Inspection Business Success Strategies
For all the diversity among inspectors--particularly InterNACHI inspectors--as defined by age, education, cultural background, work history, current experience, home town, family makeup, income level, and even work ethic, there are some basic qualities that most of us have in common.
We share the hallmarks of the classic entrepreneur.
We prefer to work for ourselves and be our own bosses. We appreciate the challenges that confront our expertise on the job. We take pride in the fact that if we don't have the answer at hand, we are, at the very least, resourceful enough to find it. We make the regular commitment to expand our reach by seeking out the advice and fellowship of our colleagues. We are always learning. We exert the discipline required to increase our education. And we welcome the greater tests ahead so that we can exercise our latest knowledge. For all our varying degrees of perspective, we are a community. Providing for our families, taking pride in our work, and making a daily investment in ourselves and in our clients, and enjoying the subsequent rewards of our labor are what form the foundation of our working lives. Can there be a greater ambition?
Success, then, seems already threaded through our business. It may be modest in terms of finances. But those rewards are available, too. There's more to our workmanship and earning potential as inspectors than being a reliable expert on the job. Our name is always working for us (or against us!) even off the job, and that's where many inspectors seem to give short shrift to the regular care and feeding of their home inspection enterprises. Treating this dual aspect of entrepreneurialism with anything less than equal effort will inevitably drive your business under as surely as making a habit of performing haphazard inspections.
Marketing is often seen as a chore—'the work that you have to do when you’re not working’—and the less-than-enthusiastic result barely goes beyond a sign on the truck, a box of business cards, and a list of contacts. But our success depends on marketing not just our services, but also ourselves. Our credibility is our true calling card, and it’s important to get our reputation out there so that it’s as obvious as that sign on the truck. It’s our first and most important marketing tool because without it, we are nothing.
The good news is: Just as there are logical ways to inspect the various systems of a home, there are equally logical and common-sense marketing tips and techniques that will put us on a trajectory to a greater level of achievement and expectation in our inspection businesses. We have to approach marketing as deliberately as we do our training, education, and even our inspections. Pinning our hopes on random jobs each day is no way to build a business. And for as many inspectors as may populate the town we live in, we’re not so much in competition with them (or each other) as with our own limitations. Our unwillingness to market ourselves is an unacceptable obstacle that puts a fatal limit on what we can become. Overcome that obstacle, and the competition won’t matter.
These success tips are the culmination of years of training, education, experimentation, argument, failure, and breakthrough—all the building blocks of success. In them, you’ll find dozens of straightforward strategies that will have you nodding, perhaps disbelieving, but, ultimately, becoming seriously motivated—perhaps for the first time in a long time—to move up to the next level in your career as an inspector.
To succeed at anything, be it landing on the moon or building a successful home inspection business, you have to do many things correctly. Always work on building your business. If you are not inspecting... be marketing your business, learning more, and improving your services. Remember, if you offer a good inspection service, you have a moral obligation to let as many people as possible know about and benefit from your good work.
Success starts with education. And that is where our success tips begin.
Free, Online Inspection Courses:
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Home Inspection Business Course. This course teaches new inspectors how to start up and operate a successful home inspection business, including figuring out what fees to charge, marketing their brand, and maintaining smooth day-to-day business operations in addition to performing inspections.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Safe Practices for the Home Inspector course. This course teaches the inspector how to be safe on an inspection. It includes a review of personal protection equipment, ladder use, client safety, and what to do if an injury occurs.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Roofing Inspection course. This course teaches the inspector how to perform the roofing portion of a home inspection. It includes a review of nearly all types of residential roofs.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online How to Perform Residential Electrical Inspections course. This course teaches the inspector how to perform the electrical portion of a home inspection. It includes a review of the service entrance, grounding, and electrical safety issues.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Structural Issues for Home Inspectors course. This course will help prepare the home inspector to observe and report on structural components and their conditions in a residential dwelling. It includes a review of both foundation and framing elements.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Residential Plumbing Overview for Inspectors course. This course teaches the inspector how to perform the plumbing portion of a home inspection. It includes a review of leaks, inadequate water supplies, water contamination, and incorrect installations of components.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online How to Perform Exterior Inspections course.
