What would you rather do all winter? Try to drum up home inspection business, or move into a different seasonal job phase? Spring and summer are the classic high-volume seasons for all aspects of the residential real estate industry, from listing and buying homes to inspections and home improvements. But commercial properties need inspections year-round.
Adding commercial inspections to your repertoire could supplement your income when the market is in a lean phase and it might bring in more residential referrals once the weather breaks again next spring.
Here’s what you can expect from broadening your horizons into commercial real estate.
Commercial Property Owners are More Educated About the Process
A residential real estate customer might know a little or a lot about a house. You never know from one person to the next how involved they’ll want to be or whether they know GFCI from AFCI. With commercial customers, customers tend to know a lot about commercial property and in some ways, they’ll be “easier to work with,” says ASHI Reporter.
Commercial customers will probably be more straightforward and businesslike. If there’s a legal issue uncovered in the inspection, ASHI Reporter says they’ll know how to handle it and won’t be as emotionally tied to the property or the transaction as a person buying a home.
Some Commercial Building Inspectors Help Determine the Property Value
ASTM E2018-01 Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments: Baseline Property Condition Assessment Process gives inspectors the process guidelines for performing a commercial inspection. You’ll need a copy to study and refer to.
Typically, a commercial inspector partners with a property condition report reviewer. Together, they create a report that describes the structure and, according to ASHI, estimates what the customer might invest in the building.
Some Inspectors Focus Only on Defects in the Structure
Another type of commercial inspection is more like the work you perform as a certified home inspector. Unlike the property condition assessment, this approach combs the building, examining it for material defects without advising on property value. These inspectors may work in teams, as commercial property is often much larger with more complicated systems than an average home.
“Many inspectors,” says ASHI, blend the two inspection styles. They’ll use ASTM E2018-01 guidelines for the inspection but also provide a more in-depth description of material defects. Expect every commercial client to have slightly different goals.
There’s plenty of room for growth in commercial inspections and they aren’t as prone to seasonal ups and downs as residential work can be. They bring higher fees, as well. You could even carve your own niche, specializing in one aspect of commercial property and working with a team.
ICA School includes commercial property inspections with your tuition. That’s not the case with many competitor schools. We give you a leg up on the competition from the day you earn your certification. If you’re ready to get started, we’re ready to help. Enroll now and learn at your own pace.