Passed the State Exam

Took the proctored exam earlier and passed, so now ready to get to work. I’m probably on the uncommon side of actually wanting to go work for an established company, versus trying to build a business on my own.

Any thoughts from the others throughout the state that have done either/or? And what your regrets or satisfaction was in doing so?

Last thought is, how does everyone feel about the non-compete’s that most companies have?

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Hello Eric,

Congratulations on passing the exam. I took the same path a little over a year ago. I wanted to gain experience from seasoned inspectors and see how the business worked. It’s been an invaluable experience.

Over the course of the last year and a half, I have performed somewhere around 500 inspections (including 4 point and wind mitigation standalones). That’s a lot of business that I probably could not have done starting from scratch. And I received a lot of guidance that I would not have had access to if I was on my own.

I’ll be going out on my own at the start of the 4th quarter. I have negotiated modified terms to the original non-compete in order to meet my needs AND the needs of the folks I subcontract for.

I would recommend to be honest and upfront with any company you work for. They may not hire you because they don’t want to “train their competition”. On the other hand, when you find the right organization, you have just begun building the network you’ll need to be successful on your own.

I would also say to think of the terms of your contract as if you are already a small business owner (because you are). Remember you provide value and be sure to negotiate terms that work for both parties - especially since you may end up working within the same market.

Above all, have integrity! If you work for someone else, always put that organization as the top priority: never steal their clients/realtors lists, never bad-mouth them, represent them as if it was your own business. You never know, you may decide it’s much easier to work for someone else than to go after it on your own.

Best of luck!

Hey Charles,

I appreciate you taking the time and effort to write that response. Many of your suggestions are very valuable and the type of feedback I was hoping to receive. At this point, I truly don’t have any desire to start my own company which is why I posed the questions. It sounds like you experienced what I’ve been anticipating and that is needing true guidance and support through this early stage of the career because there is just so much to learn in this field.

I guess my only real concern for the non-competes is not really to keep me from becoming “their competition” on my own, but really to allow myself flexibility initially. It’s like the old honeymoon phase where Company X may seem to be a great place and established, but a few months down the road the excitement wears off and then you start butting heads or don’t see eye to eye on certain items, expectations, processes, etc…where do you go from there? My other concern is working for an established company allows you to essentially “pay them” for their training, marketing, tools since they are taking a large portion of the inspection fees. Well what happens if their marketing is no longer effective and there is a drop in business, or they’ve hired too many other inspectors that has thinned out the workload, but yet you’re still bound to them even if they’re no longer holding up on their end of the bargain so to speak.

Either way, thank you for the thoughtful response. Also, I took a look at your website linked from your profile. It’s probably not that big of a deal but the landing page came up as a 404 Error for the home page if that’s of concern to you. Otherwise, I like the about me page and reading your story, I wish you luck and hope your business prospers!

Thanks for letting me know about the website- the whole thing should be “offline” right now as I’m making some adjustments. Oops :slight_smile:

As far as the non-competes go, I’d talk to a lawyer who deals with non-competes in Florida. There is a ton of conflicting information out there on the interwebs - it may be worth the costs to have an expert weigh in on it. If my situation had not worked itself out internally, that was going to be my next step.

These are definitely the types of issues that you can run into when working for someone else. That’s why I choose to run my own business. I don’t want to rely on someone else for my success.

Hey. I’m about to take the state exam. What’s the test like? Are the any specific laws on the test or is it like the format of the interNachi non-proctored exam?

The state exam honestly didn’t seem that hard at all. I don’t want to downplay the InterNACHI material or way they host the test, but I really felt like they put more emphasis into the 120hr course than they did the actual exam. If you’re able to get through the pre-licensing course and pass all the exams at the end of those, then the state test should be no problem. I also took the online practice exam a few times, as well as self graded myself on the 2,000+ practice questions online, and downloaded the flash card app which was actually very helpful in building memory through repetition. So if you practice on those things and keep the info fresh in your mind that’s the key. As far as FL related questions, there were a few related to Ethics or DBPR type stuff that actually almost felt like freebies, since it was just common sense stuff about business practices from what I remember. Best of luck…

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I’m with Erik, the test questions are generated from a pool so it’s different every time but I had a similar feeling about them.

Good luck!!

Not sure if you’ve already taken it and passed but from my experience, it felt a bit harder than the regular practice exam but not that much different. My 2 cents, Don’t rush through the course, print out all the quizzes, study them and then take the practice exam over and over. I made myself a study guide by category to keep myself organized.