Originally Posted By: bnelson
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You raise an interesting topic, one I’ve been pondering for a while now. I also love the role of “educator” during both the inspection and in the report, but I am realizing that it can have a negative impact on business if not presented properly. Let me explain what I mean, then give one suggestion for a way to handle it.
The busiest inspector in this area does a pencil-checklist, multiple-choice type report that he hands over at the end of the inspection. I don't have exact numbers, but I wouldn't be surprised if this guy averages 4 to 6 inspections a day. My belief is that his incredible brevity is the stuff of realtor's dreams.
Me, on the other hand, I like to do a very thorough inspection and so far I've not done more than one a day. I write custom, readable verbiage, add digi-photos with arrows, circle or squares around the intended defects, toss in a handful of line drawings from "The Illustrated Home" CD and package it together with a thorough summary, table of contents, nice cover page, the works. I've had a good number of realtors use me once, then (if they have the backbone) tell me my "eyesight is too good" or "my reports are too much work to read" and not refer me again. (Those are direct quotes).
I know there are a handful of inspector-orthodoxes hitting the "reply" button right now to re-re-re-iterate that it's the buyer and not the realtor that I work for. I know that, thank you. But 9 out of 10 jobs come from realtors' referrals, so to say they don't matter misses an important part of the equation, at least where I live.
I'd rather go back to framing than feel like I intentionally short-changed a buyer so I could woo a realtor, but I need to find some middle ground if I'm to stop losing the favor of realtors for my thoroughness. A solution I'm thinking of is to keep the actual reports as brief as possible while still conveying the pertinent information, but having a "Read more..." hyperlink at the end of each applicable item. Your slate roof example is perfect for such a thing. You could have that on a page of your website with pictures or diagrams, along with even more info if you wanted, and put a link to it after you briefly tell them in the report if the roof is good to go or what have you.
I want my customers to be absolutely blown away with how much value they get for their inspection dollar. But I also want realtors to keep referring me. This may be a way to do both.
I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on this concept