Work life for a home inspector is a lot more involved than walking through a house and taking a few photos. There’s also the business side of the industry, which includes bookkeeping, marketing, networking and more.
If you’re thinking about a career in the home inspection industry, here’s an average slice of the average workday. Maybe it’s just the change you’ve been looking for.
Start Your Day When You Choose
They say that the early bird catches the worm. That’s the case for a lot of home inspectors, such as Bruce LaBell in Arizona. He’s an early riser, says the American Society of Home Inspectors, getting up before 6:00 a.m. and leaving for the field by 7:00 a.m.
What if you prefer to sleep in? That’s your choice, at least if you own your home inspection company. Schedule inspection appointments when you choose.
Just remember that the earlier you’re available, the more work you can pack into a day. Homeowners might not appreciate inspections during evening hours. Grab your materials and supplies needed for the day and you’re on your way.
Plot Out Each Inspection Before Arriving on Site
The time it takes to inspect a house varies based on many factors, including the square footage of the home and whether or not it’s in relatively good condition. LaBell tells ASHI that his average house is between 3,000 and 5,000 square feet and takes about four-to-six hours to inspect.
Next, LaBell gets a feel for the community. Before he arrives on-site, he scans the neighborhood and checks out construction styles and whether the community is well kept or not. He notes any loose animals that he might need to contend with, as well.
LaBell meets with the customer, real estate agent, both (or sometimes neither), and sorts out the details of the house. After meeting with his contact on site, he takes his tools, sets up his computer and gets to work.
Schedule Appointments and Handle Some Marketing Between Inspections
Home inspectors may take appointments manually, as in answering emails and taking calls, automatically through a website, or both. Automation makes it easier because customers don’t need direct contact with you to get on your schedule.
LaBelle says he sets up new appointments between inspections. He also uses this downtime to visit real estate agents to deliver brochures and set up appoints with them for “lunch-and-learn” presentations. Those are golden business-building opportunities that don’t tread the RESPA violation line.
Even at lunch, many inspectors keep marketing and building their business. In your business, you might also take call-backs from customers to discuss any questions they have about an inspection report.
Spend Nights and Evenings with Family, Office Work and Career Enrichment
In the evenings, you might attend an association meeting, network with fellow inspectors or work on s new marketing. Because home inspecting is flexible, you choose how to spend that part of your day.
For LaBelle, evenings might include picking up the kids from school, having dinner and emails or other correspondence that he wasn’t able to fit in earlier. He also works on marketing ideas at night, watches webinars and sometimes uses that time to finalize reports that weren’t finished earlier.
Bookkeeping, taxes and other business responsibilities often fit into the evening hours, as well. Your workday might end around 9 p.m., just like LaBelle’s, at least if you do all of the work on your own.
Flexibility is one of the most attractive features of being a certified inspector. You can start your day at 6 a.m., or not. You can spend lunch time making appointments, or use the evening hours. Do bookkeeping on the weekends, or fit in that chore at night. It’s your business, and you make the rules.
Does this sound like a great career? If you’re like many men and women across the U.S., it’s just what you’ve been looking for. ICA School offers a comprehensive training program that you can fit around your current schedule. Once you’re finished, you’ll have a certification in hand and be ready to get to work.
Enroll now and start your new home inspection career in a matter of weeks.