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Different Ways Home Inspectors Use Home Inspection Software

The emergence of home inspection software gives home inspectors the ability to save time and present a professional, electronic report to their customers. The days of handing a client a report with scribbled, hand-written notes are over. Read below to see some of the ways home inspectors are taking advantage of home inspection software to present a better report.

Software Increases Efficiency

Home inspection software allows a home inspector to complete their inspection in the field while they are inspecting. Many home inspectors take advantage of this feature and choose to use a portable device in the field. These devices include PDA’s, smartphones, and tablets because of their convenience.

The small size of a PDA, smartphone, and even some tablets, allow an inspector to slip the device in a pocket or carry it on their belt when it’s not in use. This makes climbing in attics and on top of roofs less cumbersome. If they choose to add pictures into their report, they can insert the SD card from their camera into their PDA and add them directly into the report. If they are using home inspection software on a smartphone or tablet, they may have the option to use the same device to take pictures and then insert those directly into the report. When the inspection is finished they can print on-site with a wireless printer or they can go back to the office where they can put the final touches on the report and email it off to the client.

Laptops for Inspection Reports

Other home inspectors choose to use a device that is a little less convenient, but is easier on the eyes and provides a larger screen. These devices include laptops and netbooks. Typically when an inspector uses one of these devices for an inspection, they will set it up in one room of the house and then keep returning to insert their data and type up their notes as they inspect sections of the home. For example, they will set their laptop up on the kitchen counter with their inspection software open and ready. This process is less convenient than the one above, but almost gives the inspector a work station where they can fill out their report. When traveling to different rooms or different parts of the house, the inspector may choose to bring their laptop along to change locations or they can leave it in one place. When they are finished with their report they can either print on-site or go back to the office where they can finalize the report before sending it off.

Office Writeups

Some home inspectors prefer not to use home inspection software in the field, but still want to deliver an electronic report to their clients. These inspectors will use a variety of methods to gather their information in the field and then return to the office to insert that data into their inspection software. This method isn’t as efficient as the others, but is still a viable option for inspectors. Some inspectors will use pen and paper to take notes about the property while on-site. They then take those notes back to the office and use those to complete their inspection report.

Cameras and Dictaphones

Other inspectors prefer a more visual approach and will take a lot of pictures with their digital camera. When they get back to the office, they use those photos to put together their report. A third option inspectors will use in the field is a voice recorder. This allows them to make comments about the property and record their findings. Then, like with paper notes, they will go back to the office and use their data to create their report. Home inspectors will use one, or a combination of the above methods to gather their data and then use that to create their report back in the office with home inspection software.

Reasons Why Home Inspection Software Is Better Than Paper

Professional

One of the main areas where technology is making life easier for home inspectors is through the use of home inspection software. Software now allows home inspectors to toss the clipboard and get rid of the paper from their inspections and reporting. This allows an inspector to deliver a more professional report to their clients, and for some, eliminates the tedious process of writing the inspection on paper and then retyping everything back at the office.

Portable

Today software for conducting home inspections allows you to use a handheld, phone, tablet PC, or laptop in the field. This allows the inspector to collect all of the information in the field and eliminates the work that is often done back at the office. This saves home inspectors a great amount of time on each inspection and frees up time to focus on other aspects of the business such as marketing.

Easy to Use

With Home Inspection software loaded on a portable device, home inspectors can put together the entire report while they carry out the home inspection. Software makes it easy to use dropdowns to enter the condition of items, add notes, add pictures, and make recommendations to clients. With a wireless printer an inspector can print a report on-site and hand it directly to the client when finished with the inspection. They can also take the report back to the office, finish adding in photos and final comments, and then turn the report into a PDF. The PDF can easily be emailed to their client. This eliminates all the problems that the client has in trying to read messy handwriting.

Another advantage of using home inspection software is that it is easy to add photos directly into reports. This allows the client to see exactly what the inspector is referring to in their report. Software also gives the inspector the flexibility to customize the way their home inspection reports look. They can easily edit fonts, colors, and the overall look of the report. Inspectors can also customize the templates and forms they use to create new templates that match the way they inspect. Software has the capability of automatically creating summaries of items requiring attention. This makes it very easy for the client to have one place to reference to see all of the key inspection findings. For example, every item that is marked with a Marginal rating would show up in the Marginal Summary.

