Do you want to become a home inspector? Was it your childhood dream, or is it something that you have built an interest in over time? Whatever the case, you have a big decision ahead of you. Should you go at it alone or join a multi-inspector company? Before you put any effort into either of these options, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to aim for. The reality is that it can be very difficult to get your own home inspection company off the ground, so joining a multi-inspector firm could get you jump-started in the business. On the other hand, having your name on the side of the company vehicle can be very rewarding.
So what are the pros and cons of these options? Let’s consider them one at a time.
Joining Another Home Inspection Company
The main advantage of working for a multi-inspector firm is clear as day. If you want to inspect houses, that is what you do. You don’t have to worry about the day-to-day running of the business at all, instead, you will be inspecting homes and that is it. Of course, there are some multi-inspector firms that use their inspectors for other tasks that are not directly related to inspecting homes, so that would be something that you would need to discuss when you are getting onboarded.
Another thing that a larger company will mean is stability. Especially during troublesome times, such as the COVID-19 crisis, many smaller companies find that they can’t weather the storm, and because of this, they fold up. A larger company will have a better chance of keeping the doors open even when times are tough. They usually have a good relationship with a number of agents that can supply them with leads and they have a more robust organization.
Of course, on the other hand, you will not be able to make as much money working for someone else as you could when you have your own company. Depending on the business model of the company, you might be paid per inspection or by the hour, but usually, this will be a lot less than if you were inspecting for your own firm. Your management will have a lot to do with whether you like your job or not. Most multi-inspector firms are built by someone who started inspecting themselves and know the business – but some home inspection companies are run by someone that never did an inspection themselves, and therefore has little to no compassion for the hurdles that you might be facing. They could also give you a lot more work than you can handle, or not enough. When you are working for someone else, you give up a lot of the control you have.
It is however usually an excellent place for a new inspector to get training and experience, especially if the company already is employing several experienced inspectors. This also means that you have a support system if you need it.
In summary, joining a multi-inspector company means giving up a lot of control but gaining stability.
Doing it for Yourself
We already touched on a few of the advantages and disadvantages that come with growing your own business in our previous section, but let’s go into some of the details.
Having your own company is always going to be a challenge. It is a lot of work, especially if you are starting a brand new business. You will be responsible for generating leads, communicating with customers, and taking complaints. If it is going to be just you with no support crew, you will have to spend a lot of time and money to care for all the little details that ultimately make a home inspection business work.
On the flip side, all the time you spend is used to build up your company. Any rewards that you get from the work are all yours and yours alone. If you want to work a crazy schedule and inspect 5 homes every day, 7 days each week – then you have that option (and more power to you for it). If you would just like to do one or two each day and have weekends off, that is also up to you.
As your company grows, so will the connections you make. Having a good relationship with agents in the area and a good reputation with homeowners is something that will benefit you very much. You will find that the more people who leave reviews on your services can boost your business by a lot, possibly even to the point where you become a multi-inspector firm.
A smaller home inspection company can also be much more flexible than a large one. It is easy to uproot your company and move it to a new location without too much hassle. Sometimes you might even find that your area of service overlaps with some of your old clients.
Your marketing might however prove to be much more difficult when going alone since most of your time will be spent inspecting homes. Some have recruited their family to do a lot of the clerical work necessary, but this also lowers the profit margin. If you find it hard to get enough work to keep busy, your marketing is probably what you need to keep working on. You will have to oversee things like your website, networking with agents, your inspection software, your scheduling software, emails, any technical issues, meeting clients, and building your business in every other way.
Well, those are some of the major points to keep in mind before you sit down and decide whether to start up your own home inspection business or if you want to join a multi-inspector company. There is no right or wrong, but in reality, you need to come to the right conclusion for yourself. Weigh all the pros and cons and see what path is most likely to give you success and satisfaction. One thing is good to keep in mind, however. It is a lot easier to start as part of a multi-inspector company and change your mind than the other way around. Investing a lot of time and money into a venture that fails can prove to be costly and discouraging, but realizing that you want to leave a multi-inspector company and start your own company can be liberating.
Whichever path you decide to choose, we wish you the best of success!