Not every state requires licensing for home inspection professionals. For that matter, not every state imposes certification standards on workers in the industry. However, home buyers, sellers and virtually home inspection customers are much savvier now than ever before. That means more people want evidence of your skills before signing a pre-inspection agreement.
If you’ve never been certified, now is the time to rethink that strategy. There’s nothing to lose by committing to an education program that ends in an authentic credential. But there’s a lot that you could gain from the experience.
Here are 7 reasons to take the next step.
#1: Learn a Few Things That You Might Not Know
Maybe you come from a construction background or another trade that trained you well. Perhaps home construction and the systems that make up the typical American residence are second nature. There’s always something new to learn, and certification can align you with current facts, trends and industry-related news.
Drone technology is a great place to start. With the right home inspection training course, you could learn how to operate a drone for advanced roof inspections and aerial thermography views that add more value to your home inspections.
#2: Refresh Existing Skills and Knowledge
Sometimes, home inspecting can put you into a rut, and that can make previously sharp skills a bit dull or rusty. Certification is like a whetstone that returns a nice edge to the lifetime of skills and learning you might already have.
Training can renew your interest in special issues such as mold detection, asbestos, lead and other home hazards. It can also refresh your memory about inspecting commercial property or disaster situations, which can open new avenues of work opportunity.
#3: Earn a New Credential for Marketing and Advertising Strategies
Home inspectors rely heavily on referrals, but marketing is vital to attracting new customers. The more benefits you can offer customers, the more material you have to work with. Certification is one such benefit.
Add home inspector certification to your business cards, handouts and your website. Put a “certified home inspector” line in your email signature and your social media accounts. Wherever you have the opportunity to promote yourself and your business, there’s an opportunity to tell the world that you’re certified.
#4: Give Real Estate Agents More Reasons to Trust Your Skills
Some markets are highly competitive, which means real estate agents have a deep pool of inspectors they can call on. It’s difficult to stand out in a crowd of similarly-qualified people. With certification, you gain a competitive edge.
In areas where certification isn’t required, many, if not most, home inspectors won’t have the credential. Go the extra mile, and real estate agents will have a reason to pull your name above the others.
#5: Put to Rest Concerns that Customers Often Have
Gone are the days when home buyers were largely uneducated about home systems and the defects that can arise. While prospective customers might not have the necessary skill set to perform their own professional home inspection, they do have an awareness of the vast diversity among home inspectors as well as the risks involved with hiring one who isn’t quite up to snuff.
Home inspector certification helps customers rest easy, which is a rare comfort during an uncertain time. The process of buying a home is one of the most stressful events that anyone can endure. Certification shows them that you’re worth the investment and you won’t let them down.
#6: Make Yourself Marketable Across State Lines
Your state might not require licensing or certification, but that doesn’t mean the neighboring state shares the same attitude. If you live close to the state line but can’t work across the border, certification can broaden your territory and make your skills more marketable.
Check with the neighboring state’s licensing board, if they have one, to learn about other requirements. You may be required to submit to a criminal background check, supply verified fingerprints and obtain additional liability and E&O insurance.
#7: Qualify for Better Insurance Rates
The lower the risk, the better the rates. That’s how most insurance companies stay in business. A home inspector with no license, no certification and no evidence of training is an unknown quantity as far as the insurance carrier is concerned.
REO Advisors explain that the more positive information you can provide to the underwriter, the better your chances of getting a good rate.
“Firms employing the best practices related to internal control and risk management tend to sway (and justify) the underwriter’s decision to apply premium credits to these subjective attributes.”
Home inspection certification proves that you know the industry and have the knowledge and skills to work safely. That can equal big savings on all insurance policies that you want and need to stay in business.
Maybe home inspectors in your state need little more than a work vehicle and a basic set of tools to set up shop and legally perform inspections for a fee. However, there’s a difference between what’s legal and what constitutes best practices.
Home inspection certification supports a strong business and healthy growth on many different fronts. It serves as evidence that you’re serious about your work. It assures customers and real estate agents that you know your stuff and are worth the investment. Certification can refresh skills and knowledge that you don’t use every day, and it can help you secure better insurance coverage at a more reasonable cost.
What’s not to love about certification? In a fiercely competitive market, it’s one more way to set yourself apart from the crowd.
Know what else is a great investment? An intuitive home inspection reporting app. Report Form Pro works with any mobile device, whether it’s an Android phone or an iPad tablet. It’s virtually plug-and-play, as well, which means you’ll spend less time figuring out how to use it and more time putting it to good use.
Download our home inspection app for Android and start using it today.