Expert Interview with Sharon Purtill on Using HomeReport® for Maximum Efficiency

HomereportThere are a lot of things you have to know, not to mention remember, during a home inspection. You don’t want to be seen floundering for the next question or detail in front of a client, not to mention the precious time and resources it takes to come up with a new batch of questions to investigate with each property.

HomeReport® is a home inspection reporting system, published by Canspec Home Publishing, that has everything a home inspector needs to be efficient, organized, and get the job done quickly.

We spoke to Canspec Home Publishing’s Sharon Purtill, who discussed the system and shared some guidance and inspiration to be organized and on top of our games during the next inspection.

Can you introduce us to HomeReport®?

HomeReport® first edition was written in 1999. The reason we wrote HomeReport® was that we realized a need in the market for a home inspection reporting system that was balanced. One that offered home buyers enough information without going overboard and that was simple enough for even a first-time home buyer to understand and appreciate. At the time, and still to this day, we are well positioned in our market niche to offer home inspectors a system that can enhance their professional image and assist them in delivering a detailed and comprehensive report to their clients.

Can you briefly describe what HomeReport® does?

HomeReport® communicates a home inspector’s findings to a potential home buyer when they decide to have a home they are considering purchasing inspected. The report, in addition to outlining the inspector’s opinion of the home’s condition, offers the home buyer valuable information on things like home repair, maintenance and budgeting.

HomeReport® helps home inspectors reach six-digit incomes and build multi-inspector businesses. How does HomeReport® help businesses accomplish this?

When a home inspector chooses to use top of the line tools and professional equipment, it can help his overall image and position him as a true professional in the industry. HomeReport® is one of those tools. Clients love walking away from their home inspection with such a detailed and professional report, and that reflects positively on the home inspector. Inspectors who use HomeReport® in their businesses also get our company’s ongoing technical and marketing support to further assist them in growing their businesses.

HomeReport® features 10 duplicate keysheets on a variety of topics. How much time can someone save by eliminating unnecessary repetition?

The duplicate keysheets are there so the inspector can remove one copy for his or her records while leaving a copy inside the HomeReport® book for their client. Having to write these pages out twice could add a half an hour to the inspection time and just would not be an efficient use of time.

What are a couple quick tips you can offer for finding the right contractor? Why is it important?

Here are a couple tips we can share. First, pick a contractor with a good reputation, someone who has excellent references and is experienced, and second, get everything you discuss about the renovation job in writing.

What are a few things an inspector should look for to make sure a building is safe?

A good inspector looks at so many things, but here are two the average person may not think about: that the garage door is functioning as it should and reverses when a small about of pressure is applied to the underside of the door’s edge when it is coming down. A garage door in good working order will have a safety feature that will automatically reverse with pressure. This is in case a small child, pet or other object is in the path of the door as it comes to a close. Another safety item would be checking to ensure the settings on the home’s hot water tank are set to a safe level. When they are not, it could result in an unsafe situation such as scalding.

HomeReport® also gives its clients access to the Tech Talk Forum. What are some examples of the kinds of topics people talk about on there?

Recently there was a discussion about proper heights of exhaust pipes on roofs as well as their proximity to overhead electrical lines. There have also been discussions recently on roofing practices from finishes to slope to drainage issues. Sometimes an inspector may come across a material or a situation he has not seen before. The forum enables him or her to post a photo of the item in question, and usually in as little as thirty minutes one or more inspectors will offer feedback that can assist the inspector presenting the question. It has been a very used and valuable tool for our HomeReport® clients.

How can HomeReport® help inspectors impress their clients and make them seem well-organized and efficient? Why is this important for business?

When a home inspector comes off as being well prepared, professional and proficient, which is exactly how they appear when presenting HomeReport® to their client, it reassures their client that they are in good hands. Home buyers can feel at ease knowing that the inspector and the report they provide will be both efficient and thorough.

What are some examples of things an inspector or firm could do with all the time they will be saving using HomeReport®, to help take their home inspection business to the next level?

The best thing it provides is time. More time on site with the client, this face-to-face quality time is great for relationship building, and that leads to more referrals. When the inspection is over, so is the inspector’s reporting time. This frees them up to market their business or just have more time with family and friends rather than sitting at home logging extra hours on the computer trying to compile the inspection report long after the inspection has already concluded. With HomeReport® clients leave the inspection with their completed report in hand and that’s just good for everyone.

In your experience, is home inspection a healthy industry, and do you predict that it will continue to grow?

I do expect it will continue to grow. Most buyers already make doing a home inspection a condition of their home purchase, and I don’t see this changing anytime soon. In fact, if anything, I think some areas may make home inspection mandatory. This could even come from lenders who want to ensure they understand the property that they are lending money for.

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