I have been a people-pleasing person for as long as I can remember. When your actions, intentions, or job brings a smile to someone’s face, that feeling, that you contributed to that smile, is one of the best feelings in life.
I spent the majority of my working life, from 19 years old to 36 years old, as a remodeling contractor. I had an eye for detail and always worked with pride. The homeowners would always be so thrilled at the completion of a project and it was very rewarding. I could see happiness in their eyes and actions in the home I transformed for them. That “feeling” pushed me to excel in my profession to get that same reaction from them over and over as it made me feel great.
At the age of 36, God led me to Home Inspections, and I knew with my contracting experience and need to please that I would be successful.
I had never worked in an industry where there were multiple interested parties to deal with. I was used to working for my client alone and only had to satisfy them and exceed their expectations. I found out quickly that Real Estate had multiple interested parties but only ONE client. For the first few years in the industry, all parties were very pleased, and I was referred by hundreds of real estate agents, which quickly grew my client base, word-of-mouth marketing, and reputation in my new profession.
As my knowledge in every aspect of home construction grew, so, therefore, did the length of my reports and the concerns I could find with a home. While the homebuyers have always been beyond pleased and appreciated my knowledge and keen eye, I started to receive criticism from the real estate side of the transaction, both the listing side and the buyer’s side. I would hear that “You’re scaring buyers with long reports,” “That’s on every home,” “So and so doesn’t report on that,” “I’ve never heard of that,” and on and on.
So I started to lose Real Estate Agent referrals quickly, and to be honest it scared me. I think every thorough inspector comes to this point and has a decision to make. Does he make his reports “softer” to once again be back in the good graces of the real estate agents who refer him/her, or does he continue to do the thorough and detailed job he has been praised for by his clients?
You’ll see Colossians 3:23 posted on my website and several other places in my marketing. It reads pretty simple and, in a nutshell, states, “Work as if You’re working for the lord, not for human masters.” I had lived by that verse all my working years and was not going to turn away from it due to opposition.
So I placed my business in God’s hands and continued full steam ahead as I had always done. Now almost nine years later, God still provides for my family daily, and although only a handful of local Real Estate agents refer me, I can’t keep up with the amount of business the Lord sends me.
One of the main reasons I wrote this article was to say “I understand” the Realtor’s frustrations. I understand the changes the home inspection industry has gone through in the past 15-20 years.
They’ve seen 3-page carbon copy reports change into 50-100 page reports.
They’ve seen an inspector carrying a flashlight and a screwdriver turn into an inspector using tens of thousands of dollars worth of tools.
But most importantly, they’ve seen their client become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information provided to them in a home inspection report.
My goal now is to help the industry that has been so good to me. To help the clients discern a HUGE report full of technical information. And to help the agents to be able to help their clients better when going over these reports, as they will only continue to become more technical and detailed.
It may be too late for me to regain my good graces in the agents’ eyes, but it’s not too late to help the industry, buyers, and realtors with a tool that will make it much easier to read a home inspection report.
In the spirit of providing for my family, God laid this “tool” on my mind, and it will help ALL parties involved. If anything, say a prayer for God to help me bring it to fruition.