Mike Chamberlain is the owner and lead home inspector with MC2 Home Inspections. He has a background in construction and residential real estate and has nine years of experience as an inspector and business owner. We recently asked him about the challenges of running a home inspection business. Here’s wha the had to say:
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced running a home inspection business?
The biggest challenge by far has been running our business without marketing to real estate agents. Like politics, if you are not in the good ol boy network, you tend to get shunned by your peers. The biggest lesson I’ve learned? Never take anything for granted.
What type of training or certification do you recommend aspiring home inspectors get?
In order to become a home inspector, you do need to become certified by an accredited school. Also, 32 states require home inspectors to be licensed which comes with having to take a national exam and keep up on continuing education every year. Not easy by any stretch of the imagination.
What do you think it takes to build a reputable home inspection business?
It takes a lot of time as well as persistence in doing what is right. The first year as a home inspector is always the hardest. Once you get past the first year and grow your clientele, as long as you continue doing what is right, people will talk and that is how you succeed in this industry … word of mouth.
How have you grown your business? What are your favorite marketing resources?
Without question the way to grow and succeed in this business is online. If done correctly, the internet continues to be one of the very best resources to get your name out there and recognized.
What are the most common mistakes or oversights you see other home inspectors making?
The continued marketing to real estate agents. Most inspectors bribe real estate agents constantly with trips to their offices, buying them lunch, sponsoring real estate agent-related functions, gift cards etc. In the past, the general public has been unaware of this “pay to play” mentality, however, thanks to the internet, more and more home buyers are becoming aware that this is a growing problem in this industry due to the conflict of interest it portrays. That’s where we come in.
What’s one final piece of advice you’d offer to novice home inspectors?
You will ultimately have two paths to take: 1. The most common path, to bribe real estate agents for referrals or 2. the less common, more difficult path to take is to market directly to the public and leave the real estate agents to their job and you to yours. It will take longer, but in the long run, you will be able to sleep at night knowing you are doing the right thing.
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