An old important post .…99/#post656624

New home inspector need advice Quote:
Originally Posted by rcooke
Field training with an experienced Home Inspector will be the best thing for you .
I did 60~ with my son and some with other Home Inspectors.
I had over 40 years in Construction and found this was huge help.
Remember use this forum non stop and you will get many ideas.
Unfortunatly past experience seems to confirm about 90% of new Inspectors do not last 3 years .
Many succesful Inspectors have an other income pension? or partner who help give support.
Please look up letter from Chuck Crooker it has good information

I think this is a very frustrating and difficult career to get into. Wonder they the colleges are not cranking out more inspectors?

Let me see if I can sum up the ideal requirements:
You need to have years of experience in the construction business or in one of the trades, which would take, well… years! Hard to get that coming out of a college!

You need to complete a ton of specialized courses that will cost you 4,000 to 6,000 or more, and take about 2 years of a lot of night school, while, presumably, you try to hold down a day job to pay for all this.

You need some equipment, ie: truck or van, ladders, and as many tools as you are foolish enough to use.

You need a reporting system - either computerized ( more bucks) or check off with comments, or… written. I forgot, most folks coming out of the school system would have to take a course on writing… and spelling … and maths…

Then once you have survived all of this cash outflow, you need to get some on the job training - lets say about 50 ride alongs with an experienced HI. Thats a trick, most are one man shops in an area where they do not want further competition, and live in fear of you stealing their contacts and future business, so that should really make this step a challenge, and take …well, years to complete 50 ride alongs!

You can join an association - preferably a professional one that will put you through a lot of hoops and steps and take months before you are allowed to practice inspections. Or, I suppose you could join some mail order group and have instant certification, which will likely be as recognizable to clients and Real Estate agents as any other “certification”.

Then you need insurance … if you can find a company that will insure a “newbie” and have still some money saved up to pay for the first year = lets say 5,000 to 6,000. Of course, you can decide to go without since by now, you probably will not have any assets left, and are highly unlikely to be able to afford any assets for the next several years if you survive in business as a home inspector.

Now, at last, 3 or 4 years later, you are ready to do inspections. Except that expensive cell phone and business line, are not ringing. So, you have to pound on doors, try to get by the pit bull at the front desk of most real estate firms, actually find an agent in the office, and willing to meet with you. You live in hope, that, once they recognize your lack of experience at inspections, but admire your young eagerness(?!) they will actually put you on their referral list - with all of the other inspectors they have used for years. Of course you will not see instances of agents pushing their “preferred” inspector since they are not allowed to do that!

So, once you are in business doing inspections, then the fall and winter arrive, and you are shocked to find out there is next to no inspection business due to the “slow” season in the Real Estate world. So, you have to face several months of no or negligible income with ongoing steady cash drains to support being in business. Opps, forgot all that money you have to find in order to advertize.

By now you have had to undercut all of the competition with the lowest rates in town in hopes that you will pull some business away from the more experienced inspectors out there, who, mysteriously are no longer talking to you. Suddenly you realize that you still do not have enough coming in to cover the costs. Should you have the misfortune of having to pay for an unhappy client, or worse yet, litigation - then you are really up the creek.

Suddenly, by year two or three, if you have made it that far, you wonder why did you even bother to spend all that time and money to get into a business, that, for many, is very stressful with constant concerns of litigation … and bankruptcy, especially when you realize that many experienced inspectors seem to last less than 7 years in this business, before burn out …or bankruptcy beats them down.

I forgot a couple of other ideal prerequisites, 1) independently wealthy - opps that probably means your assets are at risk
2) very understanding spouse who has a great career and is willing to support you, pay all the bills, watch the savings erode, while you struggle to make a go of this business.
3) a healthy retirement income, so you can enjoy this advocation without worry about making ends meet.

Since 1) and 2) are very hard to find these days, then, many inspectors likely fit into category 3)!

Gee, I wonder why so many are in the 50 to 60 age group?

Fear not, many baby boomers will be retiring so our ranks should continue to grow = with 50 to 60 year olds!

A very interesting statistic. Almost half of us are in the 50-60 age group with none under 30. Do you think this is because colleges aren’t promoting home inspection enough to entry level students.
Chuck Crooker CROOKERHANCOX HOME INSPECTIONS INC. prime example of one I can find zero record of now

Best Inspector that I had ever hired was Rebecca back in 2002 (she was under 30) and I think she still is. :slight_smile:

2nd Best was Justin (who was 28. in 2007.

I have hired many Inspectors over the years.

It is rare to find a combination where the Inspector has the
Technical Knowledge and Computer Literacy
to generate the report that I require as Standard…

Interesting thanks Joe are they still in the Home Inspection industry??/

I hired Chris Morrell 16 years ago… he was age 15 and had just got his first computer. His first project was to write the html code for the left blue border you still see today on most every page of this website.

Last year he got married to one of InterNACHI’s other employees who I hired many years ago when she was 17.

You have to catch them before they got to college IMHO. A college degree is the number-one thing I’m looking for when reviewing a resume, and if I find it… the applicant is not likely going to be working for me.

So I should never get my last CD college course then Nick! LOL.

Also it’s funny that in 2002 I was under 30, and I still am, it’s a fragile thread though…

Thanks Roy that is an interesting read. I am now at the 3-4 years of training stage. It’s either go for broke or think again time. It would take me a few years of minimum wage to earn back what I have into training, it sounds like it will take me about the same to get it back in HI! Grrr…

Kathleen there are many avenues around home inspection business that you can do. You need the basics to start but here is what I did when first starting.
I did small repair jobs on homes when not inspecting.
I installed wood stoves, chimneys, Oil fired Monitors and tanks.
I cleaned driveways in the winter.
I consulted in one area of expertise.
I helped older people that could not trust contractors.
I looked after buildings as a Maintenance Manager.
If you have some places to volunteer your time do it you will receive referrals and feel good about yourself.
I know one place that is looking for volunteers right now.** Hint Hint**!
I should also mention I agree with Nick! at least in the cases when I hired a college grad, he thought his job would be easy.

There are exceptions of course.

Joe, you talking about me again?:mrgreen:;):twisted:

What are you saying?
Before they are trained that it can not be done as the old saying goes: “The damn fool did not know it could not be done and went ahead and did it anyway!”