Taking the step to expand your home inspection business can be hindered by a lack of time in the day. As an individual inspector there are only so many inspections you can do in a day and burn out should never be an option. That wont serve you and it certainly wont serve your clients. Once you build your business to the level that you are turning away inspections it may be time to consider bringing on another inspector.
Just remember, you are busy because you are doing something right and clients appreciate the level of service you offer. It's important to maintain the level of service that got you busy in the first place. Many inspectors worry that if they bring another inspector on, they may not offer that same level of service. Have you thought this? Is this a concern that's been holding you back from growing your business? There is a way to ensure that any new inspectors you bring on do offer your level of service and attention, and it's with their proper training and integration into your company. This is not as difficult as many inspectors believe.
Here are some great training tips to help you, if and when, you take the leap to becoming a multi-inspector firm:
1. Tag along inspections. It doesn't matter how experienced the inspector you are hiring is, having them tag along on your inspectors for a period of time before you ever send them out on their own, under your company name, is critically important.
The reason tag along inspections are so important, even with the most experienced inspectors, is we all have different ways of doing things. The key to making a successful transition from a single inspector firm to a multi inspector firm is consistency! Remember, you got this busy because you are doing something clients like. How would they feel if all of a sudden an inspector sent out by your company, while good, did things quite differently? Consumers like consistency, they like to know what they will be getting when they call up a service company. To be a truly successful multi inspector firm you will need to ensure that regardless of which inspector you send out the experience from the perspective of the client is the same.
By having inspectors first tag along with you, you can train them to do the actual inspection in as close as possible to the way you do them.
2. Ensure all inspectors are using the same vocabulary to explain the scope of the service and to explain the common types of deficiencies and findings inspectors come across. Having a script is very helpful. You can create scripts for the introduction of the inspector and the initial explanation of what you'll be doing for them that day, you can have a scripted response for many common questions and problems. This will ensure that your inspectors always present in a similar fashion and everyone will sound professional and concise.
In addition to how your inspectors speak to clients you'll want to ensure they approach the inspection in the same way as you do. For example, if you start with the outside, they should too. If when inside the home, you start at the top and work your way down, they should too. If you use certain tools they must use the same tools you do, nothing more, nothing less. This ensures consistency during the course of the inspection.
3. The report, must be the same report all your inspectors use. Sometimes this is an issue from seasoned inspectors who have been using one report for a very long time and they are resistant to change to what you have been using. However, this needs to be a condition of them being hired, you need to ensure they are consistent with their report too. You are one company, and your company image or brand needs to stay consistent and professional throughout your inspection team. After all you're the one with more business than you can handle so you must be doing something right. Don't let the inspector looking to work with you dictate how you run things or how they will do things once going out under your company name.
4. Dress Professionally. Lastly, dress, there need to be consistency here too. Use your own success as a guide line, but do create a dress code policy. It is important that everyone show up dressed in the same fashion. Company shirts are a great idea. Have your logo put onto the shirt and ensure each inspector has a few so they have enough to keep them going between laundry days. Decide on the colour of the pant you'll all wear and stick to it. Decide if you will allow shorts in warmer weather and what type of shorts will be acceptable. Have all new inspectors agree to this dress code BEFORE you agree to hire them.
There are many other smaller details to consider, but you get the idea. In order to add inspectors to your company and be successful at making the transition from a single inspector firm to a multi inspector firm consistency is key.
I have worked with many inspectors helping them successfully make this transition. There are even things you can do when you have a referral that is hell bent on only working with or referring you personally. They can become accepting of your new hires and may even like working with them better, if you do the integration correctly. Don't let that bruise your ego. That's exactly what you want when you become a multi inspector firm. You want people to call up your company and ask for an appointment based on the date or time they need never the individual inspector they want. When the integration of new inspectors is done correctly the calls for a specific inspector will be greatly reduced, if not completely eliminated, and that, is just good for business!
Wishing you continued success with your home inspection business!
Sharon Purtill, Your Home Inspection Marketing Coach
Canspec Home Publishing