Getting Started in PA

I am an entrepreneur and was looking for a business that could generate steady, consistent, and eventually good income. I found home inspection to meet that criteria. I did research and found the American Home Inspector Training (AHIT) course and went ahead and paid a lot of money for their online and classroom training. I even went so far as to buy their whole “package” which includes inspection software as well as some marketing support. I thought I was all set and I could just go out and start talking to real estate agents to try to generate business. As I found out the hard way, it’s not that easy. I have done several practice inspections. Of course, they were not paid. And from what I have found when trying to break into the business if I am not ASHI certified then it’s going to be pretty hard to get any business. Even a good friend that works with Berkshire Hathaway told me they give their customers the “ASHI wheel” and have them select an ASHI-certified inspector. He said he wished he could help me but it is his agency’s policy.

With all that said, I feel kind of lost. I have knowledge and training and I’m eager to start working. I set up an LLC, have a pretty nice website, designed a nice logo, and bought all the necessary tools and insurances. I even realized I will need a lot of practice so I hired a contractor to accompany me to as many inspections as I feel I need him for so he can double check my observations so I don’t miss anything. But without the ASHI certification I don’t know how much work I’m going to get. AHIT avoids the question when I ask them about how to get work. They said just tell them you follow ASHI guidelines and tell them you have done a “number of inspections.” I know there is no educated person who is going to accept that answer. Overall, I feel like this may have been a mistake and it may take me a really long time, if ever, before I can break into this business. Do you have any advice you may be able to offer me? Thank you for taking the time.

Don’t get discouraged! Where there’s a will there’s a way!

Just keep at it if this is what you want to do.

I never assumed it was going to be “easy money” right off the bat, So I have a plan out to almost a year to make a go of it.

Keep chipping away at it and believe in yourself and good things may come.


You’re a newbie and you look it. Agents have to tell you something to get you out of their lobby.

Post a pdf or an image of both sides of your brochure and a link to your website.

Russell, where are you? PRO - ASHI controls the wheel around here, which is the local chapter. I emailed them when I started to try and join, but never heard anything from them.

Post a link to your website.

I own a inspection company in PA. The ASHI presents is very strong in my area but you do not need to be an ASHI member to inspected in PA and shame on that agent for telling you he/she can not use your services because you are not an ASHI member. I helped two inspection companies get started in PA and both are members of InterNACHI. If you need help contact me at

Don’t be too hard on the agent. I was an REALTOR for 10 years and I could smell a newbie inspector with his perforated-edged business card that his wife made for him on their ink jet printer as he pulled into the parking lot.

Real estate agents are in the marketing business, marketing is what they do. You can’t go in looking like a weak newbie or they’re going to give you some excuse to get out of their lobby.

Thanks for the replies guys.

Here’s the thing. The agent I talked to knows me. He’s a close friend of my brother and someone I interact with socially. He wasn’t blowing me out of the water and, in fact, told me he’d love to recommend me but the way his agency does business he simply can’t do it (at least on a regular basis). Now he may be nicely telling me “you’re new and I don’t want to use you until you’re ASHI certified” or that really may be how they do business.

As for my website, it’s pretty nice:

My brochure is linked on my site:

Thanks again for all your comments and help. I still don’t know how I’m going to break into this business but I’m open to any advice.

Tell him to put that in writing and then send it to me. Agents are 1099 independent agents and recommend whomever they like. He knows your new.

Parts of your website look VERY familiar. Make sure you use your own pictures and word things yourself. :wink:

Nick, The local prudential franchise just went to berkshire hathaway. I just worked with an agent from berkshire, and they had the seller and buyer sign this form. With that said I have gotten inspections from prudential agents, even though I am not on this wheel.

That’s because real estate agents can and do recommend their favorite inspector, and agents like you. If you get 4 InterNACHI members together, I’ll make you the world’s best group marketing brochure, print 20,000 for you (no charge) and ship you each 4,000 of them. Why be on a wheel with 200 other inspectors when you can be on an awesome brochure with 4 other inspectors. Let’s bombard your market.

Statistically, a Realtor will be involved in 2 Real estate transactions per year.
1 Buyer, 1 Seller.
Do not expend too much time on negativity with the future potential to obtain 1 Inspection.
The 20% of all REALTORS Sell 80% of all Homes.
Focus on and identify the top 20% in your area.

I am just north of Pittsburgh in West Deer. I emailed PRO-ASHI as well and have not heard back from them. I saw there was some kind of mentorship program on the ASHI website and was hoping to maybe get involved with it. What part of the city are you from? Maybe email me and we can talk some time. My email address is

Sorry to say this Nick!

But hey Russell, if you’re in an ASHI stronghold why not join them too?
I know a few inspectors who have memberships in all 3 orgs.

The RE agents around here could care less about the organization you belong to.

Most, however, have at least heard of ASHI. Few have heard of InterNACHI. That’s where I shine.

I simply tell them the truth. I tell them what it takes to become an ASHI member, and what it takes to take (and remain) and InterNACHI member. I tell them the latest number of members each organization has, and what each organization offers Home Inspectors be better at what they do.

This alone sells the RE agents on using me, or at least highly recommending me.

I’d love to join them but there are two problems.

  1. Nobody from the local ASHI chapter will call me back.
  2. To be a full member you need 250 paid inspections. I currently have 0.

Until I’m a full member I can’t use their logo and I’m back to the same problem with the local agents.

What are the main selling points (actual things you say) about InterNACHI as opposed to ASHI that makes you shine?

Well surely they must have a membership for newbies?

I always tell them of InterNACHI’s requirement of successfully passing three entrance exams to even join.

I tell them how many members each org has.

I tell them I take advantage of InterNACHI’s Accredited CE courses, which exceed those required by my state.

I tell them there is an active forum to which any question on any subject can be discussed with dozens, hundred, or even thousands of highly trained, seasoned professionals in virtually every field.

Planet InterNACHI…resistance if futile :nachi: