The Alimond Show

Scott & Chris Miller of Foundation Home Inspection Services, LLC

January 25, 2024 Alimond Studio
The Alimond Show
Scott & Chris Miller of Foundation Home Inspection Services, LLC
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wonder how a family-run business thrives amidst sibling dynamics and everyday challenges? Join us as we take you on a journey through our personal story of managing a successful home inspection venture. We'll introduce you to the unique roles that each member of our family plays, from handyman tasks to minor upgrades and even marketing strategies like attending open houses and presenting ourselves to real estate agents. We'll also share the exciting idea of filming our next home inspection - a venture to get our work more visibility.

Think home inspection is just about looking at a house? Think again! We'll take you into the heart of the home inspection process, emphasizing the crucial role of education. Learn about the importance of providing suitable physical space for inspections, the necessity of easily accessible major systems like furnaces and water heaters, and the need to prevent potential fire hazards. And it doesn't stop there - we'll also provide useful tips for sellers and buyers, highlighting the value of the maintenance checklist we provide at the end of every inspection for a seamless journey.

We're not just business-people, we're a family with a shared passion for sports, home renovation, and constant growth. Listen in as we share the riveting mix of our stepchildren's sports pursuits, our home renovation adventures, and the importance of safety during roof inspections. However, our journey is not without challenges - from trusting others in business to providing rigorous training, we have our work cut out for us. As we wrap up, we'll share how you can get in touch with us and play a part in our exciting journey. Expect an episode filled with engaging stories, practical strategies, and meaningful insights from our thriving family-run home inspection business.

Speaker 1:

Is he usually this calm and chill, or is it because he doesn't have as much sleep?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, he's usually the more calm one.

Speaker 1:

That's how many of my siblings are. I'm the one that's like, ah, and they're all like.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, most of the time they say, oh, he's always talking and I'm like I just do my job and get it done.

Speaker 1:

Well, let's talk about the job piece. How did you guys? He told me a little bit about how we started the business. How have you like carried it through? Like who does what? Because it's interesting to work with family.

Speaker 3:

So we pretty much do everything together, if that makes sense. I started doing home inspections before we started the business and I guess he noticed how the schedule is a little bit more laid back and you're not stuck at some place from nine to five and he was working doing AutoCAD stuff and he's like, well, let's go start around. That was kind of on the. I wanted to do it when he retired, but now that he's retired he's like I don't want to do anything.

Speaker 1:

You're dead.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, he wanted to start a home inspection business when he retired.

Speaker 1:

But instead, you guys are just doing it for him. Yeah, is he truly retired or is he like one of those siblings? He's retired, he's retired, okay.

Speaker 2:

He's fully retired in May and we thought he might help us out with the condos, but he's like no. But just fine, you know, I don't mind it, it's more work for us, which is fine.

Speaker 1:

Now you said you do some stuff on the side as well. What is the side stuff? Is that construction?

Speaker 2:

Yep, so we do some handyman stuff during, especially during, like the wintertime, when home inspections are slower. We just like to. If people have outlets to fix or pictures to hang up or little things to do here and there, we'll be happy to do that stuff.

Speaker 3:

Powered outbuildings and minor upgrades and stuff like that. Another thing is home inspections are is our primary business, so our handyman stuff takes second to that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

So we always have to explain to our clients when we're doing those that if we get a home inspection, we're taking the home inspection. Yeah, so usually the clients that we get aren't on a strict time for, even for when we're doing that kind of work.

Speaker 1:

Understandable and right now, just the two of you, yep. What's our plans for growth? I know you said you would like to have a team.

Speaker 2:

Well, that'd be great, but yeah, I mean. So I think we're going to start trying to, I guess, start doing some more marketing. It's been kind of crazy with the whole, you know, with COVID, and there's not many agents that are actually, you know, kind of in the office, so it's really hard to like get in front of them. So we're at least we're we're going to start planning to, you know, figure out how to, you know, start getting in front of them more and start marketing ourselves so that way we can get more business.

Speaker 1:

What's the plan so far? Because I can give you some tips right now.

