Good home inspectors train themselves not to make assumptions. This applies not only to technical information, but to general business interactions as well. I have learned through painful experience to take the time to know who I’m talking to at the beginning of an inspection.
On one inspection in the early days, I started enthusiastically and encouraged the person to accompany me as I went around the outside of the home. After about 10 minutes, the person realized I thought they were my client, and re-introduced himself as the seller! There isn’t much you can say at that point that looks professional or in control.
We now encourage our people to stop a few blocks away from the home, and read the work order carefully to make sure we know the client’s name and real estate agent’s name. The listing agent’s name is typically on the sign on the front lawn. We often will not know the seller’s name, but if you know the other players, life becomes much easier. If in doubt, it’s much better to ask.
A good work order and scheduling system make keeping track of the players a little easier.
On a related note, it’s really great to be able to recognize who is calling in. We built this into our work order system in Horizon. Our agent database is tracked automatically in Horizon. When an agent calls, we select their name from our list, and are immediately told how many times that agent has worked with us, and the last time they worked with us, along with the address and client’s name. It makes it very easy for us to say, “By the way Joan, how did everything worked out on Maple Street work last month for the Armstrongs?” It’s part of great customer service and building relationships.