HOW RECORDING INSPECTIONS COULD HELP YOU September 7, 2021 | Business Tips , Inspection Tips | hiring , training , inspection industry , news By Jon McCreath, NPI, Inc.'s Technical Supervisor & Training Administrator When you think of the professions that utilize video cameras, home inspections might be far down on the list. Emergency services, loggers, and bartenders can be seen wearing cameras to record their shifts. Even cyclists and other motorists have found that cameras are useful, especially for insurance purposes. So, how do they make sense in the home inspection industry? Controlling Risk as Much as Possible There are different forms of risk you have to try and control as an inspector. Scammers , personal injury, and legal action are just a few of the common risks you might come across. Of course you can’t completely erase risk, but taking the right steps greatly lowers it. Making sure that you have the right insurance provider is just one step that goes a long way in protecting you. Now, inspectors are finding that recording inspections is helping in instances where further details are needed. Visuals in Report Writing There’s no doubt that photos in a report are necessary to have . Whether it’s for your own notes or to point out a defect, they give a clearer picture of what’s going on. Maybe you’ve had to reference them in your own experience to settle a dispute with a customer. Plus, they make your report look more complete . Taking as many high-quality photos as you can will get you better reports and help improve your inspection skills. Pairing Video and Photo While the adage “pictures are worth a thousand words” is true, oftentimes they don’t tell the entire story. That’s where videos come in. A still image might not completely contextualize an issue, plus you only get what you remember to capture. A section of leaking pipe could get cut out of frame or be too blurry to discern the details. Having a camera that you leave rolling for the whole inspection will give you a backup. Think of it as another set of eyes-- you’re never fully by yourself on an inspection with a video camera. False Liability Sometimes your report and photo documentation isn’t enough when it comes to a warranty claim. It’s up to you to clear yourself of liability, and it can be a lengthy process. A video of your inspection could speed things up for you. You don’t have to worry about claims that you damaged an item because you can show footage of its condition prior to your inspection. Even allegations of theft are easily disproved with video evidence. Injury to You There are physical dangers you may encounter while on an inspection. A loose shingle gives way, you shock yourself, or the home owner forgets to cage their dog. However it happens, personal injury could leave you out of work and footing a large medical bill. Submitting a report to your insurance provider with video leaves out any doubt of what happened. If it’s the result of a negligent homeowner, your name and reputation remain intact. Training for Future Employees When the day comes to hire your first employee , you essentially want to duplicate yourself. You can easily do that by utilizing your own recorded inspections as training videos! These videos will be helpful notes for employees to use, only short of physically following you on the job. You can edit them into smaller, easier to digest videos and fine-tune your training process. Always Have Help Body cameras of all different styles have found their place with home inspectors. Whether it’s a style that you clip to your shirt or your hat, they’ve proven to be helpful in certain situations. When looking for a camera, check the different features that it provides. A durable model with crisp images, a long recording life, and even night vision capability is best. (Check out this model that our inspectors are using!) Whichever you choose, body cameras can help improve your inspection process and protect you against additional risk. If you’re interested in utilizing body cameras on your inspections, contact Jon McCreath at firstname.lastname@example.org . About the Author Jon McCreath, Technical Supervisor & Training Administrator A former NPI franchise owner and real estate agent, Jon joined the NPI corporate team in 2019. With his inspection expertise and foundation in classroom instruction, Jon teaches and mentors new franchisees during their two-week training course in Omaha. He also handles technical support calls during and after office hours and guides franchisees through the state licensing process.