How do I make more money?

Hello-

I’m trying to find a way to make more money as a home inspector. Maybe some of you are also. Or maybe you’ve figured this out and can offer some advice for the rest of us.

My main problem is that I can’t seem to write reports fast enough to do enough inspections per week to make enough money.

One option would be to figure out how I could generate reports faster (is there a class on that?), but doing so will very likely lower the quality of my reports which my clients currently seem to like. This would also maybe push me more in the checklist direction and away from my current narrative reports.

The other possible option would maybe be additional licensing.

I’m considering getting licensed as a mold assessor. The thought there is that maybe people will hire me for mold assessment alone (minus a full home inspection) and I can supplement my income doing mold assessment (easier report I imagine). This would of course also increase my value as a home inspector. Or would they go with a mold abatement company from the start and not bother with me?

Or, maybe being licensed as a wood destroying insect assessor (the 7C license). Having more authority and knowledge when it comes to termites and other WDOs would be good. Maybe I’ll get jobs just for checking for termites. Or would they just hire a pest control guy since they can assess and treat?

What about asbestos?

Or maybe getting certified / licensed as an EIFS inspector? Could I be hired just to inspect EIFS rather than the entire home?

Are there others I haven’t considered?

What I’m getting at and trying to figure out is: Are there additional licenses I could obtain that would 1) increase my value as a home inspector (this part is obvious), but MORE IMPORTANTLY, 2) allow me to be hired for inspecting particular areas of a home (smaller job & report) rather than the entire home (larger report), thereby making it a quicker job that I could do more of and supplement my H.I. income with?

What do you do? What works for you?

Charge more per inspection.

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Wait until you are retired and receiving social security then between the two you should be able to lead a life of leisure. :thinking:

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I agree with Stephen:

Charge more per inspection.

Sure. That is an option, but I also don’t want to lose the job because I’m too expensive.

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It is a simple answer.
Provide the best you can for your clients…Yep!
Honesty and your integrity will make you rich.
That is the simple answer.

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Where are you and where do you aspire to be revenue wise? How many inspections are you doing a week? Is your inspection calendar full (mine was full at 5/week)?

Darrin, I see by your license number you are in NY State. Therefore the answer is “Yes, there are classes you can take to improve your report writing time BUT, be aware those classes ARE NOT approved by the DOS for Cont. Ed needed for license renewal.” That said, check with the producer of your reporting system. I know for sure that HomeGauge has such training programs as that is the system I use. I also know Dave Clark does so with his Turn-Key reporting system as does HomeInspector Pro.
Tom Valosin

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Your question is simple and straightforward. The answer, however, is not simple. A business needs to be tailored to the business owner. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses.the trick is to capitalize on your strengths and either delegate your weaknesses to others or strengthen your weaknesses.

The good news is that reducing your report writing time while improving the quality of your reports is one of the easiest things you can do.

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Charge more per inspection, and consider ancillary services (mold, WDI, Radon, etc.) I would rather do 1 per day and collect a higher fee than scramble around trying to do 2 or 3 per day and have no life.

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I use HomeGauge also.

My narrative database probably needs to grow more which could help. I bought the InterNACHI narratives but found them to be too alarmist and using wording I wouldn’t use. I’m probably spending too much time on each item in HomeGauge. I labor over every word/sentence and maybe create too much work for myself. I want everything to be as perfect as possible.

So, yeah, some guidance as to how to get out of my own head would likely help, and I really should watch all the HomeGauge videos. Just need to stay awake.

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This is the problem. I can’t do one a day. If I do one, it takes me an entire next day to write that one report. Then I can do another the day after that. And the reports can vary greatly depending on the property and what I find. Most of my time is spent trying to make sure I’m saying the right thing in a non-alarmist way. Sometimes I also need to research something to make sure I say the right thing. I edit photos so they look better. It’s a long process, that has been getting faster as my narratives are growing but not fast enough to make a decent living as of yet.

I’m finding that reducing my report writing time is quite difficult to do, sadly.

How detailed do you get in your reports, do you call out let’s say a loose piece of casing? Or a loose bedroom door knob? Or a snag in the carpet? Just some examples I threw out there.

