What is your answer to the inspector who admittedly has only done two inspections this year, who has only been in business for 1.5 years?

I’d say this is a major issue that is going to put a stain on CMI far greater than newbie NACHI inspectors.


I am out of the office most of the day, and will get back to you later.

Briefly though, this questionnaire is about fact finding. What are realtors really looking for when choosing in inspector. We know that the newer realtors are much more inspector friendly than the older ones who remember the days when we were not around. Also what about the customer. What are they looking for?

As far as percentages, it is no secret that 80% of the industry, and every other industry is driven 20% of the inspectors. This is the percentage that I believe will be capable of CMI. The rest will move to be part of the twenty percent if it all comes together.

Got to go. Talk later.



According to Nicks comments, the present CMI standards allow
approx. 3% of inspectors to qualify.

If you plan on getting 20% becoming CMI, then you would have
to drastically reduce the current standards. See what I mean?

Perhaps Nick need to explain how he arrived at his figure for you,
or you can show him how he is wrong.

But it sound like raising the current standards for CMI will leave
you with less than a tiny, tiny percent of a fraction of 1%.

How is CMI going to help elevate the rest of the market place
if they become so elite that they pull the ladder up behind
them and no one knows where they are? There won’t not enough
CMI’s to be seen anywhere.

At least Nicks formula allows 3%, which is small enough like it is.

But the question still remains…


I think it is apparent from the several threads in which dialogue was initiated by Mr. Rowan on this topic that he has already decided upon a plan.

Knowing that the success of it will stem upon support from those he will be soliciting membership from, these various threads will likely continue until a suggestion is posted that matches his plan…then he goes forth with it, as if it came from the membership.:wink:

Until then, you can probably expect your question to continue to be evaded.


I have a problem with your general approach to the whole
CMI concept.

CMI is suppose to stand for an inspector that has achieved
more education, experience and quality than the average
inspector (this is a general idea of the goal).

Why ask the Realtors what they want? Is this suppose
to be pleasing to the Realtors before it flys? When have
the Realtors ever asked the Inspectors if they like the
way they do things? Don’t you understand that one
of the primary goals of the Home Inspection industry
to protect the Buyer from Realtors?

Why ask the Customer what they want? Are the CMI
standards going to be adjusted by qualifications or
what’s the most popular desires of the Customers?
If the Customers want different things next year,
will the CMI standards be adjusted to stay current
with the most popular trends?

You seem to be consensus minded to the extreme,
like you are preparing CMI for the marketing aspects
more than anything else. Please don’t let the vendor
part of your mind cloud your motives.

99% of the Realtors I know want a general inspection
and do not want a nit-picky exhaustive inspection
that kills the deal. Why ask them what they want?

You have limited areas of qualification that can be measured.
Here a few main items…

Number of inspection performed (work experience)
Years in service (time experience)
Testing (verify knowledge and what degree is there)
Background checks

The hard part is the review and verification process.
How do you prove the qualifications?

If you raise the bar higher than the present standards
then you will limit the CMI membership to a tiny fraction
of what it is already (Nick says no more than 3% can
currently meet the standards of the CMI now).

What is your goal here?


Here is a list of different Realtor designations to help
you see how they qaualify for them. Perhaps this will
help you see a way to relate this info to the CMI
qualification process.

REALTOR® Designations

ABR, Accredited Buyer Representative
Designees have completed the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council course, passed the test and provided documentation of buyer agency experience.

ABRM, Accredited Buyer Representative Manager
Designees have taken and passed both the ABR and ABRMSM course and provided documentation of past management experience.

ALC, Accredited Land Consultant
Designees are recognized experts in five types of land brokerage transaction; farms and ranches, undeveloped tracts of land, transitional and development land, subdivision and wholesaling of lots and site selection and assemblage of land parcels. This designation is acquired through education and valuable skills.

CCIM, Certified Commercial Investment Member
CCIM’s are recognized experts in commercial real estate brokerage, leasing, asset management valuation and investment analysis.

CIPS, Certified International Property Specialist
Designees deal in all types of real estate, but with one common element; they are focused specifically on the “international” market.

CPM, Certified Property Manager
CPM’s have acquired valuable real estate management skills through education leading to the designation.

CRB, Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager
The CRB designation is recognized industry-wide as a measure of success in brokerage and real estate business management. The designation is awarded to those who have completed the Council’s advanced educational and professional requirements.

CRS, Certified Residential Specialist
This designation is awarded to experienced REALTORS® who have completed advanced training in listing and selling.

CRE, Counselor of Real Estate
Designees are members of an international group of recognized professionals who provide seasoned, objective advice on real property and land related matters. Only 1000 practitioners throughout the world carry this designation. Membership is by invitation only.

GAA, General Accredited Appraiser
The GAA designation is award to appraiser whose education and experience exceed state appraisal certification requirements.

GRI, Graduate REALTOR Institute
Designees who are involved in residential real estate and who have completed the REALTOR® Institute program.

PMN, Performance Management Network
The PMN is a designation that’s built from the ground up to bring designees real-world skills, the know-how and the tools that will keep designees business out front and on top of a lightning fast market.

RAA, Residential Accredited Appraiser
The RAA designation is awarded to appraisers whose education and experience exceed state appraisal certification requirements.

