Business Update--Atlanta Checking In

I hesitated to post this (not that I post much), but just wanted to share some hope with my fellow Nachi members. I realize that markets are different across the U.S., but here in Atlanta I just pulled the numbers for our small company and we are up 19% over the same time period last year. We should complete roughly 550 inspections by years end. Incidentally, we raised our prices (slightly) and have made this progress during a difficult economy.

I share this information to give hope to some who may feel like their pushing a rope. Running a home inspection business continues to present challenges (that weren’t necessarily mentioned in home inspection school). We all work so hard on behalf of the clients. There are days when being an employee for another company may be more inviting. The bottom line is…we are an important element in helping people during a very stressful time period. I’ve had the privilege of performing inspections with some other local and out of state inspectors. This is one industry that should not be cut throat with one another. All of my competitors are welcome on my inspections. Folks like Kip Mccullough ( and Robbie Newland ( are top inspectors in my area.

If I can offer some help to a member, please feel free to contact me!

Have a productive week.

Sales here are down 27% from a year ago, and a year ago it was worse than that. Yes, regions are different, but here it is really rough. Many buyers are purchasing from banks, and they do not abide by any RE rules, so you only have two days, or less, to get inspections. Most all homes are selling “AS IS”, so most buyers are not getting home inspections, or are using their agents’ contractors to do the “checks” for free; and for a reason of course.

Thanks for the invitation Gary, I just returned to Atlanta recently conducting a three-day commercial inspection.

I’m always interested in “local providers” that I can can work with or depend on for follow-up data collection.

I’m not familiar with your services, but why will look at them right now.

CMI with 55 posts is somewhat of a misnomer that warrants further investigation! :wink:

Atlanta as well as Nashville seem to have survived the gauntlet of our current economy due to their flexibility and youth in the workforce.

Keep me in mind if there’s anything I can help you with and I will do the same.

We are always looking for qualified commercial inspectors at NACBI to expand our network across the United States and Canada. Check it out on the web at your leisure at:

That’s great Gary! (and thanks for the kind words). It’s nice having NACHI members like yourself to be able to go to as needed, working more as a team than competitors. (I’ve been out of commission with some flu bug for the past week or so and have sent a few your way… not that you need them, LOL)

Glad to hear you’re doing well, will be in touch.

For what reasons will you “be in touch with me”? Sure, all I have to do is lower my rates to $99. Not going that way. You get what you pay for, or as in the case of a low cost inspection, pay for what you do not get.

Your reports must be really soft to do 550 inspections. IMHO.

Sounds like you have it figured out.

I’m not sure how one relates to the other. I’m on pace to do that many this year, and I am a “one man shop.” My reports are not “soft.”

The first two quarters of this year have been stellar for me. I have also raised my prices (slightly) and continue to be busier than all previous years.

WOW! Have you met the guy or seen any of his reports? Come on man our industry doesn’t need this kind of pettiness…
If someone is doing well just be happy for them…it’s good karma :smiley:

My business is 75% down from 2003, and half what it was in 2005. Home sales here are also down in that range. I did over 500 inspections in 2003, and only 160 last year. It is always not as it seems, or stated in the media, or message boards for that matter.

I’m feeling you man but that isn’t a good excuse for implying that someone else is doing well because they are doing soft reports. Unless, of course, you know that for a fact and have proof. We all make a conscious decision to stay in this business or do something else. We cant blame someone else when things don’t go our way BECAUSE we made the decision for ourselves. When my bills don’t get paid it’s no one’s fault but mine. I myself am encouraged when other inspectors post of their success. I have something to work toward.

I sure hope you’re not trying to blame someone else for your inability to adapt and modify your business to succeed in this economy.

I’m having a hard time deciphering the point you’re trying to make in your replies to the initial post.

Are you implying that everyone is full of crap because you’re not recovering like others obviously are?

I’m five hours away from Atlanta, home sales are down, my home inspections are down, my prices are up and I’m making more money this year than I ever have.

You’re so “not busy” what’s the two day limit issue?

If the buyer is selling “as is” it’s even more important to know what they’re buying. A large majority of the inspections I’m getting lately the client specifically states “I’m buying this house as is and I really want you to be thorough”. Seems to me it places an even greater demand for a home inspector.

I also get a very large number of finance company referrals (I have no idea where they found me from) to their mortgagees lately.

Maybe you need one of those “I’m a full-time home inspector” logos… CMI doesn’t seem to be cutting it.

Have you ever stopped to think perhaps your problem is you and not the rest of the world.

As single person operation, I can’t imagine doing 550 inspections in a year! Are you following the SOP strictly and/or doing a lot of smaller, single story homes??

I have lost some business due to not being able to schedule. Best past 3 weeks ever!

Most veteran inspectors these days, such as me, are not getting the home inspection business due to several reasons. Being a CMI, a BBB A+ business, etc, etc, I have a better chance of finding a defect over a newbie and/or less experienced inspector, whom is getting all of the business. Heck, Kansas laws allow for basic, soft, say nothing reports that the agents love. Go to my web site and click on “internet discount”. There is a company here that will do home inspections on any size home with termite inspection for $249.

