How Communication Can Transform Your Home Inspection Business
In the home inspection profession, the old saying has never been truer: it’s not what you say, but how you say it. The way you communicate with clients and real estate agents directly affects your business, and that’s why high-quality home inspector training programs typically include a course on communication. Here’s a few examples of how communication impacts your home inspection business.
Working With Real Estate Agents
While you’re inspecting a home for a potential homeowner and working alongside the real estate agent, it’s important to remember that the agent’s success depends on how you deliver the information you collect.
Remember, the homeowner is really their client, not yours. To illustrate why this is, consider that an agent’s fee is 50 times the fee of a home inspector. That’s 5% of the house value, versus the 0.1% inspectors charge. As an inspector, you are an important part of their job and what you say can significantly impact the outcome.
Therefore, the agent doesn’t want you to get in the way of the sale. They want you to help facilitate the sale. This is where proper communication comes in. Take this example: a homeowner is interested in buying a home in a neighborhood that’s 20 years old. You could say, “This house’s roof needs to be repaired”. Or, you could provide clarity on the situation by saying, “The roof needs to be repaired, however, most of the houses in this area likely need roof repairs because of the age of the neighbourhood”. Of course, don’t lie, but make sure that you are putting all of the cards on the table in the right context.
Providing context is extremely valuable to both the real estate agent and your own business. This way, the homeowner will realize the realities of the situation and that the home they are interested in is still a good home, regardless of issues you may have found.
As a home inspector, it’s better to be proactive than to simply state your findings. Attempt to provide recommendations instead of defects, solutions instead of problems, and actions instead of issues. You will find that real estate agents are much easier to work with when you do this, and that your business benefits as a whole by taking the time to communicate effectively and truthfully with both the agent and the client. If an agent sees that you do this, they may even begin to refer their clients to you in the future as well. Never underestimate the benefits of strong communication skills!