Everyone Should Use Software

Using home inspection software allows an inspector to stay organized without having to deal with all that paper. All inspections are saved on the computer and can easily be opened at any point in time. Home inspectors can also save a great deal of money over time by not needing to purchase paper forms. Oftentimes, carbon copy forms can cost the inspector anywhere from $8 – $25 a report and this quickly adds up. With software, they will no longer pay per inspection and it will pay for itself.

This article was written by Gerald Herrmann from Corpus Christy Home Inspections.

Questions to ask your Home Inspector

So, we hear that you have found your perfect paradise after searching for almost a couple of months now. As you may already be excited to move in, isn’t it better to exercise some caution?

The last thing that you would want is your roof falling apart or the drains getting clogged right after signing the property papers. This is the reason why the I recommend home inspections as a necessary step before buying a new home.

The experts suggest the owners must get involved and ask as many questions possible, while scheduling the home inspection services.

If you have no clue about what are the different aspects that you should check or ask your home inspector, here’s a list to follow:

Credentials of your home inspector:

The most crucial thing that one must be aware of are the credentials of your home inspector, before undergoing the procedure of a home inspection. The inspector must always bring along their Home Inspector’s License with them, which is the valid proof of their licensing.  He/ she must be a registered member of a trusted association that guides the home inspection services, and checks on the inspectors testing and educational background. The initial questions include; how long have they been inspecting homes? Where did they undertake their training program? Are they working as a full-time home inspector or a part-time inspector?  How many homes do they inspect in a year?

What are the risks to be considered when buying a foreclosed home?

A foreclosed home usually puts the owner in hard times, inviting loads of financial troubles and the lack of enticement in maintaining a house. To avoid such future uncertainties, it is advisable to double-check the plumbing, leaking fixtures and all the older clay pipes are intact in order to clear the obstructions. The banks usually refuse to claim the damages associated with the foreclosed home, negotiating a lower price for such a home and stating that the property is sold “as it is.”

What are the problems to address when it comes to a furnace and A/C?

Best home inspection services check the house properly, point out and read the furnace sticker. They check the condition, the past records and estimate the duration in which the owners call for the services. If the system demands services in a very short duration, the experts suggest replacing it. The lifespan of water-heaters, furnaces and other systems determine the units, efficiency and the time- period within which one has to replace it. This information is available on the sticker of each unit.

Which threats invite home inspections?

There is the number of problems that raise flags for the house owners. One of which is associated with asbestos; ‘’Does the removing of asbestos immediately prevents harm?” ‘’Does leaving it untouched solves the problem?” are the questions that demand immediate answers. In addition, ask your home inspector if there is any evidence of a former oil tank on your house property. If there is one, check whether the oil is contaminating the soil and work to immediately remove it.

This problem of hidden- in- ground oil tanks demand huge expenses, hence it is always advisable to remove it.

How to fix this problem?

When your home inspector notes down the issue, the first question that you must ask are ways to tackle the problem and the expenses one has to incur to fix this. The home inspectors will guide you about the seriousness of the issues and the manner to patch them.

The real estate home inspections involve great expertise, time and money, thus never be afraid to ask about the severity of the issues found by the home inspectors and request them about any specialist referrals that might seem relevant.

It is always wise to clarify your doubts regarding home inspections. By asking the right questions and getting the answers you will know if the property is a good investment.

Get your home inspection done from the expert home inspectors before buying.

This article is from our guest Jessica Jordan from Property Inspect

Cheap Home Inspections?

Anything that costs you your peace of mind is not worth it! Buying a new home is always a big decision in one’s life. Before you budge in for a deal, wouldn’t you want to assure that everything is fine? That is why; a thorough inspection of the property is all that you need. This is where home inspection services come into the limelight.

Home inspection services would help you know the property in and out along with all the information that was hidden from the eye at first glance. As far as the cost of the house inspection is concerned, one needs to look at the bigger picture. Spending a bit today can help save big, tomorrow! How is that? Come, let’s explore why inspection cost is worth it.

Cheap Is Not Always Better

If a home inspection firm is offering you cheap services, they might be new to the business and not have much experience. As a result, they might end up missing important elements during the home inspection. When you’re about to invest a large sum of money, in the same way that you would want a knowledgeable financial advisor you would also want an expert home inspector.