This course provides accurate and useful information for performing an inspection of the exterior at a residential property. It covers the components and materials of the exterior that may be present during a residential inspection, including siding types, site drainage, moisture intrusion, windows and doors, flashing, exterior structures, garage, and other exterior systems and components.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online How to Inspect Fireplaces, Stoves, and Chimneys course. This goal of this course is to teach inspectors how to inspect fireplaces, stoves, and chimneys in residential dwellings.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online How to Inspect the Attic, Insulation, Ventilation and Interior course. This course teaches the inspector how to perform an inspection of the attic, insulation, and interior of a residential property.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Inspecting HVAC Systems course. This course teaches the inspector how to perform the HVAC portion of a home inspection. It includes a review of the components of common HVAC systems that may be present during a residential inspection, including warm-air, hydronic, steam and electric heating systems, air conditioning systems, and heat pump systems.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online How to Perform Deck Inspections course. This course teaches the inspector how to perform residential and commercial wood deck inspections. It includes dozens of custom deck inspection graphics.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online How to Inspect Manufactured and Mobile Homes course. This course teaches the inspector how to inspect manufactured and mobile homes. It includes over 100 photos, illustrations, and tables.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online How to Inspect Pools and Spas course. This course teaches the inspector how to perform an inspection of a pool and spa. It includes a review of electrical components, water chemistry, safety issues, and maintenance recommendations. The course also includes a pool and spa inspection checklist.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Log Home Inspection course. This course teaches the inspector how to perform an inspection of a log home. It includes a review of framing, finishes, and decay issues.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online How to Inspect Septic Systems course. This course teaches the inspector how to perform two types of inspections of onsite wastewater treatment systems: maintenance inspections and functional inspections.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Green Building Inspection course. This course prepares inspectors to meet a growing demand for neutral, third-party verification of green features and systems in buildings. It includes a review of solar power systems, environmental issues, and energy audits.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online How to Perform Energy Audits course. This course teaches the student how to perform energy audits using visual inspection techniques, a blower door, and an infrared camera.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online The House As a System course. This course teaches the inspector to become aware of the potential for interaction among building components and mechanical systems, to understand how air sealing a home can negatively affect indoor air quality, and to be able to recognize typical air leakage sites and know how they are corrected.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Energy Movement course. This course helps the inspector understand the principles of energy and energy movement, learn the three methods of heat transfer, understand the difference between thermal and air barriers and the proper location of each, recognize the forces that cause air leakage, understand the connection between air leakage, energy waste, and moisture problems, and understand how air ducts affect the pressure balance within the home.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Comfort and Climate for Inspectors course. In this course, students will be exposed to the basic principles of human thermal comfort, gain a basic understanding of relative humidity, and learn how to use a psychrometric chart.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Indoor Air Quality for Inspectors course. In this course, students will learn about the factors affecting indoor air quality, understand the role moisture plays, learn about moisture movement, and learn pollutant remediation techniques.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online How to Perform Mold Inspections course. This course teaches the student all about mold and how to perform a proper mold inspection to IAC2 standards. It includes a review of types of mold, health effects, sampling, lab reports, remediation, and preventing growth.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Radon Measurement Service Provider course. This course teaches the student all about radon, how to perform a radon measurement, and how to inspect a radon mitigation system.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Advanced Radon Measurement Service Provider course. This advanced course teaches the student about radon, how to perform a radon measurement, and how to inspect a radon mitigation system.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online How to Inspect for Moisture Intrusion course. This course teaches the student how to identify and report on moisture intrusion in homes and commercial buildings. The student will also learn the specific details of construction that may cause moisture-related problems.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online 25 Standards Every Inspector Should Know course. This course teaches the student about 25 building standards and best practices related to inspecting systems and components in a residential dwelling.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Customer Service and Communication for Inspectors course. This course teaches the inspector how to better serve his/her clients by providing great customer service and using effective communication.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Commercial Property Inspection Prerequisite course. This course teaches best practices and reasonable approaches for performing inspections of commercial properties through an examination of the International Standards of Practice for Inspecting Commercial Properties. It includes a review of commercial inspection contracts, forms, addenda, and other commercial inspection documents.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Introduction to InterNACHI's Residential Standards of Practice course. This course is an introduction to InterNACHI's Residential Standards of Practice. It also includes a review of InterNACHI's Code of Ethics.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Inspecting Foundation Walls and Piers course. This course prepares the inspector to evaluate foundation walls and piers. It also includes a review of new innovations in the foundation and concrete industries.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Calculating Envelope Energy Loss course. This course prepares helps the inspector understand basic energy movement, learn how to calculate hourly and annual energy loss, and Understand the principle of diminishing returns.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online How to Perform Wind Mitigation Inspections course. This advanced course teaches the inspector how to conduct a proper wind mitigation inspection, including how to report findings to the client or insurance company.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Texas Standards of Practice/Legal/Ethics Update course. This state-specific course is a TREC requirement.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Florida Adjuster course. This advanced course teaches the student how to become an insurance adjuster.
