Turns out it was. "Come out of there, he demands." I back out and then he orders me to spreadeagle while he frisks me, pulls off my tool belt and tosses it aside. I'm calmly protesting all the time. Finally, he lets me up and what I'm saying has begun to sink in and he holsters the weapon. "If you're an inspector, where's your vehicle?" he demands. I said I'd show him and we walk out into the living room and I pull back the blind and point at it down the street through the window. Then I gave him my business card. "Why are you here alone, where's the agent?" he wanted to know. I explained, he called it in, they called the agent, and all was well with the world.

There was a silent alarm in the house and the agent apparently hadn't done whatever she was supposed to do to make sure I didn't get in trouble.

Oh well, just another day in the life....

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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  • 2 weeks later...

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