Speaker 3:

So we've been starting to look into go to open houses on the weekends to get in front of the agents, cause I also, on the side, put up commercial real estate signs. Even when I go pick up the signs there are no realtors in that office.

Speaker 3:

It's literally just the front desk person and then a few office people. I think I run into one agent there the whole time that I've been doing this for a few months from my brother in law and just trying to get into the office and everything was just because we used to do lunch and learns and new realtor orientations and everything like that and that was great. But now they're doing everything via what's that video?

Speaker 2:

Like zoom or everything yeah.

Speaker 3:

Everybody's like oh, the meeting's done. Click, I'm not sitting here and listening to anything more. So in terms of that is getting top. So that's why we're trying to do the open houses again try to turn.

Speaker 2:

You know, turn directions while we're moving.

Speaker 1:

Are you guys wanting to do that in terms for more home inspections? Cause that's the leg that you're trying to, really, or the arm that you're trying to grow leg arm, whichever, so is that the? The piece that you're trying to grow is the home inspection, or both.

Speaker 3:

Well, the home repairs, as I call it, come second hand of that. It's more like hey, we've already done this home inspection. We're not trying to mark things for what we did on the home inspection, but they're like oh, we moved in. Hey, you know, we haven't found anybody to do this. Do you guys want to help us replace them? Ceiling fans, we're on new wires, do all that kind of stuff. That's mostly how we get that kind of business and we're not trying to go hand in hand with that per se, because we don't want to be one of those home inspectors that gets the name that says, oh, you're going to find all the stuff just so you can repair it. That's not what we're there for. We're there to teach them about their house, say, hey, these are the good things, these are the bad things, these are the things that you're going to need to fix in due time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

That's how we mark them on the report as well.

Speaker 1:

You know, something that would be interesting for you guys to do is also because it's entertaining to see you two together, because you're super calm and collected and you're a little more energy for you guys to go through your next home inspection and film it and talk through it All of your home inspection stuff if you're allowed to, obviously with the homeowner or seller or whatever. Document all of that to start just getting in front of people, because I believe that once you get in front of people, it's so much better because they see how you talk, they see how you act and they're aware that you exist. And the fact that you can help them with other needs as well would be great and it'd make it really easy because you guys don't have to think about it. You're already going to be there, you're already going to be doing the work. You just get a nephew or one of your kids to follow you around with one of those what they call like the little GoPro type things or a phone, and just document it all and have you mic'd up.

Speaker 2:

That's a great idea.

Speaker 1:

Do you guys have social?

Speaker 3:

Yes, one thing I'm not staying on top of the social media thing. I'm not huge on the social media.

Speaker 1:

You don't have to be. You don't have to be Get a friend or a kid. Just a post and share stuff. It doesn't have to be pretty.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we tried to do that, and then we would just lose the steam. We would just keep going and going and then all of a sudden, we'll get busy with home inspections and then we'll just forget about that. My wife she was our social media person and she got busy with her second, so it was just kind of like she's got to figure it out. No, that's a great idea, though, to document it, put it on social media, and I think, like you said, just being in front and have people just kind of listen to you would be a great way to get more business.

Speaker 1:

Well, or rather even instead of lunch, and learn you could have a home inspection where you're bringing agents with you and you're educating them. Here's some different things that we look for and here's some different signs that we can see, because I know, with my agent when I was buying my house, he, before we had our inspection, he started seeing a lot of the things was like, you know, hey, heads up. Here's some different things for you to consider before we move into that next stage, and so that education that he had was helpful to me as a home buyer.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, a lot of the agents we've been working with have been saying oh yeah, we've been learning a lot from working with you guys as a and I don't mean to badmouth anybody else, but they were like you guys really do break it down and teach the clients in the agent what we're looking for. And even with certain things that we're finding, some people will blow a failed thermal seal out of the water when it's really, yes, it's a defective thing under a window, but it's more cosmetic than anything else and we break it down and we explain it. That way it makes our buyers more at ease with buying the home. And a lot of agents that we've been working with are like oh, it really is more cosmetic. And I'm like, yeah, I mean, the thermal efficiency you're losing is not very much. It's not very nice to look at.

Speaker 1:

Is that where the windows get all foggy? Yeah, they get the foggy. Yeah, I always wondered about that.

