Earn $10 to $100 for your ideas, experiences, strategies and tips about....

(Nick Gromicko, CMI) #1

I’m 1/2 way done with my new book on the topic of running a multi-inspector firm. Earn $10 to $100 for your ideas, experiences, strategies and tips about running a home inspection company that employs more then one inspector.

Share them here and if we use them in the new book, I’ll send you a check for each one. The better and/or more unique the strategy or tip… the bigger the check.

And this thread will also help others who are trying to expand their home inspection company.

(Roy D. Cooke, Sr) #2

I was in a loaded crawl space doing a prelisting inspection for a lawyer and knocked over a homemade ceramic lamp . ( A piece of junk )
Broke it and brought out somepieces and the lawyer said Oh dear that was one of a set and is not replaceable.
I went back under made a crashing noise and came out with some more glass and said to the lawyer well Ijust fixed your concern I broke the other lamp now you do not need to worry and trying to get a match .
He came over and said you are the greatest I sure like you and I hated those lamps well done .
He was laughing all the time .
I guess I was lucky and read exactly that he was putting me on

(Dave Fetty, CMI) #3

Not sure what that has to do with the OP but it was funny. :lol:

(Roy D. Cooke, Sr) #4

I was up on a roof leaning out hanging unto the chimney checking for any concerns when a voice beside me said what do you see . I almost jumped of the roof it was so close .
Well turned around and there was a beautiful lady all dressed to the nines high heals and all .
No we all know how easy it is to get from the ladder to the roof and it is harder to get from the roof to the ladder .
Well tiring to help a lady in high heals and a dress who has never been on a ladder before .
It is very awkward to do with out getting personal with your client.
From then on we where always early done the roof and put the ladder away before the clients get to the inspection …

(Roy D. Cooke, Sr) #5

Sorry did not read Nicks post correctly .

My posts just might get others to give some good information .
Thanks for the reminder Roy

(David Asselin) #6

I think anyone who wants to become a multi-inspector firm should:

  1. Consider giving a piece of the pie to the right candidate or profit sharing options.
  2. The new candidate shouldn’t get the over flow, the owner should. The new guy gets a full time job, the owner become a full time marketer.
  3. Consider getting company cars for branding. It’s an extra expense but it can be fitted in with the new guy’s commission.
  4. Consider paying for education or at least half of it for the new guys. The company with the most educated employees always win. Since they will own a piece of the pie, they will stay and the company will now be able to get into niches like thermography, aerial drone inspections, commercial inspections…
  5. Consider hiring the new guy’s wife as commission booking agent or marketer. Getting the whole family on board will almost guarantee long term loyalty.
  6. Consider having “Giving back” day where the whole team goes and volunteer for something. Since everyone has a piece of the pie, it will help the company therefor everyone.
  7. Consider having new guys have their own website and business and if they get any business it get done by the multi-inspection firm but the guy gets a bigger commission like 20% more. If a guy gets 40% as a base and 20% extra for bringing a customer in, they wouldn’t get anymore doing it on their own considering business expenses and all. At 60%, if the new guy is an entrepreneur, he will stay.

I work for a guy who was hoping to build a multi-inspection firm. He was secretive, didn’t feel like he should tell me too much so I don’t go out on my own. He wasn’t able to keep me busy, I was getting the over flow which he didn’t have much. He didn’t make me feel like I was part of the team, I wasn’t aloud to greet anyone unless he introduced me first… was hell and that’s why I’m not with him anymore. Running a multi-inspection firm is like running any company with employees, you have to respect, show appreciation, and make everyone feel like they are part of a team. The hardest part about building a multi-inspector firm is keeping inspectors long term, all the above should help with that.

Might be all garbage, I’m not talking from an busy inspection firm point of view but from the guy getting hired by them.

David

(Nick Gromicko, CMI) #7

David, email me your mailing address: fastreply@nachi.org You just earned $100. I’ll send a check out Monday.

(David Asselin) #8

Thank you.

                 After researching on the subject I quickly realized that the challenges in operating a multi-inspector firm are the same as the challenges of operating a multi-dentist office, accounting firm, or a lawyer firm. As soon as the people you hire have the same education and credential can potentially create challenges. 

Here is a great article for dentist, super inspiring:

100 tips from 100 practice management experts in 100 words or less.

Some of my favorites:

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[FONT=&quot]Great info from here too for dental practice:[/FONT]

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[FONT=&quot]Good info for accounting firms:[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]http://www.accountingweb.com/aa/auditing/the-10-best-ideas-for-accounting-firm-business-development[/FONT]

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[FONT=&quot]I would add that it would help to listen to audio tracks from Anthony Robbins or Brian Tracy multiple times before considering switching from home inspector to business leader and pro marketer.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]I saw that some guys will make a deal with a new inspector that they will send them their over-flow for like 50%. When the over flow is almost full time the new guy get hired full time and make extra commission for bringing in clients.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]All this research is great for me as I’m having the same challenges running a multi-team construction company in the Walls and Ceilings trade. [/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]David[/FONT]

(Andrew S. Fox) #9

Running a multi-inspector firm can be rewarding and challenging. We are after all in the people business and it is critical that your inspectors understand that ideology. We can teach technical, but the people skills are where the real challenge lies.

