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.
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
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.
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 Christi Home Inspections.