Do Women Make Good Home Inspectors? Insights From Females in the


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Melisa Rana
Melisa Rana


Do Women Make Good Home Inspectors? Insights From Females in the Industry

 April 9, 2024 |  Inspection Tips |  inspection industry, motivation, client satisfaction, hiring, training, networking

March is International Women’s Month, and we’re taking a moment to celebrate a few of our amazing female inspectors who are helping transform the industry. We had a chance to ask them all about their experience, from what it’s like to work in a male-dominated field to what they love most about completing inspections and helping clients. Get to know Savannah Guenther, Ashley Brown, and Susan D’Andrea, and be sure to give them a shoutout if you see them around.

Thank you for sharing, ladies - keep up the brilliant work!

  • Savannah Guenther, Inspector of Dave Faber, NPI Northwest Arkansas, Inspecting Since 2022
  • Ashley Brown, Inspector of Jason Baker, NPI Waco & Round Rock, Inspecting Since 2022
  • Susan D’Andrea, Owner & Inspector, Carson Dunlop D’Andrea Team, Inspecting Since 2018

Q: As a female inspector, what are some unique benefits or challenges that you face in our industry? How do you overcome them?
Savannah: I would say that one unique benefit is being able to help female REALTORs who may be working an open house or event by themselves feel more comfortable. Women feel a bit more at ease with another woman one-on-one than they might with a man they may not know very well. I’ve found that we can have an easy conversation; they’re inclined to share more about their work and background, and they’re more open to listening to what I have to say.

The challenges of working as a female in a male-dominated industry are probably not surprising. Some clients (particularly male clients) are skeptical about you being their inspector, challenge your assessments, and constantly question your knowledge. You have to work harder to impress them and earn their trust. Once I start walking this type of client through their report and answer a couple of their questions, they’re usually very impressed, however, that trust doesn’t always come easily.

I think it’s so important never to question your knowledge and never allow anyone to make you second-guess yourself. You’re a professional, and you worked hard to become an inspector, and you take that seriously. One great thing about this job (that I’m sure we can all agree about) is that you learn something new on every inspection. Stay humble, keep an open mind, and most people will surprise you.

Ashley: I think many people assume that women don’t have any interest in homes, outside of decorating and general upkeep. Supporting that assumption, there are not very many women currently in the construction industry and/or trades. Despite that fact, I find that while people are sometimes surprised to see a female inspector, typically they’re excited about it! Many women have incredible attention to detail (is it cliche to say that “we’re good at finding problems”?).

Women also tend to be more relationship-oriented, making us excellent communicators and more attuned to our clients' needs and concerns. I find that when a client is showing doubt in my competence, I can usually earn their trust through thorough communication. And, of course, by doing my job well!

Susan: In our industry, the biggest challenge I've encountered has been gender biases and stereotypes. There were doubts about my ability to conduct inspections solely because of my gender. I've overcome this challenge through relentless determination and commitment to continuous training and education. By prioritizing excellence in my work, I've effectively overcome these biases. My self-confidence enables me to assert authority in my assessments and recommendations, regardless of any preconceived notions based on gender.

Another challenge I have encountered is the height and strength needed at times. I have overcome height limitations by using a GoPro on an extension pole connected to a tablet or phone that allows me to see much more than the tallest of inspectors, and I do upper-body strengthening exercises that allow me to lift myself up into attic spaces, etc. A benefit I’ve found that may be an advantage over men in the industry is flexibility. Even at the age of 50+, I’m much more flexible, fitting into confined spaces and moving throughout them.

Q: What do you love most about the inspection industry?
Savannah: Helping people!! That will always be my first answer to this question. I love being able to help families by giving them peace of mind about their new home, making sure they feel comfortable investing in one of the biggest purchases of their life.

My job is extremely fun, and I love what I do. There’s such a big variety when it comes to houses, and you never know what you’re going to see. You get a lot of great stories.

Ashley: Our homes are where so much of our lives take place. Buying a home is an incredibly important decision with many factors that need to be considered, yet most buyers only get to spend about 30-45 minutes in a home before deciding if it's going to be right for them. I love being able to come in at that point and “learn” the home for them. Being able to empower my clients to make informed decisions regarding their purchase and helping them to better understand how the home will function is extremely rewarding for me.

Susan: I've found the greatest satisfaction in helping individuals understand how their home systems operate and offering advice on maintenance practices, which ultimately extends the longevity and safety of their home or investment.

Q: What was your previous career, and what brought you to the inspection industry?
Savannah: I always attribute my career and success to simply an act of faith. Five years ago, if you showed me where I would be today, I wouldn’t believe it.

Like most of northwest Arkansas, I started my professional career at Walmart. I worked at the store level, then moved into various roles at the corporate headquarters before managing my own store. I think my history prior to my time at Walmart matches better with where I ended up in inspection.

