Thinking Of Becoming A Building Inspector? Here’s A REAL Look At The Building Inspector’s Job!
So you want to become a building inspector? Well, first up, not all building inspectors are created equal. If you would like to become a reputable building inspector, one that people trust and one that can build the bulk of your business on referrals alone, don’t expect to cut corners like some of Brisbane’s less trusted companies do. You’ll need to put your heart and soul into it to reap the rewards.
Building inspectors can make or break a home-buying experience. Do you have what it takes?
You’ll need the right qualifications to become a building inspector
It would be remiss to think that to become a building inspector, all you need to do is apply for a license. Firstly, to become a residential building inspector, you need at least five years of experience as a builder, building surveyor, assistant building surveyor or building surveyor technician. You will also need documentation to support this experience plus, documents to prove you have a builder’s licence or course certificate. In addition, you will need three references with contact numbers so that your experience can be confirmed; you will need to show that you meet the Queensland Building and Construction Commission’s minimum financial requirements and have adequate professional indemnity insurance.
But that’s not all. Once your experience is confirmed, you will need to pass a Completed Residential Building Inspector’s Course through institutions such as Master Builders Queensland.
The reality is if you’re in a completely different profession and have never been involved in building and construction of any sort, becoming a building inspector is a pretty long stretch. If you’re a builder looking for a new career as a building inspector, just being a builder isn’t enough; you’ll have to follow the qualification and licensing process.
Remember, clients are within their rights to ask for your inspector license, and if you inspect without one, you’re taking a huge risk.
You’ll need a good understanding of building codes and legislation
It doesn’t just stop with training and licensing. As a building inspector, you will need to keep up to date with Queensland building legislation, building codes of Australia and Australian Standards. Although these are covered in the Completed Residential Building Inspector’s Course, it will be your responsibility to stay up to date with amendments to these laws, codes and standards.
You’ll need to be prepared for the dirty work
Just because you’ve had building experience doesn’t mean being a building inspector is for you. You will have absolutely no choice over getting dirty, squeezing through tight spaces and being exposed to various creepy crawlies – it’s part of doing the job properly.
If you want to become a respected building inspector, you’ll need to prepare for the worst conditions you’ve ever seen. Expect to climb ladders and stairs, and crawl into dark man holes not knowing what lurks inside. And be prepared to encounter bees, wasps and other creepy crawlies in suspicious nooks and crannies.
If you’re a clean freak, this job might not suit you. There will be plenty of shuffling under dusty houses; there will be mould, animal faeces and smells you’d rather not deal with. If it’s raining, you won’t get a day off; you’ll be out there amongst it, taking note of damaged gutters, faulty downpipes and poor drainage. Summer’s not fun either; climbing up into roof cavities in Brisbane’s stifling heat is all part of a job well done.
You’ll need social skills
It’s a fact that not everyone is a people person. It’s also a fact that as a building inspector, you really need to be. It’s not just a matter of inspecting a property, writing up a report and sending it to the client; you will have to deal with nervous, excited and emotional customers every day.
As a building inspector, it’s imperative to clearly explain the problems you have found; you will have to communicate with sellers to request the removal of obstructions and to request that extra visits are made. It’s also likely that you will have to deal with the odd objection and know how to deal with it professionally and calmly. The way a building inspector communicates with clients is a huge factor in business success
You’ll need good report writing skills
At Action Property Inspections, our most common feedback from our customers is that we provide very comprehensive reports. These detailed reports help the client understand every aspect of the defects found in the property.
When writing reports, you will not only need to outline details of the defects, you will need to include an assessment outlining the severity of the problems and the urgency at which they need repairing. You will also need to adequately explain, in writing, various options for the rectification of faults.
If writing is not your strong point and you’d be hard pressed to push out a report with detail, perhaps you may need to reconsider a career as a building inspector.
You’ll need a conscience
If you’re looking to make a quick dollar with minimal effort, hoping that by hiding behind terms and conditions in the contract your backside will be covered, think again. The less trusted building inspectors of Brisbane tend to use this approach, not realising that customers these days are more informed about what constitutes a thorough building inspection. This is why many clients decide to come to Action Property Inspections instead.
Put yourself in a customer’s position. How would you feel if your building inspector was in such a rush to do an inspection (or didn’t really care), they missed a significant defect which ended up costing you thousands. We spend as much time as we need at a property to ensure that every nook and cranny is inspected thoroughly, because our customers deserve it.
Being a building inspector is so much more than walking through and checking houses; you have customer’s livelihoods and futures at stake which is why it pays to dedicate yourself to being thorough and trustworthy. And when you build a property inspection business on these foundations, it becomes possible to derive many of your new clients purely from word of mouth. At Action Property Inspections, that’s where 82% of our new business comes from.