CategoryBlogging

Automated Marketing and Consolidation in the Home Inspection Industry

The common traditional marketing strategy of visiting multiple real estate offices is slowly being eaten away by the introduction of various automated marketing methods. Technology is on the rise and everything is being consolidated into automated marketing systems for the home inspection industry. Knowing how to calculate your ROI (Return On Investments) or knowing which real estate office to visit can be a challenge with relationship-based marketing. Good news is with new automated technology, insightful changes are coming on the marketing growth in the inspection industry.

Automated marketing system
An automated marketing system can be defined as a process in which technology automates several repetitive functions that are undertaken regularly on a marketing campaign. There are a lot of marketing strategies such as email marketing, Google AdWords, or even social media marketing. With automated marketing systems on the rise, prosperous inspection companies with high financial backings are figuring out how to adjust these systems to fit their respective home inspection needs. Marketing
specialists are less reliant on online leads and are trying to come up with more self-reliant ways.

Automated agent retention system
There is a new development called Automated Agent Retention System, by Austin Hintze from Waypoint Property Inspections. Austin’s motivation was the lack of any systems that automate the handling of referral relationships from start to finish. The current process involves running reports through a company’s CRM to try and maintain new/current relationships or revive indolent relationships. The development helps his company to fully follow-up on agents who did their first inspection with them. The system assists in reaching out to inactive referral sources plus maintain
relationships with their current referral sources. Austin is working next on a system that will track ROI on presentations and events.

More sophisticated systems have been developed in recent years, by other companies catering to home inspectors. They include access to MLS data, the system will help find agents worth marketing to, those to be avoided and upcoming top agents. Inspection companies marketing agents are able to know their exact ROI for relationship-based marketing. Insurance companies can find homes of high liability risk too using the data.

Home Inspection Tips for Home Sellers

A home seller should have a checklist with the help of their agent to make sure they have everything is in place. The buyer on the hand has a checklist too they make with the help of their inspectors. There are stakes involved for buyers and sellers during a home inspection. After making a deal with a buyer and they accept it, the seller will get a once-over from the buyer’s home inspector. The inspection is a contingency of the deal meaning the buyer can back out if there are serious problems with the property. When the inspection is conducted the home inspector will have a list of problems. Your agent may be able to negotiate and have the buyer fix the problems with their contractor by negotiating a price credit.

Home inspection checklist
Home inspections are important to both the seller and buyer. The buyer is able to know the condition of the property and the seller is able to get a good deal if the property is in good condition. The home inspection checklist may vary depending on the home. The basic things covered in a home inspection checklist include, exterior e.g. paint and outdoor lighting, plumbing systems, electrical systems, kitchen appliances, HVAC equipment, foundation and basement, attic insulation, grounds, as well as doors and windows. The only thing a home inspection won’t cover is unseen issues.

The seller should make a checklist to prepare for the inspection. First off, you should assemble your paperwork for transparency, ideally include invoices on renovations, repairs and maintenance. Present the documentation to the buyer during the inspection. Second, ensure your house is pristine to create a good first impression. Third, ensure the inspector has access to everything needed and remove all blockers that may hinder the process. Fourth, utilities must be connected for the home inspector to test items such as the stove and air conditioning. Lastly, ensure you fix minor problems beforehand such as a broken light fixture.

Keep in mind, some sellers also consider hiring their own inspectors to check the house before it is listed for a pre-listing inspection.

Home Inspection Tips for Home Buyers

If you’re looking to buy a new home, the inspection process always comes before the sale. It could be the most critical step when going through the home buying process. An inspector can help you find any issues and reopen the doors for renegotiation, or help you prevent any problems if you are looking to sell.

Typically, as a buyer, you would hire an inspector to come and take a look at the house. The home inspector will then point out any health, safety, or other significant issues they may find. A buyer’s inspection will generally occur after you’ve made your first offer on the home, and this will then allow you to renegotiate the price if any issues are found.

As a seller, a home inspection will need to be taken care of before the home is listed. A smart seller will get their home inspected during the beginning stages of selling their house so they can ensure any issues are fixed before the buyers come knocking. This will save time during the closing process.

Things home inspectors look for include:

  • Water damage
  • Any major structure issues
  • Status of the roof
  • Electrical/plumbing systems
  • Pests
  • HVAC systems

After the buyer’s inspection is complete, the seller can then have their inspection to confirm any of the issues found. If the new inspection has shown any discrepancies with the buyer’s initial investigation, the seller can then choose to walk away from the sale. Not a bad idea if there are other buyers waiting in the wings.

Once the home inspections are complete, the buyer and seller can then negotiate the updated contract. The buyer can, at this point, also choose to drop the deal. If the buyer decides to walk away, then the seller will need to put their house back up for sale. When they do this, they will have to show that the house was pending sale. This is a red flag when purchasing homes and an excellent time to ask the seller to explain why the previous deal didn’t work out.

Home inspections are meant to keep buyers and sellers safe, and it’s a necessary step before you decide to purchase any home.

