Lloyd here of Owl Home Inspections, located in Truro Nova Scotia Canada.
I’ve been into the Inspector Outlet looking at Software, I’d like to buy outright and have no monthly fees and such. So my question is what Software are all of you using and how much is it costing you? Did you buy it outright or do you pay a monthly fee.
The reason I don’t want a monthly fee is because in my area the market is flooded with houses for sale, but not a lot are being sold therefore not a lot of inspections are happening. The economy is so bad here that I have expanding my service area to include the next province over, after learning there is just one inspector there and the home sales are better.
Only asking because you are Canada…
What language(s) do you need your report to be in?
As far as I know, Home Inspector Pro is the only one that has you covered in all the possibilities, and yes, you may purchase it in multiple ways and formats.
Valid question for sure. In my area, everyone is English, if they speak French or other language they are bilingual as well. Thank you for the reply, I will look into the program. I just hate paying a monthly fee. It feels like renting. I’d rather own what I pay for.
Home Inspector Pro - Bought outright, no fees. Which province are you expanding too NB or PEI? There is definitely a lot more than one inspector in each province.
Yes , your right more than one per province for sure.
Expanding into NB.
I think you’re going about this all wrong.
You don’t have a software issue, you have a lack of a business plan issue and a marketing issue.
Your report/software is the heart of your business. You don’t choose your heart based on what you perceive to be an issue with your local economy.
I have a lack of funds is what I have, but thank you for your opinion. My business plan is in check, my marketing is in check also, I am wanting to buy a software program, without the monthly fee that I see many have. I don’t want to be dinged with a monthly fee if I can help it. Inspection work here is few and far between due to the economy, therefore without the work, I wouldn’t want to add another monthly bill on top of the bills I already have. My credit is in check as well as my brain.
Thank you for your opinionated comment, it did not help, nor was it the kind of support or answer I was looking for. I asked about a Software Program, you gave what you perceive as your two cents worth, I see it has a half cent at best as it was not what I had asked. As a member of Internachi we are to help one another, not try to belittle one another. That bit of advice is free. Cheers
Home Gauge works without the monthly fee. It is purchased outright and makes fully customizable reports which can be delivered by email rather that through the cloud.
Home Gauge provides ‘Cloud’ services including web sites and report storage and retrieval for a monthly subscription fee and you could certainly add these later if you so desired.
I certainly can’t comment on software I haven’t used but I was attracted to Home Gauge by the softwares’ layout and ease of use.
Then save up your money so you can get the proper equipment for this job.
You have to have enough seed money before you start any business.
Lloyd, I can’t find much online presence for your company as well, other than a Facebook page. No website?
We have the World’s largest assortment of inspection software. Most of our competitors are One-Size-Fits-All. You purchase our software outright. There are no subscription fees, no usage fees, or any other hidden fees.
Our software is also the most customizable in the industry. Nothing else comes close when it comes to customization.
Lloyd, I started out as an inspector, but in producing digital templates for various inspection software companies I’ve learned a few things about the challenges they face.
Like home inspectors they have competition, but because the technical aspects of software are always evolving, those companies that want to remain competitive have to keep up with new developments. This means that they are constantly paying developers to incorporate new bells and whistles into their software.
As digital technology changes they may also feel the need to change their platform from application-based (lives on your computer) to cloud-based (lives on the software company’s servers). And the list of challenges they face doesn’t stop there.
All these efforts to remain competitive cost money and they have to pass on these costs to consumers (inspectors) somehow, and they can do this in a number of ways:
- By charging a higher initial price;
- By charging an initial price plus (a sometimes optional) additional periodic update fee;
- By charging a fee per report that can change over time;
- By charging a monthly or annual subscription fee that can be increased over time.
Most inspectors want to pay the money outright, own the software, and be done with it, but as you can see, it’s not quite that simple.
For newer inspectors on a limited budget, the pay-per-report system can be a good way to start out. As an inspector’s income increases, so may his choices in software, and after a while he may want to explore other inspection software that may be a better fit for his way of thinking or his particular business model.
I believe Report Host charges per report, but they may not be the only ones. You should do some homework.
Well, I disagree with your assessment.
