How long did it take you for your business to be self-sustainable

Hello Everyone,

I am currently working on my certification with the hopes of starting up my own practice soon, and I would like to ask all of those who have been through the school of hard knocks of developing their practice: How long did it take until enough realtors became comfortable enough with you that they referred clients to you regularly enough that the business was self-sustainable and that you could afford your lifestyle from it?

Also, on a slightly related subject: In this age of COVID, where it’s MUCH more difficult to meet realtors in person, how do you network to grow your practice?

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!


Everyone’s mileage is going to vary. Some people have a lot of bills to pay every month some people don’t have many at all. Some folks have kids some folks don’t have kids. Experience may vary, people like to hire a home inspector that has experience. Keep in mind your clients will be relying on your information when they make the biggest purchase of their life.

Some inspectors are self-sufficient immediately some take 2 to 4 years. It’s best practice when starting a new business to always have a minimum of two years wages in the bank.


Slava, you’ll find lots of different answers and approaches and a lot of different levels of success and a lot of different ideas of what success is. There are many companies who were very aggressive in sales and marketing and took off quickly. I can tell you that most of the new inspectors in my state required licensing class went out of business by year 2. They all had the same things in common… no sales, marketing or business ownership experience and they weren’t willing to learn it or do the footwork necessary. I don’t think they truly understood what it takes. It takes a lot more than a license and a website. I was one of the few who never worked in the trades but I did have the above mentioned experience and I was in the construction business in a management/sales role. I had another business generating income so I didn’t need to hit the ground running. I’m in year 4 now and I stay busy but still need to kick it into the next gear for more income. I’m no where near my potential or where I’d like to be. That being said, you should really sit through this video and watch the entire thing to get an idea what many of the most successful people do.


Martin hit on something important…

Every “start your own business” book I ever read says the exact same thing.

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Like previously mentioned, your mileage will vary based on lots of factors such as size of your operation, local market conditions, how well you market and network, whether you advertise or not, how well your website/SEO does, etc. I was fortunate to have a B.S. in Business Administration so I had a good understanding of the fundamentals on the business side prior to starting my business. I also had a lot of experience in networking and customer service from my previous career in IT, too. I was self-sustaining within 6 months of starting, but that was with my own modest expectations as I had positioned myself well to absorb the risk of a slow start and did not set my bar too high at first. Some of the additional factors that contributed to success were a strong housing market, visiting local real estate offices and setting up Lunch and Learn Presentations as an ice-breaker, immediately offering ancillary services such as Radon, Mold, Water Testing and Rental Inspections, getting listed with Relocation Companies as an approved Inspector, and as much as it pains me to do, I started Google Ads within the first few months, too (this more than pays for itself but it sucks having to do an inspection for “free” each month LOL - it’s a necessary business expense still for me as I do not want to be tied too closely to too many Realtors). The bottom line is you should get out of it what you put into it if you are willing to work hard and not accept defeat. There are many good Inspectors here and on the other Forums/Groups, just watch out for the “Holier than Thou” types - they unfortunately abound and seem to enjoy beating up on noobs. Just research for your own answers first before posting most things is my advice… As for COVID impacts with networking with Realtor offices, I have not actually done any of that this year - been too busy :slight_smile: and I figured once COVID slows down it will be a better time to start the office visits again. Good luck and congratulations on your new adventure!

One to two years and taking nothing out of the bank that wasn’t replaced that month.

Of course, I had no debt.

That’s how I went into my businesses. It takes a lot of pressure off of you. Well done.

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It took about a year and 1/2.

But I already had a mortgage and two little kids, so my situation was different than many others.