Enter your email below to receive weekly updates from the Ashton College blog straight to your inbox.
There are several skills required to become an in-demand and respected home inspector. Here are the top 5. With these skills, you’d be able to create a thriving career in the home inspection industry.
Knowledge of construction.
Home inspection training begins before you even know you want to be a home inspector. That means you have experience in one or more aspects of construction such as framing, electrical, roofing or other similar occupations. There is no requirement for an individual to have a background in any of these areas. However, those who do specialize in one or other related occupations and have additionally completed a home inspection course, grow much faster in their careers.
Understanding the tools of the trade and how to use them.
By staying on top of the latest tools and technology, you will stay ahead in the industry. For example, using infrared thermography technology to detect concerns that are not otherwise visible to the naked eye; or employing a combustible gas detector to detect the presence of combustible, flammable, or toxic gases; having the latest computer and phone camera software; knowing when to use an aluminum tape, having an understanding of how and when to use an awl to check behind drywall; proper use of water pressure gauges and more.
While these tools are expensive, they are worth the price tag as they save your clients and you some valuable time, they also give you a more accurate picture of the house you are inspecting. Chances are if your home inspection training is led by an experienced inspector, you’ll see these tools in action and know the benefits to having them as your business grows and budget allows for you to incorporate them.
Getting the right education.
Home Inspectors must have a license to practice home inspection in BC. Licensed by Consumer Protection BC, potential inspectors must pass an exam (conducted by the Home Inspector’s Association of BC) and fulfill other requirements.
You can prepare for the exam by taking an accredited home inspection course that will ensure that there are no knowledge gaps. You will work on the necessary technical and report-writing skills, and meet the high home-inspection standards British Columbians have come to expect.
Home inspection courses give potential home inspectors the understanding of how to examine a house’s systems, assess its condition and prepare reports detailing the findings for the home buyer. Courses will include electrical, heating and air conditioning (including heat pumps and other HVAC systems), plumbing, interior systems (including foundations, floors, insulation and ventilation), exterior systems and roofing.
Since the role of a home inspector is to look at the systems of a home and report the findings back to the potential home buyer, good communication skills are highly important. Although a number of computerized tools are available to make the job easier (such as home inspection-specific template reports), you still need to use language that enables the home buyer to understand what you’ve found, your recommendations for the house. A home is usually the biggest purchase an individual will be making in their lifetime, and they are counting on the home inspector to be their guide. This helps home buyers avoid making a mistake with their purchase or walking into a situation that later turns into a nightmare.
In addition to written and verbal communication skills, you will also need good networking skills to build a relationship with your community and get the word out about your business.
Business Management and Time Management.
Running a business isn’t as easy as people may often think. Having a home inspection firm is more than just inspecting homes. There are myriad administrative tasks, such as staying on top of accounting and bookkeeping, arranging municipal business licences, and getting proper insurance, including Errors & Omissions as well as General Liability insurance, among other responsibilities. While a home inspection training course will go into some of the aspects of running a business, it is also advisable to stay in touch with other small business owners to learn about the common challenges and pitfalls.
Time management is also an essential skill to have. Planning and organizing your day to include travelling to the client’s location, an inspection of the property, preparing reports and communicating with the customers will go a long way in helping you make the most of your time. Because, apart from these responsibilities, you also need to take care of administrative duties, accounts, responding to emails and building your business. If you don’t plan well in advance, it all adds up.
If you’re thinking of starting your own business as a home inspector, ensure you get the right education and strengthen your skills in the areas mentioned above.