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Hours of Operation


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I work Monday-Friday dawn to dusk. I rarely do weekend inspections anymore. I used to work weekends and charge a premium.

It is funny how often when people insist that they need a weekend appointment and after you tell them that you don't work weekends because you need to spend time with your family they somehow can find the time to do the inspection during the week. Of course I lose a few but I would rather have less money and be with my family.

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When things were booming, we'd do 2 inspections/ day, Monday through Friday, 8am and 1 pm. We didn't accomodate other people's schedules, they accomodated ours.

But now, things aren't booming.

I'll start as early as anyone wants, but typically at 9. I won't start an afternoon inspection later than 2pm. I will occasionally do a Saturday inspection, and don't work on Sunday.

I also find that potential clients don't wait for me to return messages like they used to. If I don't pick up the call, or return it very quickly, they are much more likely to have found another inspector by the time I get back to them. As a result, I answer the phone after dinner as well, which is something I didn't used to do.

Seems to me that this kind of market demands a bit more flexibility.

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Monday through Friday, morning inspection and an afternoon inspection.

Times range from as early as I have sunlight on special projects or request to like one I have late today at 4:30 PM. I'm not happy with the 4:30 PM time as it is across town and I most likely won't get back home till after 8PM tonight. But, it needed to be done at this time and with the way things are I accommodated everyone.

I would say that my normal times are 9am and 1pm, but again it all depends on the house and its location. I have been doing my time slots this way for about 14 years. I have found folks will accommodate my time openings when I do not give them the choice.

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We usually did one at 9:30AM (we got there early; expected clients at 9:30). Then we'd get lunch and start another job around 1:00PM. We were usually done and I was home by 4:30 - 5:00. Bear in mind that there were two of us, and we worked mostly in town, which meant short drives. Exception: Co-inspector Rick drove an hour into town and an hour back.

Didn't work weekends. Got a little insulted if/when people asked. Told 'em something like, "This is America. We work Monday through Friday. A man has to cut the grass and pet his dog sometime."

WJ

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I do one a day. I prefer to start at 1:00 pm, because I never know when my IBS is going to tie up my morning, but when it means losing the job if I won't do it in the morning I'll start about 10:00 am after chugging about half a bottle of Imodium early that day to ensure that I'll be sufficiently stopped up by the time I have to start.

Occasionally, I'll do two a day but when I do that I usually won't schedule anything for the following day 'cuz I'd have a hard time completing two reports and getting them out to the clients before I have to leave for the next day's job when I do that.

Nobody has talked about the rest of the job in this thread - how much time they spend working at home on their reports, how late at night they'll work, how much time on admin etc.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I leave for the office at 6am and go home usually at 4:30-5:00pm. I learned several years ago to establish a specific time that I do NOT work in the inspection business. I NEVER do business after hours nor talk about it with the dog or my wife. I strongly believe you should leave it at your office door, wheather that is away from home or at home office.

If the truth were to be told - I only started doing that 10-12yrs ago.

Hmmmmm I wonder why the guys doing 14 inspections per day are not posting?

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I write a 15-20 page custom narrative with at least a dozen captioned photos. I find that the writing takes about twice as long as the inspection and that goes smoother if I break it into two sessions, one when I get home and one the following morning when my head is fresh. A good portion of this time is spent editing and re-editing my copy. I have to try real hard to limit my proof reading to once for each section and once for the entire report, otherwise I spend the whole night rewriting the thing in my sleep.

Two a day would be hell, not that I have to worry about that. The most I've managed to book is one a week in this lousy market. Good thing I still have a day job.

Tom

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10am & 3pm to accomodate clients who want to show up on lunch hours or after work. Hours flexible. Work Saturdays, even an ocasional Sunday (1 or 2 year).

I prefer mid morning. 8am is too early, I like to get there after frost or dew burns off.

That being said todays inspections are 2pm & then another one at 5pm (special request). Tomorrows at 2pm.

Chris, Oregon

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Thanks for all the replies everyone.

I've been trying to move away from evening inspections for a while now. I told one Realtor that I'm not doing evening inspections anymore and you would have thought an A-bomb went off. A few minutes after that conversation I get a call from one of my better Realtors asking me if this is true. I just hate doing late afternoon/evening inspections. Anyway, I've found if you get to talk to the client direct and present them with the time you are available there's never a problem. I have Tuesday at 9:00AM open, OK?

On the flip side I actually enjoy working on Sunday mornings, no traffic, it's great (my wife and I hike whenever we can so I get my fill of religion - the woods are Gods first church). I'll work holidays too if we've nothing planned. I worked Memorial Day just to get out of an evening inspection.

With regards to the phone - it's on at 5:30AM and off at 8:00PM. For the majority of my working life I've been attached to a pager or a phone so it's just part of the deal.

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I try to keep my schedule M-Sat. I do get the occasional Sunday request and unless it's football season, I'll do it. I try and schedule my inspection times for 10am and 2pm depending on the distance between. In this market I really haven't had to worry about it:( I do work the report at my home office and they take anywhere from 1-1.5 hrs to complete, once the pics are added etc... When I have a day that I don't have an inspection, I am tinkering with the website, report software(still new to me and am personalizing it), basic work house keeping stuff.

