New guy looking for your thoughts on collecting the money from clients.
Do you recommend credit card payments? (online, email, swipe in person at the property)
Do you take payments when booking, the day of the inspection, or before handing over the inspection report?
Client almost ALWAYS present for the complete inspection…
At the beginning of the inspection.
No money, no inspection.
Cash or local check only on site.
Credit cards, bank transfers, e-checks, through PayPal only… due received 12 hours prior to the scheduled start time… primarily for out-of-state clients, or the RARE client that can’t make it at all.
99% of payments are taken at the end of the inspection by check. We also offer cc payments on site with an added 5% processing fee added on top of the inspection fee. The 1% of inspections I don’t collect on site are for banks that we allow 30 day billing.
Prior to the inspection. Since ALL of my insurance policies, including my GL, AD&D, and LIFE) required a fee-paid inspection, I don’t do an inspection without that fee being paid. If I get killed at the property during the inspection, and there’s no signed inspection agreement or paid fee, my LIFE insurance might not pay. It’s their choice, but we know that insurance companies don’t make money by paying claims, so I’m going to do everything I can to ensure that they DO pay.
End of the inspection. Most are checks…some credit cards…and rarely cash. I do allow folks to pay at closing but require a post dated check or credit card number as a backup. I’ve never had a problem with that but it’s only been a handful of times.
Happens all of the time here! Or even the out of country. Make sure when you take payment that you account for current exchange rates, I lost a couple bucks on that once, although it wasn’t that bad, never again.
When I first went into the home inspection business many years ago, I wanted to get technically strong, very fast. I didn’t want to poison my own market with my inexperience.
So I came up with a plan: I went deep into the worst neighborhoods of Philadelphia about 25 miles from the target market I ultimately wanted to conquer. It was easy to get inspection work there because no one else wanted it. It was a little dangerous. You couldn’t charge much. And the homes were rough. Did I say rough? Really rough. Defects galore.
Anyway, after a couple of months of working in those neighborhoods, I had seen it all and achieved my goal of becoming a technically strong inspector. My systems got silky smooth.
I then left. I swung my marketing machine around and aimed at the nice neighborhoods that I really wanted. I began by giving real estate presentations with the confidence of a battle-hardened veteran inspector. No one even suspected I was brand new, because at that point, I really wasn’t.
Anyway, aside from the benefits of becoming a technically strong inspector quickly, and not poisoning my target market initially with any hint of being a newbie, there was one other benefit to working those neighborhoods, the culture there didn’t use banks. I got paid in all cash.