Hey guys!!! I have been draw inspector for many years now and have had loads of experience. I am not a Home Inspector, I only do draw inspections because that is what I love to do. I have come in here to help you guys and gals if you ever need help in any form with draw inspections a.k.a progress inspection, or completion evaluations, etc.
Also I know that some of you, from what I have read, do not think they are worth while. But I have made a good living at this sort of business. If you can get your foot in the door with some local banks you can do really good.
I never call. I do all of my business hunting in person. That way I can tell if they are really responsive in using me as a draw inspector. I started by going into the banks and finding out who I needed to talk to (Commercial Lending most of the time). Then I would present myself and what I do. I have a print out with me that details my back ground, experience, and references (a resume more or less). Let them know that you are also a home inspector that should help. Where I live in Chattanooga TN a lot of draw inspectors are appraisers that the banks use to appraise the lots and house plans for the bank before construction begins. In my opinion Appraisers should not be doing draw inspections. Their experise is value of homes not construction. I come from a construction back ground so I know what goes into building a house, small commercial, and residential developements. I also think Home Inspectors have a big advantage over Appraisers b/c you guys know all about houses too. I tell the banks “Look, I know how to build a house. I know all the steps that go into building a house. The appraiser you use does not.”
Another point I use is that there are a lot of builders out there that have burned banks. By that I mean they get half way complete with a house and they are at the point of filing bankruptcy. I can tell b/c the builder will start cutting corners. They will put carpet in before it should be or they will put vinyl flooring in house that should have tile, or as i have seen they will make the finished staircase handrail out or sanded spruce lumber. Now the builders do this so they can get funded for work completed and then file the bankruptcy. I have helped numerous banks by telling them when something out line is going on. I am the banks eyes and if you can show them that you will look out for their best interest you will get their business.
The banks that I don’t get a good response when I go see them I will return in one year and hit them again to advertise myself. If I get a good response I will visit them every 3-6 months. In the banking business I have learned that there is a lot of movement of personel. For instance I might go into one bank do my thing come back 6 months later and that person I spoke to last time is at another banking company.
My biggest finding on getting business has been local home shows. At home shows all bank lenders have their own booth. I go talk to them, do some small talk and then do my advertising. I know most of these people by name and they do me as well. Just be persistant. That is what has helped me.
I agree about the appraisers. I have a personal friend who is an appraiser and also does draw inspections. He too does them by selling himself to the banks. He charges a hell of allot more than we get from DDN, Trinity, or Granite. I think his average fee is $125-$150.00. Not a bad living at all. I have been in contact with some local banks lately and am in the process of getting my foot in the door. I like the way you approach it, thanks again for the info.
Don’t be a stranger to this MB we all learn from each other.
Did you develop your own forms, checklists or are you using a commercially acquired one? If you did create your own would you be willing to share the info with our membership? BTW, thanks for sharing the above information.
Bobby…perhaps you can get with Nick and tape an entire show on how you market for these draw inspections. Many of us have had to rely upon networks like DDN, CIS, etc to send us out on jobs. It would be great to have a plan as to how to control my own destiny in this area.
I was wondering if it would make sense to stop by my local banks to see if they would need my service. I responded to the Nationwide Loan Insp e-mail sent to the InterNACHI mailing list. I sent in my info last weekend and I have done two already. Not much $ but it was close to my house and took 15 mins on site and about another 15 at home uploading the info. I brought it up at my state NACHI chapter meeting last night and most there said it was not worth their time. Maybe so but my situation is different and I will take all they send my way.
Hey Guys and Gals.
I didn’t expect the interest I have been getting on this thread.
If I don’t get to your questions in a speedy response I apoligoze but I will try.
I want to help you all the best I can.
When go out to get business keep your focus on banks that are in the area you want to work in. Put high emphisis on banks that are local, semi regional or regional. The big banks like Suntrust already use companies like DDN. Your chances of getting them are not as good but by all mean try. You might get lucky.
How much to charge? Thats a question that is determined by the market you live in. I don’t want you guys to think that you can get $100+ dollars per draw inspection. If you know of a place that pays that much for a residential draw inspection please let me know b/c I’ll move there!! Price should not be your biggest concern, VOLUME should be. On of my ways of getting more business when pitching myself to the feet of lenders is I give a price break on Volume. For instance, I tell the bank, “If you give me more than one draw inspection in a subdivision at one time. I will give you $5 off each inspection in that sudivision.”
Lets say I charge $45 an inspection. I get a request to do five in one subdivion for that day. I drop my price to $40 on all inspections there for that day.
If I get one inspection the next week in that sudivision my price stays at $45.
In Nashville there was ,and I imagine still is, a flooding of residential growth and draw inspectors. From what I heard from a friend of mine that works for residential lending that they were paying as low as $20 an inspection. Yeah that sounds bad, but let me shine some light on that. In Nashville and other large markets there are subdivions that could have a 1000 lots in it when complete. These banks would have 20 draw inspections a day from just one sudivision. So if you were one of those draw inspectors you would make $400 a day. Multiply that by four times a week and get $1600 a week. Plus it only takes about 4 hours a day to do the work. Not a bad living in my mind for 16 hrs worth of work. Again VOLUME is most important.
Small Commercial and residential developments are where the money is at. Big banks use Engineers to do these draw inspections. The smaller banks will use their usual draw inspector. I charge a minimum of $100 to do one of these. It all depends on the size of the project and how much detail the bank is wanting me to give them. These have a lot different format than residential.