Success as a home inspector isn’t guaranteed. While the field is incredibly lucrative and growing fast, not everyone has what it takes to find a footing in the local market. To better understand your own potential in this exciting field, it helps to look at the habits, character traits, and skills of established home inspectors. Virtually all successful home inspectors possess the following skills and characteristics:
The home inspection industry requires serious self-reliance and motivation – especially if you plan on starting your own business. While setting your own hours and only taking the jobs that excite you may sound like a dream, operating a successful home inspection business demands discipline. If you know you work better under the watchful eye of a mentor or supervisor, you may want to consider taking a position at an established home inspection business.
Even if you take such a role, motivation is still crucial for success. Home inspection work is highly independent. You won’t have a manager breathing down your neck as you inspect a client’s attic space. Clients expect professionals to conduct themselves as efficiently as possible without sacrificing quality. The good news? Discipline and motivation can be learned. If you know you struggle with this skill, make it your mission to grow your abilities before entering into the home inspection field.
Knowledge of Home Systems
Home inspectors must have a comfortable, working knowledge of home systems before they agree to perform an inspection. Houses are comprised of complex systems designed to keep occupants safe and comfortable. Without a complete understanding of the way these systems operate, it’s impossible to spot defects for clients.
Thankfully, home inspection training classes can provide the kind of education you’ll need in this career. Whether you’ve spent a decade in the construction world or are just dipping your toe into the world of residential inspection for the first time, you’ll likely need to take certification courses before practicing professionally. Each state has their own rules and requirements for the education of professional home inspectors, so do your homework before launching your business.
Integrity and Ethics
Buying a home always requires a leap of faith. Home inspectors help make that leap feel a little more secure. Experience and expertise inform the inspection process, but integrity and ethics are what really drive the industry. After all, what’s the use of hiring an inspector if they’re going to cut corners or omit important inspection discoveries?
Successful home inspectors know how to demonstrate strong ethics and morals while on the job. They build their professional reputations around their values. Look through the online reviews of any home inspection business in the country – you’ll find that the successful companies are swimming in glowing recommendations from satisfied clients. The less successful home inspectors, on the other hand? They’re often plagued with complaints about their honesty. Without a commitment to integrity, your business will inevitably suffer.
Attention to Detail
Everybody makes mistakes. With the sale of a home on the line, however, a mistake during the inspection process can cost buyers and sellers serious cash. Successful home inspectors know they can’t afford to overlook minor details, which is why they dedicate so much of their inspection process to crawling around looking into every nook and cranny. It’s not always glamorous, but it’s what the position demands.
Home inspectors rely on referrals to build their client base and fill their appointment books. Even the most minor of errors can cause clients to advise their friends not to use your services. To guarantee success in your local real estate market, don’t leave a stone unturned when conducting inspections.
While home inspections jobs are largely solitary gigs, they require a surprising amount of communication with clients. Home buyers are often completely ignorant to the systems that make up their potential new property, and it’s up to the home inspector to educate them on possible issues. If you don’t feel comfortable explaining your findings and teaching clients about their new home, you may want to find a different career path.
Written communication skills are also important in this line of work. Successful home inspectors provide detailed inspection reports for clients, complete with photos and written explanation of their findings. While digital tools can make this process easier, you’ll still need a baseline of written communication skills to ensure your inspection is well-documented.
Should You Become a Home Inspector?
Every home inspector brings their unique insight and experience to the job, but most successful inspectors possess the aforementioned skills. Before you decide to train for this exciting career, make sure you fully understand the expectations and demands of the job. So long as you’re passionate about the field and excited by the possibilities, though, all of these skills can be learned!