Make sure your inspectors understand the vision of not only the company in which they work, but also the vision of the buyer when approaching a new inspection. It was only a few days prior to receiving the phone call from a client that they just fell in love with the home. Compassion, attention to detail, and having the ability to read your clients is worth every penny to a multi-inspector firm owner/operator.

Follow-up with inspectors for all good and bad calls is also critical. Complaints will come in, remember we are in a huge liability business. Letting the inspector know of the complaint or issue as soon as it comes in will ensure a resolve is done immediately and accurately. Not all complaints are going to be legit, however sharing that with the one that did the inspection will only teach both sides on how the psychology of a person is reacting to certain scenarios. That should translate into better inspections. If the complaint is indeed a miss on behalf of your inspector, not telling them or bringing it to their attention will ensure a consequence is meaningless plus drag out the clients resolve. This could make for a bad experience for all parties involved. With this all being said, keep track of all of your claims, but also the positive ones. Sharing positive reviews with the entire team builds moral and keeps the desire to seek more positive experiences on the top of everyone’s priority list.

This is just one of many that I could provide…but I don’t want to give out all my secretes?:wink:

(Ian Elmerick) #10

If you already have the volume and need to hire more people quick in order to fill your current demand… You can consider a very unique strategy where you would make arrangements with the potential employees you have in mlind to where tbey pay you a fee until they are ready to inspect on their own. This gives them more incentive to learn and not be/get lazy and careless. You can even look into making pre inspection agreements pertaining to specific employees of yours rather than your company itself. I don’t believe in paying to train your potential competition. Not in this small demographical Market… especially not if what you are doing is better than what everyone else in your area is doing.

I also recommend taking $25 or so out of the new inspectors pay once they are inspecting on their own until you save enough money for the deductible on your E&O policy so you/they can be ready if an event would occur that would require them filing a claim.

Make them work for a truck… do not give one out. Everything should be earned. Always have incentives for people working under you so that they can have individual goals that will keep them on the right track while you concentrate on the goals of the company as a whole.

(Sheehan Thomson) #11
  1. Make sure you have everything laid out before you go to hire. ie, pay structure, benefits, hours, time off, vacation policies, etc. You want to look professional and be prepared before hand so that if your employee asks about time off or paid holidays you have an answer.

  2. Set up a payroll and accounting service such as Quickbooks. One click every two weeks gets everyone’s pay directly deposited into their accounts. Hire an accountant to do your taxes at the end of the year. They will use your Quickbooks P&L, Ledger, etc.

  3. Pay them W-2 and make it salary OR commission. When you guarantee a salary, even $700 a week, it creates a feeling of security. I pay 20-40% per inspection and my guys never make less than the base $700 a week. It also motivates them to be more efficient so they can do more inspections and make more money instead of sitting back and collecting a guaranteed salary.

  4. Hire slow, fire fast. Take your time in hiring. Do your research. I’ve filtered through over 40 people who have asked about being an inspector and I’ve hired 3. They are all excellent inspectors.

  5. Buy their tools, vehicle, insurance, etc. Take care of them and they will take care of you.

  6. Hire good communicators. A potential employee may know a lot about houses and might even have a contractor’s license, but if they don’t know how to communicate inspection findings well they are useless. You can teach technical information, you can’t teach personality.

  7. Don’t hire employees too quick, don’t hire them too late. You don’t want to have them sitting around doing nothing, but you don’t want to be losing a bunch of inspections because you didn’t hire early enough. I find that hiring in the Fall is the best so that the inspector is ready to ramp it up in the Spring when it gets super busy.

  8. Hire someone to answer the phone. Preferably a call center with the ability to answer multiple calls at once. You don’t want to be taking an order and miss another call coming in. You are losing money if you do this!

  9. Create systems to handle every possible scenario. Your employee runs out of flashlight batteries, how do you handle it? Your employee collects checks at inspections, how do they deposit them or do they drop them off? You get a complaint about an inspection done by one of your employees, how do you handle that?

  10. Figure out your costs and revenue. What are your fixed expenses? Variable expenses? Break even point for number of inspections a week? Profit margin per inspection? Where can you cut costs or increase revenue? If you don’t know what any of these terms mean, you need to take an online accounting course.

(Robert Scott) #12

Here’s my two cents:

I used to do something with my construction guys, that I might call a “ride-along” for inspectors. My help usually worked independently, and every so often I’d find a reason for two guys to work together for a day or two, and casually talk with them about the other. Generally, it improved the environment. I’d learn a little more about the guys, they’d get to know each other, and only once did I let someone go, as a result of my discoveries. People say and do things with their peers that they wouldn’t with their boss.

Specific to inspectors: perhaps send out a pair from time to time, one inspecting, one observing at site, with commentary off site. Both stand to learn something new, and you may learn some interesting things about your people, service, and system. You’d see peer reviews, quality assurance, personal development, and procedural checks.

In any case, I used it keep my house in order. Hopefully, my explanation wasn’t too convoluted.