If you had a solid business plan, the cost of software would be integrated into your plan, not the other way around.
And 2nd, your reasoning doesn’t add up.
If Software A costs $1,000, but has no monthly fee,
and Software B has no up up front costs, but a fee of $50 a month, which one is really better for someone who has a lack of cash flow?
Your attachment to monthly fees doesn’t really jive with “lack of cash” because the best deals for lack of cash are in the fee based systems.
Home Gauge and Home Inspector pro can both be run without any fees, but you have to pay for it up front. Hip is the $500-$600 range I believe, and HG is around $795. And if you want to use the mobile app, you’ll need a modest subscription.
Report Host costs $0 up front, and you pay by the report. Very, economical if you’re not doing 300+ inspections a year. Though it’s cheap for a reason.
Spectora has no up front costs, and its $99 per month. So it would take you 5 to 8 months before you spent the money you would have to pay what HIP or HG cost up front… It’s somewhat economical in the short run, and not at all economical in the long run, but there are reasons it’s so expensive.
But go ahead and think I’m not helping, and stick to your plan.
Mr. Mayer,Roy and Junior really hit this on the head. The main issue is your lack of understanding in starting up a business. The most important thing is a business plan. It should not be in check unless you have suspended your business. Part of any business plan is your budget for start up costs and your amount of savings you will need while your business is just beginning, to survive downturns in business, economy etc.
Software is just a tool, like a moisture meter, camera etc. IMO you should re-evaluate your business plan, and perhaps look for another source of income to bump up your savings/credit. Good Luck
Mr. Kenton Shepard. Sir, I appreciate the response to my question. I have been doing homework on programs and will continue to do so as I grow in business as a way of refining my busines. I really appreciate your explanation.
Thank you so much.
Thank you Mr. Roy Lews
No website yet Mr Junior Fudge. I am starting out, need to make money before I spend more money. I have start up money and I have other small business to keep me afloat, while I venture into the inspection business. My business plan is in good shape, could it be better, of course it could. Have to crawl before you walk, I’m sure even the veteran inspectors who have commented have changed and evolved their plan I’ve the years to suit their target market. My plan is good and I have happy customers. Getting back to the Software question, as I’ve said, I don’t like to pay rent, everything I have I own, that’s how I’ve always been, therefore I was asking about a program that I could buy outright and wanted to know what others were using. As for a website, I’d like to be able to manage it myself, make changes and such. In my area there’s no web host that I know of that does or allows that kind of thing. The website will come one day.
Mr Ian Mayer, your first comment to my question came off a bit agressive in my opinion. Your second comment which was more explanatory was much better written. The cost of the program isn’t the issue, I’ll try better to explain my post…If you read my question you would see that I am not wanting to pay a monthly fee, I am wanting to purchase a program. Hence my comment about lack of funds. The housing market here is flooded, there are four inspectors in this town, none are full time inspectors, all of us have other work, be is self employed or working for a company. My goal is to be doing it on a full time basis, I believe it is achievable as the other three inspectors have other jobs and are not readily available at all times. One inspector has offered me to buy him out of his franchise, because he doesn’t have the time to be doing it. I declined the franchise, again renting is not what I’m about, paying in annually to a franchise to me is a waste of my money, when I can do the same job as the person who is under a franchise. Currently I am doing a few more inspections a month than he is, I know this because though he is competition he is also an acquaintance of mine.
Back to the comment about lack of funds, there are sometimes weeks go by without doing an inspection, as is there are days that I do not have any jobs lined up with my other small business, it fluctuates, some weeks I wish there were two of me, other weeks I’m home doing woodworking and selling to make ends meet. Therefore, I am not wanting to be in arrears if I cannot pay the monthly fee. I’d much rather purchase the program. Right now I am making a living, but it’s not where I want it to be. I’m not starving for money nor am I greedy, I am just wanting a comfortable living without someone being in my wallet. Hope that clears it up for you. Now in saying that, I was not aware that the best deals would be a fee based system. I will look further into that option until I can outright purchase a program.
I think it’s more important that you choose a platform that suites your inspection goals/needs.
Go with a top-tier solution from one of several tried & true providers, and you’ll be happier down the road.