I don’t have any construction type experience. Does this training provide me with all of the knowledge I’ll need including some business training? I plan on starting a business right after training. The start up cost is fairly low and I figure worst case scenario is that I fail and then just go work for someone else for a while.
Also, how often do real estate agents graduate the school that they go to? What’s a good way to meet them? Would offering 2 or 3 free inspections or discounted inspections be a good idea to get business from agents?
No amount of book training will teach you everything, especially if you dont have any construction background. Every inspector on here will tell you that most of your learning will come from actual experience, and that we are all continuously learning. I was in construction and remodeling for 20 years before this, and I am still learning.
The business aspect of successfully running your own business does not come from Nachi. Knowing how to run a small business is also something you can easily fail at without some knowledge and help. There is alot to consider, including finances, business mindset, advertising, bookkeeping, expenses, deductions, etc.
I would suggest working for someone else for a while if you have no background. Worst case is NOT simply failing, and moving on. It could include major lawsuits against you if you are not careful.
Not trying to scare you, just being blunt. Coming into this with no background and expecting to hit the ground running all by yourself could be dangerous.
I completely agree with Daniel, with the difference being that based upon your post, I highly recommend that you take a couple of semesters of a Business Course (101-102 etc.) to get a handle on the business side of things. Many inspectors fail in this business because they know nothing about running a business, and waste their time and money (yes, it takes a lot more than you think!) on the inspection and marketing aspects.
The bottom line… if you get business training and fail at inspecting, your business training will have you prepared for many other business attempts in other fields. If you fail at inspecting with no business training… you are done with nowhere to continue from other than the beginning… again!!
My old biz partner had a great line for people trying to nickel/dime us down on price… “Nobody wants a free haircut.” Often times, the most expensive home inspection is the cheapest.
Fwiw, this is a pretty terrible time to be entering this business. During good times in real estate you shouldn’t expect to make any money for a couple years. Housing is heading into a rough stretch so it’s going to be even worse.
Most of us who have experienced long term success arrived at this profession with a slew of skills garnered in other business enterprises which were applied to the home inspection profession.
Since most start out as sole proprietors you will need to know a lot of stuff about a lot of things on your own to survive your first years in business, but most hit-the-ground-running success stories go to those who can sell well.
Real Estate Agents (around here we call them brokers) hold “open houses”, usually on the weekend. So they wait in the “for sale” property, expecting (if not wishing) for some potential client to drop-in!
This is a perfect opportunity for a new InterNACHI inspector to introduce themselves to this (not doing anything for the moment) broker! So do drop-in! They are NOT busy!
You have their full (unobstructed) attention and can give them your “commercial” full tilt! And as they visualize what you can do for them, they will want to refer your services to their clients!
I started in another area, another century and another millennium! Challenges and opportunities were very different but I believe that you are selling yourself first and foremost! So prepare yourself!
The “buddy system” is effective and works! I would suggest that you first profit from “riding shotgun” with a seasoned mentor (or mentors) for 25-50 inspections and ask these mentors to assess your capabilities!
I won’t completely rain on this but it’s been done to death and the returns are minimal. The main problem is any agent sitting at an open house is new or just not successful. You’re not going to find heavy volume agents twiddling their thumbs at an open house.
I suffered through the meltdown +/- 10 years ago and open house visiting was a common practice for inspectors. Another attempt was bringing donuts to the office with your biz card attached. Mike Crow (Million Dollar Inspector Program) built an empire (for himself anyway) with a similar schtick of leaving a candy bowl at offices. I suppose this stuff works/worked when the idea was fresh but when there are three candy bowls on the counter and 10 inspectors showing up at each open house the message gets diluted.
Being a new inspector is a REALLY tough plight during good times. When things get tight like they are now? I don’t have great news. Basically, I’m doing all the things a new inspector is but have a database of 5,000 agents I’ve worked for over the last few years and 25 years of history. Sure, a slick new website or coupon might get a couple jobs but it’s just not an easy thing the break into… despite what the company selling education and training claims.
I do agree with the negative side of it, Matt. That mentioned, getting exposure is one of the keys to referrals. Another one that worked for me was presenting something of interest (and benefit) to realtors when they hold their (weekly or monthly) grouo or office meetings. “The 3 fatal mistakes first time homebuyers make” was one of the great ones developed by INACHI.
I’m not sure I would use the term, “terrible”, but certainly challenging. Last year was the first year in my 22 years that I made less than the previous year. I’m hearing it from everyone. It becomes a weight loss plan when the pie shrinks and the same number of slices are coming out of it.
My entire area within ˜100 miles could be covered by 100 full-time home inspectors (based on sales #s). There are, however, like 1000+ licensed inspectors. So you have ˜10 inspectors for every job. You can make it but you will have to bust your #$@#% Good luck!
Yeah, I suppose “terrible” might have been a bit harsh. I think I typed that the day rates got jacked and my phone went silent for about 48 hours while everyone panicked. We’re actually doing pretty well now.