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Typically 2 per day. One at 9:30 the other at 1:30 lunch in between. The report is completed by the end of the inspection. I build it as I go. I do the roof and then go type a little and so forth. It's been crazy busy here as of late so I will add a 3rd inspection if its a condo. I will work on Saturday if I don't have anything else planned, never work on Sunday. Phone automatically comes on at 8:00am and shuts off at 6:00pm. I'm not available 24/7.

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One-a-day in the morning to mid-day and then home to write the report. Sometimes I'll do two-a-day and back in the boom, that was about 2 or 3 days a week.

That's the hard part - working from home. Too many distractions and the report writing can drag on for way too long.

If I had an office outside the home, I'd probably be more disciplined to complete the day's work when the clock struck. . . 4pm, 5pm, or whatever time.

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I pick up the phone if I'm awake.

2 a day max, prefer one.

The schedule flows for me; sometimes it's a few big ones, sometimes a lot of small ones.

HOA work means evenings and weekends.

Self employed means you're on when there's daylight in the swamp.

The only thing I don't do is start jobs where I can't have daylight for the entire inspection period. I never, ever start a job on the exterior when the daylight is running out.

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When things were booming, we'd do 2 inspections/ day, Monday through Friday, 8am and 1 pm. We didn't accomodate other people's schedules, they accomodated ours.

But now, things aren't booming.

I'll start as early as anyone wants, but typically at 9. I won't start an afternoon inspection later than 2pm. I will occasionally do a Saturday inspection, and don't work on Sunday.

I also find that potential clients don't wait for me to return messages like they used to. If I don't pick up the call, or return it very quickly, they are much more likely to have found another inspector by the time I get back to them. As a result, I answer the phone after dinner as well, which is something I didn't used to do.

Seems to me that this kind of market demands a bit more flexibility.

I schedule inspections at 8:30 Am and 1:00 PM. If someone needs a later time, I will schedule to start at 2 PM and tell them to be there by 3 PM.

I will occasionally do an inspection on Saturday. In the summer I will typically work in one Saturday inspection a month to pay for the lawn service. One extra inspection on a Saturday will pay for about 6 weeks of lawn care. I sold my riding mower and spend most Saturday mornings out by the pool instead of mowing.

Jim, just over a year ago I hired a call center to handle my scheduling. They work from 8 AM to 7 PM M-F and from 9 to 2 on Saturday. It is the most liberating thing I've done. No more taking calls in crawl spaces or during dinner.

When the call center shuts down the message gives my cell so they can call me after hours if needed but this doesn't happen often. I would never go back to answering my own phone.

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M-F, prefer to start 9am. Usually arrive at 8:30 am to get setup and get the exterior mostly completed before client arrives. Usually only 1 per day. If two per day, none scheduled the next day to ensure the reports get finished. Require at least 1 hour of daylight to inspect exterior so late afternoon jobs usually start no later than 4pm.

If home is more than 25+ years old, try to put some extra time in the schedule for lengthy report writing.

Don't normally work weekends unless by very special request (customer is flying into town for only 24 hours, etc.) and that is the only time to get everyone on board. When I explain I like to have a weekend with the family like everyone else, most understand and find a weekday that works for them. Sometimes customer offers a bonus if will perform weekend job. Then I am more pliable.

Cell phone is work phone and it never gets turned off except during monthly Boy Scout camping trip. Usually in locations without any service anyway so saves the battery.

In a former life I carried a pager 24x7 for 10% pay hike. Then I joined the fire department and rescue squad so carried a pager for 12-13 years. People are always waiting until 2am to set things on fire or have a medical emergency. Got used to having something beep in the middle of the night. So far customers have only called between 7am and 10pm.

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I'm currently on two-a-days. I start around 8:30, meet the client at noon or so for an average sized house, then go home to let my dog out and scarf down whatever crappy lunch I decide to make for myself.

The second gig typically starts around 2:00 pm and I wind up getting home at 6:30 or 7:00.

The pain in the arse is when calls stream in and everybody wants everything done immediately and I schedule two fairly large houses in one day. I sometimes don't get home till 8:00 or 8:30.

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I work five days a week - Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri & Sat. Start times are 9 AM & 1:30 PM. I used to be pretty inflexible with the start times, but the past year or so I've been more accommodating. I've done two 3:30 starts in the past two weeks, and today agreed to another one for Monday.

Last week, I refused an 11 AM start on a big house. Supposedly, the seller wanted that time. I don't cater to sellers. I also like to eat lunch. It was eventually scheduled for 1:30.

My first few years, I did two 5:30 PM inspections a week during the summer months. Some of the most hassle filled inspections were in those 5:30 slots. I don't miss them a bit.

I'll spend about 3-4 hours on site, taking voice notes and pictures. The reports are done at night, in my home office. I'm not sure how long a report takes, because I've never, ever done a report from start to finish without stopping, usually stopping multiple times. If there's a distraction, I'll find it. I hate doing reports. Inspections ....... I'm a bundle of energy and a model of discipline. When it comes to report writing ......... I'm a serious slacker. It's a problem.

I had one inspection today, at 1:30. It was a small house with a garage. I drove away at 4:45. It's now nearly 10 PM, and all I've done as far as the report is download the pictures (132). Looks like another night of me falling asleep at the computer. Damn.

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