Over the past few years, the U.S. Federal Reserve increased interest rates, which means higher mortgage rates and lower demand for home inspection services. However, if you play your cards right, you can maximize earnings, save on costs, and manage your business more effectively as a home inspector. It’s possible to grow your home inspection business in a tight market.
Offer services that go beyond a basic home inspection
More than 85% of Americans are skipping steps in the home-buying process, including home inspections. Set yourself apart from other home inspection businesses by offering more to your clients. Additional services could include the following:
- Chimney inspection: Inspect the chimney and fireplace to determine if they’re venting correctly, the mortar is in good condition, or there’s a creosote buildup.
- Roof inspection: Examine the roof and ceilings for signs of leaks or damage. Flag any trouble spots, such as mold growth or rotting wood.
- Lead-based paint inspection: Check for chipped or peeling paint around the home and collect samples from each room using swipe cloths.
- Pest, termite, or rodent inspection: Inspect the interior and exterior of the home for any signs of infestation, damage, or areas that are attractive to pests. Keep an eye out for mud tubes, piles of wings, damaged wood, moist wood, bubbling and buckled paint, gnawed wiring, or droppings.
- Radon inspection: One out of every 15 U.S. homes has an elevated radon level. Perform a radon test – either a short-term test two to three days long or a long-term test lasting 90 days – to help prevent the risk of lung cancer.
- Electrical inspection: Look for ungrounded outlets, exposed wiring, spliced wires, improperly modified electrical panels, and other electrical concerns.
- Heaving, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) inspection: Check the HVAC system’s thermostat calibration, heat pumps, electrical connections, air filters, safety controls, and quality of installation to ensure all systems are working correctly.
- Asbestos inspection: since testing for asbestos can be hazardous for home inspectors, label any questionable areas and team up with specialized professionals to sample materials.
- Mold inspection: Do a visual assessment, surface sampling, and air sampling to determine if there’s mold and, if so, what kind. You can also do tests for humidity levels and water intrusion.
- Plumbing and water systems inspection: Verify all fixtures and appliances are installed to code, check the water pressure and water heater, and confirm all drains are working correctly.
- Sewer or septic system inspection: Find out when the septic tank was last pumped. Also, look at the sludge level and proximity of the tank and drain field to wells and streams.
- Foundation or structural support inspection: Do a visual assessment to determine if the house has a distinct slope, cracked doorways, sagging roof, or angled floors.
- Landscaping/soil analysis: Analyze outline drainage and grading, and determine whether a home’s foundation counteracts the shifting and settling of a particular type of soil.
- Underground oil tank inspection: Before natural gas became mainstream, underground oil tanks heated homes. Check to see if the home has an underground oil tank and if so, do an inspection to find out if it was properly decommissioned.
If you want to maximize your earnings potential, home inspection software like Inspection Support Network (ISN) offers services beyond basic home inspection. With a wide range of services, ISN can take your home inspection business to the next level.
With help from ISN, you can recession-proof your home inspection business and grow it simultaneously.
- Market more: Marketing is a crucial component in growing your business. While it may seem like a good idea to cut back on marketing efforts during a recession, in reality, that’s the worst thing you could do. You can track your marketing efforts using ISN to measure results over time.
- Expand your services: There is a myriad of additional services, such as the ones mentioned above, that you can do to expand your services.
- Do seller inspections: History shows when the market is slow, sellers will do just about anything to make their homes seem more appealing to buyers, including pre-listing inspections. ISN helps you keep track of your appointments by streamlining the scheduling, booking, and billing process so you can keep doing what you do best.
ISN helps grow your home inspection business in a tight market through a Repair Estimate Report (RER). An RER uses details from a home inspection to create cost estimates while categorizing the cost of significant issues that should be fixed immediately. Then it compares that data to items that aren’t crucial to fix at the time but should be monitored. Items on an RER can help agents and clients negotiate during home-buying.
How the RER process works:
The RER brings additional transparency to the home inspection process with detailed cost estimates of any and all concerning areas. This report informs the seller and buyer of what needs fixing in the house.
- Complete an inspection.
- Agents or homebuyers purchase the RER from your home inspection business.
- An itemized list of estimates is delivered by Porch based on the inspection report.
- After review by the homebuyer or agent, a repair request addendum with estimates can be generated.
- The finished request supplement link is downloaded or shared with anyone who needs it.
RER new features
In the past, home inspection businesses sent the RER to the client or the agent. Nowadays, inspectors can send the RER to both the client and agent simultaneously — boosting efficiency with less work. In a tight market, communication is key between home inspectors and clients. Simplifying the home buying process by providing the agent or client with an RER makes you far more valuable in a tight housing market while earning additional revenue.
How to sell RER reports to your clients
Selling an RER report to your clients is easy and ensures growth for your home inspection business in a recession. All you have to do is add the RER to a client order and pay the $40 ISN fee. An additional $80 RER fee will be on the purchase order invoice, leaving you with a $40 profit. However, this fee is customizable, so you decide how much you charge for the RERs.
For more help, use this guide to ensure your clients and homebuyers understand the inspection report.
How to sell the RER report to your agents
Once the client has a copy of the RER, it’s time to sell a copy to your agents. This action will boost your revenue and help agents utilize your inspection report for more efficient negotiations.
To activate the RER in your ISN profile, follow these steps:
- Go to the “Settings” panel.
- Click on “Office Settings.”
- Navigate to “Working with Other Applications.”
- Select “Porch Repair Estimate Report.”
Offer payment processing services
Make the payment process easier and add payment processing services to your home inspection business. For example, use services such as Pay-At-Close from Guardian Inspection Payments. This service allows inspectors to increase ticket prices by an average of 20%. Plus, Pay-At-Close is a risk-free, hassle-free payment option for a client’s home inspection at closing.
Here’s how Pay-At-Close works:
- Guardian funds the home inspector for their services upfront.
- Guardian takes responsibility for collecting the buyer’s payment at closing, even if the sale doesn’t close.
- Home inspection businesses can increase revenue by selling additional services.
Why increasing your average ticket prices is important:
With rising mortgage rates and more buyers opting out of home inspections, it’s more important than ever to increase your ticket prices and grow your home inspection business in a tight market. Take advantage of ISN and add additional inspection services to grow your home inspector business in a recession. Expand your home inspection business to include services beyond the average home inspection — roof inspections, landscaping analysis, asbestos inspection, and more. Consider adding RER features, ancillary services, and payment processing services with help from ISN. Sign up for the ISN 30-day FREE trial today.