- Take InterNACHIs free, online Lead Safety for Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) course. This course teaches inspectors and renovation, repair and painting contractors how to work safely in housing with lead-based paint and comply with the EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule, and HUD’s Lead-Safe Housing Rule.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online InterNACHI Code of Ethics course. This course tests the member's knowledge and understanding of InterNACHI's Code of Ethics. Its purpose is to encourage members to understand and properly implement the InterNACHI Code of Ethics.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Appliance Inspection for Home Inspectors course. This course helps inspectors learn how to inspect appliances.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Inspecting HVAC Energy Efficiency course. This course helps inspectors identify and describe energy-efficient heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) equipment, understand and provide informative options to help homeowners cut their energy use, reduce their carbon footprint, and increase their homes’ comfort, health, and safety; and helps homeowners make informed decisions about purchasing new HVAC equipment or improving existing equipment for more efficient operation.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online TREC Standards of Practice for Inspecting Appliances course. This course helps Texas inspectors inspect appliances.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Inspecting Slate Roofs video course. This course helps inspectors learn how to inspect slate roofs.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Fundamentals of Inspecting the Exterior video course. This course helps inspectors inspect exteriors.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online 10 Steps to Performing a Roof Inspection video course. This course helps inspectors inspect roofs.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Nevada Home Inspectors Standards of Practice and Legal Rules course. This is a mandatory course in Nevada.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Texas Standard Reporting Form and Report Writing course. This is a mandatory course in Texas.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Infrared Thermography Inspection video course. This course is for IR camera users.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Illinois Standards of Practice and Legal Issues for Home Inspectors course. This course is for Illinois home inspectors who want to understand their state's SOP, legal issues, and some aspects of contract law.
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Florida Mold Assessor and Remediator CE course. This course teaches the inspector how to perform a mold assessment and complete mold remediation work.
Course Approvals and Accreditations:
- Alabama Building Commission
- Alaska Department of Commerce Community and Economic Development, Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing, Home Inspector Program
- American Council for Accredited Certification (ACAC)
- Arkansas Home Inspector Registration Board
- California Department of Pesticide Regulation
- Colorado Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry
- Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, Home Inspector Licensing Board
- Delaware Board of Home Inspectors
- Delaware Department of Agriculture, Pesticide Compliance
- Delaware State Housing Authority
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB)
- Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR)
- Florida Department of Financial Services
- Georgia Department of Agriculture
- Idaho Department of Agriculture
- Indiana Real Estate Commission, Home Inspector Licensing Board
- Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Professional Regulation*
- International Distance Education Certification Center
- Kansas Home Inspectors Registration Board
- Kentucky Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction, Board of Home Inspectors
- Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet Office of Occupations and Professions Board of Home Inspectors
- Louisiana State Board of Home Inspectors
- Maine Department of Agriculture, Food & Rural Resources, Board of Pesticides Control
- Maryland Department of Agriculture, Office of Plant and Pest Management
- Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
- Master Inspector Certification Board
- Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth
- Mississippi Home Inspector Board
- Missouri Real Estate Commission
- Montana Department of Labor and Industry, Business Standards Division
- Montana Department of Labor and Industry, Business Standards Division 2
- Mountain Metro Association of REALTORs
- National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)
- Nevada Department of Agriculture
