Sorry in advance if this gets asked a lot, but I’m looking to join the home inspection field. I have no prior experience in any trades, and I am located in Iowa where licensing is not required. I’ve been looking at the internachi paid membership and was wondering if that’d be enough training for someone like me? Also, do most of your clients come from real estate agent referrals or do you do your own marketing? As I’ve heard real estate agent referrals are a conflict of interest. Thanks in advance!
After you take all the courses that InterNACHI offers, take this exam; https://www.nachi.org/qa.htm and when yo can score in the 90s on all sections of the exam, then look for a mentor that will help you along.
Jacob, contact some CMIs or CPIs within 40 to 50 miles, or closer, to your area and communicate with them. Maybe one, or more, will help you. Some inspectors feel as though they are training their competition by ride-alongs or mentoring or hiring.
I can actually make a good argument for not having a background in the trades, the first being that you have no unconscious loyalties or pre-conceived notions that might hamper your judgement.
As far as cozying up to real estate agents goes, that’s really the only way I get business. I have gotten only ONE inspection without a real estate industry person referring me. I think it is unlikely that someone will just find you on the internet and hire you. Remember, real estate agents have been cultivating their relationship with the clients for weeks, months or years and 99% of their clients will hire whichever inspector their agent recommends.
Put your time and effort into meeting agents. Go to open houses, join local real estate associations and attend all the meetings you can. At least in my area, trying to get to the top of general internet searches is futile. Sure, clients do visit my website, but that’s often AFTER they have booked me. DO NOT fall for the empty promises of referral sites like HomeAdvisor or Yelp - in one month I spent well over a grand and got nothing for it. The “Leads” I received were dubious at best - for those of you in Yorba Linda, I’m implying that they send fake leads because that’s how you are charged.
Anyway, good luck and remember to be patient with yourself. It takes about two years to get on stable ground.