Speaker 3:

Ok, yeah, so that's a failed thermal seal. There's a vacuum in between the two panes.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

And that's what that thermal seal is. Water's not coming into your house unless that window's actually broken. It's in between the two panes.

Speaker 1:

Got it. See, I thought it was something where you have to replace all the windows.

Speaker 2:

So that's the common misconception, because a lot of I mean when you buy a house, I mean depending on the age, there's going to be issues that come with the house just because the age of it and thermal seals unfortunately they just happen over time. They also depend on if you're you know. I mean there's a lot of factors that go into it, but we try to explain that to the client. I'll be like you know, I have nine filled thermal seals at my house. You know. Guess what my wife decided to get? Rather than the new windows, she wanted new countertops and I'm probably going to.

Speaker 2:

It's not going to be a hot tub. Well right, hot tub pool, you know, whatever floats your boat. But there's definitely other priorities than trying to repair your windows, because windows is probably the second to being one of the most expensive. Well, it depends on the size of the house, depends on, you know, but the most expensive part, you know, to replace. But you could even just repair the window. If you call, like a glass company, they'll charge a couple hundred. I don't know what the rate is now, but they'll charge a couple hundred bucks and they'll fix whatever. If it's just one window or, you know, whatever it is. We'll just fix that for a fraction of the cost and replace in the window itself.

Speaker 1:

What are some other things that you have found that you wish either agents or homeowners knew before buying or selling?

Speaker 2:

That's a really good question. I'll have to think about that. Do you have anything Chris?

Speaker 3:

A lot of the things that I wish we could do were to educate the sellers on giving us adequate space to inspect the major systems their furnace, their water heaters, their electrical panels.

Speaker 1:

What do you mean? Space Like physical space, Like get out of my space?

Speaker 3:

No, so literally per it, weren't a lot of us saying anything about code and the home inspection. But per code you're supposed to have three feet available in front of your electrical panel. You're supposed to be able to open the door all the way, and I can't tell you how many times I get to the electrical panel. They've either got a complete decor, wood decor, covering the whole thing to where I can't access the screws, or they've got all of their personal belongings on top of the electrical panel. Or we go to a furnace that has gas heat and you're not supposed to have anything combustible around it and there's nothing but cardboard boxes around it, where we've then got to ask the agent because technically we're not supposed to move anything or offer them inspection to move the items out of the way so that we can properly inspect the furnace and or the water heater or any of those items as well.

Speaker 1:

So like physical space, like get it away, that way I can actually inspect it.

Speaker 3:

It's good practice not to put anything in front of those items, because you never know when you're going to need to access your electrical panel. You never know when hey, oh, my heat's not working, I need to make space for the HVAC guy. And the other thing is, if something does go wrong with your heating and you do have that gas or oil or any kind of combustible material, you don't want anything combustible around there because then that can also catch on fire or something catastrophic happens.

Speaker 2:

It's kind of funny people kind of forget the emergency factor In case you have to shut something off. You don't want to have to move 30 boxes or your storage bins or whatever, but that's one thing that we try to explain to them too during the home inspection. Hey, you want to keep this space open. If you're going to store some items, that's fine, but make sure that it's in a way that you're able to access your water shut off or anything that's important. But yeah, I think he covered that.

Speaker 2:

It's very frustrating when you go into a house and the whole garage is stacked with boxes and it's like, okay, well, now I can't see anything. And then someone complains, oh, you didn't see the mold behind the wall. And it's like, oh well, there's Right, right. So it's just like the whole, I guess the seller thing and the buyers too. I think they just need to not be as scared and just be able to ask whatever questions that they have.

Speaker 2:

We always go in and say that the only stupid question is the one that's not asked. So we always try to have people come with an open mind and don't be scared just because you're not sure what to ask. You're not going to annoy me by asking a question and, if anything, it'll make me feel better, because then you're actually feeling comfortable to be able to hey, what's going on over there, what's that? It's kind of cool because when you start seeing them on leash, they really kind of open up and they're like, wow, this is awesome. They get really excited about it.

