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The best home inspectors are licensed, educated, and in the know with the latest legislative changes. Our ears are constantly to the ground. We keep you up to date on the latest news & developments in the regulation of the home inspection industry. 

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  • 10 Sep 2020 3:24 PM | Taylor Newcomer-Diaz

    What a Realtor is Looking for in a Home Inspector

    Ideally, home inspectors and real estate agents would work together to help home buyers make knowledgeable decisions about what properties to buy.

    Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, ultimately causing the home buyer to lose out.

    There is a common misconception that real estate agents want inspectors who will turn a blind eye to problems with a home to help them make the sale. In truth, honest and reputable Realtors want inspectors to deliver the facts. If there are honest issues with the home to consider, they should relay that to the home buyer. At the same time, agents aren’t too keen on inspectors who exaggerate findings or make a buyer feel like they are buying a lemon – except when that is the case. If the inspector makes his or her findings seem like the end of the world, the buyer may go running from a perfectly acceptable home.

    Buyers, particularly first-time buyers, are trusting the inspector to tell them if the home is worth purchasing.

    Perspective Matters

    From the perspective of a real estate agent, the main difference between a good or bad home inspector is in the delivery of information. Real estate agents want honesty, but they also want perspective.

    Most home buyers are on a budget, and there are plenty of quality homes on the market that would make great purchases for the budget conscious buyer.

    Home buyers are putting their faith in real estate agents and home inspectors to guide them to these homes. They want to own a home, and they need to buy something that will serve their needs, which almost always means compromise.

    An experienced agent and a skilled home inspector have a realistic perspective on homes in their respective markets. They understand that almost every home has issues, and they know how to tell the difference between serious problems and minor to moderate problems, which many buyers can deal with to own a home.

    Most real estate agents have no desire to see a client buy a home they will regret and will work hard to avoid such a situation. A good inspector obviously feels the same. An inspector is approaching the situation from a different angle and needs to be ready to explain the results of an inspection in a way that helps buyers make an informed decision. 


  • 19 Aug 2020 8:03 PM | Taylor Newcomer-Diaz


    So you passed your test and you’re official a home inspector! Now what?

    Now it is time to start branding yourself and marketing your business!

    Let’s make one thing clear. Branding yourself and marketing your business are two different things. Banding yourself is identify your business, how you will be different, what services you will offer, etc. Marketing is where you will try and sell your brand to potential clients. In order to market effectively, you must first have strong branding.

    In this post, we are going to focus on branding. Branding is all about how you want to be known and how you want your clients to remember you.

    Start by listing out the services that your clients need and what is most important to your potential customers. Your potential customers should always drive what your business stands for. Without customers, you would have no business.

    Next you need to take those services and what is important to your customers and communicate them effectively. A way to do his is a tagline for your business such as “Have it Your Way’ from Burger King or “Be Qualified, Not Just Certified” from ATI Home Inspector Training. A tagline is something that you can community easily and effectively to those potential customers.

    After you think about what services you want to offer and what is important, you will need some branding materials to get your business off the ground. You will use your branding materials when you start marketing your company. These materials include things like logo, flyers, business cards, website etc. You want everything to look and feel the same across the board. Color schemes, wording and design should all be the same on these materials.

    Here at ATI Academy, we understand that this can be an overwhelming task as you are starting our your business. That is why we offer services to help you discover your brand and make those materials such as business cards, websites, logos, flyers and more! Don’t let branding stop you from starting your home inspection business. Instead, let ATI handle that for you so you can focus on the things you love!



  • 20 Jul 2020 4:48 PM | Anonymous

    A home inspector’s purpose is to evaluate the health and safety of a home. Therefore, taking precautions to ensure the health and safety of the home inspector and the clients they are serving, is equally as vital. Home inspectors come in contact with many people and homes as a part of their daily lives. The need to follow safety procedures is more important than ever as we face the risks of contracting and spreading COVID-19.  

    It is likely your home inspection business has slowed down over the last few months due to state and local restrictions as well as community fears of allowing non-family members into their homes. However, there are many precautions you can make to ease client fears and protect yourself and the community while still conducting your business. 

    Recommendations for Safely Providing a Home Inspection in the Time of COVID-19 

    • Prior to a scheduled home inspection, ask the client the following questions: 
    1. Has anyone in the home been sick within the last 14 days? 
    2. Has anyone in the home been in contact with someone who has been sick in the last 14 days? 
    3. Has anyone in the home ever tested positive for COVID-19? 
    4. Has anyone in the home been exposed to someone that has tested positive within the last 14 days? 
    • Set and prepare the client of your safety procedures and expectations. Some examples: 
    1. Request only essential people or no one be present during the home inspection. 
    2. Require 6ft of separation at all times 
    3. Inform the client of your own safety measures (i.e. wearing a mask, protective gear, frequent hand washing and surface sanitation during the inspection) 
    • Hold consultations over the phone or via virtual meetings to decrease chances of exposure.  