That doesn’t mean that you should move ahead with inspection companies that would dig your pockets down. But before finalizing, do conduct thorough research about the company’s history and the corresponding track record and reviews.

It Is All About Perception

What would you prefer; a financial gaffe when you buy a wrong property or spending some more and getting a home properly inspected? If you would want to make the best property purchase of your life, going with the latter is the obvious choice.

The cost of a property inspections done today can help you save from committing a mistake that could cost you a fortune later. Finding a concern afterward is much worse than getting to know the ins and outs of a property beforehand.

Cheap Means Compromise

Generally, a house inspection consists of the physical inspection and a follow-up report. The report is a documentation of about 4-50 pages that embraces each and every detail of the property. From the property’s neighborhood to its maintenance costs; everything would be mentioned in the report.

When such perfection is what you seek for, spending a bit more should not be given a second thought. A valuable and an experienced home inspector would guide you right no matter what. They would not want you to invest in anything that is not worth it. Thus choosing the reliable ones should never be a thing of concern!

Liable To Increase The Maintenance Costs

Why would you go for anything that leads to penny pinching later when investment costs are even higher? If you finalize a inspection option without properly vetting the home inspector, there is a chance that it would be an inadequate analysis. So taking your time when choosing a home inspector could save you a lot of headaches.

There is no need to cry over the spilled milk, rather than hire a fool-proof inspection firm, even if the cost might be a bit price. Spending today could definitely lead to a peaceful tomorrow!

Wrapping Up

Now this doesn’t mean that all low priced inspection firms are lacking in quality. Low costs could be due to a number of factors. For example, it could be that this firm has lower operating costs and so can offer a lower price in return. A low price is also commonly used as a marketing tactic to attract customers. This is one of the tactics that is popular with new entrants to the market. Even though a new entrant might not have as much experience as a firm that has been operating for years, it is important to also note that all home inspectors have to meet a standard to obtain their licences. That being said, do conduct thorough research on that company especially if they do not have many reviews about them.

On the other hand, if a home inspection company is relatively higher priced, it probably means that they have a lot of business. From this you can assume that they do a good job and that is the reason for the amount of business they receive and the high price tag.

This article was contributed by Mark Ashley from Careful Home Inspections

Top Reasons To Market Your Home Inspection Business Online

I have been receiving emails from readers of Your Edmonton Home Inspections and one of the main questions I get from home inspectors is “how can I grow my business?” So I’m going to develop a small series to help explain different marketing approaches you can take and the pros and cons of each one.

But first let’s quickly go over the methods I’ve previously discussed as a quick refresher. If you are a regular reader of our blog, you’d know that we highly recommend online marketing. For good reason we think that online marketing is one of the best ways to spend your marketing dollars no matter what industry your in.

Online marketing provides a few key advantages over its offline counterparts. Notably, you can target highly specific audiences, gather data, test ads, measure your performance, and more all at a low cost.

Target your Audience

Unlike traditional advertising, online marketing provides a lot of flexibility and customization. You can apply a variety of different filters in your ads that will make sure you are targeting the right audience. This is very important so that you don’t end up wasting money sending your ads to people who aren’t likely to buy your services. Advertising methods like Adwords, Facebook Ads, and lead generation are great options. With Adwords and Facebook Ads there are endless ways to customize your audience profile. On top of the customization, Facebook also has pixel. You can try using pixel to find the people most similar to your existing clients and check your conversion.

On the other hand, if you use lead generation you’ll only have to pay once you actually receive a lead.  This is one of the most effective and affordable ways of getting new clients for any business.

Gather Data and Measure Performance

The beauty of advertising your home inspection business online, whether you’re in Edmonton or anywhere else, is that all the data is collected and can be analyzed. You can get a clear picture of how many people saw your ad, how many interacted with it. How many people left your page immediately, how many dropped off at each stage of the sales funnel and much more.

By analyzing all this data you are receiving you can look at ways to make improvements. By trying to optimize your ads by changing the text, colour, or picture you can see an increase in conversion or sales. Online marketing allows you to quickly test your different ads and use the best one. You can even use tools like Hotjar that would show you how people are interacting with your website. This might not be necessary for a home inspection business but if it helps increase your conversion then why not!

Online not for you?

