Archive for July, 2008

General writing goals

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Here’s what I think we are trying to accomplish when we write a report.

a. To help clients make their buying decision.
b. After they get settled in, we want to help them manage the home.
c. We want to minimize our liability and, if all goes well, do some marketing for ourselves.
d. We need to meet the Standards.

Why I Dont like Writing Reports

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

Why I don’t like writing reports: Inspecting homes is fun and most clients are pleasant to deal with. Writing reports on the other hand is never fun. Why is that? There are a few reasons, at least for me.

  • We are trained as home inspectors, we are not trained as technical writers. We don’t have the skills we need out of the gate – at least I didn’t.
  • Through the course of our life, we talk more than we write, so it makes sense that talking is more natural. We are better at it.
  • Talking is multidimensional, while writing is one-dimensional. When writing, I don’t get a chance to use body language, tone of voice and there is certainly no feedback from my listener.
  • There are no do-overs in report writing: When I am talking to someone I can repeat things a different way if it’s clear the listener is struggling to understand. When I am writing, I only get one chance to get it right. It’s hard to know exactly what to include, because the audience is invisible and passive.
  • English is a very difficult language. It’s hard to speak well, and almost impossible to write perfectly.

If it’s worth writing reports…… it’s worth writing them well. We may as well do a good job because it will make clients happy and that should help our business grow. Equally important, if we do it badly, we might get complaints and our business may go away.