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By: Janice BandickPublished On: September 3, 2015
Ray Toscani is a Home Inspector and instructor of our online Home Inspection courses.
After twenty years in the residential construction and evaluation industry, Ray Toscani joined Ashton’s Home Inspection faculty in August 2014. Ray is also the founder and principal inspector of 1st Choice Inspection Services. “I was drawn to the industry from a very young age. I was always interested in how things work and how they fit together.” Originally planning to become an architect, Ray obtained a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Manitoba. “I quickly learned that’s it a very lonely profession, most architects spend their days hunched over a drawing board in solitude, and I wasn't interested in that.” Craving interaction and a career path with more variety, Ray founded a home inspection firm and hasn’t looked back since.
After more than seven years working in home inspection, Ray is amazed at the changes in the industry. “The three words I would use to describe the home inspection industry would be diverse, complex, and changing. There is so much diversity from day to day and there is no such thing as a typical day- no two days are ever the same. The industry is becoming more complex as the construction of homes and building evolves, new building codes are enacted and developers gain a broader understanding of energy efficiency. Home inspectors nowadays also have to interact with different stakeholders: buyers, sellers, realtors, developers, mortgage brokers- everyone wants to be sure their investment is protected. The industry is definitely changing, it’s becoming more stringent, in the last few years they’ve introduced mandatory licensing requirements for home inspectors, and the required qualifications are becoming more rigorous, which is going to have a great impact on the industry, and be a positive for consumers as well.”
Ray believes that everyone looking to buy or sell a home should consider a home inspection. “It’s the biggest investment most people will ever make. Home inspectors provide a written report of the property and many offer ancillary services, such as energy auditing, radon testing, sewer line inspections, and pool and spa services, which are available for an extra fee.” When choosing a home inspector, Ray recommends consumers “check their qualifications. Feel free to ask for references, or testimonials, and always be sure the individual you choose is licensed. Don’t focus on the price as much as ensuring that the person you choose has the experience and education necessary to complete a proper home inspection.”
As an Ashton instructor, Ray is responsible for educating the next generation of home inspectors. “I teach online courses, and I prefer to utilize an interactive teaching method. I feel like true learning occurs when people have the opportunity to discuss things and develop and offer their opinions. The most important qualities for a home inspector to have are curiosity and good communication skills.”
Ray’s advice for individuals just starting out in the home inspection industry emphasizes the importance of being well-rounded. “Don’t just focus on home inspection, although that’s the core of the business, understanding construction and defects. 90% of home inspectors are sole proprietors, and will need to have excellent business acumen in order to succeed. Home inspectors need to develop strong interpersonal and communication skills, as well as hard skills like accounting, sales and marketing. Some of those skills can be picked up as you learn on the job, but I try to emphasize these as much as possible in my teachings. Home inspection isn’t the career for everyone, but if you enjoy working outdoors, interacting with people and being on the go, it could be right for you.”
Become a Home Inspector with Ashton's Online Home Inspection Courses.