Realistic Start HI Part Time

Hi all,

I am obviously new here and this is my first post. I have been in the trades for over 20 years and have always been interested in the Home Inspection industry. A good friend of mine is a local RE agent and has recommended a couple home inspectors to talk to, which has been a little helpful to get some basic direction and I have been led here to InterNACHI. So long story short, I have a good “job” and want to start something that I can call my own. Both of my local HI contacts told me that it was really tough their first year, but also said it would be hard to ever go full time inspector if I started part time.

I am just trying to make a business plan and cost analysis before making the initial investment. How does a rookie inspection land his “first” inspection? I am in Georgia and would prefer to be certified and study the materials available through InterNACHI, but no license is required.

I have read countless materials about how to grow your HI business, marketing strategies, etc. but how does one actually start and land the first inspection?

Do I need a website, decals on truck, logos on shirt, investment in drone, etc before trying to get the first job? I am just hoping for some help and guidance.

Right now, I would like to aim for 3 inspections per month to be a somewhat “break-even”, and of course I could handle 6-8 per month without giving up my job. But I have always had high ambition and would like to get to the 25-30 per month once I go full time. It’s hard to plan for long term goals when I can’t see the light to open the door to the first one.

Thanks everyone!

Jason,

Welcome to the forum… it sounds to me like you are jumping the gun a bit. First, you should learn how to perform a home inspection :slight_smile: Have you done that? (doesn’t sound like it) Are you able to write a full inspection report? what exactly are you going to do if tomorrow someone hired you and expected a written report from you in 48 hours? So you see… first thing is first :slight_smile: Once you learn how to inspect you can worry about getting your first job. You should do/write at least 10-20 mock up inspections before even considering getting hired to do a paid one.

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Thank you for that advice. I am not being naive in thinking I can just go get hired. I plan to make a real plan and stick to it, just looking for guidance on the plan/pathway to the first paid inspection. I think your suggestion of 10-20 mock inspections and learning to write reports makes a very good part of the plan.

For instance, I do not have a business license, no insurance, no training, and no expectations of overnight success either. I am in the planning stages now. Researching report software, e-sign contracts, what training is needed, and trying to figure out the order of tasks to pave the way towards an inspection. I don’t want to be another fly by night inspector and I plan to spend another 2-3 months researching and making a plan, just looking for guidance on the proper steps.

This is good advice from, Simon.

Also, you inspect friends and relatives hoes as practice.

And, you can take this test and wait until you score in the 90s before doing paid inspection. (It will tell you where you are weak.

InterNACHI practice exam: https://www.nachi.org/qa.htm

Jason - Ditto to what Simon said (Simon says…Get it???). By chance, I just did an inspection today for a 35 year licensed contractor whose wife ordered the inspection and he did not think he wanted one. As it turned out, he was on my hip the whole time and he was blown away at some of the stuff he learned. I learned a thing or two as well.
Moral of the story, your background is a huge advantage for starting. You will learn to look at things completely through a different set of eyes as you train and learn. While figuring out the report writing, it is also a bit of a road to getting a license for your state. Work on them both. If you make it through that, it is a rough first 12 -24 months as it does take time. But also hard to have a job where you cannot just say “Hey, I will be back tomorrow to finish your water heater install” so you can go and do an inspection. I went for it full time and actually drove for good ole Uber to fill in the gaps. It became less and less driving over time, but it was the only flexible option I could figure out where you can work around inspections as they come up. I actually got a few inspections from driving! Either way, good luck and be prepared for a rough road, but once you get established much slower than you will hope for, it is very good! Long response, but I was in your shoes not too long ago with a lot of the same questions.

Helpful hints for New Inspectors.pdf (230.1 KB)
Here’s some more good advice for when you start out, good luck.

All sound advice from guys that have been where you are now! Join InterNACHI, get training, THEN form your company, etc… Knowledge is wealth, without it you will look like a bafoon in front of your first client which will not bode well for you. Don’t put a time line on when things will happen. When you do, it won’t happen. …