Speaker 2:

And sometimes a poorly set up home like sellers, everything's kind of like clustered and everything kind of it always gives the buyers oh, what are they trying to hide? So it's, I was trying to change that dynamic, you know, because buying a house, that's a very stressful thing, you know. It's usually the biggest investment that people usually buy, you know. So it's very important to make sure that they are understanding what's going on with the house and that they are comfortable with what they're going to get into.

Speaker 1:

I remember when I was buying my house, I didn't know the right, I didn't know what questions to ask, and I think that's a big thing is like, what questions should I be asking? So that might be an interesting.

Speaker 2:

Like a frequently asked question thing or something, just to say, hey, these are some of the something that's frequently asked, and don't feel bad if you want to meet a elaborate or anything on that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's like you guys created something that was like whether you work with us or work with another inspector. Here's the top 25 questions that you should be asking your home inspector.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, that's a great.

Speaker 1:

So many things that you because I know there's so many questions you can ask 25, that's huge, even to this day. I actually asked my agent to come out and help me because the day I did the inspection I don't remember 10% of the things the guy went over with me and so now we've been in our house for four years I'm like I don't think I'm maintaining my home the way it needs to be maintained, like you know. Agent, can you come out and walk through it with me again and point out all those things?

Speaker 3:

One of the other things we do is at the end of every home inspection report, we have a maintenance checklist of things to do seasonally. That's so good and I always joke and I always say hey, if there's one thing you keep from your home inspection report, keep the maintenance checklist. It's going to tell you hey, you need to change your filters. Hey, you need to want to rise your hose bibs, you need to clean out your gutters and do all that fun stuff.

Speaker 1:

And it'd be great also to have like cleaning out your gutters If you whether you do it or you have recommended vendors like Harris who you recommend to do it. You know what I mean, because I might be able to play into the maintenance part, so I'm going into the marketing part.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's great, that's great. One of the things is we get in trouble. When we recommend people, they say it's a conflict of interest because they're poor.

Speaker 1:

Oh, okay, you didn't recommend three people.

Speaker 3:

Technically we're not supposed to say anything. So what I always say is ask your realtor, and if your realtor doesn't have anybody, then I'll recommend someone to your realtor. So that way we're not recommending something directly to the client per se.

Speaker 2:

Got it Once again. It could be we could get a pushback or something, but we're very transparent. We're not here to. We're here to make money, obviously, but we're not here to, you know, make more and more and more money off of it. Correct, and we also encourage people to, you know, even after they buy the house. You know, four years on the road. If you have any questions or if you want to go over anything, please feel free and give us a call of text. You know pretty much where we're here. We're available for you guys. Yeah, if you need a second opinion, because you know a lot of people like to. You know, knock walls down and sometimes you got some of the contractors and well, you know everyone's trying to save a buck, you know. So you don't know if you're cutting corners or whatever.

Speaker 1:

So we usually try to be there for you know someone's life Second opinion yeah, exactly, exactly Like the doctors, and that might be like a a additional offer guarantee that you guys could put in there, it's like for the next however many years you know, we will always come out and help, even though you're going to do that anyways, but just visually talent or not visually, just verbally telling your agents that you work with, like, hey, this is something that we guarantee.

Speaker 1:

If anybody ever has questions, you know they can always reach out to us. Or you can come reach out to me and I'll come with you to your client's home and go over that stuff again. That's awesome.

Speaker 3:

Recently I had a client that bought a house that somebody had smoked in. So I was like, well, they make a product. It's just like bugging your house for bugs bobbing your house, not bugging your house. And he was like he was reading the label. He was like, well, I got shut everything off. Another thing that we do in the home inspection is that we take a picture of all your shutoffs for your gas, your water, everything else like that.

Speaker 1:

So I was just like I wish I had that because I was like where the heck is any of these things.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so we have a specific spot for where your main water shutoff is, where your gas shutoffs are, where exterior hose bit shutoffs are. Now they're buried behind drywall. Obviously, we can't find it, because that part of what we do is we're not allowed to tear apart drywall, everything like that. But if it's in a spot where there's a ceiling tile or a cutout, you can have like a little door or something we can open those and say hey, here's where your shutoffs are for here.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, which those shouldn't be covered, though, right.