I come from a big family, and I grew up on a farm, always playing outside, working, and helping my dad fix things around the house. We would fix roofs, repair cars, work on remodeling projects, take care of the chickens, and do other outdoor chores. I loved my childhood and have so many great memories. Today I love restoring old furniture, woodworking, and DIY projects. Instead of hiring someone for a job, I’ve always just figured it out. My wife has been amazing, helping me master the craft and boosting my confidence by saying, “That doesn’t look that hard…you can do it!”

Ashley: I was introduced to the real estate industry at a very early age through my father, who designs custom homes. My very first job was copying blueprints at his office! As I grew, I found that not only did I have an eye for detail, but I also had a knack for building and creating. Fast forward to adulthood, and I decided to follow that passion by creating my own carpentry business, specializing in custom trim carpentry, custom furniture, and artwork. Couple those skills, knowledge, and experience with the fact that I have also personally been a very hands-on homeowner for nearly 20 years, and Home Inspection was an obvious career choice for me.

Susan: I’ve always had an interest in houses, starting when my father built our home when I was about 11 years old. He would walk around each night inspecting what the different tradespeople had done that day and explained the materials and their functions to me and my sister. I cherish those memories and the pride we shared in our new home. It is still built beyond its years in the materials that were used and will outlast us all.

In my twenties, I became a bookkeeper for a log home manufacturing company. My role expanded from bookkeeping into the milling and assembly processes of custom-built log and timber-framed houses. This wasn't an easy transition. I often asked to learn about the process, and my boss had a strong mindset that women were not meant for such work. After several months of reminding him that I was willing to jump in if he ever needed me, he found himself quite shorthanded and finally gave me the opportunity. He was amazed at my work ethic and said that he took back everything he had previously said, as I was the only one he ever met who was able to keep pace with him. I was on a crew building log homes nationally for several years.

With my father’s passion for our custom-built home and my experience building log homes, becoming a home inspector seemed like the only logical next step. Transitioning into the role of a home inspector feels like a natural progression, weaving together my early experiences with my ongoing journey in the housing industry.

Q: Would you recommend the inspection industry as a good career choice for other women?
Savannah: For the right type of person, yes, I would! Would the inspection industry be great for all women? Probably not. Inspection is like any other job where there are things about it that make it fun and other parts that people tend to gasp at when I tell them what I do. When I talk to others about my career, I often get the typical, “I couldn’t get down inside crawl spaces. EW!” or “No way would I ever get up on that roof - you’re crazy!” But those two aspects of the job are such a small part of the inspection.

Having knowledge of everything that makes a home function properly is so cool, and I would recommend inspection to any woman who is into learning how things work. Someone who has a background in carpentry, mechanics, plumbing, electrical, contracting, and other such professions can excel in this industry. Women have a great eye for detail, and they often have above average emotional intelligence, allowing them to pick up on when clients are getting stressed or scared during the final walkthrough. I firmly believe that communication skills are make-or-break in this industry!

Ashley: Absolutely. I’ve been told countless times by other women, "I'd love to do carpentry/home inspection/etc. but I could never, I don't know how." Yes, you can!! Women can learn to do literally anything. We also have a unique skill set that is greatly needed in this industry. Having your home inspected doesn’t have to be scary. Inspecting homes utilizes so many traits that women innately possess.

Susan: Yes, I would recommend the inspection industry as a good career choice for other women. Always follow your passion!

Q: In your opinion, what traits make for a good home inspector?
Savannah: Communication is key! Being a home inspector, you’re constantly answering calls and texts, meeting clients, talking to REALTORs, marketing, advertising, answering questions, and more. Being able to handle difficult news in a calming, non-alarming way is a crucial skill that comes with practice and experience.

Being detail-oriented is also important, not just while inspecting, but while keeping paperwork and supplies organized.

Patience is another important trait to have, as well as the ability to slow down and look at things from multiple angles. It can be very easy to miss something important if you’re rushing.

Finally, confidence and bravery are essential in inspection. It might sound cheesy, but it’s important to be confident in your work and keep an open mind for learning. Bravery comes in when you’re crawling around in 130-degree attics, climbing on roofs right before a rainstorm, belly-crawling through those tight crawlspaces with nothing but a flashlight and camera, and most importantly, when “the Dad” shows up to the inspection with a tape measure on his hip and a pencil behind his ear. You got this!

Ashley: Must love sweating nine months out of the year! Those attics get HOT in Texas, y’all! In all seriousness though, outside of the obvious knowledge of home systems and interpersonal skills that are required, I think flexibility is key. This is not your typical 9-5. Inspectors spend a lot of time in their vehicles, and inspection locations are new each day. But even more critical than flexibility, is trustworthiness. Not only are we in people’s very personal spaces day in and day out, these same people are entrusting us to find potential life-threatening issues hidden within their homes. This is a responsibility not to be taken lightly.

Susan: I believe the most valuable traits for a good home inspector are curiosity, a commitment to lifelong learning, impartiality, integrity, and a dedication to safety.

Thanks again for taking the time to speak with us!

If you’re a female inspector interested in taking the next step in your career, speak with our recruitment team about the support you receive from an NPI franchise! Request your free info packet for more details.

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