Inspectify: is it ethical, how do i protect myself

A brokerage I get many referrals from has partnered with a start up called inspectify. Their business model based on my experience, and the experience of the agents from the brokerage is suspect.

Essentially they present as a marketing company that takes leads from the partnered brokerage, and has inspectors bid on jobs. This all seems fine to me however, in the name of making home Inspections “more valuable” to their clients; they do not allow clients to be present for their inspection. This is because a %15 premium is being charged to the client but presented as being the inspectors bid. Part of that premium is paid back to the brokerage for the lead ( For any inspector to offer kick backs is unethical but I guess through marketing it is treated as a loophole). Furthermore instead of having the inspector present the report to the client inspectify (though unqualified) presents the defects to the buyer and have contractors bid on jobs i assume with a %15 premium. Clients never have the chance to discuss with the inspector how urgent recommendations are. They are encouraged by a marketing team to hire contractors at an inflated rate based on the inspection report.

I think at this point you see why this is concerning, however, there is more.

They have stepped into the telephone game of scheduling. I have no faith that they won’t mess up a time or date and I will end up trespassing into a home. I am comfortable accepting written permission to enter from a real estate agent because they share liability. A third party marketer has no place giving me permission to enter a home.

Because the inspector has no way to contact the client, or even knows who their agent is, we have no way to send a pre inspection agreement to them (inspectify doesn’t want the client to see what Inspectors charge before their 15% fee is added). I’m having real trouble understanding how to handle this. Should I make inspectify sign the agreement and hold them accountable? Do they then explain SOP’s and limitations etc. to the buyer? Is it legal for me to preform a home inspection for an entity who isn’t under contract on the home?

It is my impression that I am one of the first inspectors to deal with this new company. When I asked them about pre inspection agreements over the phone it sounded like they had never thought about it , same goes for with my permission to enter the home questions.

Any advise on how to protect myself from the legal issues I have brought up, would be greatly appreciated. I think this company is very close to if not blatantly violating the ethics codes of interNACHI and or the board of realtors. Please feel free to call or email with any questions or resolutions you may have. Thank you!

I’m not quite sure what your concern is other than you feel this company may be acting unethically and/or you may be caught in problems if you deal with them?

In short don’t deal with them and don’t quote any services through them.

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Exactly, don’t contract with them ( I assume you’re worried about being hired by them?) and don’t have anything to do with them if they don’t align with your business model.

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Remember… THEY NEED YOU… you don’t need them!!!

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I suppose my issue is that the brokerage was providing me about 5-8 Inspection leads a week. Being that I am a one man operation, I’d like to be able to continue doing business. I do think the brokerage will realise it isn’t worth it to partner with them sooner than later.

And that begins with losing their inspector of choice… YOU!!

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Don’t hold your breath waiting. There is no real value to that type of operation except to be able to provide buyers the cheapest cost, but in all cases not the best quality. As long as the buyers don’t come back on the Agent then there is no reason for the Agent to stop using them. You need to keep in mind that you are only a liability limiting tool and now this “Inspection Wholesaler” is yet another layer of liability protection.

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Why would you work for or with any company that considers your profession a headache?

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Literally all business is a headache. I’m not working for their company I’m working for mine. They just positioned themselves between me and my main source of leads.

If their model involves misrepresenting fees, hiding relevant information and deceiving clients, that should be everything you need to know. Lesser service for higher cost, deception and hidden fees - what a game changer.

Remind your Realtor contacts… You are a legit business that operates under ‘Full Disclosure’ with your Clients!

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I’m not sure I understand the situation clearly, but I think I understand enough to have real misgivings.

First, an inspector’s power and credibility lies in being a neutral third party.
As a client, I’d want an inspector who I felt was unbiased; free of any possible indebtedness or close connection to any agent involved in the transaction.

Second, it’s up to a buyer to hire an inspector that he can depend on to tell him the truth. If the client can’t even talk directly with the buyer… it’s partly the buyer’s fault for accepting that condition.

