Why Home Inspectors Love Inspecting and Hate Report Writing – Part One
It’s something many home inspectors think about. In this post, we’re going to show you why inspecting and talking are so enjoyable, and why report writing isn’t. Then we explain a few ways to make your reports writing a smoother process, and why many home inspectors are turning to home inspection software for assistance. So, let’s get started.
Why is inspecting so much fun?
It’s like show and tell. You are the expert. Everyone loves being the smartest person in the room.
You are the centre of attention – the star of the show!
It’s a performance, and you are the lead actor.
The clients are your audience. They hang on your every word.
Most home inspectors are hams to some extent.
We provide incredible value, making a difference in people’s lives at a critical time.
Why is report writing no fun at all?
We are actors, not playwrights.
We are trained as inspectors, not writers.
We talk all our lives from the moment we are able to speak. We only write occasionally, usually only when necessary. Most people are just better at talking than writing.
Very few home inspectors have mastered the English language in terms of grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and syntax. Fewer still have taken a technical writing course.
Why is talking so easy?
As we mentioned, it’s because you do it a lot every day.
It’s two-way communication. There’s a chance for feedback.
The listener can ask questions. It becomes a conversation, not a lecture.
It’s three-dimensional. Even when the listener doesn’t ask questions, you can read their body language.
A frown, a furrowed brow, a sideways glance at a spouse—these things all tell you that your message is not getting through. You have a chance to say, “I’m sorry, I didn’t explain that very well. Let me try again.”
If you stumble over a word, you get to repeat it. If you use a technical term and your client doesn’t understand it, you can explain it or show it to them.
You get a chance to ask for reinforcement: “Does this make sense so far?”
You are able to invite feedback: “Have we answered all your questions?”
You are able to engage your audience. You can ask them if they have plans to make changes to the house. You can ask them what they do for a living or where they come from. You can make them feel they are an important part of the process.
It’s show and tell. You can point to things in the home, invite your client to look at them, touch them, hear them, and even smell them.
Lastly, the spoken word is not a long-term commitment. It’s a communication in the moment. At some level, you know that your client will not understand everything you say, and will remember less than 15% of it in a week. You’re not going to be held to what you said a year later.
Now you know why inspecting and talking is so easy. In Part Two, we explain why report writing is so hard and what you can to do make it a smoother process! See you at Part Two.