Cambridge,galt,preston,hespler,kitchener,waterloo (Brantford, ON)
Cambridge,galt,preston,hespler,kitchener,waterloo (Brantford, ON) Real Estate News
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Preferred Professionals
Charles (Chuck) Crooker (CROOKERHANCOX HOME INSPECTIONS INC.)

Hi all, do any of you use a form or CD or ?? for having and making a preferred professionals list to give to your clients. I am asked all the time for referrals of professionals from bookkeepers to web designers. Now if you make up this list do you charge the professionals to be on it, do you limit it to one or do you put more than one of each type or trade. Thanx. 

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Look the part
Charles (Chuck) Crooker (CROOKERHANCOX HOME INSPECTIONS INC.)

Good day to all, when in buisness we must remember to Always dress and look your best, and to realize your environment is a mirror of your expectations. We or at least I have seen proffesional NOT looking the part, our clients are hiring us to do a service for them and I for one think we ALL should look the part. When realtors and or Inspectors show up in cut off blue jeans a t-shirt and ball cap it just, well you see my point (I hope).

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CLIENT PRE-CLOSING INSPECTION CHECKLIST
Charles (Chuck) Crooker (CROOKERHANCOX HOME INSPECTIONS INC.)

CLIENT PRE-CLOSING INSPECTION CHECKLIST

  

This checklist is intended to assist you as you perform your final pre-closing walk-thru examination of the property, to check those areas previously covered by furnishings and/or storage and to verify that no further damage has occurred since the time of the inspection. Elements listed should be observed, and operated when appropriate. Special attention should be given to any element not previously inspected. Should any variations from the inspection report be noted or if there are any questions, contact your agent/realtor and/or the Home InspectionCompany office prior to closing.                                       Would any of you be using such a list and if not could you use one?? 

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How are you making out with growing your biz!!?
Charles (Chuck) Crooker (CROOKERHANCOX HOME INSPECTIONS INC.)

How are you making out with growing your biz, here is some foodfor thought as they say, "People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built." Eleanor Roosevelt   
 Do You Have The Right Team In Place?
 
Having the right people on your team can assist you in bringing your Visions and Goals into reality in a much shorter time period. The right people on your team can also help you avoid costly mistakes and setbacks. In contrast to the right team members helping you accomplish your Visions and Goals, the wrong team members can cost you a great deal. Having the wrong team can drain you of your energy, time and money.

Some of you may be thinking that you work for yourself and you don't have any team members. We are all dependent on others in some capacity. Those we rely on to assist in any area should be considered our team members and there is no doubt they affect our results.

Let's dive into who the right team members are and who you should avoid. It really doesn't matter whether you are building an athletic team, a business, your wealth, your health or any area of your life. These principles will apply.

One of the first things to look for in your team members is good character. A company I know of that specializes in teaching people who and how to hire employees says that most people consider a persons skill level above most other criteria when hiring. Someone's skill is an important aspect to look at. The team members should have the necessary skills to perform their duties. If they don't it could take quite a bit of time to develop the necessary skills they need to do their job. Obviously the amount of time it takes to acquire the skills will vary depending on the job. However, the training company I mentioned above that specializes in hiring employees, states that most people are fired due to the lack of good moral character.

Here are some of the character traits you may want to look for in your team members.

1. Positive Attitude. Does the person look at the glass as half full or half empty. When someone has a negative attitude most of the time, their attitude will tend to rub off on others. An old saying is, "It only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch." On the other hand someone who is always looking at the positive side of things can learn valuable lessons, even from problems and move on. They too will rub off on the people around them. You want someone to complete their job efficiently and effectively but the attitude in which they complete the job is very important also.

2. Team Player. Does the person look out for the best interest of the team and its members or does that person look at how a specific situation will affect them directly putting their interests ahead of everything else. We all need to think of ourselves. However, every valuable team member will make sacrifices from time to time to benefit the others involved even if it means temporary discomfort for them personally.

3. Supports and Edifies Others On the Team. Someone that is constantly talking negatively about others will probably be talking behind your back when it benefits them. Gossip and back biting is common among many and shouldn't be participated in. The corporate world is famous for people climbing the ladder of success by stepping on others. Remember we reap what we sow. A person who builds others up will themselves be built up sooner or later.

4. Completes their duties on time without excuses. There are some people that are always late. They may be late for meetings, late on deadlines late for their own funeral as the joke goes. When someone is consistently late it affects the entire team and everyone involved. There are always legitimate reasons (excuses) why we can't get something done. A good team member faces the same challenges as others and gets the work done anyway. Again remember the spirit in which the work is completed is important also.

5. Honesty. Can you trust what the person tells you? If someone tells you a lie in little things, even if it doesn't seem to matter that much, how can you trust them in larger things. I would much rather have a team member that makes mistakes and admits it than someone that doesn't want to look bad and always tries to cover their mistakes. The only people that don't make mistakes are people who aren't doing anything. If you are the team leader, make sure your team members have an atmosphere in which it is OK to admit their mistakes. Make sure you convey how important honesty is to you. If you have a problem with telling little white lies that really don't hurt anyone, I would take a look at changing this. In business I have found I can handle most situations, even some that are extremely difficult, but I won't tolerate someone lying. 

These are just some of the character traits you should look for in team members. It may take a long time to find the right team members, but in the long run it will pay off. I have seen many people compromise with mediocre or poor team members and their business seems to always struggle. They seem to never go to the next level. This doesn't have to be the case. There are great people to work with. We just need to make sure they are on our team.