Indoor Air Quality Pollution and Health

Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.

Immediate effects
Immediate effects may show up after a single exposure or repeated exposures. These include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable. Sometimes the treatment is simply eliminating the person’s exposure to the source of the pollution, if it can be identified. Symptoms of somaticizes, including asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and humidifier fever, may also show up soon after exposure to some indoor air pollutants. The likelihood of immediate reactions to indoor air quality pollutants depends on several factors. Age and pre-existing medical conditions are two important influences. In other cases, whether a person reacts to a pollutant depends on individual sensitivity, which varies tremendously from person to person. Some people can become sensitized to biological pollutants after repeated exposures, and it appears that some people can become sensitized to chemical pollutants as well.

Certain immediate effects are similar to those from colds or other viral diseases, so it is often difficult to determine if the symptoms are a result of exposure to indoor air quality pollution. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to the time and place symptoms occur. If the symptoms fade or go away when a person is away from home, for example, an effort should be made to identify indoor air quality sources that may be possible causes. Some effects may be made worse by an inadequate supply of outdoor air or from the heating, cooling, or humidity conditions prevalent in the home.

Long-term effects
Other health effects may show up either years after exposure has occurred or only after long or repeated periods of exposure. These effects, which include some respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer, can be severely debilitating or fatal. It is prudent to try to improve the indoor air quality in your home even if symptoms are not noticeable. While pollutants commonly found in indoor air are responsible for many harmful effects, there is considerable uncertainty about what concentrations or periods of exposure are necessary to produce specific health problems. People also react very differently to exposure to indoor air pollutants. Further research is needed to better understand which health effects occur after exposure to the average pollutant concentrations found in homes and which occurs from the higher concentrations that occur for short periods of time. 

READ NEXT: Inspection Checklist to Use with Your Home Inspector

Inspection Checklist to Use with Your Home Inspector

A useful home inspection checklist you can use during your pre walk-through visits. Simply print this checklist for a reference you can take with you on your house hunting as well as during the inspection. These are some of the items that a home inspector will identify and inspect for proper operation. Use this home inspection checklist as a guideline only. Never open service panels to electrified “hot” equipment. Use common sense and hire a professional.

Grounds
Driveway
Sidewalks
Patios
Decks
Porches
Steps and Railings
Fences and Gates
Grading
Landscaping
Retaining Walls


Exterior of Structure
Foundation Walls
Basement
Crawlspace
Slabs
Ext. Finish
Siding
Brick
Stucco
Trim
Chimney
Roof System
Flashing
Gutters
Windows


Crawlspace/Basement/Slab
Joists
Piers
Foundation Vents
Insulation Type/R-Factor and Condition
Subflooring
Plumbing Penetrations
Plumbing Condition
HVAC Equipment
HVAC Ductwork
Condensation Lines
Exhaust and Venting
Crawlspace/Basement Drainage System
Sump Pumps
Wood Destroying Organisms
Unusual Fungi Growth
Electrical Branch Wiring


Attic
Attic Access
Truss Conditions
Rafter Framing
Roof Sheeting
Roof Deck Penetrations
Adequate Ventilation
Insulation Depth/R-Factor and Condition
HVAC Equipment
HVAC Ductwork
Electrical Branch Wiring


Electrical System
Service Type
Amperage
Entrance Cable Type
Proper Wiring Technique
Grounding
Subpanels
Branch Wiring
Outlets
Fixtures
GFCI’s
Arc Faults


HVAC
Type
Sizing for sq ft
Fuel System
Operation
Condensation Lines
Suction Line Insulation
Air Return Seal
Filters
Ductwork Type 
Ductwork Condition
Distribution System


Plumbing System
Main Line Type
Supply Line Type
Water Shut-Off Location
Water Heater Type/Sizing/Location/Condition
Leaks?
Adequate Flow 
Waste Drain Type
Waste Drain Condition
Leaks?
Type of Disposal System
Septic or Public Utilities
Septic System Location 
Septic System Condition


Interior
Exterior Doors
Weatherstripping
Windows
Interior Doors
Walls
Ceilings
Flooring
Fireplace Type/Condition/Operation
Flue Venting
Smoke Detectors
Carbon Monoxide Detectors


Bathrooms
Sinks
Supply Lines
Drains
Stopper Valves
Cabinets
Toilets
Tubs 
Jacuzzi Operation 
GFCI
Shower Enclosures
Shower Operation
Bath vent Fans


Kitchens
Range and Cooktops
Anti-tip Devices
Microwave Operation
Sinks
Ventilation
Cabinets and Counters


This list is a basic flow of an inspection. It can be customized to follow a workflow that best suits the home in question. Some of the systems outlined in this list can only be inspected by qualified persons trained to inspect these items. It is recommended that a licensed inspection company be contracted to inspect the home and provide you with a legal inspection report that can be used during the buying and selling process.

READ NEXT: Remedies to Indoor Air Quality Problems Living Areas