How to Write Exceptional Home Inspection Reports – Part Two
This is part two in a two-part series. If you missed part one, you can view that first here.
Whether you write reports by hand or with home inspection software, the importance of the content is the same. In this post, we continue to explore things to include in your home inspection reports and why, as well as some important things to keep in mind while writing.
What to Include in Your Report – Continued
From our survey results, we’ve found that clients like it when you help them set their priorities. We do this by including a timeframe for dealing with each issue. This increases your liability marginally, but provides better client service.
Remember that you can choose to include cost estimates as long as the standards in your area allow for it.
To keep your home inspection reports organized, helpful, and easy-to-reference, include a maintenance section at the end to assist your client. This way, they won’t have to flip from page to page to find maintenance information because it’s all in one convenient place. Perhaps more importantly, mixing maintenance tips with significant issues in the body of the report confuses clients, decreasing satisfaction and perhaps increasing your liability. Including generic advice that applies to any home in the body of the report can make it look fluffy and superficial.
Photos and Illustrations
Photographs, and diagrams are extremely useful in your reports. Clients love them, and they make for a more professional-looking report. They help to explain technical concepts and document observations so readers can easily understand your message. They also make for a more attractive report, which is great as a marketing tool for your business.
Things to Keep in Mind
There are two ways to write your reports: to list everything you inspected with a checklist indicating its status, or to list only the necessary items. To keep it short and sweet, we recommend including only what’s necessary and informing your client that components not specifically addressed in the report were inspected, but no issues were noted.
Always remember to note the implications of an issue, why it’s important, and what to do about it. You should not just say, “The wall is cracked”. Your clients want solutions, not problems. This means listing the condition, the implication, and the action which should be taken to resolve it. And again, a ballpark cost to cure the issue is a tremendous asset.
In terms of writing your report, use headings to simplify your report and make it easy to read and reference. You are writing to communicate, not to impress or intimidate. Keep the report short and supply reference material, such as The Home Reference Book, instead of an unnecessarily long report. Minimize jargon in your reports, and where you do use it, make sure to explain it.
High-quality home inspection reports provide great service to your clients and a valuable marketing tool for your business. Making report writing quick and efficient is important so that you can have more time, take on more inspections, and increase your revenue.