By Carl Brahe, CHI, CCI, Inspection Perfection, Inc
“There is economy because men work. Men do not work because there is economy.” Sir Thomas Moore
The current economic environment has caused business to go two ways with customer service. It has gotten really good or really bad. In many retail establishments every customer brings multiple employees offering help where a year ago it was nearly impossible to find an employee, and even harder to find one who was willing to help. In other businesses customer service has become totally nonexistent.
The same situation is occurring with property inspections. Stories of cut-rate, low quality inspections are common. In one instance an inspector quoted a low rate, but showed up without a camera. When asked about pictures he informed his client that photos were $100 extra. For the extra fee he took pictures using a cell phone. I observed an inspector conducting an inspection without a tool belt or box, no camera nor computer. His only tools seemed to be a clip board and a flashlight. Other inspectors are working extra hard to please clients.
A Denver real estate agent relates: “I had an instance of an Inspector (chosen by the buyer) who arrived at the residence and after the client spent about 20 minutes shadowing his inspection and asking specific questions about some questionable aspects of the home, he asked if she would leave him alone and wait for his report. A first time buyer and intimidated by the thought that some serious things could be wrong with the property, she did what she was told.
When it came to obtaining the report, we waited a few days and the Inspector faxed one copy to the buyer. When the buyer and I called to have him explain a few things, he was too busy. When I called to request my own copy, I was told that he didn’t keep his records and I’d have to get it from the buyer. Subsequently, issues with leaks in the water pipes had to be discovered and resolved late enough into the process that the buyer’s earnest money was at stake.”
A good inspection can be worth its weight in gold.
There are many articles to guide residential and commercial buyers in hiring a home inspector. In practice, they tend to find you the best salesperson, not the best inspector. All have lists of questions to ask potential inspectors; questions about education, background, experience, but they never suggest the most important question of all. The question never asked is: “Who do you work for?”
Many answers to this question might be offered. Ask anyone who provides you with goods or services, and almost no one will give the only correct answer: “I work for you.” All economic activity occurs because a person or company has a need or desire and sufficient economic power to pay for it. All workers in all phases of all design, production, promotion, delivery and service work for the end consumer. The simple fact of economics is: All economic activity exists to serve the consumer.
Who do you actually work for? Whatever your profession, you are a member of a SuperTeamTM* that includes all the other people whose work contributes to the end product/ service you provide. A real estate deal may involve many people whose work will be required in the process of finding a property and transferring it to a new owner.
Every single person on the SuperTeamTM has to perform his/ her job correctly in order for the deal to proceed smoothly. If each person involved understands that they work for the end consumer, as part of a team that they must interact with effectively, the deal is more likely to proceed smoothly. Each team member’s work is more likely to be honored and supported by all of the team members, even though most of your SuperTeamTM members will never have contact with each other. Each team member is a specialist with a specific role to play. The team’s functionality and performance depends on harmonious attitudes of the members, as well as adequate performance by each member.
The person who understands that he/she works for you, and that your best interests are what’s most important, will treat you with greater respect and provide higher quality work. A person who treats you as an economic harvestable is not likely to care much about you. When you are buying a home it really is all about you, your family, your safety and your security. A functional SuperTeamTM will work to make these things happen for you.
Special thanks to Shannon Herring.
* SuperTeam: Beyond Management, Carl Brahe, MA & Madison Holloway, PhD, 1995
For many more resources for property owners/buyers/sellers and professionals go to: www.inspection-perfection.com
Inspection Perfection, Inc – 303-816-5556