I think the 3% formula that Nick is referencing is not factually accurate.

Consider that the average inspector performs in excess of 250 inspections per year (just a ballpark from the most recent industry survey I have seen). That would mean that even with no training, they all would qualify within 4 years.

As John pointed out, many Texas inspectors are getting in with close to 500 hours of training, meaning they will likely qualify after about 2-3 years in business.

Giving credit for all of your lifetime education credits makes a HUGE majority of the 1000 required hours/inspections subject to wide discretion and lowers the bar substantially - especially for anyone who came to this field from a construction-related background.

I know I qualify, and I certinaly don’t consider myself to be among the top 3% of inspectors in either experience or education.

The average inspector does not perform 250 inspections a year. Check the survey again. The average inspector who fills out surveys says he performs 250 inspections a year. The actual number, when you throw in all the new inspectors who aren’t doing hardly any, is more like 160.

Furthermore, many inspectors go out of business within fewer years than 4, for reasons other than not having enough inspections. In fact, many work themselves out of business by charging too little, threat of suits, etc.

Furthermore, there are a ton, and I mean a TON of inspectors who don’t get through their first year. Michael and I have talked about how difficult it is for inspectors to get over that hump from startup to profitability. It is tough because so many inspectors are not marketers, or even sound businessmen for that matter.

ROTFLMAO!:stuck_out_tongue: Many would tend to agree with you.

{I know, I know…but I couldn’t help myself!}


With regard to number of inspections per year, the average isn’t a true depiction of the average inspector. This is because there are really 2 average inspectors. That is to say there are two general camps of inspectors… those that made it over the hump and are in what I call full stride, doing about as many inspections as they want, and those that haven’t made it over the hump and are doing far fewer inspections than they want. There is very little middle ground, even though the average, any average, lands in the middle.

Also, something else Michael showed me a while back… once a home inspector gets to his 6th year or so… he’s often in it for life. That is to say if you get that far, your inspection business becomes very profitable and so you run it right into retirement.

Clearly, the survey only reflects the information from those who responded. How could they possibly get informoation from those who don’t?

Since there are also no valid statistics on how many go out of business within 4 years, etc, all we can go on is the data at hand, which shows established inspectors (who are really the people we are discussing since newbies should not be considered for CMI) perform an average of 250+ per year.

Those who go out of business because of pricing strategy (atrificailly inflated, or too low) do not understand marketing or their market, or are not effectively using their position within that market. Success can be achieved at any price point if done properly.

Competency is another matter.

Please post your source for this data.

This is true of ANY business: it is derived from a SBA study showing the success rate of businesses as a function of years in business. By year 6, you have an established presence in the marketplace and are in the maturing stages of the business.

You are right. There are abject failures and successes. Very few muddle through week to week once they get over that hump. This is the pool of inspectors we should be discussing when comapring what percentage of inspectors are eligible to achieve CMI, in order for it to be meaningful.

I don’t have it bookmarked, and I am going from memory right now, but I believe it is from one of the more recent ASHI surveys (perhaps 2003 or 2004).

If I have a moment I will look it up. I’m sure Nick knows/has this data.

Also consider that when we are talking about the average inspector here, or the ones we meet at inspection events or the ones we meet at chapter meetings… we are probably talking about the top 20% of all inspectors to begin with. And 5% of 100 is actually 25% of the top 20%. There is plenty evidence that indicates that our industry is 80% silent majority who do very few inspections on average. Look at all the schools pumping them out day and night, look at the number of ASHI Candidates, look at the 77,000 in We don’t see or hear from these folks much but they make up the industry and have to be weighted when talking about what portion CMIs make up.

Joe M. writes:

Exactly. It only reflects the information from those who responded, that means you have to find them to even have a chance of getting them to respond. The survey is meaningless.

To answer your question, the way to get the true average is to take the number of inspections done in the country (you can get this number roughly by multiplying the number of homes sold by the percentage of home inspected) and then dividing it by the number of inspectors out there (at least 77,000 as per which puts it at about 160 per inspector per year.

If you take 77,000 as an accurate number, and want to include those who - by your statement - perform very few inspections (and I agree), then the bar is set too low.

We should be looking to identify the 3 or 5% of those who actively represent the profession to produce real “masters”. Otherwise, it is just a watered down statistic, and - as I think we all agree - anyone with 3-4 years in the business will qualify.

Simply existing in business for 3-4 years should not make you a “master”.

The 77,000 is not accurate. It is the number of inspectors we could find, so that means there is more. Not many more, but certainly growing. And if you call from that list, not a jackass survey of inspectors who belong to an association or are in the yellow pages or who fill out surveys and mail them in voluntarily, but a real survey, you will find that only 1 in about 30 make it to their 5th year. You can’t call the guys who went out of business.

I know, it’s terrible.

Allen insurance produced data once that showed 1/2 of all inspectors don’t get through their first year, and that data is skewed because an inspector purchasing E&O is clearly more serious about the business than the average newbie. So it’s probably worse.

Anyway, I’ve convinced myself that an inspector who has been in business 5 or 6 years represents 3% to 5% of our total industry. I don’t believe that there are 2,500 of them out there.