If working in the real estate arena without becoming a realtor is something you’ve considered, the life of a house inspector could be the perfect solution. It is a job role enjoyed by over 30,000 North Americans, and there is still room for you to join the party.
So, how to become a home inspector? This guide will discuss why you may want to and talk about the procedure of becoming one. Let’s dig in.
Before researching home inspector training or thinking about how you’ll spend your earnings, you must first consider why you’d want to take this career path. There are many reasons why you may wish to enter the real estate arena with a specific focus on inspecting and surveying houses. Here are some ideas to consider:
The work is very engaging and offers new challenges each day. It’s no wonder that it appeals to many people wanting a rewarding job that lets you build a successful career without having grueling entry requirements.
Wanting to work in this environment is one thing but taking the proper steps to become a home inspector is entirely different. First and foremost, you should acknowledge that every property inspector must find their own path to success - not least because there are many variables to consider ranging from location to personal finances.
Still, if you follow the steps below, you’ll be off to a great start.
As a property inspector, your clients need to have 100% trust in your ability to check the structure, plumbing, and electrical aspects of a home on their behalf. Therefore, completing the relevant home inspector training is essential for proving your capabilities and value, along with developing the necessary skills.
There are dozens of home inspector training courses that you can consider. The ultimate goal is to complete the EBPHI National Home Inspector Examinations, enabling you to gain memberships into organizations such as InterNACHI and earn your Professional Inspector CPI. Each state has its own process, so you should research home inspector qualifications by state. Even so, the fundamental features are the same, so future relocations are unlikely to disrupt your career.
So, how long does it take to become a home inspector? It depends if you want to commit your time fully to this or run it alongside another job until you’re ready to launch the new career. In most cases, you can expect to complete the process in 2-3 months. You should also take the time to find the right software for your home inspections and reporting.
Completing the right home inspector course should open the door to several career paths. Home inspectors are classified as part of the construction industry by the Bureau of Labor, and many employers may be willing to hire you. According to Indeed, working for a company should yield a salary in the range of around $58,000.
Alternatively, you may find that starting a business is the way to go. Many qualified construction workers will establish their own small businesses and not necessarily need other people for a while. If you can provide a winning service to homebuyers or develop strong connections with landlords and agencies, you’ll be all but guaranteed a steady flow of well-paying work. Taking this approach could enable you to get started within a matter of weeks.
Once you’ve gained your home inspector license, you’ll need to get some tools to be able to do your job properly. Thankfully, this is one line of work where you won’t need to make a significant initial outlay. The generic business costs (registrations, liability insurance, marketing materials like a website, etc.) won’t cost a fortune.
House inspector equipment will include a flashlight and an electrical tester for ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) devices. However, you may also use moisture meters, infrared cameras, and tools that allow more comprehensive testing. A vehicle to get to properties and practical items like ladders and PPE safety equipment are also highly useful but not mandatory.
The exact costs will vary from one inspector to the next depending on the path they take and what items they already have. Funding can come from loans (even if you have bad credit), private investment, personal investment, crowdsourcing, soft loans, or grants for startups.
Even if you’re looking to work for another company, it’s likely that you will be a contractor. As such, you’ll need to register yourself as a business. A sole proprietorship is also the best choice for many small businesses in this field, although an LLC may be selected too.
You will need to register a business name and check it against trademarks. At this time, you must also complete other admin tasks. Registering a checking account and your Employer Identification Number (if hiring a workforce) will be the next steps. If you haven’t completed a thorough business plan by now, you really should at this stage.
Your property inspector certification and business registrations will enable you to work, but you should also protect yourself and your business. Public liability insurance and E&O insurance for errors and omissions are all but mandatory, while non-disclosure agreements, copyrights, and trademarks will protect your intellectual property.
Marketing is one of the most important business skills of all, not least when working in a field that deals with huge financial assets like houses. As such, marketing skills are among the home inspector requirements you mustn’t overlook. If you are looking to work as an employee, you simply need to worry about promoting yourself. A good resume, cover letter, and references to confirm you know the industry will serve you well.
If starting a business, branding will be a lot easier for franchise owners as you can piggyback off the success of the parent company. When starting a business from scratch, though, you will have full control and be able to position yourself within the industry to target a specific niche - whether that’s a demographic or a property type.
Strong marketing tools will lead to smoother lead generation and conversion. A business website, strong logo, business cards, office signage, and PPC can work wonders. A blog or other content marketing streams can prove that you’re an authority in the field too. Professional marketing services can help people hear about you faster if you have the money, but you can also advertise yourself.
After completing the above steps, you will be ready to start your home inspection career. If you want to build and maintain success, though, there is only one way to do it: keep offering clients exceptional value.
With the right home inspection software or app, you can complete the home inspection process quickly and accurately. Meanwhile, cloud-computing software enables you to provide clear insights and updates throughout the process. Pricing your services in line with the average costs on the market is vital too. Do not undersell yourself, but don’t overvalue your work either, especially not when you’re just starting out.
The great news is that you only need to work with a small number of landlords, developers, or agents to keep your books filled. You may find that admin workers are needed too. As you gain more clients, taking on extra home inspectors may also become necessary.
Now that you know how to become a home inspector, you should have a far better idea of whether it’s the right career path. If it is, completing the right home inspector training alongside business registrations and client scouting should enable you to get started within a matter of weeks.
Thanks to the current state of the housing market, you’ll never be short of opportunities as a contractor or business owner. With the proper steps taken and the right mindset, a successful career is not that hard to achieve.
As the title suggests, a real estate inspector is tasked with checking various aspects of a property to determine its condition and identify any works that may be required. Their services protect buyers and cover the structure, roofing, foundation, plumbing, heating, and other critical features of a residential or commercial building.
To become a property inspector, you must pass the National Home Inspector Examination process. There are many online and offline courses to help you gain your home inspector certification. You should also develop your communication and customer care skills, though you won’t need formal qualifications in this field.
Statistics show that the average house inspector salary in the U.S. is around $58,000. You may be in a position to increase your earnings by finding a more lucrative niche within this market, such as luxury houses or condominiums. Alternatively, starting your own business as a solopreneur can help you earn significantly more money if you make a name for yourself on the market.
No. Most employers will be happy with a high school diploma if you also have experience in construction and have your house inspector certifications. Likewise, those qualifications should be more than enough to start a business, as long as the other aspects are covered.
Julia A. is a writer at SmallBizGenius.net. With experience in both finance and marketing industries, she enjoys staying up to date with the current economic affairs and writing opinion pieces on the state of small businesses in America. As an avid reader, she spends most of her time poring over history books, fantasy novels, and old classics. Tech, finance, and marketing are her passions, and she’s a frequent contributor at various small business blogs.
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