Think that advertising online is too complicated for you? Do you prefer to stick with using the old flyer and branded car approach to advertising? Not technologically comfortable enough with online advertising? Not sure where to begin? Contact us at Your Edmonton Home Inspections and we’ll start by giving you a free unconditional consultation. Still have questions? Just shoot us an email or schedule a call and we’ll be happy to help.

Now that we had a quick refresher about online marketing and it’s benefits we can start getting into some more detailed methods. In the next little while we’ll be posting different tools that you can use to grow your business online. We’ll explain how to use them, what the costs are if any, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Thanks again for using Your Edmonton Home Inspections as a resource for your business.

We look forward to continue providing all of you with valuable guidance.

Your Edmonton Home Inspections Team

 

 

Top 5 Common Problems Found During Home Inspections

Purchasing a home is a serious business. Whether a newly built estate or an old one, home inspections are an important aspect of buying a real estate. Not all the buyers consider inspections before they finalize the loan, but without a home inspection this deal may end up with the property that has a host of pricey problems. And, a qualified home inspector is always your best bet for a thorough home evaluation.

When you are aware of the potential issues in advance, you have the opportunity to fix the problems before you buy the home.

In a new construction home inspection, the inspector will probably find problems like plumbing, electrical issues, or exterior of the house. It’s easy to get attached to a home, even before you buy it, but not knowing about potential issues is always worse than knowing.

Here are 5 common problems found during home inspections.


Lack of current building standards

Everyone wants to make a perfect home for their families. When you shift to a new house, there are probable chances that you want to make some changes in it according to your desire. These changes may include flooring, ceiling, new paint, or maybe you want to increase the number of outlets in every room or increase some outer areas.

The older homes don’t necessarily meet the current building codes and home inspectors may discover a number of minor or major problems during home inspections. These problems need to be fixed before putting up the house for sale. Therefore, it is necessary to hire a home inspector to keep a check on the changes you’re making and ensure that you are obeying the current standards.

Electrical wiring

The older the house is, the more likely there will be electrical problems. During home inspections, it is found that many electrical panels are unsafe to use. The consequences of the faulty electrical panel are quite severe, so, it is worth to check them before shifting.

In this modern era, consumers are big fans of electronics and this will increase the demand for electrical components. New homes may have loopholes in wiring that may not be able to keep up and could be dangerous for you and your family. A home inspection may discover such issues and call for fixes or an additional inspection by an electrician.

Foundation problems

Nobody wants to hear the word foundation issues during home inspections. It is the base of the house and if any foundation issue occurs, then it can be a big deal and can be very expensive too. Due to the weight of the house, most structures have hairline cracks somewhere in the ground. Many of the cracks are not a big deal, but others can show serious problems. If the home inspector has any doubt regarding the cracks that have occurred then you should consult a foundation engineer who will provide the solution for the respective problem.

Poor drainage

In some houses, the soil around the surroundings isn’t properly sloped away from the foundation. As a result, this leads to a water pool around the house and makes it flow back towards the house and ceases the drainage around the property.

Ideally, the water should run away from your home. But due to poor drainage, water starts accumulating around the foundation. This results in issues like leakage, moisture, mold, or rot.

Exterior maintenance

Along with the interiors of the house, the exterior is also important. So, home inspections should include the exterior of a home in addition to the interior. Due to home inspections, you can find any issues related to the roof or exterior walls of the home. These issues may include missing shingles, rotten pieces, or little to no ventilation. It is beneficial to have a proper check on it before shifting into the house. Proper or improper ventilation can greatly affect the lifespan of a home’s roof.

 

The Takeaway

A home inspection can uncover the potential issues with a home. There are many that are minor, but some of them are a big deal. And in both, it is always better to know and plan accordingly than not know and be surprised. That is why we suggest that you execute an independent home inspection for any future home purchase. These above-mentioned issues are very common home inspection findings. Different home inspectors could provide you with different reports according to their knowledge and experience.

So, make a wise decision while choosing a home inspector for your new home inspection.

Infinite Energy Solutions

Edmonton Mold Inspection

The Big Deal with Mold Inspection

Before you buy a home, getting a home inspection is one of the most important things you can do. The second most important thing is to get a mold inspection. Both inspections will ensure that the investment you make in your potential home is safe and sound. However, a home and mold inspections are quite different from each other. They require their own tools and different qualifications to perform them. Even with these differences, a lot of home inspection businesses in Edmonton offer mold inspections for residential and commercial properties. Now before getting a mold inspection, let’s look at what it is and why it’s needed in the first place.

