Home Inspector Similarities To Realtors
In many ways, home inspectors and real estate agents are similar. Like real estate agents, home inspectors are professionals and are deserving of respect for our expertise. And, in every profession, there are those who are professional and good at what they do just like there are those who are not so professional or good at what they do. Those who are good and demonstrate professionalism last in the business they choose while others do not.
Like real estate agents, Home Inspectors are businessmen and professionals. Professional Home Inspectors operate a real business day in and day out. They have overhead expenses like professional fees, association dues, continuing education costs, marketing costs, insurance costs and expenses for tools, equipment, office supplies and vehicles. Just like any business owner, home inspectors must make prudent spending choices to operate a successful business.
Home Inspection professionals market themselves in much the same ways as Realtors do. We work from lead generation, agents referrals, public referrals, websites, social media and every other conceivable form of human contact. Our company names are on our vehicles and like real estate agents, we are always quick to hand out a business card to anyone we meet. So, like real estate, the home inspection business is a “people” business. To be successful, we have to be salesmen and foster good relationships.
Texas is among the most difficult of all states to obtain a Professional Home Inspection license (Some states do not require licensing or any regulation). Like real estate agents, home inspectors are either formally trained and mentored for 18 months or longer, or, they obtain a formal education and experience. Then after months of study they may or may not pass the state exam. I have been told that only 1 out of every 18 who take the exam pass it the first time they take it and only 2 out of 12 pass it the second time. The test can only be taken 3 times in six months. After that, the odds are even worse. Each time a home inspection exam is failed, the testing system focuses on the weakness the prospective inspector had on the last exam. Like a real estate license, the Professional Home Inspector license is difficult to earn.
Real Estate agencies and Home Inspection companies both find that their websites, blogs and online social media (Facebook) are more important than ever to business success. Today, many Home Inspectors and Realtors get more leads and customers from online sources than anywhere else. The internet has truly become where we find everything and everyone.
Home Inspections are hard work. The average home inspection takes about 4 hours at the home site, sometimes more. Inspectors cover every square foot of a structure. From the foundations and crawl spaces to the attic and roof covering, we see it all. We test every mechanical component, evaluate plumbing and vent systems and can identify 1000’s of potential hazards and problems both seen and unseen. Like Realtors, Home Inspectors must know what to look for depending on the age of the structure, the builder, current building codes and the Texas Standards of Practice for Professional Home Inspectors. Then like a real estate agent writing a sales contract, we must write a legal, state certified, home inspection reports based on the findings. It is technical and, it is hard work.
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