- Nevada Department of Business and Industry, Real Estate Division
- New Hampshire Home Inspector Licensing Board
- New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Division of Consumer Affairs, State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, Home Inspection Advisory Committee
- New Mexico Department of Agriculture
- New York State, Bureau of Educational Standards
- North Dakota Secretary of State
- Ohio Department of Agriculture
- Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing
- Oklahoma Department of Agriculture
- Oklahoma State Department of Health, Occupational Licensing Division, Committee of Home Inspector Examiners
- Oregon Construction Contractors Board
- Oregon Department of Agriculture
- Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
- Rhode Island Division of Agriculture
- South Carolina and Clemson University Department of Pesticide Regulation
- South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Residential Builders Commission
- South Dakota Real Estate Commission
- Tennessee Department of Agriculture
- Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, Division of Regulatory Boards, Home Inspector Licensing Division
- Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, Home Inspector Licensing Division
- Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, Home Inspector Licensing Division 2
- Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, Home Inspector Licensing Division 3
- Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC)
- U.S. EPA
- Utah Department of Agriculture
- Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
- Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
- Washington State Department of Agriculture
- Washington State Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board of the Department of Licensing
- West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, State Fire Marshal's Office
- Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing
- Wyoming Real Estate Commission
- Wyoming Department of Agriculture
Certificates and Education Transcript:
- Wind and Hail Property Damage Inspections
- Structural Inspection of House
- How to Perform Deck Inspections
- Inspecting Chinese Drywall
- Inspecting Portable Fire Extinguishers
- Commercial Inspection Training
- Dentist Office Commercial Inspection
- Bakery Commercial Property Inspection
- Warehouse Commercial Electrical Inspection
- Home Inspection Fundamentals: The Exterior
- Performing a Roof Inspection
- Home Inspection Training
- Marketing and Sales
- Intro to Energy Audits
- Stucco/EIFS Inspection Tips
- Financial Success
- Performing a Garage Inspection
- Electrical Inspection Training
- 10 Top Success Tips
- Understanding Modular Homes
- Well Meters
- Structural Solutions
- If a Home Has a Septic System
- Building Science and Thermography
- Performing Your Best Inspection
- HVAC Training for Inspectors
- Home Inspectors' Electrical Wall of Defects
- Mold Inspection Training
- Tankless Water Heaters
- IAC2 Mold Inspection Training and Certification
- Inspection with an IR Camera
- Inspection Tips and Techniques
- Advanced Inspection of Crawlspaces
- How to Inspect Notches, Holes and Cuts in Solid Lumber
- Drain and Duct Inspections
- Introduction to Infrared Thermography Course
- A Consumer's Guide to Well and Water Quality
- LEED Green Building
- Inspecting Water Heater Tanks
- Inspecting Means of Egress
- Consumer's Guide to Infrared Thermography
- Fireplace and Chimney Inspections
- Law and Disorder
- Search Engine Optimization Tutorial
- Inspecting a Stairway
- Straw Bale Home Inspection
- EPA Green Building Inspection
- Home Inspection Success
- Performing an Energy Audit
- Wind & Hail Roof Inspection and Replacement
- Ladder Safety Training
- Professionalism Training
- Safety for the Exterior
- General Roof Inspection
- Lead-Safe Work Practices
- Inspecting Asphalt Shingle Roofs
- Inspecting Wood Shingle and Shake Roofs
- Inspecting Tile Roofs
- Inspecting Metal Roofs
- Advanced Mold Inspection Training
- Advanced Stucco & EIFS Inspection Training for Home Inspectors
Accredited Continuing Education for Real Estate Professionals:
Inspectors can advertise our free, online and accredited Continuing Education courses especially for the real estate professionals they work with. All they need to take the course is the inspector's special login and password. InterNACHI offers the following courses:
Inspection-Related Article Libraries:
Inspector Marketing Library:
Inspection Graphics Learning Library:
Inspection Legal Case Library:
Online Inspector Exam:
- Take InterNACHI's free, online Inspector Examination. InterNACHI's online exams have been taken hundreds of thousands of times and are great learning tools. Each exam is different (more than 4 trillion different exams), and each contains built-in intelligence to help alert exam takers to their own weaknesses.
