You might try reorganizing your narratives so that you look through fewer.
2 hour report for that 3 year old home?
Brandon will get faster. He’s on thee ball…IMHO.
I currently don’t do on-site reports either. My intent is to do MY quality of inspection as fast as possible on-site. People are busy. Clients don’t like long inspections (but want it super thorough, go figure), agents & homeowner’s don’t like being put out all day. Even though we have no obligation to them, fast on site really appeases everyone & is good for business.
I can always put the report together on “my” time later.
Going to road test reporting on site tomorrow.
I won’t actually send it from the jobsite. Will really have to proofread that bad boy before I let it go.
Would you mind telling us how long your inspection & report writing takes you?
That way we can have some context as to how your particular report writing method & amount of service impacts your time.
On an average residential inspection, 2 or 3 hrs putting it together at home. I’ve had some longer at times. All depends on how everything goes with the property. I’ve had some only take an hour or so to get punched in.
The biggest reason for that amount of time writing the report for that house is likely:
Self inflicted by the way I use my software.
• I take all my pictures under 1 tab in my software so that I can shoot & move, shoot & move.
• At the office, I then send each photo (probably 50 on that house) to it’s correct section in my software, then choose a narrative for it, then annotate it, lastly write a caption.
Self inflicted by the amount of information
• I enter all the appliance data & often tweak many narratives to customize them to the situation.
I’m not that far off then…
That makes me feel less inadequate
I’m not Junior, but my reply to this question is…
My ‘Rule-O-Thumb’ is the report generation takes as long as the inspection takes. A three hour inspection takes three hours to create a report that satisfies MY quality standards!! I never create reports on-site (tried that before it was popular… hated it!), and is always done in my office, and delivered within 24-36 hours, depending on the size and/or condition of the inspection. I have a reputation for performing very thorough inspections with in-depth reports without the filler garbage. I am also ‘First-time Buyer’ friendly that allows my clients to attend the full inspection, (which occurs about 95% of the time), and I take whatever time needed to educate them until they fully understand their (potential) future home, be it 2 hours or 5 hours!
My reputation is everything. It allows me to perform my service to my standards, and I charge a premium for it. In most cases, I only perform one inspection a day. NO same day inspections EVER!!
Sounds like you’re doing fine Brandon!
Right on Mr. Jonas!
How did the onsite reporting go for you?
2016, 2500sqft home
24 defects reported
21 FYI comments
46 pictures & 11 Graphics
I started at 9:15am & left the property at 11:45am (2.5 hours)
I started on the exterior & it was difficult to break my old habit of snapping pictures & moving. Felt like I was screwing off sifting through the software but kept at it.
Clients showed up as I was finishing the exterior. (they changed their mind & decided to attend)
It started pouring rain so we all moved into the garage. I inspected the otherwise clean garage only noting 2 defects ( Water heater pan drain line disconnected & 20 breaker supplying 14awg lighting circuit in sub) While I did interact with my clients, I felt my face was in my phone too much.
Came inside, turned on some items, & headed inside the attic. Invited my client up there with me. (first time buyer) In the tiny attic space w/ HVAC equiptment I noted 3 defects + 2 FYI Items. I converversed with my client but my face was staring at my phone again sifting through the software. The atmosphere felt uncomfortable to me.
It has taken me 1.25 hours to this point. With the amount of defects (or lack there of) so far, I have taken probably twice as long as I would have normally; clients are getting bored. I still have 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, living, kitchen, laundry & roof. So I quit the on-site scrolling, editing, annotations, etc. I went back to my old routine of snapping photos, engaging my client & things livened up!!!
I spent 2.5 hours total at the property & 1.25 finishing the report at home. The inspection & report retained the same quality as always. The home was just in really good condition!
I will try again the next home that I have plenty of time & no clients to engage.
I have never had the intentions of reporting on site. (though I am not apposed to it) More than anything, I am trying to better understand how to use my software (any software) more efficiently.
I believe my narratives may be too custom/detailed to efficiently choose the right one while in the field or without constant editing. I cannot tap a narrative “title” in my library & feel comfortable that the full narrative will be accurate in the report due to being very customized. Me using my software is probably the most inefficient part of my business.
I also am trying to evaluate the value things I include/inspect/report on outside of my (oh so minimum) SOP.
How much effort & time do they consume?
Does my client value this information or would they have been fine without it?
Can I charge more for this additional time/effort?
I have received tremendous feed back on the detail but nobody has said they would have paid more for it.
*Note: I am not trying to lessen my quality. I have no problem with my onsite inspecting & information gathering, nor do I have a problem with my end product. Just trying to better my ability/efficiency at report writing & see if I am over inspecting & over reporting in my narratives.
I appreciate all the details that you’re including. It’s very eye opening for a rookie.
It takes time to get used to using a software, Brandon, but you’ll get there.
“Really good condition”, with 24 reported defects? And 46 pictures? At a four year old home.
I based “Really good Condition” with consideration to the average amount of deficiencies I usually report. I.e. This home had a lot less than usual.
It is very likely that I am reporting (unnecessarily?) on things that others would not.
I also include “FYI Items” in my reports. (probably unnecessary, too?) These are things that have been the most commonly asked questions by clients, about their home, not counting deficiencies.
Hell, take a look & let me know what you think. (Please excuse the poor page breaks, that happened while deleting identification markers)
Inspection Report - NACHI Post.pdf (9.4 MB)
Food for thought - As inspectors, we train ourselves from day one on how we will conduct our inspection process. Once we’ve fallen into our “groove” It can be very difficult to get out, but it CAN be done if you’re persistent and if it serves to reach your goal.
I knew very early on in my career (nearly 20 years ago) that I wanted to be able to complete my inspections onsite and I worked toward that goal even when using Windows 98 on a ToughBook, with a digital camera…
Whatever your goal, work toward fulfilling that and eventually it will come. If you (anybody) simply settle and decide “this is as good as it will get,” well… that’s what you’ll get.
Onsite reporting is not for everyone, especially for those of us who have been doing this for decades. However, I believe that onsite reporting IS the future of home inspections and those not doing it at some point, may as well be using printed reports with Polaroid pictures stapled to sheets of paper… metaphorically, of course…
I attempted ‘mobile reporting’ back when HP PDA’s and PalmTech Reporting Software was all the rage (2008-2009). I hated it. I have considered another attempt at it the last few years, but I am generally happy with my current system(s)… ESPECIALLY because I am shifting more and more away from Residential inspections and into Commercial, Industrial, and other stuff. As it is, there is no “one size fits all” software for desktops, so I use multiple systems as necessary to achieve the report quality I want. Mobile software just isn’t there for my needs yet.