Business skills vs inspection skills

Which is most important and by how much? Show as a percentage, as in the following example:

45% Inspection skills/55%: Business skills

Assuming the following:
Inspection skills. These are the skills required to capably:

  1. inspect the various home systems; and
  2. create and deliver a written inspection report of adequate quality.
  3. maintain training, including improving existing skills and developing new ones. 

Business administration skills, meaning tracking the performance of different aspects of business and making decisions and changes when necessary. These aspects include:

  1. marketing; 
  2. scheduling;
  3. call conversion; 
  4. taxes; 
  5. record-keeping; and
  6. payroll, for those with employees.

I’d have to say
60% inspection and 40% business

Merely because won’t matter how much business skill you have if you stink at the inspection skills

80 Business and 20 inspection

It’s easy to inspect a home. It’s easy to enter the industry. It’s easily replicated.

It’s not easy to run a business.


100% business skills in order to even start worrying about what skills you have as an inspector. If you don’t set up a plan for your business you won’t be inspecting anytime soon and you won’t grow as fast as you could. As for inspection skills that’s another ball of wax. In my opinion one should spend atleast a year learning on site from another inspector before inspecting a home on your own. Last thing you want to do is watch a family go up in flames in a house you inspected and wonder if you missed something.

Very interesting question…I believe the answer is dependent on the business model, goals of the individual and market share that is being considered.
Example A- high level of home system knowledge and good ability to articulate both verbally and in Written from the home condition and recommendation but minimal business skills. This person could hire the marketing, CPA and office personnel to create a stable growth business that would provide a good living but likely would not have a continued growth goal nor would that be advisable.

B- business minded/skilled visionary who has a systematic approach and has learned the inspection process hands on using systems and processes and the knowledge necessary to fulfill the state or SOP requirements . This person again could grow the business to a level limited by their ability but to take it further could hire example A types and grow to the desired level but be at a disadvantage to example C as the limited technical skills would also limit the overall quality set by example.

C - the business gifted person who also has a high level of technical knowledge and can not only plan, monitor and reach goals but can excite as well. This person can not only grow substantially but can train and mold his team in keeping the hugest technical ability on the ground while building the business model than can be replicated again and again, limited potential only by the market available.

Over time all three could carve out substantial success but c mor likely than B and B more likely than A

50/50 would equal 50% results
100/100 would have few limits

75% inspection
25% business

ive done very little marketing and get 2 a day most every day. a well written report consistently and in a timely manner makes the phone ring. I find it hard to consider punctuality, professionalism, common courtesy, motivation, and initiative as “business” skills but I’m sure others would disagree.

80% Business, 20% skills. Social skills, salesmanship, record keeping, presentation, communication, all play a part. I am sure there are more.

I was a good businessman long before I was a good (or even competent) inspector.

So, the answer to your question (IMO) would be on a sliding scale. You can be the most thorough and capable inspector in the world, but without the business-sense, you will starve. On the other hand, without the skills to perform a quality inspection, your days in business will be short lived.

In the end, I believe it depends wholly on your business model. Business skills will put food on the table, and inspector skills will help keep it there.

Sounds like a tater and gravy analogy to me Jeff … Lol … Taters get you started but without the gravy you will eventually choke to death…:slight_smile:

Exactly either way you look at it. The business/personal skills are harder to quantify and more difficult to obtain.

How would you recommend a new inspector concentrate his energies, Jeff?

Get the business, whatever it takes. Then spend every spare minute learning how to be a better inspector.

Jeff say your new to the business. When you say whatever it takes what is the first marketing move you would make?

96% business skills, 4% inspection skills.

I was never a home inspector even when I was performing home inspections. I was a businessman who happened to be in the home inspection business.

Business skills matter when you are new. Years later your experience and knowledge make you a valuable asset. My business focus has decreased steadily every year, but my inspection and reports have gotten better and more thorough every year. Word of mouth constitutes a huge portion of my business.

I can teach an inspector to be a good inspector, I can’t fix their demeanor, personality or personal skills so easily.

Example I can teach you what a double lug is in about 5 minutes. I cannot teach you how to speak in a professional manner with an authoritative tone while not being condescending to another.

It’s all about the networking and establishing the right relationships. My first “move” was to become a member of the local Board of Realtor’s and begin developing relationships with the professionals who have the clients I want - home buyers.

As far as I can tell, the total number of educational offerings that ever existed in the history of the inspection industry add up to less than 1,000 hours. That means you can study the technical side of inspecting for less than 6 months and then you’ll have covered it all and exhausted every course available.

Compare that to business courses. You can take business courses for 1,000 years (not 1,000 hours) and still not run out.

I attended a termite class a few years ago because I had to, so I could renew my termite license for two more years. There was another gentleman in the class, who owned his own termite extermination company for over 40 years, and even wrote some of the class material. He still had to take the class to renew his license.

Point is that you can only learn so much about your industry and the work you do. Learning the skills to speak, communicate, new laws, business requirements, taxes, etc. are almost, as Nick says, endless.