I’m sure there are many many buried threads with this topic, but I’m wondering which is the best commercial software program that you guys swear by. I’m looking for something that looks more professional than a HI report and has easy pic loads. Something with an SOP integration would be nice as well.
On a side note; how much of your inspection do you contract out? And how do you integrate their report with yours?
I use Homegauge for commercial inspection reports… but like anything else, it’s what you wish to use. As the template seems to get modified for just about every inspection, I found that HG was easier for me to set up/duplicate units etc.
Using video for documenting conditions/areas has been helpful and a good selling point, there are many reasons for this.
As far as what to sub out, depends on the building, your skill level etc… Roofs and electrical systems can be quite different system types on commercial. Your customer generally wants to know “whats wrong and how much is it going to cost”… how comfortable you are in dealing with those questions and how you document it as such will probably bear on how and what methods you use.
If a 3rd party performs portions of the inspection, you will likely be inputting the information as such as well as stating who performed the inspection and any limitations as such. Some contractors aren’t very good at helping with inspections, as you’ll find out, but you’re going to need help once in awhile.
With Commercial inspection flexibility to change around sections of the report and tailor them to the different property types is important from everything I’ve learned about it.
Everyone that has tried it tells me HIP is the fastest to change on the fly as it was intentionally designed from the beginning to be light weight and made to evolve.
Some of the others are stuck from many useless in house features causing them to be bulky and difficult to understand or change while
HIP actually merges with outside programs such as the ISN network and recall check as your company grows and decides to use them.
Thank You Bob!!! It is all about offering inspectors choice and flexibility while being connected to software that saves you time AND lets YOU choose how to run your business.
HIP is amazing and we enjoy working with people like Dominic who we call friends first and then make sure our software gives you guys choice. Using software that does not offer choice from one product to another is nothing but a dead end!
Thank for the help guys. Now if I can just figure out the tangled web of pricing myself, plus the contracts and how to present that I’ll be one step closer!
But for this off season, I’ll have my nose buried in the books. Any good read suggestions would also be appreciated!
If I can’t do this right, I’d rather not do it at all
Commercial inspections are being marketed here as “easy / anyone can do”, and to an extent that may be true, depending on the building and what your client wants. You should also be asking how much risk they (the buyer/client) want to bear vs. the inspection costs, to help build a menu such as Ancillary inspections, engineering services, third parties and so on. It’s really up to you and the client to come to an agreement… but not always so easy to change hats on a switch.
When you inspect a home, deferred maintenance equals comments such as those for painting trim, noting some dilapidated fixtures or installations, but IMO, that should equal statements that can help guide your customer, that you wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) make in a home inspection report.
Another facet that often comes up is “how much is that going to cost to fix?”, while most shy away from this, many commercial buyers will want Probable costs or maybe even an estimate over the next 3 or 5 years… what would you do? Do you have experience to draw on? Purchase RS Means etc… (By the way, I can create Work Scopes for this in HG, not that I’m in the software business… other folks seem to have that covered)
Thanks Tim. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your wisdom and experience. This is definitely not something I’m going to jump head first into. I am slowly and cautiously moving my focus towards commercial. I think my biggest issue at the moment is figuring out where to start in furthering my knowledge appropriately, executing the process of the inspection itself, and knowing when to draw the line and outsource components of the inspection. There are many avenues for home inspector training but little if any for commercial. I’ve been told that consulting is easier (contract all parts of the inspection) but to me leaves little profit with the same liability. Also, I enjoy inspecting and can’t imagine sitting at a desk making phone calls and emailing all day! I need sunshine and human contact dammit! Lol
Home Gauge has been around for over 10 years, they have been innovators not imitators in the inspection software industry. I’ve been using Home Gauge (Dale Duffy’s template) for my commercial inspections for years now and still modify it with each inspection. RS Means for cost estimates. All referrals come from NACBIand my websites. Don’t forget the extra insurance coverage many property owners require to set foot on their property. Commercial inspections are a totally different ballgame.
Thanks for all of your insight guys. This thread started with a question about report software, but now I have a laundry list of questions about commercial inspections that I can’t seem to find many answers to. For now I will take all of your great advice and apply it all. If anyone has anymore suggestions for educational material it would be greatly appreciated.
Just for kicks, what was your biggest surprise or mistakes you guys made in the beginning of your commercial career? What are some easily avoidable problems you encountered as part of your learning curve?
You shouldn’t have any problem, you’re a Certified Master Inspector.
I see on your website that you provide a “thermal sweep” and a “digital video sweep”. Can you explain how you do these? I’ve tried to keep up to this infrared stuff and can honestly say I never heard of these terms used with relation to infrared thermography. I see you are rainbow certified, was there a 2 for 1 package deal with the CMI thingy?