Speaker 2:

Well, on older houses, you'd be surprised.

Speaker 1:

Because I sit now and I built like a wall or something.

Speaker 2:

Well, people don't like seeing you know the turn handle or you know the shutoff, so they forget that you can get like a little door, a little access door or something that I mean. It's not as aesthetically pleasing, but it's better than seeing the blue or red handle you know. So people just put it behind drywall, and it's normal for older houses. So it's kind of funny. People are like, oh, where's my hose bit shutoff? And it's like, ah, it could be close. Right, it's either where your main water shutoff is or it's close to the vicinity where your hose bibs are. So, unfortunately, if we can't find them there, it's probably close to where the hose bibs and they drywall behind it. Oh, gosh.

Speaker 2:

Yep so.

Speaker 1:

That's interesting.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we're not superman, you know. We don't have that X-ray vision to you know? Here's everything.

Speaker 1:

But it's nice that you guys take the pictures as a reference guide for the homeowners.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

I will say my home inspector did not do that.

Speaker 2:

We do like to take our pictures. So we also say you kind of have a picture book for your home, you know, in case you want to go back later on and look at it.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, no, that's great. That's such a valuable resource to have that agents can offer their buyers right, and then for the actual homeowners to have to keep. Okay, so in terms of for fun, what do y'all do for fun? Fun Besides cats.

Speaker 2:

A lot of stuff. So I'm into like I'm into automotive stuff, so I'm into cars, pretty much anything with wheels and a motor. I have a little side hobby of dirt bikes and fixing them up. We got a farm out in Berryville that we go out and ride and we have some fun with that. I also like to do woodworking and then, you know, sometimes at night I like to play some video games with my buddies.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I play about an hour a night. I don't. I'm not too much of a, you know, I don't play all day like those guys, but just like to give about an hour, hour and a half of my night and that's how I kind of like I'm on Yep.

Speaker 3:

Awesome.

Speaker 1:

How are you?

Speaker 3:

I work on cars and then my stepson we got him a mini bike and Scott and I are trying to rebuild a bike for him as well, and then I go out and ride with him and do all that. But I like to tinker on cars and play the video.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'll play a video guys.

Speaker 3:

Okay, the times match up. We play together Most of the time, I play with my stepson and go on to play games together and then I just like to go to their sports events and just try and help out with whatever I can.

Speaker 1:

What type of sports do they play?

Speaker 3:

So my stepson plays football and then he's trying to get into basketball. And now, because I play baseball my whole life, he's like maybe I'll get baseball another try.

Speaker 1:

And then was it exciting you Cause? Then you can like yeah, I'm trying to get some excitement out of you. There it is.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I get excited when I'm like let's go throw the ball out. I'm like, all right, cool.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

I love doing that, I think. I can do that and then my stepdaughter wants to get into basketball and volleyball, but she does cheerleading.

Speaker 1:

Okay, and.

Speaker 3:

She likes to do more of the stunting part of it. She enjoys the regular part, but it's kind of getting a little mundane for her. So she's like, oh, I want to try out for the volleyball team. I was like that's cool, so I'll go out and hit the volleyball with her Do you see one shape.

Speaker 1:

I was going to say keep your active.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, use me out the couch. There we go.

Speaker 1:

When you're not playing video games, you're out there playing baseball, volleyball.

Speaker 3:

And then we also do our own homework, pairs.

Speaker 1:

When anything happens to our house, we always Do you guys like renovating your homes or is it just repairing? There was a little bit of both.

Speaker 3:

So a little bit of both. I bought a fixer up or kind of like an in-between house to help me fix my credit so I can get something better. So I've been slowly but surely preparing everything inside of there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Is that fun.

Speaker 3:

For the most part, except for when I find things that, oh, we're expecting. When I did the inspection, I couldn't find because it was underneath the carpet or behind a wall. You don't really know until you live there.

Speaker 1:

But now you got experience that you're going to be able to bring that to your clients.