That operation sounds very sleazy. It’s a shame to lose the work, and you might try writing the brokerage and expressing your concerns; written notification might make them think more seriously about the ethics of their business practices, but in the end… cut them loose and don’t do any business with Inspectify.

And you’re right about who gives permission to enter the home.

The whole scheme sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

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I visited their website which is very hastily put together…All you have to do is read some of the “Statements” or wording on their site and it looks like someone from another country typed it out and ran it through a google Translator… Such as:

"We founded Inspectify with the goal to make a platform that helps inspectors, real estate professionals and home buyers alike. We see a tremendous opportunity to apply the latest technology to make inspectors more proficient and effective and make home inspections more engaging and value add to home buyers. We are just getting started, but are excited to provide much needed disruption in the space!" (https://www.getinspectify.com/company)

and: “We are always looking to chat with folks *that are passionate about working in an unLoved space. If you enjoy solving tough problems with awesome people, we would love to connect” (https://www.getinspectify.com/careers)

*unLoved Space??? Are they talking Crawlspaces???

Who the hell talks like that???

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Just another inspection client data exploitation theme masquerading as a “service”. Hardly new, hardly innovative, hardly original.

Through the Inspectify Platform, homeowners can leverage the data of their home inspection report to quickly complete the tedious tasks of homeownership from getting home insurance, completing annual maintenance to repairs and renovations.

Thus we come to the core thesis of Inspectify — from home insurance to home maintenance, this information could be leveraged…

In reality, the data of the home inspection report is actually extremely valuable, the value is just unable to be properly extracted…

That being said, the real market opportunity I found was not in the inspection itself, but the data produced by the inspection.

They haven’t figured out who to market to or how to market. They’ve managed to garner a total of 64 likes on FB and have been completely dormant since January. They appear to be a non-starter looking for seed money.

Their sample report

The link for the app is as dead as the sample link.

The “hook” for inspectors
https://www.getinspectify.com/software

Youtube Channels from the principles:
https://www.youtube.com/user/jensenjd87 (1 subscriber, 4 videos, including a dog video, max views 184)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCefDLgEt66IVWjJkYwYmtjA (4 videos, 4 subscribers, max views 39)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSKrM7SdU3OxKfMF60U4dHQ (4 videos, 0 subscribers, max views 42)

They think you’re all rubes.

They did find one rube

I have 15+ years of experience in the construction field in both commercial and residential buildings. I have performed hundreds of inspections

That’s “hundreds” of inspections! 15 years experience in construction - that could be digging holes, toting bricks, hanging sheetrock…

Should My Inspector Be A Member of Some Major Organization?
In short, no… IT MEANS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO BE A MEMBER OF INTERNACHI, ASHI, OR ANY OTHER ORGANIZATION. It only means something if the inspector actually cares about his clients. You see, all it takes to be a member of an organization is to pay dues. That’s right, money. Maybe pass a few brief tests, however, after that, an inspector can be as lazy as he wants to be, without proper knowledge… I DO operate by InterNACHI’S Standards of Practice where I can…

That’s my short analysis and opinion of this “innovative” and industry-disrupting player.

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Interesting Chuck. It seems their name is not pronounced Inspect-i-FY so much as it is Inspect-IFY. :open_mouth:

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Good work Chuck!

Joseph, welcome to our forum!..Enjoy! :smile:

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@jbaier2 - Hey there - was just curious if you did any work with Inspectify? They seem to be trying to breach into the Seattle Market with a firm I do a lot of work for, and curious if this was ever attempted by you? WHat were your thoughts, and how has it worked out if you did go for it.

I watched the video above and the part that struck me was that they want to market the homeowner data! Pretty sneaky if you ask me, also highly un-ethical no wonder they want to give you free software to use.

Every Tom, Dick and Harry out there wants to be a third party referral agency. Many claim it’s free to the client but leave out the part where the jobber is paying to bid on a job. Which I might add there is no way to confirm that job even exists or still exists when they let you buy the lead.

None are worth getting involved with!

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The software site is dead right now.