New home inspectors tend to have the same question about getting their fledgling inspection business up and running: what kind of reporting software is recommended, and where to find it. That’s the topic of this month’s ICA School podcast, hosted by course author and instructor, Steve Preins.
Keep reading to the end, because Steve has a big surprise for ICA School students!
Your Report Matters
When you train with ICA School, you realize fairly soon that while there’s a lot to learn, it all leads to one thing. That’s the home inspection report. Above everything else, the report is why your customers hire you. So it stands to reason that the type of report you produce is important.
Your report provides critical information for your customers. It reflects your professionalism, and can even serve as a word-of-mouth marketing tool later on. When customers are asked for a recommendation by friends or family, it stands out as the evidence of a job well done. It also contains your contact information, which doesn’t hurt. Getting it right matters both for your customers and for you.
Exceptional Writing Skills are Not Required
Steve explains that a lot of students send in questions and concerns about the report. “I’m not a great writer,” they might say. And some worry about knowing the right terminology right away.
Because some narrative is involved, writing a report a logical concern. In years past, back when reports were typically handwritten, writing skills were much more important than they are now. But through technology advances, much of that is covered automatically.
Reporting software usually consists of a pre-made form that you can check off, with drop-down menus that allow you to choose a pre-written narrative about the condition of the system. For example, you might check off “Water Heater” on the reporting form. And then using a drop-down menu, you can find common defects and narratives for them. “Evidence of exterior rust” might be one, but they’ll vary by software manufacturer.
Reporting Software Comes in a Range of Price Points
Another concern that students express is home inspection reporting software. It can be expensive, but it doesn’t’ have to be. There’s a wide range of price points starting at about $200 and going up to nearly $2,000. On the lower end, you’ll find the basics. And on the higher end, you’ll find an office software suite that covers other things such as record keeping.
He explains that one really isn’t better than the other, it’s all about what you can afford. For a new inspector starting out, a simpler format is perfectly acceptable. At the very least, it will cover your report. And that’s the most important element that any package can offer.
That’s when Steve lets the listener in on a little secret. ICA School has partnered with homeinspectionform.com to provide students with a fully-functional, Microsoft Word-based home inspection report software at no cost. This software, called Report Form Pro, retails for $149, and it comes with a pre-inspection agreement that’s ready to use. If you want to upgrade later, there’s also an app for Android and IOS.
Check out the podcast today to get all of the details about reporting software, what you need, and what’s available through homeinspectionform.com. Your inspection report is arguably the most important part of your job. Through ICA School’s new partnership, you can get Report Form Pro at no cost.
Steve encourages listeners to send in questions or suggestions for future podcasts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’ve held off on registering with ICA School because starting a new business seemed expensive, now you have one more reason to make that leap. The program is one of the most comprehensive and affordable on the market. And now your reporting software is free. Enroll now and get started today.