Speaker 3:

My whole house was carpeted and we ripped up the carpet and half the subfloor was rotted, so the only thing that was keeping us up was the joys in between in the carpet. So I took that up. I was like cool and I get to replace all this.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and now you have a story to be like. Listen, I can't rip up this carpet with that funky smell. Lushy floors, lushy floors it might be due to. It was exciting. I mean the home, the home of living. I always wish that that. You know, we all watch those shows and we're like I would love to take a fixer upper and like fix it up, yeah, drone, kind of thing yeah. But the most expensive part is the labor of, like, all of the stuff that you're doing.

Speaker 2:

So if you learn and mess up, you know you just keep messing up until you got it right. Right, if you have that mentality, that's the perfect mentality for a fixer upper. Now, if you're like, if I mess up, I need to call a professional, maybe that's not for you, because then you know you gotta learn to mess up.

Speaker 1:

you know everyone makes mistakes, so yeah, well, what's, what's something that you feel like has been like a great learning opportunity? Aka, mess up that you've dealt with.

Speaker 2:

So the construction that we used to do back in the day we worked for a general contractor. He actually was on the American, he was on the HDTV TV shows, american dream homes or whatever. So he taught us a lot of things and he was also a professional baseball player. So kind of cool. We were able to relate. So we built, you know, bathrooms from, you know, from the scratch. We've done a lot of stuff so we've messed up you know building those things. So it's kind of cool because we're able to kind of tell them yeah, it's okay, you might mess up, but you're able to fix it. You know, a lot of this stuff is repairable.

Speaker 2:

You know, my first time using a ram shot which is like a, basically like a blank 22 caliber that you shoot nails into concrete, my, my, my boss was talking to the client. I was like all right, I just want to shoot it. And he obviously didn't need to do it. But he's like no, you don't need to do it. So he came down and yelled at me. You know, so it was. It was just a fun learning experience. Just cause I want to do it doesn't necessarily mean you have to do it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Or make sure that when you're doing plumbing on a finished floor, that you completely cover up the primary glue bottle so that as you're going across the floor you don't knock it over, and I got to replace it with person's floor.

Speaker 1:

That would be a good thing. You know what? What happened with us listening to your story is we were filming a client. The renovator hired us to come in and show off the space that they were still working on, and so we're got the camera. I'm over here. Directing wasn't well, it was another team member. He's walking, looking at the screen you know the screen on the camera. Walking, walking, walking. He goes through the second because we're on the second floor. He goes through, falls through the roof, so his legs are like hanging. It was one of those things that, like you want to make sure he's okay, but it was the funniest thing ever and, of course, it's all documented because it's First action, live action right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's scary like what can happen when you're doing those renovations, when things are on a precipice.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's why we don't walk roofs either, because the one thing that they say is you know, if you want to inspect the roof or walk the roof, inspect it before you walk it. That's the thing you want to do, is step right in that spot where you didn't see before.

Speaker 1:

Well, and it was marked. Obviously you know. But if you're not looking down, you're not going to see it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, looking at the screen.

Speaker 1:

That's right.

Speaker 3:

It's like I was on an attic that had a catwalk to the HVAC and almost all the boards except for one board was properly screwed in the one board that was and I walked on the edge of it. My foot slipped off and my foot went straight through their ceiling into their hallway.

Speaker 1:

So you're like, been there, done that, they're like.

Speaker 3:

They're like oh, we can see your legs. That's not happening. I'm like no, I'll fix your drywall.

Speaker 1:

Good thing I've got the experience. I got this. Yeah, yeah, if you could please help me out.

Speaker 2:

Right, oh, my God, that's funny Stories.

Speaker 1:

All right, so kind of looking into the future. Actually, what you didn't answer, oh well, kind of that was your answer. Right, like crazy. Learning lesson is inspect it before you, yeah, walk it. Looking into the future what do you guys see your business in the next 10 years?

Speaker 3:

Businesses- so part of the problem for me is trusting other people.

Speaker 1:

Really yeah, I was a resident.

Speaker 3:

So I worked for another company and I was a part of the person who was helping train and everything. And you, you know you have really good people that you hire and then you have those not so great people that you hire. So part of me is getting over the whole. Everything is on me, everything is on Scott, and being able to trust somebody else saying, hey, you need to go out and do this home inspection. I just got to get over that. To when we get enough business to hire other inspectors is what's going to help you get over that?

Speaker 3:

I'm not 100% sure. Working for another company, I was able to see what was going on and being just the two of us were able to control hey, I messed up, I got it on up to it. Hey, he messed up, he's got it on up to it. We have an employee, they messed up. We still have to do enough to it. So that's part of my thing, and I guess that goes over all the proper training, I guess having a more rigorous training process and having them under our wing longer, I guess, than we would per se want to, because we want to make more money.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and not making money or making mistakes. You can make a couple of mistakes, right, but I limit the mistakes.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, cause your mistakes can be big mistakes, yeah.

Speaker 2:

And a lot of things happen too during the home inspection process. You know, usually we're the first people in and there's other people that do the process and people still live in the house, so you don't know if there's some of those people are a little rough. I've had a situation where a window is broken after the home inspection. I like to inspect every home as if it's mine, so I'm going to go through and make sure everything's right, cause the last thing I want to do is get a phone call from you being very upset as to you know, for whatever reason, and I hate, it's like a gut and you know everything goes right down to your gut and it's like, man, I, I just hate feeling, you know, feeling that way. So we do our best to literally inspect how we would inspect our home.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, I had an instance where the window was broken. The guy called me says, hey, why don't you, you know, catch this? I was like you know, I'm sorry, man, but I'm pretty sure like I would have caught the broken window and I was like, do you want me to come out and take a look at it? And so I drove out there and we looked at it. I was like, yeah, that definitely wasn't there. I remember this one, but that one was there. But during the final walk through the kid, it's kind of funny the kid admitted because his mom threw a ball and she broke the window, so it was. It was kind of good because then right, right.

Speaker 2:

Exactly Cause you know the kids end up, you know, being honest, right, but it's uh, yeah, it's kind of crazy, you know. So just uh, yeah for expansion, you know, uh, learning how to trust people and then being able to forgive them, if you know people do make mistakes, right, so don't, you know, flash them for it, right?

Speaker 1:

Maybe try to figure out a minimize the lashing right.

Speaker 3:

Hopefully not too costly learning process and same room. I mean, like he was saying, a lot of the time people are having redbacks now. Having what Right back you know, like a person buying the house and then, for whatever time period, this homeowner is still there.

Speaker 2:

They're still living like three, six months at a time. It could be there too, so put tension on the water heater.

Speaker 3:

They can still make that mistake lose their grip on something. Something goes through the wall, they go. You didn't catch that? Well, they lived here.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

There's nothing that I did. So that's why, on your home inspection and the agreement, it tells you we're doing it on the condition of the house, today, not yesterday, not tomorrow, literally the day that we're doing the home inspection.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Things can happen to Birk and fly in your window and break it. That's nothing that we can control. Yeah, you can have a high wind storm and knock the tree over the tree. It hits the roof. That's nothing that we can control.

Speaker 1:

I wonder if, like on those rent back situations, can you go around and like document the house exactly as is.

Speaker 2:

That's a very good question. I think Virginia itself is the reason why it's on that fine line. It's a state itself. I'm sure if it was anywhere else it'd be fine.

Speaker 1:

OK, that's what I'm going to be doing if I were allowed to. Yeah, this is what it looks like before I.

Speaker 3:

I think a lot of agents will go around and take a video of the home as they're going around to kind of document the condition. So what?

Speaker 1:

the floors look like.

Speaker 2:

You know because you'll see some agents will take pictures and they'll videotape. If there's like a carpet or something, they'll lift it up and make sure there's nothing else going on. But yeah, Interesting.

Speaker 3:

And that's one of the other things talking about, like taking the videos. We also are certified for doing new construction and build some. When you're building a new home, we can do your pre drywall and your final walkthrough OK. One of the things this guy and I always suggest is hey, if you plan on hanging a TV or hanging a picture or doing anything on these walls, here's a perfect chance to take pictures of what's going on behind the drywall, because the drywall is not up yet. So if you want your TV on this ball, take a picture of that wall so you know what's going on behind it, so you're not going to hit any plumbing, any wires or anything like that.