 

What is a Mold Inspection?

Mold inspection is when a qualified mold inspector looks for any mold growth in a building. These qualified individuals will look for mold in the building, within walls, and any place that can cause severe damage to the building (such as wood decay).

What causes mold to grow?

The leading cause of mold growth is moisture. The moisture can come from water problems like a recurring leak or humidity. Whenever mold is found, it is most likely due to a moisture source. If the source of the moisture cannot be found, then the mold will keep coming back.

Should I include a mold inspection with my home inspection?

Getting a mold inspection is important because mold growth can affect your health and quality of life at home.

When the mold is present and continues to grow, it can cause a variety of allergic reactions. This includes a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, headaches, watery eyes, itchy skins/rashes, dizziness/fatigue, nausea, sensitivity to indoors, difficulty concentrating. In addition to all these allergic reactions, mold produces a foul odor in the home.

These all create difficulties in living in your home. To prevent these difficulties from occurring, you need to hire a mold inspector.

Mold affects much more than just the home

Mold doesn’t only affect your home’s comfortability. Due to all the allergic reactions from the mold growth, you and your family could fall ill more often. In addition, the foul odor in the air could cause distractions and may result in issues like lower grades for your children. Also, you and your children might not get a full rest due to the discomfort of being home. All these issues are just the tip of the iceberg. Mold growth can affect a healthy family in so many ways.

The people that must be the most cautious of mold growth are infants, children, elderly, immune-comprised individuals, pregnant women, and people with respiratory problems. Each of those listed is vulnerable to the health effects of mold. Therefore, they must take extra precautions in ensuring that there is no mold growth in their living and working spaces.

Having a mold inspection is necessary for every homeowner. You can prevent a lot of headache for yourself and family. Anybody who lived with mold in their homes can attest that it is not a pleasant experience. So before buying a home, it is wise to hire a mold inspector. Make sure they inform you that there are no sources of moisture to allow mold growth in the home. As well as, ensuring that there is no pre-existing mold or moisture problem in the building.

By taking the time to have a mold inspection done on your home, you are protecting your home value and help ensure that it won’t be a tough sell. As well as ensuring a high quality of life for your family. 

Edmonton home inspector companies that offer mold inspection:

In Edmonton, there are many home inspectors that offer mold inspection. However, they do not include mold inspection as part of a home inspection since the tools and inspectors needed for a mold inspection are different from a normal home inspection. However, home inspectors can notify you if they find any mold, but that is as far as they go.

What to look for in a mold inspector

Make sure the potential mold inspector has IAC2 Mold certification. This ensures that are properly trained to detect mold in your home. In addition to this, try to find a mold inspector that is experienced and has positive google reviews. If you do your due diligence, then you will find a great mold inspector who will make the process simple for you.

Popular home inspectors that offer mold inspection in Edmonton:

Admirable Inspection Services. They offer $300 for the first mold inspection on residential properties and $450 for first mold inspection on commercial properties. Consult with them for more details for secondary mold inspections.

Other popular choices are Top Quality Inspections Inc. JBR Inspection, InspecUs, Trinuck properties Inc. All provide mold inspections in addition to home inspections. But you must call each of these home inspectors to get a rate or a quote.

 

Introducing the Edmonton Inspector Badge

The Edmonton Inspector Badge is a project that we have been tirelessly working on. The aim is to help people looking for a home inspector to know that a home inspection company with the Edmonton Inspector Badge is a company that gives back to the community and has high quality service. Community and Service, that is the focus of our badge.

Edmonton Inspector Badge Review Process

One without the other is not enough, you can have service and not give back or give back but have a bad service. Both of these situations would lead to not obtaining the Edmonton Inspector Badge. We have a thorough review process that helps us identify companies that meet these criteria. Our review process includes analyzing the online presence and reputation of a company, and checking the experiences of past customers. In addition, we need to see ways that these companies give back to the community. There is a set of criteria that should be met so the review process is completely objective. Any home inspection company will be evaluated solely based on it’s merits.

Get the Advantage

To a home inspector this means that they can get more clients and continue to give back to the community. In addition, it always feels good to give back to your community. Clients will also feel better knowing that their dollar will go back into the city of Edmonton. We don’t charge any fees  for the Edmonton Inspector Badge, and to add to that, any home inspection company in Edmonton can apply to it by sending an email to youredmontonhomeinspections@gmail.com.

