Most of us have heard the saying, “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.” Now that I’ve been in the workforce for nearly 40 years and home inspections for almost 30, I can say that saying holds true. The thing is, though, to me, being a home inspector has never been hard because I thoroughly enjoy doing it. Some steps are easier than others, for sure, but I’m glad I toughed everything out because I’ve had so much fun being a home inspector and teaching that I just can’t imagine doing anything else. Here are some ways to reduce your stress and workload:
The First Part: education
Getting through the education is probably the most tedious step to becoming a home inspector. The great part about it, though is how you only have to do it once – with the exception of continuing education for licensing requirements – and people are accomplishing it every day across the US. The educational portion of the job starts with classroom or distance (online) classes, then field training, and finally, exam prep.
Take every aspect of your training seriously because no matter which school you choose, they’re likely teaching you EXACTLY what you need to know for both your career and the national exam. Stay focused and don’t be shy about asking for help when you need it. I’ve been an adult educator for nearly 20 years and taught thousands of students in the home inspection profession. Asking questions is not a sign of weakness. To me, it’s a sign of intelligence and dedication and I get excited to answer student questions.
The Second Part: Marketing the Business
In the old days, I used to have students come to my class and brag to me about how they had already established their business and bought a Yellow Pages ad (for you GenZ’ers and Millennials, think of the yellow pages as an extremely limited paper version of a Google business search). Nowadays, some come to class convinced they have the perfect formula for success through a Google and Facebook advertising campaign. I’m here to tell you, internet marketing helps, but it won’t build your business. At least not nearly as fast as most of us want or need it.
Here’s the long and short of it: Homebuyers get a referral for a home inspector from their agent. The homebuyer almost always chooses one of the three suggestions from the agent because they have a relationship of trust. Very few people ever trust a Google search for a home inspector.
I’ve seen home inspectors start their business both ways and the folks that do the face to face marketing we teach in class work the hardest in their first two years, but they always have the most success – myself included.
If you want easy work, sit at your computer and analyze your Google ads and Facebook posts and do 25 inspections in your first year. If you’re willing to put in a lot more effort, market your business face to face with real estate agents and do 125 inspections your first year.
The Third Part: Hold your Ground
When I went into business for myself, I decided I wasn’t going to let the business run me. I had some very specific yet simple reasons for being in business for myself and they were not negotiable. To this day, we still hold fast on these principles because they male like a lot easier and less stressful. They are:
- The phone is shut off promptly at 6pm every day. If you answer the phone after hours, agents will always expect you to answer the phone 24/7. This is not an expectation you want to set.
- Return calls to past clients immediately. Don’t make them wait. Whether it’s to ask a simple question or lodge a complaint, making them wait will make them angry and they will complain to the agent about you.
- Take a day off every week. My day off is Sunday, and I only do one inspection in Saturday. That’s plenty of availability for my agents because I have 3 time slots available every day, Monday through Friday. I can do 16 inspections per week, always be available within 48 hours, and make good money. If I don’t take one day per week off, there’s no time for anything but work. If I wanted THAT lifestyle, I’d have stayed in Corporate America.
Real estate agents, however, will try to pressure you to do a lot of things to make their lives easier, such as answering the phone after hours, working on Sundays, doing inspections at night, and a host of other things we address in class. A happy home inspector is one who sticks to the principles that find the win-win for themselves, agents and clients.
Sure, there’s work to do. There will be a lot of long hours marketing yourself and gaining the trust of the real estate agents. There will be mornings where it’s easier to stay in bed than to go out and do marketing. There will be summers where you’re doing 15 inspections per week and dead tired Friday afternoon. Remember, though if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Ask yourself if the reward is worth it. 15 inspections at $400 each is a good week with $6,000 in revenue. Think about THAT! And, you still have the weekend off!
HI-TEC thinks like a school AND a business. We have live classes and a fully self-paced curriculum to suit the many needs of our students. We discuss everything about the home inspection career in every class we teach. Like we’ve mentioned so many times, we want to be a part of your success and that means teaching you everything we know about passing the exam and starting your career. It’s how we give you the high ground advantage. We’re better because we focus on the core competencies you need to get started. We’ve worked for the biggest schools in the country. We know what students need to be successful, and how to best provide everyone with the knowledge and skills required to make home inspections a lifelong career. We don’t make sales pitches in class, and we teach the marketing in every class so you can get licensed, get marketing, and start recouping your investment right away.
Give us a call at 877.51.HI.TEC and let one of our admissions experts help you get the answers you need!