mgbinspect Posted December 11, 2009 Report Share Posted December 11, 2009 Early in my career, any call regarding an alleged omission caused a considerable blood pressure spike. I have, over time, become confident in the fact that, when those rare calls come in, I will direct my client to the page where the condition was, in fact, reported. There have even been times when people called with unusual or unique alleged omissions that had me beginning to doubt myself, but to my relief, even these oddball conditions are typically in my report. The seasoned home inspector is a methodical machine operating in a real time and sub-conscious mode all in unison. Through training and practice we simply don't miss much. The real remaining challenge in inspecting homes is making certain that: 1. what we saw makes it into the report. 2. the client reads the entire report. Most of us realize, through past calls, that this second point is the greater challenge. Clients are historically guilty of not reading the whole report. I first heard this statement in 1984 at a Fred Pryor Career-Track Seminar - Business Writing for Results and time has repeatedly proved it to be absolutely true: "If it's over a page they won't read it." A one page inspection report is, of course, mission impossible, but this is the mindset we are up against. The sad fact is the longer our report is the less likely our client is to actually read all of it. With this in mind, my inspection reports have always been pretty condensed and concise, but even so, history repeatedly confirms that if it isn't in the Summary it probably won't get read. A good home inspector is like a fine bottle of wine - constantly getting better with age. We seem to experience two distinct and significant learning curves during our careers. The first learning curve - the particularly expensive one - is learning how to efficiently and completely inspect a home. Eventually, we become that impressive methodical inspection machine that I touched upon earlier. Then, we begin to realize there is only one remaining way to significantly improve the quality of our service - our writing. In reviewing reports one can easily see that there are those who write to edify themselves and those who write to edify their reader. If we hope to move to the next level, we must be centered in that second category - those who write to edify the reader. This means that we may need to pause and rethink the way we write. When is the last time that you actually asked yourself, "How readable and interesting is this?" I suspect most of us rarely do that. By the time we get to writing the report, we are more like a surgeon cleaning out and closing up the operation. But, this question is the very threshold to the second significant learning curve - presenting our findings in the manner most beneficial to our clients. In the end, most seasoned home inspectors are very good at what they do in the field. That being the case, it stands to reason that the inspector who successfully gets his client to actually read his entire report comes closest to perfection. The journey continues... Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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