Real estate season is ramping up, which means my blog time becomes increasingly difficult to find. Sometimes though it’s a single event or topic worth sitting down to write about. Of course, these are always my opinions, and we know what everyone says about that…
However, as this market continues to be hot, many folks are tempted to enter and have become aggressive in their marketing. I’m aggressive in the same way, however, when we start making statements to get business that are unethical and downright misleading. I’m constantly amazed at the lengths people will go to gain the upper hand or gain a perceived advantage. At Pro-Tech Inspections we have built our business on honesty and integrity.
Granted my mouth overloads my ass sometimes, but the heart is always in the right place. For this, I realize there are some who don’t use or recommend us, and some who never will. However, just like Realtors there’s plenty of clients for us all and it’s important to find a good fit between you and your inspector.
When choosing an inspector, what are you looking for?
We all come in your office and say the same things. Are you selecting the inspector you refer based on how well they present, how well dressed they are, appearance? What makes you choose an inspector? Past actions are the greatest prediction of future performance. Do they have a lot of turnover,, have they jumped around inspection firms until finally working for themselves, will they have the tough conversations. Are they kind and compassionate? Do they even meet the basics of the SCR contract for being licensed and insured? Yes, there are unlicensed inspectors operating the Upstate (on thier own – not in an apprenticeship as allowed by LLR)
Did you know South Carolina doesn’t require insurance for Home Inspectors? That TRUE! And scary. Ask your inspector for a COI (Certificate of Insurance) to protect you and your clients. Better yet, ask your inspector if he/she has a Realtor Referral Rider. Our Insurance covers your referral and our insurance calls your insurance and says, “Hey, we got this…”
Does your inspector use a drone? Recently on Instagram a local inspector inferred that if your inspector doesn’t use a drone that’s a problem and they should. We were the first to use drones, and still do under certain circumstances. However, what will you do when the FAA walks up to your door with an $11,000 fine? That’s right this inspector isn’t FAA licensed. They’ve completed the InterNACHI training which does not qualify then to fly – you must have a Part 107 FAA Airman’s Certificate, or you can be fined. And the Realtor referring this inspector is just as responsible for the fine as the person flying the unmanned aircraft. There goes that commission…
When your inspector tells you he/she is licensed or certified to do something do you check? Have you asked for copies of the license or certification? Acting in the best interest of your client means you have an obligation to verify and vet your vendors. Have you done that? If not, for a profession so worried about liability, my simple question is why? In a recent expert witness case, I was involved in near Atlanta this is exactly what cost a Realtor a ton of money, her lack of due diligence.
Then we have inspectors who sell themselves based on ethics and integrity and then operate in a completely different manner. Take for example these website claims from an inspector moving into the local market. So we’re going to claim integrity, but then mislead clients by changing the words on our Greenville website? I had a peer tell me the other day and even showed me his marketing materials laughimng because he claimed he’d been doing this since 2010 – but he started in 2019. SMDH…
At the end of the day, they have done 20,000 inspections in the Atlanta area, but not in Greenville. In Greenville they have done less than 500. The experience is different as well because Georgia is an unlicensed state and I’m beginning to make a good living from expert witness cases in that state due to the unlicensed and unregulated profession. If they lie to get your business, what will they do to keep it?
Not only that but look at their language in their sample reports. Look familiar? They bought a template I helped to create and build which has now been purchased by over 500 inspectors across the country. The section titles are different, but they have bought our template to use and used that shortcut rather than investing in their own business and quality. Not only that, but it was bought under another name rather than the owners name or it would not have been sold to them for use in our local market. Even with that – the template is only as good as the inspector using it. And well, they can’t compare. And if they will not invest in creating their own template (the single greatest learn opportunity any inspector has) then how much will they invest in you?
Then the local guy goes in offices and grabs a business card from the agent on duty and starts calling the other agents telling them how “Suzy” is now recommending him…. Yep, you guessed it Suzy called me!
If they will do these th9ings to get your business, how can you ever trust them to provide unbiased truth and stand behind you and your client. That’s right you can’t!
We continue to grow. We are expanding, and honestly, I don’t care what these guys do. BUT – I care about you. Whether you are our client or a referral partner I take my relationship with you and put it first. We make every effort to be beyond reproach. Part of that is educating you just like we do a homeowner. Our staff has virtually no turnover because they are treated right and paid well. They, we, us have public safety backgrounds and a lifetime of service to our communities. We have the heart of a servant and would never betray that trust not even for one inspection. This is more than a job – a friend used to say job stood for “just over broke” – this is our passion. You have a duty to act in the best interest of your client – and so do I.
Some of the inspectors are in for the money, and yes, we make a good living – but if you take care of people the money takes care of itself. Ask yourself or your inspector what their motivation is, why do they do this. Then call me and ask me the same. They will not out work us, out serve us, or out do us in action – but in words, well they only go so far…
Why should this matter to you? As a professional it’s your job to know these things and properly vet your vendors and referrals. If you don;t I can promise you an attorney will and I hope, you are never called upon to defend it. Because honestly, you can’t. You may as well as get out the checkbook…
I get lot’s of feedback on these blogs, and yes some are provacative. But they are deisgned to make you think in manyb cases. They come from my heart and what I beleive in. I hope they make you think, I hope they challenge you – challenge you to be better, do better, and be an example in a noble profession that has the ability to have a tremendous impact on the lives of many a few at a time.
That’s honorable and how. we do it should matter to all of us.