Licensing - Sowing the Wind

With Florida falling into the clutches of licensing it won’t be long for the rest of the unlicensed states to fall especially with all the support that some home inspection associations are willing to provide in the effort.

Actually there are many home inspectors who blindly look forward to a time when we are all firmly under the control of some type of government edict or another. I am not a religious man, but consider myself well versed in the Bible and the story that best summarizes my view on licensing is contained in the Old Testament book of 1st Samuel where Israel demands that God appoint a king, and against his better judgment God provides Saul as their king. Needless to say it goes badly for Israel and upon Saul’s death God claims he is sorry that he ever made Saul king of Israel. I believe there till be a time in the not too distant future when all of the home inspectors who worked to promote home inspection legislation will feel that it was a mistake to ever turn our profession over to government control.

What does all this have to do with home inspector licensing you may ask, well there are many good people who believe that licensing will provide everything our profession is lacking and will usher us into new era of enlightenment & respectability; maybe, maybe not. The one thing you can be sure of is that licensing unlike association membership will provide the authority to produce mandatory change within our profession.

The changes that licensing produces will eventually effect us all in ways that their proponents & supporters didn’t take into consideration when they were so fervently backing their legislation. There will be a natural progression that will be unstoppable.

  • First thing that will happen after licensing will be the standardization of all documentation & reports, count on it the government will seek to streamline the reporting process to better police the profession.
  • The second thing that will happen after standardization will be interest from the investor class seeking to somehow capitalize on our profession.
  • Finally, these investors will demand profit for their investment which will come through consolidation of prices & the centralization of workforces.
    None of this would have been possible without the centralization of authority that comes from licensing. What we need is an association with superior marketing talent and vision, an association which will market their members as a cartel and provide a barrier to protect and promote their members in the marketplace, otherwise we can kiss our asses good by and go the way of all other mom & pop type businesses.

Comments welcome.

Let us not forget about the builders and used house salesmen influence on licensing. They benefit from a basement low SOP coupled with the perception that all licensees are created equal.

Yesterday afternoon’s inspection was a great example. The owner of the park of the mobile home was a Milwaukee used house saleswoman who point blank asked me why I wasn’t done at the 1.25 hour mark. “I rarely have a home inspector still on site after this long on a regular home! You would think a mobile home would get done even quicker …” And the sad thing is that those Done-In-A-Milwaukee-Hour Home Inspectors are probably in full compliance with state SOP while blatantly failing to provide their clients with a useful inspection.

Apparently licensing does solve some things, like the “problem” with home inspectors being pressured into providing thorough home inspections do to a lack of state protection …

Its been said many times before but worth repeating; all one has to do is look at all the other “professions” that require licensing to see that it is not the panacea touted by its supporters. As for myself, I entered this profession after much thought and research (and years of training) mainly because it was a self regulated industry and I could “be my own boss” without any interference from outside forces. That way if it failed I had no one to blame but myself. Whenever the government gets involved in anything it does not take it very long to completely hose it up. Our forefathers understood this better than anyone in history and took great pains to limit government’s involvement in the citizens day to day life and commerce. Over time the weak and incompetent have successfully lobbied governments to not only interfer but to intrude on the citizens through unnecessary regulations, created layers of equally inept bureaucrats to deal with and over reaching restrictions and it is always in the name of “consumer protection”. This country at one time was a nation of determined and strong people. We’ve become soft, whining wieners, looking to government to take care of us from the cradle to the grave. In the case of HI licensing, it appears they want the government to “make” them credible. I suspect there will be many of the older HI that will move on to better things as the field will become overcrowded with under trained, ignorant wannabees with a suitcase full of high tech gadgets and no idea what they are doing. As I said in another thread, it doesn’t matter how high tech you get or what software program you use, if one doesn’t know the difference between a water heater and a gasoline pump, you are just fooling yourself.

Licensing solves nothing, but it’s here to stay. All we can do is roll with the punches and get involved with the fine tuning of this bill.

