The real estate market of 2022 looks a lot different than the market of recent years. Mortgage rates are rising, people are tightening their belts, and homes aren’t changing hands in less time than it takes to buy something on Amazon any more.
This changed reality may pose some challenges to home inspection businesses – but for savvy inspectors, it’s also an opportunity. For one thing, nervous buyers may insist on more thorough inspections now that they don’t feel the same time-locked pressure to close that hung over homebuyers’ heads when the Fed rate was holding fast at zero.
However, standard home inspections don’t have to be the end-all for your real estate revenue. Many homes could benefit from specialty inspections, such as radon testing, termite (and other wood-destroying organism) inspections, asbestos testing, chimney inspections, HVAC checks, and many others.
Since most of these specialized inspection services can be offered with the primary inspection, the main challenges most inspectors face when attempting to add these to their repertoires will be licensing-related.
Different states regulate the various specialized inspections differently. You may face different certification or licensing requirements when attempting to add radon testing to your inspection services in Florida than you would in North Dakota. The agency or entity responsible for home inspection licensing in your state will most likely have the resources you need to pursue certification in a specialty service as well, so start your search with them.
Of course, government agencies are notoriously not user-friendly, so you might want to perform a few Google searches on the topic – “radon testing home inspection certification Florida” will turn up the Florida Department of Health website for radon inspection certification right away.
If you’re not sure which specialties you ought to pursue, the American Society of Home Inspectors has a relatively comprehensive list:
- Disaster inspection
- Exterior insulation and finish
- Energy audit
- Expert testimony
- FHA / VA / HUD / FmHA certification
- Infrared thermography
- Insurance inspection
- Lawn irrigation
- Lead-based paint
- Mold testing
- New construction inspection
- Radon testing + mitigation
- Sewer lateral inspection
- Well water potability + supply adequacy
- Wind mitigation survey
- Wood-destroying insects
Properties with external features, such as outbuildings, pools, or septic systems, could also be ideal targets for ancillary services. You could even use ancillary services as an opportunity to brand your company – we found one inspection business in Maryland offering a “monster-free certification” for parents of particularly nervous kids.
Some successful inspection companies offer service packages including one or multiple ancillary services along with the general home inspection service. Larger properties typically offer more opportunities for ancillary upsells, but older properties, mobile homes, and other distinct property types can also be natural fits for certain types of ancillary inspection services.
And if you’re already using ISN to manage your inspection business, you can easily take advantage of Guardian’s FlexFund feature to make inspection service payments easier for your clients and allow them greater confidence when looking to purchase any of these extra services. With FlexFund, you can get paid for your work up front and Guardian handles the rest – from payment collection from the client to working with the title company. In an environment where inflation has arrived and many potential homebuyers are watching their cash, a pay-later option provides your business a great opportunity to sell more ancillary services.
You can learn more about using Pay-At-Close in your inspection business at isnflexfund.com