Tell me, how do we compete with that?

I have a copy of one of those $249 inspections. Unbelieveable how the home buyers are getting hosed here.

I’m not sure what you mean by “following the SOP strictly.” I do cover everything in our SOP, but other than pool & spa inspections, I don’t offer any ancillary services. I perform complete home inspections (I don’t count draw inspections or phase inspections) and inspect homes of all sizes. The average is in the 2500 sq ft range.

Saturday I have two appointments - one is 4600 sq ft and the other is 5200 sq ft. Sunday I have two appointments - one is 972 sq ft and the other is 8200 sq ft.

500 inspections per year is pretty easy to accomplish if the work is available. If you only average 2 inspections per day, you would still get 100 days off.

What’s your “representative” number of receptacles, windows checked. Do you go beyond the SOP?

2 full house inspections a day usually take me 12-14 hours + meal breaks…can do it for a couple of days, then I have to take a break or do a single for a day or 2. I don’t/won’t dream of 500 per year!!!

Hi Gary,

I’m a little north of ATL but still serve the metro as that’s my bread and butter. I think I understand your post but as you can see not posting regularly and minimal subsistence offered in this post may drawl out some criticism.

I would suggest maybe offering help or pointers time to time or just answering a question here or there with the newbies.

Now the doubters that do not believe that 500 State or iNACHI sop inspections are achievable, maybe you should not be in this business, or maybe that pace is not mentally or physically possible for you. Gary did say that his ‘‘firm’’ will do over 500, so that may mean one or more in addition to Gary. But 400-500 is definitely achievable. It’s a pretty grueling pace. It takes a lot of work and dedication to say the least. Some days are in fact 12-14 hours.

Like Jeff said, you can average 2 a day and still have over 100 days off! I will more than likely fall in the 350-400 range this year. They are all iNACHI sop inspections and reports. For me it’s too hard inspecting much more than 400. Example is today I inspected a 150 year old lake log cabin w/ detached apartment & garage, then 7000 sq ft 2005 high end home. I have a total of 212 photos/items that will go into the report. I just finished #1 and after trolling the MB will start #2. I started on the job at 8:30 am this morning. Will hit the sack well after 1 am. Tomorrow I only have 1 inspection in Marietta, fairly easy one. I’ve done 10 this week. I have 6 already scheduled, one commercial, one real high end lake lanier home. So some days it’s only 1 if it’s high end, over 6000 sq ft, or commercial. That’s why it’s hard to do more than 400. But like today, I made likely more on those 2 than some inspectors do all week. It’s not all about total number of inspections but fee per inspection IMO.

Most of us if we had a choice would do all commercial or larger high-end homes and less inspections IMO.

Garry F. I see a lot of disappointment in your posts. It does matter or varies from market to market. Fortunately these past few years the ATL market has been very kind to several of us. It also matters on several other factors like relationship building, advertising, and so on.

IMO, sooner than later if it’s not providing ends meet at the minimum + retirement savings, I’d get out of the inspection business or think about moving to a more stable market. There are so many inspectors that are inspecting for different reasons. Some only need to do one or two a week and like to post 300 messages on the MB, others need to produce a few hundred or more.

The inspectors that want to be in this profession for a long time and make a good living doing so, watch and listen to the seasoned inspectors that are serious about what we do, it will only help you in the end. Do not listen to the negative people on the MB or mock the guys that only do a few a month.

In a vacant house, I will check them all. In a furnished house I will check those that are accessible without moving furniture or personal belongings. “Going beyond the SOP” is quite a subjective term. Do I limit myself to the outline of the SOP? Not by any means. I walk every roof when possible, crawl every crawl that’s accessible, access all attic spaces that I can enter, pull covers off of every panel that I can, etc., etc.

I also incorporate thermal imaging on every home inspection, operate all built-in appliances, perform a “more-advanced” circuit analysis (beyond the simple three-light testers) and other things. Is that what you’re referring to as “going beyond?”

In a 12 hour day I can easily complete 3 inspections on homes in the 2500 to 3500 sq ft range. Most of my inspections are within 15 to 20 miles from my home, so drive time is minimal. Reports are completed during the inspection, so there’s no “double-work.” I’ve been doing this gig for a couple of days now, so I’m pretty efficient. :wink:

Your reports must be really soft to do 550 inspections. IMHO. - Gary Farnsworth Post #5

I did over 500 inspections in 2003 - Gary Farnsworth post #9.

So when others do over 500 they are soft and when you do over 500, they are top notch. Your post confuses me. I am baffeled how when other people are successful they are using trickery or are substandard inspectors, yet when you do 500 its because you are awesome.

You are not doing inspections because your doing everything right. You are doing less because of YOU. Stop looking for the REASON people go elsewhere. I will tell you why, you have no value in your service or your marketing sucks.

I personally think your jealous that others are successful and your not. ITS YOU. You have done nothing to better your situation except ***** and moan.

Keep doing what your doing and you will keep getting what your getting.