We fought a good fight, now we have to make the best of it. As NACHI members we have to be involved with shaping this bill so that it protects both inspectors, consumers and is fair to all in business.

It’s hard to believe many inspectors actually want the gov to run our industry and pushed for this bill. You can bet that most who pushed for this bill, will at some point wish they had not.

Joe, thanks for the opening biblical referrence, it’s dead on the money.

Unfortunately I don’t think we did fight a good fight. Our people up here in the panhandle had it on good authority that there were really very few people fighting this thing. That came from the Governors office and another source close to the situation. Too many people were waiting for “someone else” to do something. Too many people were unwilling to put their money where their big mouths were. There were a handful of very active people but on scale very few of the thousands of HI in Florida even bothered to send an email. Licensing will come to Florida, and if you think HI are tripping over one another now, stand by. Some won’t last long but will hurt those that have been around for years due to the sheer number of new inspectors and coupled with the low housing sales will put many out of work. I already know some people who are regrouping and moving on to other areas of work where they can use their inspection experience and training. I am not worried about myself, but there are some who are going to be hit hard and in the scramble to offer more for less just to get the job, things are going to get squirrelly. Time to raise prices again.


Your right, it was disapointing to see how many inspectors did nothing. The few of us that did fight, fought hard though.

There are going to be many changes with this bill. As Florida NACHI members we must get organized and involved in the changes.

I’m going to the FLASHI conference in Sept, it should be intresting.

Nick -

"Ms. Used House Commissioned Sales Person", I’ve never met anyone with any competence. training or skill that could literally fly though an inspection in such a ridiculous time frame. You must be new at this? Don’t worry however, I’ll teach you how a competent inspector does this"!!

Doug -

You got it. We’ve seen the same thing up here. Most guys / gals whine but do nothing, which makes it easy for the peckerwoods in our groups to ply their sleazy, nasty tactics behind everyones back.

“First thing that will happen after licensing will be the standardization of all documentation & reports, count on it the government will seek to streamline the reporting process to better police the profession.”

We need look no further than the WDO/WDI reports in many states to prove this.

Hi Blaine,

I am pleased that someone commented on what I feel will devastate our business as we know it. Standardization, without standardization consolidation by big money interests could never happen, it would be akin to herding cats and just about as rewarding.

Once we are all operating our businesses in the same way filling out the same reports and tied to the same practice standards big money interests will be able to do what they do best; improve bottom lines & eliminate excess spending. This process is commonly called consolidation and much like globalization the results are typically bleak for all who have suffered through it except the one’s holding the purse strings.

The first investment group that discovers a significant way to do our job quicker & cheaper will retain some of the new found profits and give back the rest to the consumer in the form of lower prices to induce growth in market-share.

Soon other smart inspection companies will follow suit and the whole profession will be focused on how to cheapen an inspection to induce even further price cuts to grow even more market-share. In the beginning consumers will welcome reduced prices and reward those companies with more business and those of us who are currently satisfied performing one profitable inspection a day will soon find it hard to stay busy. After all the fat has been cut some will continue to reduce prices by cutting muscle and reducing quality, in the end everyone except the big money interest who now own our profession loses and many of us will be found working for these moneyed interest to keep food on the table.

I can tell you this much. This “used house saleswoman” is either lying or has to be using one of few (I only know of one) inspector(s) in the Milwaukee area that complete inspections of a regular home in under 1.25 hours.

I wonder how fast she drags people through an open house.

though i dont deny licensing will have devastating results, smart people can still thrive with the right marketing and tools.

I do not think licensing will have devastating results at all. I think its just ashame people would rather have the gov regulate our profession. We have done a good job regulating ourselves. Sure, there are bad inspectors, but their are bad in any industry licensed or not. Licensing solves nothing at all.

I imagine the few that her office features on “The List” are the One Hour Specials. I bet none of them are our chapter members.:wink:

Give me a call and talk to me about this agent.