Requirements

In the email, make sure you include the following:

1- Name of Your Home Inspection Company in Edmonton

2-Website of Your Home Inspection Company in Edmonton

3-Years of Operation in Edmonton

4-Ways your company gives back to the community

 

For the final point try being as detailed as possible and try listing multiple examples. Examples might include:

Sponsoring individuals, teams, or organizations

Charity Donations

Profit Splitting

Mentoring and providing guidance free of charge

If your company gives back in a different way, make sure you detail that method and  explain why that should be considered as giving back to the community.

Take action today and send us an email at youredmontonhomeinspections@gmail.com with your application information and get listed in our Edmonton Inspector Badge Directory.

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Your Edmonton Home Inspections Team

 

Top Tips after Buying a House in Edmonton

There are some good things you can do to make sure that your house remains in good condition. By taking these small steps you help ensure that your house is well maintained. Since you’re already paying an arm and a leg to buy your house, make sure it’s well maintained and protect your investment. A well maintained house will have better resale value, less costs for fixes, and be safer to live in.

 

Must Have Safety Features

One of the first things you should do when you buy any new property is check the smoke detectors. By having good working smoke detectors you’re helping manage the risk of a fire breaking out and damaging your home. Check all the batteries on the smoke detectors and change them as necessary. Also, make sure that there are enough smoke detectors scattered around the house. You should always have one covering the kitchen area, this is necessary.

 

In addition to smoke detectors, you need to have a carbon monoxide detector. Having a carbon monoxide detector will help make sure that dangerous carbon monoxide gases do not harm your family members. Carbon monoxide is very dangerous, especially in enclosed spaces like a basement. It can lead to death in many cases and since this is the case it should be taken extremely seriously.

 

Home Safety Tests

Now that you’ve got the detectors in place you also need to run some tests. Doing these tests will help ensure that the house is safe and well maintained. The first test you need to do is a radon test, radon is an odorless and colorless gas that can lead to health issues. If you want to learn more about radon visit our previous post here. High radon levels can cause serious health problems so make sure you either have it inspected by a professional or use a do-it-yourself kit.

Adding to the Radon test you should also have a mold inspection. Many home inspection companies in Edmonton offer both radon and mold inspection services and if they don’t they can always refer you. Mold can also cause health issues some of which is very serious. Mold can be hard to detect since it could be out of sight within walls. In many cases if it is out of sight you would only notice it by smell, at which point you already have a big mold problem. Since that is the case it is always a good idea to have a mold inspection and have the peace of mind.

Now that you’ve done the radon and mold tests you want to also make sure that the health of the house is in good shape. An important issue to look out for is termites. Termites can also be hard to detect and they can lead to some very serious problems. If termites eat away at the structure of the house the entire house is jeapordized. The structure of the house is a core part that if compromised can be a big problem. The value of a house can drop significantly since structural problems are usually expensive fixes. Some structural problems even lead the house into being uninhabitable. In short, termites are a serious problem and should be dealt with swiftly.

Good Habits Happy Wallets

A few good habits will help you a long way. Things like making sure that you shut off the water when leaving the house for a few days or more. This will help make sure you don’t have any awful surprises when you return. We’ve all had a friend, neighbor, coworker, or family member who got back home and found the water flooded. In fact we probably know more than one, shutting off the water will make sure you won’t get flooded. A simple trick like this could end up saving you thousands of dollars and giving you peace of mind.

Energy Savings

There are many ways of saving on energy costs in Edmonton. These include the bulbs you use, your energy sources, and many other ways. There are companies that will do an energy audit for you and show you actionable ways you can optimize your energy savings. In addition to helping your wallet, by having an energy optimized house you’ll also be helping the environment.

Temperature Monitoring

Another area you should be checking is the furnace and AC. In a city like Edmonton where the temperature goes down to -40 degrees Celsius it is extremely important to have a well heated house. Check that your furnace is running properly and do any repairs as necessary or else you could have a very tough time. In addition to the furnace, temperatures in Edmonton can get quite hot in the summer. You don’t have to have an AC but if you do it will make your life a lot easier. If you do run some tests and make sure that it is working.

