What would you consider too young?

Hi there gents,

I’m another newb round this message board so bear with me. I’m currently 22 years of age, and although I’m supposed to be wrapping up my college degree right about now, I got caught up with the National Guard and lost about two valuable years of college because of it.
I’m about to return from my first and most likely last deployment and will be returning to full time college status as of January.
My question is whether or not you as a community feel I could balance my college commitment (which is less than a full time job) as well as obtain my HI certification, along with a potential part time job? I’ll have almost a month of time to study hard for my HI certification test before my college semester starts, so the worst will be behind me. At that point I would like to continue with my HI studies as well as do tagalongs with professionals while attending college. I only have classes on Tues and Thurs so that works out nice.

Supposing I choose to do this, would most of you consider my age as a major roadblock? I’m tempted to say most realtors would be more than happy to judge this book by its cover regardless of how qualified I might end up being.
Perhaps it would be better for me to obtain my certification and then proceed to work under a professional or established company?

Lastly; what do most of you use when it come to a business vehicle? Is a truck really needed? I do suppose a truck might be recommended simply because it gives a more professional appearance?

Thank you so much,


What are your State requirements?
You shoud be able to pass the NACHI test with a week of study?

I sold my truck when I became a HI and got SUV(4runner) as I can put everything inside. My HI buddy drives PT crusiers. Whatever works. Some people equate trucks with tradesmen.

I’m in MI. Standards here seem to be rather relaxed. I’ve noticed that most in this state have obtained their State Contractor’s License. I’d argue that this is probaly not too difficult to obtain after obtaining your HI cert.

Where in MI are you going back to???

I would highly recommend working under an established inspector. This will give you the experience needed and introduce you to the in’s and out’s of the business world. Almost anyone can perform an inspection (especially in MI) but try running the business properly, that’s where most businesses run into trouble. Gain as much knowledge as you can working in the field or in a related field (i.e. construction, electrical, HVAC, whatever). You’ll not only gain an appreciation for the business, it will help you decide if you want to pursue a career in the HI field.

As far as your age, it probably would depend more on your look. Do you look younger??? or older??? Most folks won’t meet you until they hire you, so you better know what the heck you’re talking about!!

Contractors License: Anyone in MI can pay $170 or so and take a class that will teach youthe test…even so, it looks nice on a resume.

Vehicle: Any vehicle will do. Just don’t drive up in a rust bucket.

If you want to be taken seriously in the HI field professional image is critical. You don’t need to wear a tie, just look sharp, act professional, and always be courteous.

Best of luck when you get back and thanks for serving!!

One more thing: Michigan is working a bill that will require licensing Home Inspectors. Working under an established inspector could help out with your future state requirements.

I’ll be returning to Kalamazoo.

Yes, the business aspect is one of the reasons I like this field of work. I don’t generally have any trouble working under others (obviously not as I’m in the military), but working for somebody else’s wallet is not my preference. Tax benefits are always nice too, and the learning experience would be great.

Do I look younger?
No, but I don’t look old either. I’d say most people see me as 24-25, strap on some nice looking clothes and I might pass for 26.

What I was really worried about is getting on the referral lists of realtors as this is where so much HI business is generated. Wouldn’t you think most realtors would prefer an older HI over a younger one so as to not give their clients the first impression of “he can’t be too experienced!”?

Thanks for your help!

Now would this allow all current inspectors to fly under the radar for a while? Or would it be accross the board from its inception?

Some realtors will see it that way…initially But that’s why you have to shine during the inspection. Have you heard the saying “If you can’t dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bu!!sh!t”??? Well, make sure you dazzle their shoes off!! And don’t ever try to bu!!sh!t the client. You’ll lose face real quick like and you’ll have an even harder time earning respect in the industry. Study hard and work hard and eventually they’ll be saying “he gives a refreshing new look to the HI field…and he’s such a strapping young man.”:mrgreen:

Well I sure hope to find out sooner or later. Luckly I’m a terrible liar, so the BS part isn’t laid away for me anyway. That’s probably why I’d rather be a HI than a realtor… I’m not the best sales person because I’m too honest and can’t sell a product I’m not passionate about.

Thanks for your insight Mr. Gagneur. Hope you’re business is doing well.

Here’s some insight for you, David.

You’d best be passionate about selling yourself. You can be the best inspector in the world, but if your phone don’t ring, you don’t eat.

Been there. Done that. Got real hungry. THEN I finally got passionate about selling myself. Was a hard change to make, but I’ve worked thru it.

Thought all I had to know was inspecting. Found out different.

Now that you mention that…

What would you consider the best way to sell yourself without too much puffery? Based on your personal experience that is.

See, I’ve got A LOT of homework to do… but I don’t quite understand the purpose behind making a presentation for realtors. They know what you do, they know if they need you, you can tell them all you want how qualified you are without having to make a presentation out of it, and to me it sounds like you’re basically kissing their asses by doing so. A HI that stands behind his work should have a hard time selling his product to most realtors unless they’re Buyer’s realtors.
Am I wrong?

So how exactly is it that the realtors know what YOU do? What seperates **YOU **from the other HI’s in your market?

You can tell realtors how qualified you are individually or you can market to a whole group of them at once. I personaly like meeting Realtor one on one at open houses than doing office presentations. Either way though you are selling yourself with some sort of presentation.:smiley:

What would you consider too young?

Under the age of 18. Younger than that is considered jailbait.:mrgreen:

Let’ see, the average of my competitors is somewhere around 45, so I’d say that anything under 46 is too young! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:


First, it’s good to be young in this Industry, at least for physical reasons.
The fact that you are military, means your are, or should be, disciplined.
That will serve you well in this Industry, as it takes discipline to be self-
motivated to work, to learn your trade, work your trade, and put up with
all the Bull$$it that will be coming your way, as you grow your business.

I had a baby face when I first started out back in 1971, working and going
to school (college). When I started working with Arch’s.,Engr’s., Gen.Contr’s.
in about 1975, I still looked young and the Diploma didn’t help much. I felt
they wern’t taking me serious, even talking the talk, so I grew a
mustache. At least I tried too.

I guess what I am trying to say is, lots of folks will think you are to young to
have the experience to do the job. That will, of coarse be true, but you deal
with it by showing what you know, and how you get the job done.
Remember to sell yourself, all the time.

When you market to “most” Realtors you must let them
know, without saying it too plainly… that you
will try to help them sell houses and go easy on
the inspection.

Since this is unethical and makes you a sleeze bag,
then try telling them that you work for the customer
and the not the Realtor.

This will will make you very appealing to the general
home buyer, but it will kill your business with Realtors.

But hey, its your call.

Will you be…
Sleeze bag or quality Home Inspector?

I do not market to Realtors enjoy it more everyday.