Cheap Inspector Problem.

I know a couple of inspectors in my area that do good, thourough inspections and produce great reports and even do thermal, but they are dirt cheap!

They are living alone and have few expenses and don’t need a lot of income and believe that they will get more inspections of they undercut the other inspectors.

I, and others, have talked to them and told them that they do a good job, but they should raise their prices, even if just a little bit.

Seems like they have a big Realtor referral network because of their low prices. And don’t get me wrong, they do good inspections and (not that I know of) do not go soft for the agents. Just low prices.

Problem is, they are fellow NACHI members. Some are even members of our Chapter.

One guy does 30 - 40 page reports, very good and throrough, but they do so for $250. I charge $435 for a single family under 2,500 SF, but they get the business.

How do I explain to them that they can get more money for working less?

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Gee! The last thing I expected was a vendor trying to sell me something!

But, I also posted this tonight>

So, the question is, how do I pull a gun on Nathen?

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Personally, I believe the variegation within our profession is far less scary than the prospect of everyone operating under the same SoP, using the same software, wearing the same uniforms and charging the same price… That to me is truly frightening.

Here you go Again preaching Multi-inspection firms. :twisted:

The way I understand your message here and on related threads is if you had it your way Multi-inspection firms would be the Only choice and basically control the home inspection industry throughout the U.S.

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I spoke with a couple last meeting so perhaps you overheard it.
Problem is a couple of the guys said cheap was good if it is slow.
Me I raised my fees again this year and never had so many calls.
Did have a woman call yesterday and right away with the how much do you charge question.
I said if you are price shopping keep calling then she asked about insurance and I told her I do not take clients that are looking to sue me.
She continued her list with Do you test for mold ,radon,lead,etc,to which I replied sure I can take as much money as you can give me.LOL

Needless to say she finally hung up but sure took long enough.:roll:

Was not trying to be mean but some people would rather save $25 on a inspection for a $500,000 home and pay a 6% commission to a Agent than get a good professional that is there to help protect them from safety issues and financial disaster.

It feels like they are getting an inspector because they think it is required rather than smart practice.

Just glad I do not get many of those calls.

Yep! Commoditization of the profession is truly a frightening prospect. At that point, price becomes the only differentiator and it’s a big race to the bottom.

This sounds like a typical start up business approach. You made an honest effort to advise them on how to put additional money in their pockets. Their not listening. Stay your course, and by tax time of this year or next, their eyes, and wallets will open widely.:wink:

Will IMO your to high for the area we are in on that sq footage. I can get $350 to $375 but thats pushing it. Weather we like it or not in our area people care about price even those who care about getting a good inspection. Those guys who do it for $250 IMO have no business sense simply due to the fact taxes is going to eat up atleast $25 to $50 bucks of that depending where your bracket is. Add gas expenses, car upkeep at a minimum and soon you will realize your working for peanuts.

Name a service industry this hasn’t happened in? Bigger companies are always more recognizable. They will slowly gobble up the market. There will always be room for a boutique company. For the most part smaller things get forgotten.

I love IBC rootbeer. I don’t buy it often,not that it’s too expensive, but I just forget about it. It is hidden away in a corner and I seldom see it. Out of sight out of mind. It perceive this to happen in the future with our profession. If I can produce a comparable or superior report in less time at a around the same price, why wouldn’t you use me?

Not at all knocking single inspector firms, but the guys who have almost e started out multi inspector forms a re slowly gobbling up their competition.

Am I right? Time will tell.

The issue of price and what we charge is huge. I tend to be on the lower end of the scale in my area. I feel that you should be able to justify what you charge and why and be ready to do so with your customers and within your target market. There are inspectors in my area that live by “I just charge what I charge and people pay it”. They are often $100-$200 more than me. They can’t really tell me why other than experience and training. Mine is equal to or in many cases, exceedingly more than theirs. That mentality is as troubling as what you are describing and in my mind, hurts our industry as much as anything. Lets face it, we buy most things on price don’t we? Don’t you always strive to get the best deal? Why should a home inspection be different? Was your truck different? Your house? Competition is about being better, playing better, offering better products and service, etc. My advise is to be better than your competition…maybe your price needs to reflect that as well. And can you justify what you charge? I love the guys who start a conversation like this " now don’t choose your inspector on price alone". Nine times out of ten, if I am one of the cards in that consumers hand, I get the job. Because I offer a great price, customer service and am thorough. That is how I start a conversation. It doesn’t take long to make that sale.

Do you charge $265 no matter the size and number of systems in the home?

So you’re an “admitted” low-baller.

When you need work on your vehicle do hire the cheapest mechanic or body repairman?

When you need a new roof do you hire the cheapest roofer?

When you need remodeling work, painting, at Your home do you hire the cheapest contractor you can find?

I quoted a lady $475.00 for a 4,000 sf, 100-year old home. She wanted a pre-listing inspection. My competitors were anywhere from $265.00 to $315.00. I got the job. It took me 10 minutes of conversation, but ti was worth it to her.

I had an inspection scheduled for last Friday that got canceled.
6,000 sq/ft home with a 40x60’ metal barn/outbuilding. I had quoted $750 but should have been a little higher. They canceled, went with a cheaper inspector.

Had another request for tomorrow that was canceled. 3,000 sq/ft home with radon. My quote $500. They went with a guy for $404 that also included Thermal Imaging.

I’m not worried about any of that. I’m still having a great month, my best January. I will have a great year, I have a goal of 300 inspections this year. I did 202 inspections last year not counting Radon testing.

Yes, any size. Consumers don’t like to see the target move. Lowballer? Not anymore than a person could be called someone who over charges. Be better than me. Provide better service and most importantly, be ready to tell the consumer why you cost so much. I believe in people getting great value for their money. I only recommend other subs and service providers who provide great service and do not/will not gouge my customers (this includes a competitor who also does radon mitigation installation. He does great work and gets all of my referrals…no kickbacks). Consumer confidence is huge in my book and I am sure in yours. I won’t begin to tell someone what to charge. But you better understand your market and you better be ready to explain why you price the way that you do. A good portion of our customer base are first time home buyers. In many cases, it won’t be their last home. You don’t have to like it. My rates are based on matrix that I have in place regarding my market area. A great deal of thought and research went into it. I am comfortable with my price points and the market has responded as well. By all means, charge what you wish, it is not up to me to tell you how to do your business and that is certainly a two way street. I respect my colleagues and will not bad-mouth them. It makes us all look like dummies in the end and is not good for the industry. I have found that there is a issue with this sort of thing among other inspectors. It is unfortunate. All I can say is be better than the other folks if you want to succeed. There are some great inspectors in my area and I am excited about that. It makes me want to be better every day. The minute you lose that for the comfort of more money, less work, is the minute you might want to start looking in the mirror. Best regards to all! I self evaluate all of the time…do you?

I am a mold specialist and water, fire/ smoke damage specialist as well as a home inspector. I have a dollar or 2 in equipment . So much equipment in fact, that it has to be stored in multiple locations. The restoration business is an expensive proposition. Price commercial dehumidifiers and 600 cfm and 2000 cfm air scrubbers! We have a few. This, along with buying the best tools of the trade possible to inspect with
for home inspections. I need to carry pollution insurance as well. Most of you don’t (and I am happy that you don"t…it is expensive and the insurance company gouges me). So, it isn’t an overhead issue. I probably have more overhead than most of the guys around me and maybe a few of you. I am also possibly, the only home inspector in my area or state that carriers these qualifications. It is one of the ways I can differentiate myself and continue to use my skills in that area. If you put on a tool belt, you are a contractor in my state. My training and background was intensive. Weeks of school and certification and 1000’s of water damages, fires (puffbacks and smoke cleans), mold claims, crime scenes, sewage claims, you name it. IICRC training is some of the best around. You will really understand how to use that moisture meter and so much more. I don’t think I am better than anyone else, but I am not just knocking on doors either. I am bringing something to the table and striving to bring even more. People can complain about my prices and have the “now don’t just choose on price alone” angle. You have to put more on the table than years of experience and construction background. That is why I love NACHI. They offer so much. So, I challenge folks to put more on the table than me (in a business-like and respectful way). Whether it is here or in my area. Be better than me. I am good with that. We all need a focus. That is mine.

So home inspection is a feeder for your real company. Now we see why you can be cheap. Thanks for clearing that up.