Libraries for Sale:
- Purchase the Inspector Library. Whether you're new to the business, an inspector wishing for more information, or a veteran of the industry looking to expand your knowledge, the InterNACHI Inspector Library is a must.
- Purchase InterNACHI's Inspection Graphics Library. This educational library contains more than 1,600 high-resolution, inspection-related graphics.
- Purchase the Inspection Narrative Library. Learn to say it correctly. The library reduces the amount of time inspectors spend filling out reports. The quality of reports will improve and inspectors will enjoy reduced liability when using these 5,000+ narratives.
- 25 Standards Every Inspector Should Know
- How to Inspect the Exterior
- How to Inspect for Moisture Intrusion
- How to Inspect Pools and Spas
- How to Perform Deck Inspections
- How to Perform Mold Inspections
- How to Perform Radon Inspections
- How to Perform Residential Electrical Inspections
- How to Perform Roofing Inspections
- Inspecting HVAC Systems
- International Standards of Practice for Inspecting Commercial Properties
- Now That You've Had a Home Inspection
- Residential Plumbing Overview
- Safety Practices for the Home Inspector
- Structural Issues for Home Inspectors
- WDO Inspection Field Guide
International Standards of Practice for Inspecting Commercial Properties:
Blogs, Message Boards, News, and Consumer Assistance:
Inspection Crossword Puzzles:
Get the Total Package for Inspectors:
Inspection Business Name Search Tool:
Local InterNACHI Chapter:
What Every Real Estate Agent Needs to Know About Inspections:
Documents, Agreements and Sample Legal Language:
InterNACHI Profile Editor:
InterNACHI ID Card:
Inspection Vehicle Decals:
Ancillary Inspection Services:
- Commercial Buildings
- Green Certification
- Energy Loss
- Lead Paint
- Log Homes
- New Construction
- Pools and Spas
- Radon Gas
- Septic Systems
- Sewer Lines
- Thermal Imaging
- Water Quality
- W.E.T.T. Certification
Observed Green Features Inspections:
Commercial Fire Door Inspections:
Fireplace and Chimney Inspections:
Radon Mitigation System Inspections:
Seller Inspection Marketing Letter:
"Farther" vs. "Further" in Inspection Reports:
Digits and Hyphens in Inspection Reports:
Estimated Life Expectancy Chart:
InterNACHI's online Home Inspection Fee Calculator:
Coloring and Activity Book:
Client Satisfaction Survey:
- Stay connected to your past clients by having them subscribe to the Homeowner Newsletter, a monthly offering of customized articles that specifically address the issues relevant to their homes and families.
Online Inspection Agreement System:
"That's a lot of money for only a few hours' work!":
Choose a Domain Name:
Custom Inspection Website:
Logos, Images and Taglines:
Custom Inspection Business Logos:
InterNACHI Member Marketing Department:
Consumer Verification Seal:
InterNACHI Honor Guarantee Seal:
First-Time Home Buyer-Friendly:
"Call Me Now" Button:
- Add a Call Me Now button to your website. When a potential client clicks on it and submits his/her call back number the InterNACHI member is instantly called by an automated office assistant and given the clients call back number. There are no phone tolls, lead generation fees or other charges for this service.
"My Promise to You":
There's a Better Way to Go Green:
Inspector's Website of the Week:
North American Directory of Inspectors:
Marketing through the Message Board:
Now That You've Had a Home Inspection book:
Now That You've Had a Home Inspection book (Spanish version):
How Agents Can Limit Their Liability:
How Agents Can Protect Themselves from Negligent Referral Claims:
Association Requirements Comparison:
Inspector Trade Show Displays and Tablecloths:
License Plate Covers:
Commercial Inspector Marketing Pack:
Save up to 32% on shipping from UPS:
Certified Professional Inspector® (CPI®):
Certified Master Inspector®:
Sample Former Client Sales Letter:
11th Month Warranty Inspections:
See How You Rank:
Receipt for Dues:
Sources for Inspection Products and Services:
Design and Print Services:
Health and Prescription Discount Cards:
Video Tip of the Week:
Cartoons and Riddles:
Apply for the InterNACHI Credit Card:
Read How to Run a Successful Home Inspection Business