Speaker 3:

Now they have guards on your studs where they're supposed to go, so that you're not putting your screw into the stud, into a plumbing pipe. And we always try to say, hey, if you got your screw, it's not going through. Don't get the drill bit. Yeah, the reason why it's the metal pieces there and it's the make it, so you're not going into a plumbing van or a water.

Speaker 1:

I mean, don't get me wrong, I've gotten a hammer out a couple of times where I was like it's not going through. You just said and that is why I've had.

Speaker 2:

I've had a friend drill into his waste system and I was like, so why did you get out the drill bit? And he goes, well, the nail didn't go further. I was like, well, that should have been a reason why he didn't. And there was water everywhere and it was poop and pee and all that fun stuff that you don't want. Right.

Speaker 1:

Outside of that pipe.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Oh man. Oh gosh OK.

Speaker 2:

This is learned.

Speaker 1:

So I like what you said just really quickly about the. In order to grow and feel comfortable the training piece.

Speaker 1:

I think that's one thing that a lot of small business owners, including myself, neglect is it takes a lot more training than you think it's going to be for anybody, even if they have experience, to be able to join your team. And the more you focus on the training whether that's documented training, as we do here at the studio now we document all of our training. That way, where they come in, they watch it and they have a reference guide to go back to, that way, 70% of the knowledge base is there. And then when they come in person, you don't have to spend as much time with them, but they still need to know how do you act on the job, like how do you, what are the mannerisms, how do you talk with people All of that fun stuff and especially with you guys. There's no two homes are going to be the same, so you can train them all you want.

Speaker 1:

There will always be something different about every single house that you haven't talked about yet, absolutely. It's just going to take years of experience to come across 70% of the random stuff that will probably come up in different houses.

Speaker 2:

And there's still some stuff that comes up where I'm like, wow, I'm scratching my head and I haven't run across that and I've been in the construction room for half my life, so it's one of those things. It's always. You're always learning, and I guess the best thing for home inspectors is always to have that open mind. You're not going to know a lot about things, right, but you're not going to know everything, so it's OK for you to say, well, I'm not sure, well, let me look that up or let me go ask around. They're not going to shame you for not understanding. I think that's a very misconception, where people feel like they have to know everything.

Speaker 1:

So they start like Make a step up, Right right.

Speaker 2:

And it's making more harm than it is good. You know, just admit, hey, I'm not sure, I'll go do my research, I'll ask around, and if I don't know, then you know, go ask a professional. You know that's. I'm here to point you in the right direction, you know so, yeah, no, that's good, awesome.

Speaker 1:

Well, is there any last hits advice, anything that you want to share with the listeners before we wrap today's episode up?

Speaker 3:

It's a very much a good thing is just always ask any questions you have about anything, don't, don't hesitate. The only thing that's going around, especially we always say, is, if we're in the basement, don't ask me about something in the master bedroom, wait until we get up there. But I mean, we're here to answer any and all questions and if anybody has any questions or comments or concerns about anything, always bring them up to us.

Speaker 2:

It's always open, awesome.

Speaker 1:

You're for open discussions.

Speaker 2:

I always like to talk home inspections or real estate too.

Speaker 1:

How does somebody get a hold of you?

Speaker 2:

I could call us Texas going our website. We do have a Facebook and Instagram, but the Facebook's more updated than our Instagram page and it's rich to foundation for that business name, or it's to foundationcom, our email phone number.

Speaker 3:

everything's on the website as well. You can reach out as well.

Speaker 1:

Awesome. What's the number?

Speaker 3:

571-207-85109.

Speaker 1:

Awesome, you guys are going to say that in sync, aren't you? Thank you so much for being our guest today on the LL1 show. It was a pleasure learning a little bit of a story. Congratulations on the fresh new baby I always love the fresh babies and best of luck in growing your team.

Speaker 3:

Thank you very much.

Speaker 2:

Well, thank you for having us and thank you for having the time and opportunity. This was a great time. I really do appreciate it.

Speaker 1:

You're so welcome.

Growing Home Inspection Business With Family
Home Inspection and Seller Education
Sports, Home Renovations, and Future Goals
Trusting Others and Training in Business
Contact Information and Farewell