A home inspector is a professional who will visit a home which is being sold, to assess it against a set of established regulation and standards. This includes carrying out a visual survey of the home, such as the interior, exterior, electricals, heating and air conditioning, roofing, insulation etc. The home inspector then produces a detailed report based on their findings which the home buyer can then use to negotiate on the purchase price and/or to obtain home insurance and a mortgage. To become a home inspector, you need to follow some certification steps which will vary depending on your state but starting and running a profitable business is a more complex task.
The quicker you can get to grips with the fundamentals of running a business the sooner you will be able to turn a profit. This guide outlines the key steps involved in starting a home inspection business so you can decide if it might be the right choice for you.
Get certified as a home inspector
Your first step on the road to running a home inspection business is to obtain your certificate and become licensed in your state. It’s essential that you complete the official training, even if you’ve worked in the construction or real estate industry for many years and are confident in your ability. The certificate and license will prove to prospective clients that you are a competent professional.
Create a business plan
Any new business venture should begin with a business plan. This is just what it sounds like – a plan of how you intend to run your business. It needs to include market research about the real estate market in your area, your competitors and how you will fill a gap in the market or improve on what is already available. You need to work out how much money you will need to set up and run your business, how you will source the funding and how much profit you will make in the next 5 years. The business plan should also include a marketing strategy, which should include both digital marketing techniques and more traditional advertising.
It’s important to get insurance for your business including Errors and Omissions (E & O) and General Liability. The home inspector is responsible for assessing the safety and quality of a home before the buyer moves in. Unfortunately, when a homeowner finds a problem in their home years after the inspection took place, they may try to blame the home inspector and sue you for the cost of the repairs. Insurance will cover you financially should this happen and increases your credibility with clients as it shows you take your responsibilities seriously. Should you make an error, they know they are protected which gives them great peace of mind.
Source your home inspector tool kit
You will need to get your hands on the right equipment for the job, such as an electrical testing kit, gas detector, infrared thermometer and plenty of other tools from a standard hardware store.
Install home inspection software
Home inspection software is one of the most important home inspection tools you can have in your arsenal. With high-quality home inspection software, you will be able to streamline your efficiency and maximize productivity and profitability by automating processes, creating reports, scheduling inspections and plenty more from your smart device or computer.
Create your marketing materials
To be a businessperson you need to ensure you have the right marketing materials, including a business card. This is often the first impression you make and what you will give to clients when you leave. To make your mark, you need to create a unique and memorable brand which stands out from the competition. From your website and printed marketing materials to your branded vehicle and the clothing you wear on the job, keeping a consistent brand will help to maximize your visibility and establish yourself as a reputable company.
All of your printed and digital marketing materials should be branded consistently and professionally for which you may want to hire a professional branding agency.
Register your business for taxes
You will need to register your business with the relevant authority in your state and register for taxes. You can then set your own prices and start finding clients. One of the main advantages of running a home inspection business, aside from maintaining your license, paying for your equipment in set-up phase and paying for insurance, is the rest of the profit is yours. You will need to find a balance between competitive pricing and maximizing profits.