For you, the best part about home inspecting work might be learning new things and the freedom to use those skills to build a business. But for the customer, an inspection boils down to one thing: the report. Format, delivery, descriptive language and images can make or break the whole experience.
Report writing isn’t usually the best part of the business, but it’s a necessary one. If you want to make more customers happy and build your reputation, here are 5 ways to craft excellent reports every time.
#1: Hone Your Communication Skills
Fortunately, most home inspection software has built-in autocorrect or at least a red, squiggly line to point out misspelled words. However, there’s more to communication than spelling “creosote” correctly.
Good communication skills convey information in a way that’s easy to understand. If you’re interested in becoming a communication expert, check out free courses from Alison or think about a local writing course. It’s a worthwhile investment in the future of your career.
#2: Use the K.I.S.S. Method
Keep it super simple. Chances are, you know a lot more about home systems, how they work and the defects that arise than any of your customers. But Working RE magazine says home inspection report isn’t the place to use complicated language.
Keep it simple, avoid jargon and technical terminology. The whole point of a report is to provide clear information. Where complicated language can’t be avoided, offer an explanation of terms and why they’re relevant.
#3: Provide a Summary
More than likely, your customers have lots of responsibilities on their respective plates. Work and family obligations are difficult enough to juggle. Layer on the stress and strain of buying a house, and you’ve got a recipe for serious anxiety. A summary helps lighten some of the load.
A light overview of the home inspection at the beginning of the report lets customers know at a glance if all’s well or they need to stop and focus. It’s a time and nerve saver when both are in short supply.
#4: Make it Scannable
Inspection reports pack a lot of information. It can overwhelm some people, especially if they’ve never seen one before. But if it’s scannable, customers can skim through to get the highlights and stop to examine points as needed.
Copyblogger explains that scannable content lets the reader get the gist of the material without reading every word. If you’re not sure how yours measure up, print a report or read an example of someone else’s. Can you scan the high points and understand the whole? That’s the goal.
#5: Add Images, but Not Just Any Images
There was a time when home inspection photographs were a luxury. With digital photography at your fingertips and reporting apps that make uploads easy, images are expected. Thing is, there’s a big difference between a hurried photo and a clear image that helps tell the inspection report story.
If your photography skills aren’t the greatest, take a little time to work on them. With mobile app reporting software, you’ll probably use your phone or tablet to capture and upload images. Check out the device settings and practice photography in different light levels. Better images mean better reports and happier customers.
Great home inspectors aim for great home inspection reports. It’s not the most entertaining part of your day, but it’s why customers hire you. It’s also a way to stand out in your industry.
ICA School does more than just teach home inspection basics. We prepare you for a new career, and that includes expert-level report writing instruction. Ready to learn more? Enroll now and join the ranks of satisfied students from around the country.