Should You Start a Home Inspection Business or Join a Multi-Inspector Company?

Should You Start a Home Inspection Business or Join a Multi-Inspector Company?

By Published On: December 15th, 2022Categories: Home Inspection Career Guide0 Comments

Is It Better to Start Your Own Home Inspection Business or Join a Multi-Inspector Company?

You have many choices when it comes to launching your career as a licensed home inspector. Some choices—such as deciding where to complete your home inspection training—are fairly easy to make. Others are more challenging. For example, should you start your own home inspection business or join an established multi-inspector company? 

There’s no right or wrong answer. But there are a few things to consider when deciding what will work best for you. Read on for help in finding your ideal fit as you begin your career. 

Starting Your Own Home Inspection Business 

The majority of new home inspectors choose to work for themselves. In fact, this might have been what piqued your interest in the first place.  

The Advantages of Starting a Home Inspection Business

You Are Your Own Boss 

Working solo, your home inspection business is just that—yours. You’re in charge, which means no one is looking over your shoulder. You can set your prices, find your own clients, control your business finances, handle your own marketing, design unique branding, and organize your company how you see fit. Independent home inspectors often feel a great deal of pride knowing that the success of the business begins and ends with their efforts. 

You Can Create Work-Life Balance 

As an independent home inspector, work-life balance is within reach. You can choose how much or how little you want to work. If you don’t want to work an 8-hour day, you don’t have to. Schedule your home inspections around the things you want and need to do. Spend more time with your family, pick up your kids from school, take more vacations, or simply work less and still make a great income.  

You’ll Have Unlimited Earning Potential 

As a solo home inspector, there isn’t a cap on how much you can make in a week, a month, and annually. Perform more home inspections per week and increase your income. In fact, there’s a real possibility you can make considerably more per week working less hours than you would in a standard, 40-hour-a-week job.  

Use this handy home inspector salary calculator to see how much you could make as a self-employed home inspector in your state. 

You Can Make a Name for Yourself in Your Community 

Establishing your own home inspection business means you can create your own brand, cultivate a positive reputation in your local real estate community and even leave a legacy for future generations. Many new inspectors who take this route find fulfillment in building their businesses, developing referral relationships with real estate agents, and serving loyal (and often repeat) clients.

Things to Consider Before Starting a Home Inspection Business

You’re in Charge of It All, Really 

Running your own home inspection business means you’re in charge of it all. And this can feel a little overwhelming when you’re just starting out. Day-to-day, you can expect to handle: 

  • Creating and evolving a business plan 
  • Completing administrative tasks such as answering phones, sending emails, and scheduling inspections 
  • Working on your marketing and advertising efforts to promote your business 
  • Networking within the real estate community to generate referrals and clients 
  • Managing the business finances, paying bills, and keeping records up to date 

…and, of course, handling the home inspections! 

Some solo home inspectors enlist family members to help with administrative responsibilities so they can keep their focus on the inspection work and finding clients. Others might hire low-cost administrative help on a contract basis. And still other independent home inspectors do it all themselves successfully and don’t bat an eye. 

Consider your goals, your workstyle, and your personality as you weigh the choice of whether to work for yourself or another home inspection company. 

It Can Be Expensive in the Early Years 

The startup costs of a new home inspection business – while much less than those of other small businesses – can run up to $5,000. See a ballpark startup cost in this blog 

Naturally, these costs vary and it’s important to remember that home inspection is the type of business you can build gradually and grow into overtime. Some home inspectors begin part-time (Or full-time, but on a smaller scale) using only basic tools and technology. As business grows, you can use profits to upgrade your tools and systems and invest in new marketing efforts to attract new clients. 

Slower Seasons May Slow Your Income 

In home inspection, just as in real estate, there are times when home inspection jobs slow. This could be, in part, because of a less active real estate market in some years or simply because it’s wintertime. While income may slow during these times, there are ways for your business to thrive throughout your career. 

Many home inspectors consider getting certified in a home inspection specialty to open up new sources of income by offering different types of inspections. Performing pre-inspections for sellers ahead of a busier selling season is another way to generate more income in slower times. Offering home maintenance inspections for homeowners is another great idea for added revenue any time of year. 

Should You Open a Home Inspection Franchise? 

Working with a home inspection franchise is a possibility if you’re looking for more help getting established, and you have the financial resources to invest in a franchise. Franchises, such as Pillar to Post and HouseMaster, will help you open a new home inspection business in your city and supply much of the marketing, branding, technology, and lead generation activities to find new clients.  

This can be a pricey choice, however. And with corporate guidelines to follow, it may seem like you’re not completely independent as a business owner. Be sure to weigh all the pros and cons and the higher costs when considering a home inspection franchise agreement. 

Working for a Multi-Inspector Company

Working for an established home inspection company – especially when you’re just starting out – might be a great option if you’re looking to build experience. 

The Advantages of Working for a Multi-Inspector Firm

Consistent Work, Clients, and Income 

Working for a multi-inspector firm, you can expect to have an ongoing stream of clients and home inspection jobs. You’ll likely have a more regular work schedule and enjoy a steadier paycheck. Many home inspectors have a better sense of job security and more financial stability working for an established company, especially in slower seasons. 

Mentorship to Help You Grow 

If you’re looking for a mentor to help you grow your knowledge and experience, a home inspection company is a great place to find it. From day one, you’ll be surrounded by fellow home inspectors, some with years of experience on the job. You’ll get more comfortable in the field, and quicker than if you were solo. Plus, you’ll always have a colleague around to answer your questions, share tips and tricks of the trade, and help solve problems. 

Everything You Need to Do the Job From Day One 

At an established company, you’ll likely have everything you need to do the job – and fully paid for—on day one. From your home inspection toolkit to home inspection report software, a computer, a tablet for the field, email, internet, a company phone, perhaps a company vehicle – your business needs will be covered. Some home inspection companies will also help you pay for Continuing Education (CE) costs and provide discounts on home inspector insurance 

Things to Consider Before Joining a Multi-Inspector Firm

Your Income Might Be Capped 

As one of a group of home inspector employees, you’ll have a steady flow of home inspection jobs and clients. But this number might eventually cap. Picking up extra home inspection jobs may not mean a larger paycheck. If you want the freedom to increase your income by taking on more home inspections, a solo route might be better for you. 

You’ll Work for Someone 

At a multi-inspector company, you’ll probably have a supervisor and less flexibility to set your schedule, choose your own clients, and create your own processes. It might also feel like more of a “corporate” environment. Some home inspectors thrive in this arrangement while others may want more freedom as a self-employed home inspector. 

You’ll Have Less Control Over Business Decisions 

At a multi-inspector firm, you’ll have little or sometimes no control over the business structure, the management decisions, the processes, and the direction of the company. You’ll also be working to grow the collective business rather than a business of your own. If you’re looking for more control over the business strategy, its procedures, and its marketing, you might be better off flying solo. 

Learn It All With Industry-Leading Home Inspector Training From AHIT

Learn the fundamentals of home inspection and gain the knowledge you need whether you’re starting your own successful home inspection business or becoming an expert member of a multi-inspector firm. Learn how to become a home inspector in your state and why AHIT has been the choice of over 70,000 trained home inspectors since 1993. 

About the Author: Ashley Roe

Ashley Roe is a Content Specialist with AHIT and The CE Shop. She writes regularly about home inspection and appraisal. With a reporter's eye and a passion for learning, Ashley stays current on what's happening within each industry. Her goal is to create engaging, relevant, and useful content that both informs and inspires readers.

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