By now it should have become apparent to everyone that there are several categories of home inspectors around these days, and that this business is risky and not suited to generate easy money as often assumed or promised.
One category are old-timers who were able to establish themselves years ago. Than there are many part-timers who have entered this business only to replenish their pension income from an earlier career.
Another category of home inspectors are the one’s who have entered this business believing that spending some money on a training course, or purchasing a franchise, will lead to success and riches. The reality is that real estate agents are collecting these days tens of thousands of dollars on commission from each transaction with little or no exposure to liabilities, but that inspection fees have become stagnant for years at less than $500.00.
Many newcomers will not succeed even if they are dumb enough to reduce their rates even further to create business by trying to outbid the competition. In today’s market the odds are simply not in their favour. Even established veterans are being affected more and more by the growing competition.
Joining CAHPI/OAHI - or obtaining their designations - has simply no advantages. The fact remains that the bulk of home inspections is being arranged by real estate agents who are highly motivated to engage the services of their “preferred” home inspectors. These salespeople certainly do not care about credentials. Their only selfish concern is that the inspection will not jeopardise the pending sale. Even consumers who are smart enough to hire an unbiased home inspector by themselves are often more concerned about costs than designations.
In addition to the necessary knowhow - marketing has become equally important to succeed in this highly competitive business. The willingness to work 24/7 does not help if the phone is not ringing.
Thirty-five years after home inspections were introduced to the marketplace, I only know of a few people who really have financially succeeded in this business. Two of them are *Alan Carson & Robert Dunlop *who started as “self-taught” home inspectors in 1978, but soon had the foresight that teaching or selling training courses would be more lucrative and less risky than performing inspections. They certainly were correct.
Another person is Nick Gromicko, who launched his own trade organisation in 1990. He now conducts his business mostly via a computer from the picturesque Colorado foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Selling memberships and marketing advice is certainly a clever business concept how to profit risk-free from the home inspection industry.
RUDOLF REUSSE - Home Inspector since 1976- Retired