Inspection Software recommendations (new inspector)

I’m a newly licensed Florida inspector; I’m ready to begin doing inspections and get going. I’ve noticed though that much of the software available is a bit pricey. Obviously once I begin doing inspections then the cost would be negligible but for now since I’m brand new to the business can anyone recommend the most cost effective software for compiling inspection reports. Just something to get me through my first handful of inspection until I can invest in a more beefed up and feature packed software.

Are there any software companies that charge you per inspection report?

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

I use Home Inspector Pro. Great program with great support and editing options. Whatever program you choose will take some work to make it your own.

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Check out Spectacular Inspection Software, Scroll down for links.

Also Tap Inspect.

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Check with Jeff:

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Reporthost.com

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Wow! The sample report they used in that link says prepared for Kobe Bryant!!?? That seems odd

I’m pretty sure Aaron (Spectacular’s owner) didn’t just put that up, but I agree it’s kind of a shock.

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Here’s an article on what to consider when evaluating different software, along with links to various software.

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Yeah… it’s been there since 2016… we loved Kobe…

Seventeen years ago when I began inspecting dwellings for real estate transactions, the checklists were commonly three-part forms and digital photos were kept on file to back up the findings that were reported. When it became vogue to use computers to prepare reports, inspectors would craft their own narratives and would save commonly used language for future reports to save time from “reinventing the wheel”, so to speak.

The first big inspection software program was designed to include narratives that the people selling it claimed to protect against lawsuits, claiming in their promotion of it that “every inspector will be sued at some time in his business as a home inspector” and the narratives would protect him. The disclaimers by themselves took up the first thirty-five pages (yes, you read that correctly) of the report and the language contained mostly ambiguous and noncommittal descriptions of home systems that appeared to describe the condition of a home but not to such a degree of being definitive.

From there, digital checklists were developed that allowed photos and photo editing. Narratives, if they existed at all, were brief and the checklists allowed choices of non-descriptive words such as “serviceable”, “observed/not observed”, and the like.

Home inspectors who came to the business from various trades rarely had highly developed communication skills and, recognizing this, NACHI began collecting and publishing a variety of narratives that covered a variety of subjects for inspectors to copy and paste into their reports. Soon, the digital checklists added narrative choices to their photo insertion and editing capabilities to the extent that … today … one need not use more than a camera and a mouse to prepare a checklist that will publish a report that appears to a homebuyer to be quite informative.

But you are asking this question as a new inspector and the question that you must ask yourself as a new inspector is this … will you choose to be only as good as your software program? Will you rely upon your own skills of observation and communication to describe the condition of a home or will you click a button that will do that for you?

My advice to a new home inspector is to begin by writing your reports yourself. You will likely not be starting out with five or six inspections per day that will require automated assistance. Learn how to describe what you see and how to communicate what you see to your client. After you have done this and, when automation becomes something that will assist you rather than add overhead, choose the program that best fits your needs and style.

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Wow it just seemed strange to randomly clicked on that link. It has been a shocking week. I’m just getting started with home inspections coming from home performance and energy audits so I have been looking into software options. I hope you leave it forever, and that’s from a lifelong celtics fan Haha.

Hey Antony, welcome to our forum! There are no stupid questions. Jump in and enjoy! :smile:

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Boston said Kobe broke your hearts one last time…

Good luck in the industry. Hopefully you choose ultimately choose Spectacular. You can learn the app from our videos on our YouTube channel…

http://www.youtube.com/spectacularhis

Looking forward to working with you…

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Thank you everyone for the great feedback, these are some great options. It’s great to be apart of such an active board. Thank you for the warm welcome.

RIP Kobe #8 / #24

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Thanks Kenton! I enjoy all of your educational videos. Thanks again

The most cost-effective reports are our InspectorLogic and Legacy reports. They are FREE through InspectorOutlet. We have the industry’s largest assortment of home, commercial, and insurance inspection reports.

We also have the Florida wind mitigation, four-point, WDO, electrical, roof, and mobile home tie-down reports.

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Even the one where I get my head stuck between the handrail balusters? Hey, I am all for that 4” rule.

Based on your description, I am guessing that you are referring to Lorne Steiner and Porter Valley Software’s InspectVue. They were not the first to use pre-written narratives. We had already been in business nine years by the time Porter Valley came along.

Before I got into home inspection software, I had a team that had inspected thousands of electrical panels, and telemetry and control systems for the cities of Toledo, Cincinnati, and others. I wanted all our reports to look the same for the benefit of our clients so I developed a library of standard comments regarding deficiencies we observed. The inspections were also for code compliance and specification compliance so I had all the applicable references in my library so we wouldn’t have to look them up every time we needed them.

When I got into home inspection software a few years later, I carried that concept over to home inspection. There was nothing like it at the time. That is, we couldn’t find anything like it at the time.

As our library grew and we mentioned the number of pre-written comments in our advertising, Lorne would immediately come out with advertising that had a larger number.

I saw problems with the pre-written comments in home inspection almost immediately. I realized it worked in the controlled and more disciplined commercial world but not so much in home inspection.

It all came to a head for us when Lorne was doing his Avoiding Litigation (by using his software) talk in at a regional event in Columbus. I had a booth just outside the room where he was speaking. He left the door open so I heard him give his presentation multiple times. By then, I was well aware of the problems with inspectors relying on pre-written comments.

After Lorne finished his last session, he came over to talk to me. Lorne and I were never really friends but the software vendors were always friendly to one another. We were rivals but we were all friendly rivals (at least at that time). I think by then he was claiming something like 11,000 pre-written comments were in his software. I think we had 10,000. He mentioned that to me when he came over to talk to me.

I assured him that he would always have the larger number because I had made a decision at that event to REMOVE at least 90% of our pre-written comments. I was completely convinced that they were doing inspectors more harm than good and the harm was having a ripple effect through the home inspection industry.

We were doing things in the early days that no one else was doing. The only real other innovator at the time was Carl Fowler with 3D. Software like HomeGauge, Home Inspector Pro, and InspectVue didn’t even exist.

By the way, the #1 selling inspection report at the time was HomeTec. They outsold everyone else combined. Our first report was designed to compete directly with HomeTec. It is various versions of that report that we have given to more than 10,000 InterNACHI members FREE over the past fourteen or fifteen years. We just recently made version 20 available free to InterNACHI members.

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Can you give an example of a pre-written comment that could cause an issue if used and why.

Here is something else to consider when selecting a digital checklist and other software for preparing a home inspection report. Who else is reading it?

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