Spending most of your home inspection career inspecting homes for buyers and sellers can be a profitable venture with a steady stream of clients. But at some point, you might want to explore a home inspection certification that expands your business and builds revenue. Becoming a certified commercial property inspector can do both, and might be your perfect next step.
Become a Certified Commercial Property Inspector With AHIT! Enroll in Our 10-Hr. Specialty Course – Inspecting Commercial Properties – Today!
What Are Commercial Property Inspections?
Commercial property inspections are just that – property inspections for all types of commercial and industrial real estate. These properties include many you likely pass, or even visit, in your community every day.
Types of Commercial and Industrial Properties
- Offices – office buildings, office suites, banks, and medical/dental offices of all kinds
- Retail Properties – retail strip centers, malls, and standalone retail properties
- Industrial Properties – warehouses, manufacturing plants, auto repair shops, and more
- Hotels – motels, hotels, and lodging properties of all sizes
- Multi-Family Housing – apartment buildings, condo buildings, and townhome developments with five units or more
- Restaurants and Cafes – restaurants and cafes of all sizes
- Mixed Use Properties – properties that combine retail, office, and residential units
- Government and Municipal Buildings – community centers, courthouses, city recreational facilities, and more
- Special Purpose Properties – churches and religious centers, schools, daycares, colleges, universities, airports, casinos, movie theaters, gyms, and others
- Large Luxury Homes – high-value homes with high-end commercial features, such as commercial kitchens, multiple HVAC systems, ample square footage, and specialized amenities
Home Inspectors vs. Commercial Property Inspectors
Although they share the same foundational skills, home inspectors and commercial building inspectors differ in purpose, scope of inspections, clients, cost of services, and more. Here’s a rundown of what sets each role apart.
Key Differences Between Home Inspectors and Commercial Property Inspectors
||Certified Commercial Property Inspectors
|Purpose of Inspection
||To visually inspect the major systems of a home and provide a detailed home inspection report about the condition, repair needs, and safety of the home
||To perform a Property Condition Assessment for a commercial property and provide a general Property Condition Report that’s used to show building expenses, life expectancy of systems, and investment potential
|Clients They Serve
||Homebuyers, sellers, and homeowners
||Commercial real estate investors, mortgage lenders, and property managers
|Length of Inspection
||One day to several days
|Cost of Inspection
||$400 to $600 on average per inspection, depending on the size of the home
||Costs range widely per inspection, from a few hundred dollars for small properties to over $10,000 (or more) for larger ones
|Inspection Standards of Practice (SOPs)*
What Do Commercial Building Inspectors Look For?
Commercial building inspections are, by nature, less intricate than home inspections. But they involve more players, more opinions, more time, and more numbers.
A commercial building inspection is often a days-long process that follows a standard routine:
- Perform a Property Condition Assessment. This is a general walk-through of a property, where the inspector notes the critical systems and features of the building, observes conditions, and identifies potential building code issues.
- Research Property Records. The inspector researches and requests property documentation to help form a sound assessment of the property’s age, lifespan, and maintenance costs. This gives the client a clearer picture of a building’s overall investment value.
- Consult With Building Specialists. Like a project manager, a commercial inspector will consult with specialists of all types on commercial building systems and repair needs, operating life, and ongoing maintenance costs.
- Complete and Deliver a Property Condition Report. The inspector then delivers a report that provides a client with an overview of a building’s condition from a physical, financial, and safety perspective.
A commercial building inspector’s client – who could be a property investor, a property manager, or a lender – is usually more number- and profit-driven in their investments. Thus, when you work as a commercial building inspector, your report provides the financial logic needed for your client to make a sound investment.
It can be a higher-pressure specialty, but the payoff is bigger.
The Advantages of Becoming a Certified Commercial Property Inspector
You’ll experience a few big advantages when you decide to specialize in commercial property inspections.
- You Can Make More Money Per Inspection. You can make up to five times more per inspection compared to what you will make performing home inspections.
- You’ll Have a Faster Turnover of Clients. Investors who purchase commercial or industrial properties (and need inspections) do it more frequently than homebuyers – who will likely purchase a home only once every several years.
- You’ll Have Less Competition. Commercial property inspection is a field that’s not overly saturated with inspectors. This means less competition for jobs.
- No Separate License, or Exam, is Required. Developing this specialty involves completing a reputable commercial inspection training course (like AHIT’s, though we may be biased), networking to find commercial clients, and practicing the craft.
How to Become a Certified Commercial Property Inspector
Although commercial inspection training and licensing isn’t required – and because there’s a little more risk – it’s important to know what you’re doing. Commercial property investors almost always want to hire a Certified Commercial Property Inspector who has completed specialized training. Investors want to ensure they’re getting accurate advice on building conditions and repair needs from an expert.
AHIT’s Certification Course in Commercial Property Inspection
AHIT’s Inspecting Commercial Properties Course is the only online commercial building inspection training that follows the ASTM Standard E2018-15. This is the primer for commercial Property Condition Assessments. The 10-hour, video-based course teaches you all the steps you need to become a commercial building inspector, what to consider, and how to succeed in the specialty.
Plus, it’s taught by one of our seasoned inspector-instructors with decades of experience in commercial building inspection.
Commercial Property Inspections Could Be Your Next Niche
If you’re ready for a new — and more lucrative — challenge in your home inspection business, commercial property inspections could be your next step. AHIT is here with all the training you need. Learn more about our commercial property inspection course and how it can bolster your business. And if you’re just starting out, learn how to become a home inspector in your state.