The Art of the Home Inspection
How WIN sets itself apart from other home inspection companies
Performing a great home inspection is an art, and it goes beyond technical know-how. Knowledge, expertise and training are important, but what truly sets a great home inspector apart is how they approach the process.
A home shouldn’t pass or fail a home inspection; a home buyer just needs insight and clarity into the actual condition of a home so they can be confident about their decision. A good home inspection is as much a guide to how a home works as it is insight into any issues the home might have.
Think about it a moment from a buyer’s perspective:
After an often exhaustive search, they have found a home they love and are ready to buy, but they want the peace of mind of having a professional home inspector evaluate the condition of the home. They want to know what issues the home might have and what might be involved in fixing any issues. They want someone who can guide them through the home and point out its flaws and quirks while also showing them how to operate the key systems of the home — how to shut off valves, turn off the main water line, adjust the water heater and thermostat, change air filters, and so on.
Home buyers crave this information. A great home inspector not only inspects, he or she also teaches. He or she provides clarity and confidence, not anxiety.
“When you walk away, you want these people to know this house better than anyone,” says Dewey Messenger, who operates a WIN Home Inspection franchise in Vancouver, WA. “If you see a roof or a plumbing issue that should be fixed, you note it and communicate it to them in a non-alarming fashion. You know, few houses are perfect, and anything can be fixed. You have to be able to sit down and talk with people like a friend. When you answer their concerns, you help them feel at ease, and that’s a value that makes a big difference.”
You might not think that a friendly approach matters. After all, people don’t buy houses that often. The customer you’re serving today probably won’t need to use you — or anyone else — again for years. The fact of the matter is, most home inspection business comes from referrals from real estate agents, and they partner with people who share their sense of professionalism and their commitment to clients. Real estate agents generally work with a team of professionals they trust — title companies, mortgage brokers, home inspectors, etc. The real estate agent is also the customer.
“Top Realtors, the ones who are doing three or four deals a month, they are professionals who work hard to serve their clients, and they like working with other professionals who don’t just dabble in real estate,” says Mike Hankins, who owns a WIN franchise in Brentwood, TN. “That’s what WIN brings to the table. We are always on time, we look good, and our customers know that we’re part of a large, reputable organization.”
WIN inspectors arrive at a home — early — in a branded service vehicle. Unlike most inspectors, we drive vans or SUVs, not pickup trucks. We don’t want to have ladders and toolboxes hanging out the back because the tools of the trade can intimidate some customers, and we want to be approachable. WIN inspectors wear our signature polo shirt, which evokes the crisp professionalism WIN is known for. They greet the customer and the real estate agent and begin a carefully regimented inspection, using WIN’s proprietary software to guide them through the home and take notes on specific systems of the home. Our systems help ensure consistency and thoroughness, which is a huge comfort to both buyers and agents.