    Home inspection is a necessary service to the community and should not be skipped during the process of a home sale or purchase. It is important that home inspectors do their part in protecting themselves, the home and the client while providing this vital service. Communicate clearly to clients that you take health and safety seriously. We do not know when business will continue as usual again so start preparing to conduct your business this way for the foreseeable future to ensure you can continue to operate a successful business. 

    Find the latest CDC recommendations for conducting business here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response 

    Read OSHA’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf 

    Visit your state health department for information about COVID-19: https://www.usa.gov/state-health 

  • 24 Mar 2020 3:56 PM | Anonymous


    We are excited to announce that ATI Training is now fully operational in the state of Texas. Students can now finish their full courses with ATI. Texas students will now have all of the same ATI resources as other states including but not limited to classroom training, field training, and more!


  • 19 Mar 2020 1:36 PM | Anonymous

    Most potential clients are going to ask a friend or relator who they recommend for a home inspection. Others will do a quick Google search to find someone who looks qualified and available. This is where your website plays a crucial part in the success of your business. Here are a few reasons you should be investing time and money into your website to keep it up to date.

    Sales. Being online will automatically make you more visible to potential clients. This is obviously not all that is necessary to bring in revenue but it is a start. Having an easy to navigate website will allow clients to find information regarding your inspections and you. This will make you more credible and more of a viable option for them rather than calling Joe Schmo, the first number that popped up in their search.

    Tracking. With a well-developed website, you should be able to better track your business. You will be able to see the traffic coming through, what people are interested in, and how many unique visits you are getting. This is all useful information in keeping the website updated with what your customers actually want to see.

    Strive for Professionalism. While raising awareness about the company, you can also set a tone for what your inspection company strives for including your mission and professionalism. It allows you a platform to display your company’s culture and personality. This can help to set you apart from others.

    Learn more about your demographic. You might think you know exactly who you are targeting for your home inspections, but having a website that is visible to everyone might widen that demographic. This will be helpful information to know in marketing your business in other ways.

    Take a look at your website and see what areas can improve. Are you using all the tools your website has to offer? If not, start now!


  • 16 Mar 2020 8:48 AM | Anonymous


    The kitchen is often the heart of a home. It is where kids gather after school, your midnight snack occurs, and family dinners and holidays are focused. It also contains some pretty important appliances and safety features that should be inspected before a home owner moves in. When conducting your inspection in the kitchen, make sure to hit these major points. 

    1. Appliances: If the home owner has appliances, check them! Make sure their appliances are working and nothing stands out as a red flag. 

    2. Cabinets: Spend some time to open drawers and cabinets. Ensure that everything opens properly and looks to be in good condition.  

    3. Exhaust fan: Exhaust fans are used to pull excess moisture and unwanted odors out of a particular room. This is particularly important in the kitchen when cooking things that could smoke or cause moisture in the kitchen. Does the fan work? Is it vented to the exterior building? These are important pieces to check for. 

    4. Garbage disposal: Garbage disposals are a handy feature that home owners can often use incorrectly. Make sure it works for the new home owners and that there is no excessive rust. 

    5. Pipes: Check for leaks in the pipes under the kitchen sink. This is a mess that your homeowner does not want to have to deal with when moving in. 

    6. Faucets, Sinks, and Drains: Take a look at the water coming out of the faucet. Make sure the coloring looks good and note how long it takes for the water to get hot. After this, let it run for a minute and guarantee it drains properly.  

    7. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter: A ground fault circuit interrupter is an outlet that detects an interruption in current that could be caused by an electrical appliance coming in contact with water. It immediately cuts the power and potentially saves lives. This should be within six feet of the sink.  

    8. Smoke Detector. Ensure there is a smoke detector and that it works properly. 41% of house fires start in the kitchen area.  

    Kitchens can be a dangerous place in the home if not inspected. Emphasis the importance of this to home owners and keep their happy place, just that, happy! 


  • 19 Feb 2020 9:56 AM | Anonymous


    Whether we are drinking it, bathing in it, or washing our clothes in it, water is an essential part of the home. Because of that, it is important to ensure that the homeowner has nothing to worry about when it comes to the quality of their water. This can be done through a water quality test during a home inspection.  

     

    Water quality testing is the method of checking a home’s water for pollutants or contaminants. This could be things like lead, chlorine, or even bacteria. The test also analyzes the pH and looks for any imbalances. These tests can reveal dangerous levels of bacteria, nitrates from fertilizers, iron or arsenic, heavy metal contamination, and water hardness. Most of these issues are hopefully sorted out through water system plants but can occasionally be missed.  

     

    Adding this skill to your list can add another thing for you to market to customers. Water should be tested annually to keep residents safe. The test can be performed with a specialized water testing kit. Kits can be found at local stores but do not always prove to be reliable. It is recommended to purchase your water testing kit from a state laboratory or local health department to guarantee an accurate reading. 

     

    Get trained on what to look for in a water test and add this to your list of services. Homeowners will be grateful for the extra step in keeping them safe and you will become even more valuable to your customers. 