Put a sample report and we can review it and see if there are some things you can do. If your spending as much time to make the report as the inspection, something is wrong… You will get faster as you get your template set for you and you have to look up less stuff. Have you watched the home gauge videos? There are lots of ways to speed up your reporting.

Getting other certifications or licenses may help you make more money, but it wont help you speed up your reporting.

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Hi Darrin,

  The videos are helpful. However, and I did this twice, I went to

the multi-day class in Ashville. The first was when I had just
started using HG. The second was an “advanced” session when the
introduced the HG Companion. Do you, after you have sweated to get
your commentary “just right”, save it so you can use it again? You
may only have to change one or two words to fit the specific
inspection. For example, I made an item covering “Property
Identification”. It is saved and I just erase the non-applicable
item – “The property identification does/does not appear to
conform to the guidelines regarding ability to identify the
property from the road, in either direction of travel, in letters
of plain Arabic Text displayed in a straight line horizontally or
vertically, the numbers being a minimum of 4 inches in height with
a stroke width of 1/2 inch.” …and there are additional
parameters for this info, then, in bold red type I explain ** “This is a particularly important concern to
aid emergency responders in quickly finding your location.”**

  I also found it helpful to set up an additional column that I

call RM. RM is an “expected routine maintenance item”. Can be
used, for example, if gutters need cleaning or caulking needs
attention. It differentiates between RR - repair or replace.
Multiple Clients have told me it was helpful to them. I also
modified my Section Headers and Footers to spell out the NY State
SOP. IE: Header, NY State SOP Item xxx.xx - “The inspector
shall…”, then, in the footer, NY State SOP Item xxx.xx, “The
inspector is not …”

  Also, consider how you format the report - Room by Room or System

by System. For me, System is faster. Then, ALWAYS, with the
exception of safety concerns such as a guard dog in the yard or an
animal in a room, do your inspection the same way. I always make
several rounds on the exterior, from an “overall” observation,
then from ground to first story windows, then second story, in a
CCW direction, using the “Architectural Main Entrance” as my
starting point, then the kitchen, dining room, then 1st floor
bathroom(s), living room, bedroom(s) then upstairs, bathroom(s)
first, then attic, then basement. Doing this, my pictures follow a
logical pattern and I can easily choose a picture, for example,
“Electrical” and place it in the electrical section. For me, it
works. Remember, I “fine tuned” my methods over time. NY State
says it takes 3 - 4 hours for a standard 3 - 4 bedroom 2 bath
home, garage or carport, basement, attic. Over time this is more
typically 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Likewise, over time your report time
will decrease, except, of course, with that house from heck that
has had little or no routine maintenance and there is a great deal
to report.

  Where in NY are you located? I am in Schoharie County, about half

way between Cooperstown and Albany.

Tom

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I’m also a home inspector, certified mold inspector and mold remediation contractor. I’ve decided to focus only on the mold. You could add pests, asbestos, lead paint, or many other additions to your home inspection. One thing I believe will speed up your reports is use report host.com. Then buy the Dragon program from Nuance. That way you don’t have to type you can just speak what you want as fast as you want. Then you can complete your reports in a faster time.
Martin

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Are you hand writing the reports?With good inspection software and a little practice you should be able to complete 80-90% of the report as you inspect the homes.

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It should not take you that long to write a report. Especially considering most software today will give you the option of mobile reporting so that you can at least get a jump start on the report while on site, even if you are not a “deliver report on site” kinda guy.

What software are you using? Spectora, Home Inspector Pro, Home Gauge…all have great resources available (blogs, videos, tutorials, etc) which may help you to become more proficient with your software and reporting.

Keep your reports simple. You aren’t writing “War and Peace”. They should be clear and concise. Have your peers / menotrs review a few of your reports to offer suggestions and critique. Reach out to Ben Gromicko and the folks at InterNACHI. If you have a local NACHI chapter consider joining. The advice and opportunity for mentorship are invaluable.

Oh, and if you are struggling for what to write, I might suggest getting a copy of InterNACHI’s report narratives. It gives you a place to start with your comments and you can build / edit as you grow.