By Doug Dillard
There is little doubt that the home inspection service business is a booming business. According to official figures, 4.9 million home inspections were performed in 2000. This figure has gone up in recent years following the construction boom in the US. You will therefore be never short of business.
Job profile: A home inspector examines a property from the rooftop to the foundation. Among other things, the home inspector examines the exterior and interior of the building, the condition of the roof, the state of plumbing, electrical wiring, insulation and ventilation. The inspector also checks related environmental and safety issues. The assessment then becomes an important document both for the seller and the buyer. The seller may then carry out repairs before selling the property. Sometimes, the buyer also wants to commission an independent inspection to estimate the likely expenditure on repairs. Warranty companies, banks and realtors also commission inspections. There is therefore no shortage of business.
Training and qualifications: There are two ways to prepare yourself for the home inspection service business. The first is to do a course with the American Society of Home Inspectors or the National Association of Home Inspectors. The second option is to join a training program offered by a franchisor. In the latter case, a lot of your problems will be taken care of by the franchisor.
However, it is always advisable to learn about the home inspection service business by going along with an inspector, and observing what the inspector does. This is important because a home inspection requires climbing roofs, crawling through dark and damp attics to locate the causes of cracks, leaks, water stains etc. It is always good if you have a background in remodeling, engineering or home rehabilitation. Then you are able to spot problems easily, and suggest solutions.
You also need to present yourself well. Home inspectors who are shabbily dressed or who cannot explain a structural fault in layman's terms make poor home inspectors. It is essential to communicate well in this industry. Equally important is the preparation of the report. It should list all points clearly.
Another important attribute for a home inspector is analytical skills. A home inspector should be able to locate faults, and analyze reasons for those faults.
Investment: The home inspection service business does not call for much investment. All that the home inspector needs is to undertake a course in home inspection, and buy errors-and-omissions insurance to cover himself against claims in the event of oversights or mistakes.
Earnings: It takes time to establish yourself in the home inspection service business. The first couple of years are tough, and it will not be easy to get contracts. However, once you are established in your area you can hope to make $40,000 to $90,000 every year.
Promotion: You need to target the realtors because they supply the largest chunk of home inspection service business. You must contact all realtors in your area personally, and leave your business card behind. Over the years you will develop good relations with some realtors who will supply you with good business. You can also meet bank managers dealing in home loans and offer your services for home inspection. You should also become a member of the Association of Realtors in your area as well as of national associations. This may or may not bring you extra business but it will give you extra respectability. There is no harm in distributing flyers in your area once in a while or getting listed in the yellow pages. It will increase your reach.
Doug Dillard has started and run many home-based businesses over the past 25 years. He has created a great site for those of you looking to start your own home-based business, but don't know how to get started. Visit his website: HomeIncomeOpportunities.com for more information.
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