     


  • 11 Feb 2020 10:00 AM | Anonymous


    Pests are the unwelcome house guests that make themselves right at home during the winter. The most common pests that home owner’s experience include thwart mice, squirrels, and spiders. None of which being something that you would like to find in your home. Prepare home owners for these rodents and bugs and they will be thanking you all season!


    Mice find a way to shimmy through the smallest of cracks on the outside of the house. As a home inspector, it is important to keep an eye out for gaps between the framing and siding of the house. This is the perfect way for these sneaky rodents to make their entrance. To check these areas, try using a small mirror and flashlight to look for cracks that need to be sealed. These can be taken care of with some insulation.


    There are also some more obvious ways that home inspectors can keep mice from kicking up their feet in a home. Garages are a big flashing welcome sign for pests. Encourage home owners to keep their garage door closed as much as possible or to line the garage with traps. If the home owners are animal people, a cat is also never a bad idea when it comes to catching mice.


    Spiders, on the other hand, are a little trickier than mice considering their size difference. Spiders live in woodpiles, bushes, windows, and other areas near the base of the home. With that being said, it is important to encourage home owners to keep these things as far from their house as possible. If they have a stock of firewood near the house for the winter, they might as well invite the spiders in for a cup of coffee. It is also important to ensure bushes and trees near the home are trimmed and not encroaching on the home. These precautions combined with simply keeping an eye out for webs and any other small areas like decks where they can enter through, should keep the house spider-free.


    Providing these tips to home owners whether it is during the actual inspection or in follow up communication, will keep them happy through the winter. It is much easier to prevent these problems from happening rather than dealing with the aftermath.


  • 05 Feb 2020 7:23 PM | Anonymous

    Termites are the small but mighty pests that can take your home from a perfectly liveable space to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Termites can eat quite a bit of wood in a very short time frame which can ruin the value of your home if not taken seriously. Preventing this issue from ever occurring, however, is the best route to take when it comes to protecting your home. Make sure that your homeowner’s keep an eye out for the following in order to avoid the dreaded home eaters.

    • Eliminate moisture. Termites love a moist location and if that happens to be surrounding the homeowner’s home, they will settle in. Make sure that owners keep faucets, water pipes, and air conditioning units in working condition and leak free. 

    • Keep mulch to a minimum. Excess mulch and ground cover can be a welcome sign to termites.

    • Block off any entry points. Have owners seal any areas around water and utility pipes that could be used as an entry way for the pest.

    •  Find a safe place to store firewood, paper, and lumber. If this is located near the foundation, it might set the termites up to start feeding near the house, eventually working their way to the bigger prize.

    • Encourage inspections. Not only are more inspections good for your business but they also allow the client to know they are in a good place. Decks and wooden fences should be checked on a regular basis in order to check for damage.

    Keeping clients and potential clients up to date on these types of issues and helping them to prevent them before any issues arise, will build the credibility of your company. The more you can be an asset to the client the more likely they are to refer you or use you again for their next inspection. 



  • 30 Jan 2020 5:56 PM | Anonymous


    Like any business owner, the importance of being online is only growing! There are several ways for you to reach your potential or returning clients online and we are here to offer some advice on doing just that.

    1.     Make your website a standout amongst competitors.

    When it comes to your website, it is important that you a) have one and b) make it a good one. Ensure that your website is easy to navigate, fast, and visually pleasing. Your customers do not want to spend time digging through pages trying to find what they need. Have everything at their fingertips on the home page. This does not mean overload the home page with information. Simply have buttons and photos that direct them to where they need to go. Make sure that your contact information is front and center. This is most likely what they are coming to your website for in the first place.

    2.     Blog until your fingers are numb.

    Well maybe not that much, but blogging can be a great way to reach customers who are having a problem with their home! Whenever you come across a red flag in a house, use it as blog content. Inform readers of what they should be on the lookout for and what their next steps should be, especially if it means calling a home inspector to check it out! People doing a quick Google search for what they have noticed in their house, might just stumble across your blog, exposing you to a potential customer.

    3.     Jump on the social media bandwagon but do not over do it.

    It is important to be on a social media platform, but only platforms that your target audience is on. As a home inspector, that would most likely be Facebook. Facebook is where people are more inclined to leave reviews and share your page with others who might also be interested in your services. By limiting your social media use to one or two platforms, you are ensuring that you have the time and energy to maintain the pages the way they should be maintained. As a home inspector, social media can be used to share stories of things you come across on the job, promote partnerships, and more!

    4.     Put your business on top with Google Ads.

    Google Ads is an online advertising platform where you can pay to display brief advertisements, service offerings, and sit your business at the top of the search engine. Potential customers are either going to find you through recommendations or a quick Google search. If everyone they Google has 5 stars, it can be beneficial to be the first one they come across.

    Implementing just one of these online marketing strategies can help to grow the awareness of your company. See which one works best for you and continue to learn more about utilizing the internet for your marketing needs.


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