Final Touches

Check to see if the windows are properly sealed and that it won’t get cold because of any cracks. If you do find any tracks cover them. Also, check the pipes by turning on all the faucets, flushing every toilet, and running all the showers. Plugged pipes can be a big annoyance, fortunately there are plenty of companies in Edmonton that offer their services to this problem.

What is Radon and Do you need an Inspection?

Radon is a radioactive gas that is invisible and odorless allowing it to seep into your home undetected. It comes from the breakdown of uranium in the ground and depending on where you live you might be at a higher risk. No matter where your house is located radon can build up in the confined space of your house and become a serious health risk. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer so we highly recommend having it inspected on a regular basis. The Radon level will fluctuate depending on how well your home in ventilated and how many cracks you have.

Entry Points

Radon can enter your house through any point where your house is in contact with the ground and there is a small crack. This includes floor drains, joints, gaps around pipes, window casements and any other cracks.

Health & Safety

As long as radon is at an acceptable level then there shouldn’t be any health issues. If the radon level gets too high and if you are exposed to it for enough time then there is a cause for concern. The concern multiplies if you or any of your family members are smokers since the combination of radon and smoking leads to 1 out of 3 smokers having lung cancer.

Radon Inspections

The only way to know if you have high levels is to test your home. It is simple and inexpensive. You have two options for testing:

  • Have a professional inspector conduct an inspection. (recommended)
  • Buy a testing kit and do it yourself. Testing kits cost between $30 and $60 and can be purchased from some hardware stores or online. Test kits include a radon detector that you simply place in your home. The detector after some time (3 months is recommended) has been sufficiently exposed to the fluctuating levels in your home. After the recommended 3 months you can send it to a lab for analysis. The best time to have a test is between September and April since your windows are mostly closed during our winter time.

Reducing the Radon Levels

The level in your home should be less than the Canadian guideline of 200 becquerels/metre³. If the level is higher then it needs to be reduced, the higher it is the sooner you should act.

Sub-Slab Depressurization

Sub-Slab Depressurization is one method you can use to reduce the radon level in your home. A professional will install a pipe through your foundation floor. The pipe will have a small fan attached that will blow the radon to the outside before it enters your home. Sub-Slab Depressurization can reduce the level by about 90%.

Ventilation and Sealing

The levels are related to how well your house is ventilated and how many cracks there are in your house. By increasing the ventilation and/or sealing the cracks in the ground the radon levels will reduce accordingly. This method is not as effective as the Sub-Slab Depressurization method mentioned above.

Do I need an inspection for a Condo?

If your condo is not on the ground floor then it is highly likely that you are safe and don’t need an inspection.

What now?

Clearly having your home inspected is of utmost importance. The risks of having high levels can be very serious and need to be addressed immediately.  In addition to Radon make sure you also get thermal imaging with your inspection. Get peace of mind and book an inspection today.

If you have any questions or need any clarifications get intouch with us today at youredmontonhomeinspections@gmail.com

The Your Edmonton Home Inspections Team

Target the Right Audience

When you’re developing a marketing strategy for your small business keep the ROI in mind. ROI stands for return on investment, for advertising purposes it measures the return on your ad spend. Small businesses have a smaller budget and need to be careful of how they spend their marketing dollars.  Targeting the right audience is critical in making the most of your ad spend.

Traditionally, small businesses marketing strategies follow a pattern. Many small businesses make use of flyers, branded cars, newspaper ads, and street signs. When I say small business imagine your local plumber or home inspector. These traditional methods throw out a message to the masses without any refined targeting. Usually, the small business owner will realize that the return on investment using the traditional method ends up being low. I always talk about the “Temperature Theory of Marketing”, for those of you who don’t know what that is let me explain.

Introduction to the “Temperature Theory of Marketing”

The “Temperature Theory of Marketing” talks about the market you are serving and the customer profile of that market. Just imagine a triangle representing the market you are operating in. We’ll Edmonton is the example I’ll be using since that is where I am located.

At the very top of the triangle, there is only a small percentage of the market. These are the people actively looking for your services. These people cost the least to convert into paying customers and they also are your most valuable customers. As we go down the triangle there are more and more people.  The more we go down the more it will cost you to convert them, and the less valuable the people are.