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What would you tell someone who wants to succeed in your business?
Charles (Chuck) Crooker (CROOKERHANCOX HOME INSPECTIONS INC.)

I think thst to really help someone that wishes to succeed in your business( NO Matter what it is) they should really hear what it takes to do the job. And to do this it sometimes lets all the air out of their saels or burst the ballon type thing. I would like to see what others think, and would you really be willing to help someone succeed. Here is a letter that I have saved and sent to anyone that asks me about home inspection as a way to make some $$$. 

 

Chuck Crooker/CROOKERHANCOX HOME INSPECTIONS INC. 

I think this is a very frustrating and difficult career to get into. Wonder they the colleges are not cranking out more inspectors?

Let me see if I can sum up the ideal requirements:
You need to have years of experience in the construction business or in one of the trades, which would take, well..... years! Hard to get that coming out of a college!

You need to complete a ton of specialized courses that will cost you $ 4,000 to $ 6,000 or more, and take about 2 years of a lot of night school, while, presumably, you try to hold down a day job to pay for all this.

You need some equipment, ie: truck or van, ladders, and as many tools as you are foolish enough to use.

You need a reporting system - either computerized ( more bucks) or check off with comments, or..... written. I forgot, most folks coming out of the school system would have to take a course on writing... and spelling .... and maths....

Then once you have survived all of this cash outflow, you need to get some on the job training - lets say about 50 ride alongs with an experienced HI.  Thats a trick, most are one man shops in an area where they do not want further competition, and live in fear of you stealing their contacts and future business, so that should really make this step a challenge, and take .....well, years to complete 50 ride alongs!

You can join an association - preferably a professional one that will put you through a lot of hoops and steps and take months before you are allowed to practice inspections. Or, I suppose you could join some mail order group and have instant certification, which will likely be as recognizable to clients and Real Estate agents as any other "certification".

Then you need insurance ... if you can find a company that will insure a "newbie" and have still some money saved up to pay for the first year = lets say $ 5,000 to $ 6,000.   Of course, you can decide to go without since by now, you probably will not have any assets left, and are highly unlikely to be able to afford any assets for the next several years if you survive in business as a home inspector.

Now, at last, 3 or 4 years later, you are ready to do inspections. Except that expensive cell phone and business line, are not ringing. So, you have to pound on doors, try to get by the pit bull at the front desk of most real estate firms, actually find an agent in the office, and willing to meet with you.  You live in hope, that, once they recognize your lack of experience at inspections, but admire your young eagerness(?!) they will actually put you on their referral list - with all of the other inspectors they have used for years. Of course you will not see instances of agents pushing their "preferred" inspector since they are not allowed to do that!

So, once you are in business doing inspections, then the fall and winter arrive, and you are shocked to find out there is next to no inspection business due to the "slow" season in the Real Estate world.  So, you have to face several months of no or negligible income with ongoing steady cash drains to support being in business.  Opps, forgot all that money you have to find in order to advertize.

By now you have had to undercut all of the competition with the lowest rates in town in hopes that you will pull some business away from the more experienced inspectors out there, who, mysteriously are no longer talking to you. Suddenly you realize that you still do not have enough coming in to cover the costs. Should you have the misfortune of  having to pay for an unhappy client, or worse yet, litigation - then you are really up the creek.

Suddenly, by year two or three, if you have made it that far, you wonder why did you even bother to spend all that time and money to get into a business, that, for many, is very stressful with constant concerns of litigation ... and bankruptcy, especially when you realize that many experienced inspectors seem to last less than 7 years in this business, before burn out ...or bankruptcy beats them down.

I forgot a couple of other ideal prerequisites,  1) independently wealthy  - opps that probably means your assets are at risk
2) very understanding spouse who has a great career and is willing to support you, pay all the bills, watch the savings erode, while you struggle to make a go of this business.
3) a healthy retirement income, so you can enjoy this advocation without worry about making ends meet.

Since 1) and 2) are very hard to find these days, then, many inspectors likely fit into category 3)!

Gee, I wonder why so many are in the 50 to 60 age group?

Fear not, many baby boomers will be retiring so our ranks should continue to grow = with 50 to 60 year olds!


A very interesting statistic. Almost half of us are in the 50-60 age group with none under 30. Do you think this is because colleges aren't promoting home inspection enough to entry level students.

Chuck Crooker CROOKERHANCOX HOME INSPECTIONS INC.

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Thermal Imaging
Charles (Chuck) Crooker (CROOKERHANCOX HOME INSPECTIONS INC.)

Seems like a lot of info is around on thermal imaging now. Have many of you had a client ask for it, and inspectors are you dong enough of them to pay for the gun? What about the liablity of not finding a problem after you use it and or do you scan every squ ft of the building. If the temp. range is 11-13 degrees and the colours are from dark blue to red hot is it a issue?? Thanx, Chuck. 

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Radon, to test or not.
Charles (Chuck) Crooker (CROOKERHANCOX HOME INSPECTIONS INC.)

We are hearing a lot about Radon here in Ontario, has anyone had this test done in there home? Do you think it is a good idea to have it done and or do you think we have any concerns here in Ontario. We are also seeing a lot of different testing / training, and what is the cost. Should bring in a few debates.

Brantford, ON Real Estate Professionals
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