February 14, 2015 in Inspection Business, Report Writing

What Your Clients Really Want in a Home Inspection Report – Part Two

What do your clients really want in their home inspection reports? In Part One, we started out by looking at the value of being short, concise, and explaining why things are important. We also highlighted the value of using home inspection software to write professional reports quickly and efficiently.

Let’s continue and see what else our clients said.

44% Say Codes and Legends Are Good

Less than half of clients want to be redirected to another page to understand the message. With current technology, there is no reason to force people to stop reading and go look elsewhere in a document. Most readers won’t do it. It’s like when you won’t read the instruction manual.

97% Say Tell Me What to Do

Clients want and need direction. When we point out an issue, we have to tell them how to address it. Home inspectors should think of themselves as being in the solution business, not the problem-finding business. Finding the issue is just the first half of the job. The action is most often to fix the problem, but it may be ‘further evaluation’ if more information is needed. The recommended task may also be ‘monitor’ if there is a vulnerable situation but no immediate issue.

98% Want Us to Prioritize

Clients want to know whether the issues should be addressed immediately, within a year or over the next 5 years. Some improvements, like adding attic insulation, are discretionary.

92% Say Illustrations Are Good

A picture is worth 1000 words. That’s very true when it comes to home inspections. The human brain can understand a picture far more easily and quickly than written words. That’s why many people like TV better than books.

87% Say Photos Are Good

Again, pictures help tell the story.

93% Want a Ballpark Cost for Repairs

This makes perfect sense. If the client is trying to make a decision about buying a house for $300,000, and the house needs a new roof and a new furnace, what does that mean financially? Most people don’t know. There typically isn’t time to shop for quotes, and it’s especially difficult since your client does not own the house or have access to it yet.

We give our clients ballpark costs for all major repairs. We typically provide a 100% range since there are many variables. We might say that the roof will cost $5000-$10,000, and the furnace will cost $2500-$5000, for example. Clients appreciate this order of magnitude help.