MITIGATING RISK AS A HOME INSPECTOR April 27, 2021 | Business Tips , Franchise , Inspection Tips | client satisfaction , inspection industry , small business , entrepreneur By Bill Erickson, NPI, Inc.'s Executive Vice President Taking steps to limit your liability as a home inspector is as important as your marketing plan or report-writing process. You don’t want to leave a customer unhappy, especially to the point where they seek legal action against you. While you can’t erase your risk completely, there are ways that you can significantly lower it: Constantly Communicate From the time the inspection is scheduled to the report review, keeping your clients in the loop is an easy way to manage risk. Having a record of each interaction involving the inspection will come in handy in case you need to refer back . Prior to your arrival, send the client or homeowner a list of what they need to do to ensure a complete and uninterrupted inspection. Most people might assume that you’ll be moving items to access parts of the house (a major no-go in terms of liability), and may not realize an inspection is all visual. After, take the time to explain your findings to the customer so they aren’t left guessing. Relaying information before, during, and after the inspection is sure to clear any confusion about the process and your findings, making for a smoother transaction. Stay On Top of Renewals Another simple thing you can do to manage your chance of risk is to always be sure your certifications are up to date. Check the renewal timeframe on your insurance, licenses, professional memberships, and any other documents that are required for your business. This way you won’t be surprised when the time comes to re-enroll. Not to mention if something ever gets called into question, having active licenses will keep you from major legal trouble. Make Duplicates Any number of events can happen that cause you to lose a document. Your computer crashes or a paper gets misplaced, and suddenly you’re left panicking to try and recover lost items. Remember to always save and back up your important documents to protect yourself from losing them. Store your papers in one place so that they’re easy to find, and be sure to accurately label and date the files. Take Good Notes Your report is everything to a client, and you need to ensure that you’re turning in your best work. A mislabeled component or unclear description could lead to an unhappy client. Writing a quality inspection report not only helps buyers understand the purchase they're making, it also protects you legally. Take good photos , clearly identify parts, and check that the client and agent understand your final report. You’ll be leaving with confident, happy customers that are sure to recommend your business. Protect Your Health As a home inspector, there can also be physical risks to watch out for. Climbing ladders and walking along roofs are hazardous situations if you don’t take the right precautions. Always be sure that you have the right tools for the job. Don’t take unnecessary risks by either using the wrong tool or no tool at all, putting yourself in harm’s way. If you find it harder to get up on a building or into a tight space, it may be worth it to look into a drone. You’ll still be able to deliver a quality inspection for your clients and stay safe. For more information on how to become an NPI franchise owner and home inspector, reach out to our home office at 800-333-9807. About the Author Bill Erickson, Executive Vice President With more than 30 years of experience in marketing and sales management, Bill has created many of the NPI diversified marketing programs. On a daily basis, Bill handles customer relations and provides marketing training and support to franchisees. Outside of NPI, Bill and his wife, Julie, enjoy entertaining friends and family at their 1890’s Victorian Queen Anne home where there always seems to be another renovation project underway.