Im wondering now that I have CPI, What is the fastest & least expense ancillary service to be trained in? TIA
Why did you become a Home Inspector?
You need to focus on mastering the art of inspecting before jumping into other services that may well put you out-of-business before you even get started!
Because all the realtors I have marketed to want to know what ancillary services I offer…& the phones not ringing
IMO… wrong answer/reasons!
Get the basics down first, your bread and butter will be basic home inspections! Without clients wanting home inspections those ancillary services are of little good! If you are in an area that has radon concerns that would be the first thing I would get training on and add to my service list. In our area about 35% of our home inspections will have a radon test. Radon is about the only ancillary service we offer.
I would recommend seeking out other Home Inspectors in your area to see if they would help you out with ancillary services as you grow. They may give you a better price for the lead generation in which case you can up-charge the fee. It will be more work on your part but can help you get business by providing the ancillary services the client might need.
Hi Dewel. You’d be better off trying to concentrate on just being a home inspector for the first year or so. Once you feel confident in performing home inspections and providing a quality report, then consider adding ancillary services to your repertoire.
However, if you feel you need to add ancillary services, you really should ask the realtors you have marketed to, what do they recommend or expect you to have.
In my area, (Indiana) home inspectors are strongly encouraged to have their WDI/WDO inspection license. That is the only ancillary service I offer at this time .
More and more people are getting Radon tests in my area so I am considering offering this service as well. My real hesitation about testing is that I’ll have to make two trips to the property and depending on how busy I am or the traveling distance sometimes will make the $150.00 not seem worth it. The really good Radon testing equipment is not cheap plus you’ll have to probably have at least 3 units starting out. You don’t want to offer it and have only one unit. If you have 3 clients requesting Radon tests and you have only one piece of equipment that means at a minimum the earliest you could have all 3 completed would be 9 days. This is not an acceptable turn around time.
I don’t offer pool inspections mainly because most of the homes in my area do not have pools. I can’t justify paying the extra insurance premium just to inspect a few pools in a year. If a client wants a pool inspection I refer them back to their REA and say that they likely have a list of pool companies they could recommend. If you live in an area where there are a lot of pools you may want to consider offering this service, just check with your insurance provider to see what the premium cost would be.
If you live in an area where the homes have older sewer lines you could possibly add sewer scopes but this type of equipment (quality equipment) is expensive and could take a year or two to pay off with inspection fees. My luck I would get it paid off and then I’d break it. I’ve decided not to ever offer this service.
If you live in a rural area where there are a lot of wells and septic systems. You may want to offer these services. Again it all depends on how many homes have these systems and how much liability you want to assume. I will say that in my area, REA strongly encourage all their clients to have these systems inspected, mainly due to the high cost of replacement if one of the systems are defective or not performing properly.
Thermal imaging is another service you can add. The thing with thermal imaging is that some inspectors really don’t know how to use them and properly discern what the camera is showing. Another mistake is they buy cheap equipment.
So basically everything I just said, Jonas said in one short paragraph so just concentrate on becoming a good home inspector and add the other things once you know your business is sustainable.
Once you get certified, add them here: www.nachi.org/ancillary
I would have to say radon testing is the best first ancillary to add, especially if you are in an unregulated state. I do radon testing with over half of my inspections.
And if in a regulated state, it may cost you $600 - $1,000 just to get your required Training, Exam and License to even be allowed to offer the service, PLUS, the costs of EQ necessary to operate and perform testing! Then there is the annual requirements that also cost $$$. (So much for ‘inexpensive’)!
In the short term it’s probably easier to get aligned with some other companies doing those services and go through them. A lot of one-man companies in my area do that in order to compete with companies that offer all services. It’s almost becoming standard in my area of Orgon that inspectors do radon testing and sewer scopes along with inspections.
Yeah, but in most states, it also has the most bang for the buck as far as ancillaries go.
Considering everything involved, I totally disagree. The ROI just isn’t there!
Sorta. It does add another opportunity to say “yes, I can handle that for you”. There is value in that.
The radon courses are free if a member of NACHI. There is also some free study material available online. At least for me, I didn’t pay anything (besides NACHI dues) for the training.
The NRPP exam was $150.
The state license fee (for 1 year) was $150
I use Corentium Pro’s now but started with two used ($300/ea) 1028s’. Bought a couple used camera tripods off eBay for $10 each for stands.
That’s it. For $900 I was up and running with radon testing right out of the gate. I offered it from day one
I charge $165 for a radon with inspection, and $225 for radon without inspection.
900/165 = 5.5 tests (with inspection) to break even. Round it up to 8 or even 10 tests to break even if you want to figure in gas for the extra trip you have to make. Still well worth it.
Recurring costs are roughly $150 per monitor for yearly calibration and $150 yearly for license renewal. One test per year, per monitor, covers the calibration. One more test covers the license renewal.
I have three monitors, so four tests per year basically cover my overhead.
Thanks for the breakdown. Very helpful.
As a newbie… you are lucky things have changed since the Law went into effect.
I had been performing Radon testing for over a decade, have/had multiple certificates/training prior to MN becoming regulated. At that time, they were not allowing any training other than the State mandated AARST/NRPP course and exam, so I was going to be forced to redo all my training! Also, the original licensing fee was upwards of $300 year… more than what a Mitagator was being charged. It was a total money grab and BS Law! It was going to cost me near $1,000 to get my license, plus all the other BS they were requiring for their annual raping! And if you think the QA and other requirements have no financial value, you are wrong!
Bottom line, I made my decision to NOT get licensed.
Sure, I lost some business at first, but rarely does anyone even inquire anymore. One of the best business decisions I ever made!
FYI… (back when the crap was coming to a head)… MN Radon Licensing Act meeting announcement...
No, they do have a financial cost. I just wasn’t going to go that deep into the analysis on here, lol. We also need to do 8 hours CE per year, so that could get figured in as well. There is some administrative work to offering radon testing for sure and the OP should consider that.
We did 237 radon test in 2021 at $200 per test, do the math! We have 8 radon CRM’s. After their purchase $800 or so each we pay $150 a year for calibration for each CRM. Yes, we are in an unregulated state. I think around 16 states have some type of radon regulation or licensing requirements. Radon testing is very profitable if you charge enough and work it smart!
Scott, do you have a resource to buy used Radon detection machines?