With changes in the economy effecting so many people, those in the real estate industry especially, it has pushed many to re-evaluate their "individual" place in the market. I've talked about the necessity to diversify in the past and for one evaluating their own situation, it is always easier said than done.
Fortunately, home inspectors are not as restricted to the powers of the real estate market as many of our fellow professionals in the industry. As an inspector, if you don't seriously consider utilizing your knowledge in the current wave of home energy auditing and evaluation you could be missing a tremendous marketing opportunity to both new and past clients.
The equation is simple: There are A LOT more people already with a home than those looking for a home. If you have been in the home inspection business for any extended period of time or have been fortunate to have formal training prior to entering the industry, much of the knowledge you have is directly applicable to the energy auditing industry. The area that most are lacking is hands-on training in specilized equipment like a blower door or infra red camera as well as software that helps evaluate the data collected. The simplistic approach to home inspection does become more technical in an energy audit but it isn't anything that should stop a motivated home inspector looking to expand their knowledge base and marketing potential.
What's great about this is the ease that one can quickly market their new service. Just think of all those past clients that valued your opinion in making one of the biggest purchase in their lives. You now have an opportunity to re-introduce yourself to them. Although the training and equipment investment does rate higher than other services you could market, such as radon and mold testing, with the current media blitz on energy efficiency, this newly added service looks to be one that will be in significant demand for a long time for MILLIONS of home owners everywhere.
Not sure where to start, don't hesitate to contact me. If there's anything I like better than helping a home owner, it's helping a fellow home inspector. We need to stick together if our industry is going to be a significant factor in the eyes of today's home owner and not just some one who "pops" in when someone is buying a home.