Experience Only! ? ! ?

As a newbie to the challenging business of making home inspection my career it is somewhat disheartening to ALWAYS hear/read people stating;

***“Make sure the home inspector you choose is an experienced inspector.” :roll: ***

This is all fine and yep, jim dandy, however like anything in life one needs to build practical experience based upon learned theory,one needs to walk before they become a gold medal runner.
So why put down before anyone can put out ?
We all need to start at the beginning to build the experience that is required. Where might I purchase that ‘instant’ experience to accommodate the home owners mantra?
Just a general question people.
In advance thanks for your input.
John Byrne
Mt Forest
ON, Canada

Most people don’t ask that question. You will be pleasantly surprised how people decide they want to hire you. My favorite is “I liked your website”. :roll:

Fake it, till you make it !

JUST KIDDING !!:stuck_out_tongue:

I see you’re in Mt.Forest, call a few inspectors in Guelph or Kitchener and see if you can do some ride alongs with them, or inspect your friends and families home for practice.

I don’t know what your back ground is, but maybe you can fall back on any construction experience?

Most important, if you don’t know an answer to your clients questions - find out and get back to them. Do not inspect for a fee until you are confident that you are doing your clients a great service.


Thanks for your response Richard however I might add that here in Ontario Mike Holmes on Homes frequesntly tells his televised audience to make sure the choosen inspector has lots of experience in doing inspections. Mr Holmes is a most reputable renovator as you may or may not know and carries so much weight with the public especially aboust such issues. Perhaps I will ensure that my website persuades a non-question about my personal experience. Again, thank you sir!

When I’m asked that question (which is very seldom) I tell them I have spent 50 years in training preparing for this very day. Everything I have done in life leads to this business.

Then I quickly change the subject–

Amen, Jae. Some of us were doing home inspections before home inspections WERE home inspections. Before ASHI. Before NACHI. Hell, before any of 'em. Well rounded guys who grew up working from the age of 9. My granddad taught me how to lay out a foundation when I was 7 years old! I was an attic rat for my electrician uncle at 10. Running rock with another uncle at 13. Dad’s trim carpenter/cabinet maker assistant since I don’t know when. Etcetera. Add some formal education, further practical experience with just about everything, and VOILA!! …It all adds up to a 594 on the NHIE. Now…how many inspections do I need under my belt to be good?

I would recommend some mental toughness before you let
any slogans deter you. A nit picky new guy, who is well
trained… can inspect better than old dog that has developed
lazy habits or an immoral relationship with the Realtor.

Be careful, some Realtors are looking for the new inspector
who will do anything to please…

“Experience” is a ***relative ***term.
Your experience, versus other inspectors is all that it’s about.
Don’t take it personally.
I have never been asked how many inspections I’ve done in my lifetime.
As Jae pointed out, we’ve been working towards this day for 50 years! It is ironic, but everything I’ve done in my life is directly related to home inspection (and I’m not just trying to generate a connection).
Now, if you’ve been working at McDonald’s for 50 years, have never read a book, have never watched TV (all those home improvement and flipping shows) etc. You may not have experience!
The question that I normally get is “how long have you been inspecting homes?”. They really don’t care how long you’ve been doing it, they just want to know your experience level and training. We have all been somewhere else in another job. Some of us have been broken, some getting too old, some just can’t work for a boss! Unless you make your lack of experience an obstacle, it should not be an obstacle. Just be prepared with an answer when the question is asked.

John and David , well said!!!

Amen. Best new inspector advice I’ve seen in a long time!

I wouldn’t want to be the first client of a surgeon, although someone is or was for each surgeon.

Experience is important. You will know much more after your 100th inspection than after your first, and even more after your 1000th than your 100th. Since I have many years and thousands of inspections, OF COURSE I market that!!!

We all were new once, and we all lost inspections to the more experienced inspectors we were in competition with. No one said this business was easy. Tout your education and other qualifications until you can tout your experience. :slight_smile:

A guy doing it wrong for 25 years also has 25 years of “experience”. Just look at the folks who have been running ASHI…

Scary! That’s the second time this week I’ve agreed with you.:shock:

Hang in there

The “experience” factor is over rated. If you are a newbie, my advice is to LEARN, LEARN, and then LEARN some more. Read everything and anything about homes, home inspections, etc.

We all have dealt with builders who build crap houses… Well some of them become crap inspectors. Some will refuse to learn the right way to inspect a home because after all…they have “experience”.

The advice previously given is right. An inspector doing it wrong for 25 years is no match for a guy that has been doing it right for 2.

Good luck, and oh yeah…get to LEARNING!

I doubt there are very many inspectors with 25 years of experience who are contually doing it wrong.

I would imagine there are may more with 2 years or less that make mistakes. That would only be common sense.

FREA’s actuaries certainly agree with that, as their new inspector rates are much higher.

It is funny that those with less experience take one side, and those of us with more take the other!!

Experience is a factor that, if you have it, you should flaunt it for marketing purposes. It is also a factor that those pushing for legislation who are looking to eliminate competition will pick the year below their level as a minimum qualifier. These can be expected.

But I am reminded of the younger man in the suit and tie who argued that his generation is smarter because they have the computer and the experience of using it. The man of my generation agreed that we did not have it, or the experience…which is why we had to invent it.:wink:

It’s all relative.

Yes, that is why I say SOME inspectors. If a guy has been doing it right for 25 years (25 years is just a number…it could be 10 or 15 years…and I don’t mean only inspecting, I mean building etc.)…that is powerful, but there are many guys who have been doing it “a while” that are doing it wrong. I know this for a fact… I have seen it with my own eyes. All I’m saying is, if you are new to the business, you can compete with a guy that has been doing it “awhile” if you are knowledgeable and observant. BTW, this brings up another point…being observant and careful makes up for a lot. An inspector may have experience and knowledge, etc., but if he has poor eyesight, or is not observant…that can be a problem.

What surprises you about that? I have had the opportunity to read many reports by “experience” inspectors, many with no formal training. That experience is just as Bushart stated. There are many out there who do less than thorough inspections (and I’m not talking about nitpicky stuff) and stay in business because their referral rate is high from less than ethical realtors.

And the sadly funny and ironic thing about this is…these are the fellas who will be grandfathered if your (pardon my expression) “consumer protection” home inspector licensing law passes in Washington.