Thermal Imaging Profitability

Those who offer this service. Is this something you charge extra for or is it just part of your routine inspection?

I do have it as an extra charge but not much success with it :frowning: need to work on a better way to sell client on it.

Have you considered selling your equipment on Ebay?

I just add it on. There seems to be little to no market for this on its own. That is why I would never spend over $2K for a camera (that is high to me as well) and will not invest in training. The IR companies don’t get that it is a tool ( on par with a screw driver). Albeit, a very high priced one.

With proper training and equipment, you can command $150-$200/hr.
We grossed over $70k in 2013 and will do over $100k in 2014.

Linas, what I’m getting at. So for you its a separate service you offer correct and not included with the inspection?

Could this be some of your problem?

“If you build it they will come” only works*** if you build it!***

Doug, it doesn’t matter if it’s part of the inspection or you do it separately.

If you do it separately it’s because they didn’t hire you to do a home inspection.
If you’re doing a home inspection and they’re concerned about mold, what causes mold? What tools do you use to identify the mold?

Mold testing tells you that there is mold in the house. Where is it and what did it come from?
If they treat the mold after a mold test, did they get rid of the real “problem” (elevated moisture)?

If someone mentions the word mold, 99% of the time they purchase the service.

The price of your service is based upon “potential loss”. If your client doesn’t perceive the potential loss, they’re not going to invest in your service, are they? Same as getting a home inspection. Why do they need inspection on new construction? It’s been inspected numerous times already… Right?

Thanks David pretty much sums up what I was thinking. I see some who charge for it and those who don’t and didn’t know if there was a market solely for offering thermal inspection. When I get to offering it figured I would use it as part of the inspection and set me apart from others in area. Was trying to get a feeling of what most do on here

I charge for the Imaging but my clients do not realize it. I charge a lot more for my services than other companies but include the scan. Almost no one asks why I am more. They just book it and we are off. Most guys are charging 375 and I charge 450. The 75 is for the scan. I have never had anyone ask for it to be taken off. I also do stand alone thermal Inspections. I charge by the home or building square footage. .30 on a home and .40 on a commercial.

I charge for it separately, typically $125-$250 as an optional service in addition to the home inspection. I have a lot of demand for the service - of course I have no problem clearly articulating how we apply it, what it can and can’t do, when and under what conditions we can derive the greatest value out of it. I also know how to properly report observations. It will typically add at least an hour to my inspection and reporting time and represents significant financial and training investment on my part - one that deserves to be monetized.

I have never used infrared imaging to check to see if an appliance works or to detect mold though - if I did, I probably wouldn’t charge for the service either…

I was considering it. Looked at the 4k to 8k range. But the guys around here use it for marketing really. They buy the cheapest camera they can find and then say “use us we have an IR camera”, looks great, but I don’t believe the cameras they are using is showing them more than an experienced eye can find.

I know what you’re getting at concerning the appropriate camera, but many people think they can find the problems without any camera.

That is somewhat true, but I find that you have to realize what it is your looking at before you can be confident enough to make this prediction without the equipment to verify and document.

You can have the appropriate depth insulation installed (which passes building code inspections), but does it really work? Until you have a thermal perception of how it actually works, you’re not going to be very effective in telling the insulation contractor that they didn’t do it right without documentation!

The most of you that have not grasped this concept; thermal imaging equipment is not just to locate and identify thermal exceptions. It is just as important to quantify and document a finding or a suspicion of defect to justify asking for remediation.

You can’t get people to fix something that are not convinced that it is broken!

“You have a water leak in the ceiling, but you can’t see it yet!”.
“Oh really, and you expect me to tear down the ceiling and find it?!”

For those of you that can’t seem to sell this service, you need to expand your perception of the technology. You do this by continuing your education and experience.

When I first started using Thermography, I sold ITI services separately, but now I include a General ITI Scan with every Standard Residential Inspection. I still market the additional services, like ITI Moisture, ITI Energy, and ITI Electrical.

I find the General ITI Scan to be a value added service and my clients appreciate it. I just simply raised my fees.

Thanks guys. I am looking to expand services and business beyond the normal inspection so this all helped answer my questions

Do any of you ask your inquiring clients if they have any concerns with the property that they want addressed in the inspection?

If they have an answer for you, such as *“yes am concerned about mold”. *

At this point you can introduce them to numerous methods of identifying what actually causes mold issues, “moisture”.

Do they want this included in their home inspection?
Well, how bad do they want to know about this?
Enough to order additional services?

For those of you that have a camera and try to use it as a marketing tool to outdo the other guy, you’re not going to succeed because the client doesn’t perceive a need.

If you address their perception of their need; “identify moisture intrusion”, you simply tell them that there are testing services available that can be added to the home inspection to ensure there are no unseen or inaccessible moisture issues.
Not, "do you want thermal imaging it can find…?

Provide a solution to their concern.
Don’t try to shove something down their throat.

This is basic marketing 101.
Create/identify a need.
Provide a solution.

I am glad to see your converted as I have been doing this from the git go of level ll
and have taken some heat for doing so but I have simply laughed all the way to the bank. :wink: