I think that’s the exact price range this guy is looking for! (now, how to attach to the car…)
I’ve owned pickup trucks my whole life and decided to switch to a station wagon, with no regrets. My flex holds all my tools including a 22’ Werner hybrid ladder and surfboards on the weekend. AWD, so not the best mileage, but very comfortable for those inspections that are more than 45 minutes away. I don’t walk clay tile roofs but I believe you are doing an incomplete inspection if you don’t get on the roof. Ladders should be the first purchase a new inspector makes.
I am curently in the market for a colorado with the diesel option but thats rather pricey. I use to fit a 22’ extention and 8’ and 15’ step ladders on a roof rack on a subaru legacy back when i was working construction. We have a guy at the radon mitigation company i work for who manages to get a 40’ around on a minivan.
I have a Dodge 3500, it was in an accident 4 weeks ago and still waiting on insurance and parts. So i used my daughters VW Bug. It works, i. Have a 24ft telescoping ladder, extention. Pole, 2 totes filled with my tools, sewer scope, a pelican case with my. Foundation level, and another one with my radon, and cameras. Im not as big as some of these other guys only doing 10-15 inspections a week. I would get a different vehical just for the optics and it will help you sell your service. Most of the other inspectors i see have small trucks or some version of a cargo van.
Nice set up! If it’s just you, 10 to 15 inspections per week is a lot!
How do you charge? Square footage, age, commission of sale price, etc.?
Yeah not to bad for only being 3 months in business. This week was my best week so far at $6250 and 11 inspections. I charge by flat rate then add ons. $450+ we offee a bundle at $750 which is what most folks go with.
Awesome! Is your bundle just ancillary services? What is you marketing strategy?
First question should be… “What area are you operating in?”
Strategy don’t mean squat if you don’t have a market to support it!
Also, what area are you in?
Salem Oregon big caviot, ive built and sold 4 companys so i have a huge leg up in starting a business, also a large safety net, and a great marketing strategy.
Think of it like this. When was the last time you ordered a just a buger and soda, most dont. They order a #1 even though it more expensive. My premium inspect takes about an hour longer and i earn $300 for that extra hour of work. My full inspection is $450 and prices kind of competitivly im slightly ubder the more established inspection company.
The first year of business is your most expensive for marketing. My customer aquisition cost is about $75, very high but i dont have an established network. My cost are starting to go down with referals now coming in and but it will take a good year before i see it down where i want it.
You need to be doing several different things, we signed up for Thumbtack, Angi, Google ad, facebook ads. These are expensive but not time consuming.
The cheapest and best way to get leads is out there shaking hands meeting realtors. This is very time consuming but worth it.
All of those leads are worthless if you dont have someone awnsering the calls. My wife does that. She sells the leads loads my schedule and confrences me where there is something weird.
Quickly awnsering the call is the most important aspect. Our clients are rypically in a time crunch and most of the time they go with the first person they call.
Lastly look at your area. I sold my construction company and real estate brokerage last year. I knew i wanted to come to Oregon my family is out here. I pulled up a map and said if i live in Salem its a 45 minute drive to Portland, hour drive to Eugene, and an hour to the coast. I hit 80% of the Oregon population. This of course isnt available to everyone but its something to think about if you move.
Be super flexible, this isnt a 9-5 job no business owner ever works just that. Have a client at 6pm take it. Need to work a Saturday or Sundays do it. When you start out the more flexible you are the better name you build. Couple this with saying no on important nights. I guarantee you a client wont be mad if you say you cant do it that night because you got a daddy daughter date.
We also chose a name we can easily market, Ugly Duckling Inspection. I chose this for one simple reason i built and sell businesses. This one ill sell in 4 years. I wanted something rememberable, funny, and not tided to my name.
The last thing is persistance. Your coming in at the end of the busy season your going to have a rough winter no matter how good of a marketing plan you have. Take the time to refine and work on your business, think outside the box and be ready for April when the market speeds up again.
I have a similar sized vehicle and, a roof rack adds the flexibility I need. Alternatively (or in addition), Harbor freight sells a flatbed trailer for around $500. Between these two options, I can get whatever I need to the job site.
Perhaps one or both of these options can work for you too as you grow your business. Best of luck!
2016 Chevy Colorado Z71 Black/Midnight Edition.
Multi-Position Ladders Fold to ><4’ feet. I have 3 and one 6" foot step ladder in the sealed cargo bed, along with other inspection equipment.
Do you need a truck, No. As long as the back seats of the vehicle fold down and you can place Multi-Position Ladders into the back of the vehicle. Remember to lash everything down incase of sudden stops the load does not shift causing harm to occupants or the vehicle.
Remember, start slowly with equipment and vehicles. Invest wisely.
Big question is how reliable is it? Reliability and price are my main concerns. What engine does it have?
Jacob. If you are just starting out, use the vehicle you already have. Folding ladders are thin and take up 4’ feet of space and can extend up to 11’ feet. I get atop most roof from the deck or balcony. Most I use my camera to take close ups of sloped roof coverings.
When you can afford a vehicle, and feel you really need one, it will be used as tax write-off, be it not all at once.
I transferred from being a small repair contractor so I already had 2 trucks. Before I purchased the Chevy Z71, that I really shopped around for and got an incredible deal, I was going to purchase a Mid-size crossover SUV.
I know you are excited. Start off slowly please. Many home inspectors do not make it past the second year and have used up lots of hard earned money doing so.
Thanks Robert. Very informative. Do you mean an A frame ladder? I am considering doing mostly if not entirely ancillary services after internachi training. I get the feeling I’d make more money offering sewer scope, radon, etc. Also, I’d mostly be marketing to other home inspectors so the marketing has already been done for the most part. I would just have to reach out to established inspector companies.
What do you think?
What vehicle do you use?
Very nice! Turbo?