Focus Your Efforts

If you send out flyers to a neighborhood or drives his branded car around the city what is happening? The message is simply being blasted to many people. Most of these people have no interest in the service being offered. By focusing on the right customers you increase your ROI. When you spend less to get a customer you drive your costs down. If you are targeting the right people you will also convert more customers. So as a result of targeting, you are both decreasing costs and increasing revenue.

Targeting “Hot Customers”

Fortunately, a small business owner can do just that. The key is that these people are actively looking for your service. So where do people looking for your service usually go? Let’s examine 3 ways to do this.

Google Adwords

One way of getting in front of the right set of eyes is to use Google Adwords. The way Google Adwords basically works is that you bid on a few keywords.

Example:

If I am a home inspector in Edmonton I would probably bid on keywords like “home inspection Edmonton” and “home inspection companies in Edmonton”.  What happens is that every time someone searches a phrase that contains these keywords, if I’m bidding enough then my website will show at the top of the search results.

I only pay when someone clicks on my link and not simply see my link. This means that everyone who clicks on my link is searching for my service. These are all “hot customers” customers at the top of the triangle. I can also use negative keywords to make sure my website doesn’t pop up for certain search terms. For example, “how much do home inspectors make per year?” would be a negative keyword. People looking to become home inspectors are not looking for a home inspection.

Classifieds Ads

Google Adwords is a great way to target the right audience, for those that find Adwords overwhelming there is a much simpler way too. You can simply post your ads on classified websites like Kijiji. Many people who see your ads and respond to it are usually looking for your service too. Another benefit of posting your ads on a classifieds site is that most sites let you do it for free.

Lead Generation

The third option of marketing your business is through the use of lead generation sites. The way this works is a site reaches the first page of Google and puts a small quote request form on the landing page.  When a potential customer visits the site and puts in a request for a quote you will receive an email. The email can include things like the size of the property, property type, phone number, and address. Unlike Adwords where you pay every time someone simply visits your site and doesn’t necessarily put in a quote request, in lead generation you either pay a fixed amount per lead or per month. On top of that, you can immediately call up that lead and turn them into a client.

Benefits of Lead Generation

Lead generation is a nice way to develop a flow of customers to your business. It works while you sleep 24/7. Depending on what your services are you could be paying anywhere between a few dollars to over $100 in some cases. This all depends on what your customer lifetime value is, and the quality of your leads. As you can imagine a mortgage broker business would end up paying a lot more per lead than a plumber would. The reason being is that 1 client for a mortgage broker is worth thousands of dollars. A client for a plumber, on the other hand, could only be worth hundreds.

When you are looking for a lead generation website to partner with know the difference between exclusive and non-exclusive leads. Exclusive leads mean the website is only sending you the leads and naturally there is a premium you’d have to pay. When a website sends out non-exclusive leads, that means the customer is going to get phone calls from many different companies. With non-exclusive leads, you end up competing with different companies over the lead and naturally you pay less for this kind of lead.

Measuring ROI

So how do you measure ROI and why should you care? After I first graduated I went and worked at a new startup, while I was there we tried every marketing channel you can think of. We tried radio, flyers, door-to-door, and a lot more. Let me give you a few examples: if you spend $2,000 on printing and distributing flyers and in return, you ended up getting only 1 client that pays you $200 then your ROI is ($200/$2,000) * 100 = 10% (which is what happened when we tried radio and flyers). Remember that these methods target the masses so the conversion rate will be lower.

If on the other hand, you subscribe to an exclusive lead generation website you end up paying only when you receive a lead. If you are paying $10 per lead and you receive 100 leads you end up paying $1,000. Since these are “hot leads” you will convert more than you would convert from the flyers. If you convert 25% of those leads and on average each customer pays you $200 that means that: (25% * 100) = 25 customers. 25 customers * $200 per customer means that you make $5,000. The ROI in this case will be ($5,000/$1,000) * 100 = 500%.

In the first case you effectively paid $2,000 for 1 customer, this was your customer acquisition cost (CAC). In the second case, you are paying $10 per lead and 25% conversion rate. Which means that out of every 4 leads you get 1 customer so the customer acquisition cost is $10*4 = $40 per customer.

From the example above you can clearly see that targeting the “Hot Customers” has a much bigger payoff than blasting a message out to everyone. It’s this kind of marketing that will enable you to grow your business even if you’re on a budget. Get more customers for your home inspection business using exclusive leads services. It will only be  a short while before you start flourishing in Edmonton.

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