Realistic Income

I have done a little research on income for Home Inspectors, the figures are all over the place. My question is whats a realistic income for a new Home Inspector first year, second year? I look forward to your input.

The sky’s the limit .

It is possible to go from a large expenditure, to being out of business in less than 3 years, to making a 6 figure income in short order.

There are WAY TOO MANY VARIABLES to give YOU a realistic income expectation…sorry.

A thought might be to get/pay a mentor to see if it is even something you can or want to do.

Good luck. :slight_smile:

Agreed. And like it or not, history seems to show that there are many who are not around 3 years later… for various reasons.

Do Inspectors just get burned out, or are they unable to market?

Larry is correct. I’m pretty sure I did well compared to most. At first, I had to move me, my wife and 2 kids into a 1-bedroom apartment in Philadelphia. I needed a business that required little start-up capital. So I started a home inspection business. I had always been in construction and had a real estate license, so it came fairly natural to me. Within 3 months of starting my business, I had $1,000+ days every day, booked solid. I worked every day except Christmas mornings for 5.5 years. In the summers, my inspection assistant (current CEO Chris Morrell) and I would knock out 3 home inspections a day. After feeding my family of four, I was able to save nearly a million dollars in the bank after 5.5 years. We grew the company to 4 inspection crews (2 inspectors/crew) and an office manager. Then I sold the company to my employees. I’d have saved even more money except that I had strong competition from InterNACHI member Joe Hagarty. :twisted: Anyway, it was much harder back then. No reporting software, no free education, no marketing programs, no business success tools, no websites, no InterNACHI.

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Inspection business or any other business. I would say the same thing

Expect to lose money in year 1.
Hope to break even in year 2.
Survive and thrive in year 3.

Anything above that is a bonus and a job well done.

I did $8,000 from August to December 2012

I did $53,000 from January to December 2013

I did $163,000 from January to December 2014

I work my butt off 60-70 hours a week

I agree with what others have said, there are way too many factors to provide a number for you. I looked up your area and the good news is you are in a large metro area.
That means you have a lot of potential for marketing and growth.

It probably also means you have entrenched competition that you’ll have to contend with.
How you do that is up to you of course and there is much help to be found here if you’re willing to seek it out and sort through it.

The majority of small businesses fail in their first year. Mostly from unrealistic expectations. But this is a good time to be starting up IMHO. You can make an excellent income being a home inspector but don’t expect to hit it out of the park your first year.

If you want your business to work, you have to work your business.

Back in 2002 when I started, I got laid-off from a cushy corporate job. I wanted to at least be able to pay bills my first full year. After 3 months of doing inspections, I was making more than my corporate job.

It depends upon the economy, demand for your services, how agents like you, and your prices. You must read every NACHI article 5 times, take all the tests you can, and gain experience. Start off cheap, and you will get business. Find a good “earned agent” tax person/accountant to help you.

You will hear a ton of success stories but you never hear about the failures because they are not around to tell it. I have seen first hand what it is like to fail at this profession.

We had a gentleman here in town start up his inspection business. At first he was doing fairly well and picking up a few here and there. Within six months he was up to 15 inspections per month and seemed to be on his way. What he did not realize was that he had started up when things begin to pick up (end of February). When October rolled around he was down to one or two inspections. November he had one and December he had zero. He could not afford to live on this income and had to go back to siding. He never did another home inspection.

This is a business and needs to be treated as one. Our local college has a small business development department which was extremley helpful, made me write a busniess plan and set goals. I went to my bankeer with the business plan and set up a line of credit. all of this before starting marketing. your first year especially you need to devote all your time to the business, Inspect, market expand ypur knowledge base if your state has any inspector organizations join it and attend meetings, meet fellow inspectors who you can call if you have a problem. Things may take off for you and you are doing well after the first year if not review your business plan and marketing plan, adjust if needed. I have been inspecting for 5+ years in a rural area and am happy with progress but still need to grow. Just added up 2014 receipts $52,000 plus social security doing ok and don’t want to do 8 inspections a week. Remember 52,000 was gross see what the accountant says was my net. It is a great profession and I hope you make it.

Nice Sheehan!


Thanks Nick!

Thanks for all your input. :smiley:

the above is a very realistic expectation

I had a full time job for the first 3 years in the inspection business.

I did 12 paid inspections fromt July to dec of 2009 and a net income of negative $14k
26k in 2010
53k in 2011

To me the #1 failure is capitalized. If you don’t have money to start the business properly, then don’t get into it. If your looking to “make” money off the bat, your wasting your time.

Your gonna stress “making money” rather than performing a good, proper inspection. Your then going to start compromising your integrity, by letting little things not get reported, because Realtors don’t like them in the report. Your then going to have 100 angry clients because you did a poor job and then all those same Realtors are going to throw you under a bus and say you suck…to save face.

If you don’t have enough capital saved up for about a year of bills…then don’t waste your time. If you want to create a job for yourself and make less than you would at Wal-Mart (hourly), then go at it half-assed.

But remember, you need a good vehicle, tools, insurance, other small equipment, computers, business paraphernalia like cards, marketing material,…all of this COSTS money…

To me the #1 failure is under capitalization…but that is just my theory…

Get a vehicle that says you are professional and dedicated…for example