HOME INSPECTION TRENDS - early 2009
The home inspection world has certainly changed over the last two years. After several years of constant growth, everything is different. I’m seeing home inspectors adjust their scope in several different ways.
Most of the inspectors are cutting back in several ways. One of the cost-cutting measures that many have instituted is the elimination of delivering a binder, book or even a folder at the end of the inspection. Many inspectors appreciate the cost effectiveness of delivering reports by e-mail, or posting them on the web. Some inspectors deliver CD-ROMs on site. This is faster and more cost effective than printing. Clients still receive terrific value and great information. The delivery format is less expensive for the inspector and better for the environment - a smaller carbon footprint!
The other thing I am seeing is lots of diversification. People are providing new and different services, both inspection related and non-inspection work. Radon and termite work has always been popular with some home inspectors. Others are beginning to offer these services where appropriate. Many have diversified into mold inspections and specialized inspections of vacant homes. Some will winterize and de-winterize homes. Vacant houses typically have the utilities shut off. High-pressure air is sometimes used to test supply plumbing pipes.
In some areas, home inspectors are performing energy audits and providing related consulting services. Some markets have a lot of homes with synthetic stucco issues (EIFS) and many home inspectors provide investigation and consulting services focusing on this building system.
Tests for natural gas leaks and carbon monoxide spillage are other services offered by some in the home inspection profession.
Some home inspectors are diversifying as litigation consultants, working on construction related disputes. Some people who have previously not provided well, septic and water testing inspection services are branching out into these areas.
New homes have become a focus for some, who provide phase inspections during construction, an inspection at the time of possession or inspections during the warranty period (typically within one year) after the home is completed.
Renovation consulting and problem solving work for homeowners is also on the rise for many in the home inspection profession.
The reality is that home inspectors have a broad and deep knowledge of homes, and are wonderful resource for home and property owners. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for this young profession.
What we have done
In our market, there are significant government grants for energy related home improvements. You have to get an energy audit done to qualify for the government grants. We became a licensed service organization and have been delivering the audits since mid-2008. It has been a real help for us.
We’d like to hear from you! Maybe you’ve tried or are thinking of trying something different.
· What have you done differently?
· Do you promote more?
· Have you added services?
…or What didn’t work for you?