Topic: If your house is your home, then a home inspection is a must before you purchase! A special appearance by Carol “Remodeling Babe” Carey who joins Morris Carey to discuss the importance of home inspections and the skill of those at HouseMaster in performing them.
Guest: Kathleen Kuhn, President and CEO of HouseMaster
Phone: 732 469-6565
3 Points For Success – Kathleen Kuhn:
- Reinforce the value of a home inspection.
- We certainly like are your listeners I would really appreciate if they take a look at HouseMaster if they’re in the process of buying a home or selling a home or if they’re thinking about their next step in the career opportunity. We are a national franchise company we’re the first company the franchise in the industry and it is a great business. We help provide the competitive edge for our our franchisees. It’s a very exciting time in the industry!
- If you are getting a home inspection you attend the inspection.
Carol [00:00:00] Hi I’m Carol Carey and it’s great to have you with us on another edition of CareyBrosPros.
Morris [00:00:05] And I’m Morris Carey and as professionals were always looking for ways to help our pro listeners offer more to their customers. On this edition we’ll learn about home inspections and how they can help you help your customers.
Carol [00:00:20] Our guest today is Kathleen Koon president and CEO of housemaster.
Morris [00:00:25] Welcome to CareyBrosPros Kathleen. Tell our listeners how home Masters got its start. Would you.
Kathleen [00:00:31] Sure. My father actually was working in corporate America. Though his father was an entrepreneur. So he did always want to get in to his own business and appreciated the value of self-employment. He was looking to get into a service business. And actually one that he could take national so you really had that vision from the get go because that’s what he knew national marketing. And he met a builder who was trying to get this concept of home inspections off the ground as a builder he was regularly asked from friends and family hey can you check out the sales. I’m not sure what I’m buying. And they became fast friends and partners and it was really the perfect marriage of that technical support with my father’s business acumen and marketing knowledge. Interesting. And that was in the early 70s.
Morris [00:01:21] Wow.
Carol [00:01:22] So your company is better than 25 years old.
Kathleen [00:01:26] We are, we began franchising in 79. Yeah. It began franchising in 79.
Morris [00:01:32] Oh maybe thirty!
Kathleen [00:01:32] Yeah. This year is our fortieth anniversary.
Carol [00:01:35] Now. Happy birthday. Congratulations. Happy anniversary I guess. All right. Are you for homeowners only or are there other aspects of inspections that your company will do.
Kathleen [00:01:48] Well we primarily do residential work. About 10 percent of our business however is commercial. So what we consider small commercial or like commercial generally several hundred thousand square feet or smaller. But the majority of our business as I say about 85 to 90 percent of our business is residential.
Carol [00:02:06] That’s wonderful.
Morris [00:02:07] Tell me what makes your company different than the hordes of others that do the same thing.
Kathleen [00:02:14] That is a great question. There’s a couple big things that really set us apart. One of the things is that with every house master inspection we provide a limited repair reimbursement guarantee. And what that means is that if our inspector inspects the property and finds an element in the house fires whether the system of the House or component of the House to be in satisfactory condition if that component should fail within 90 days after closing then house master would be responsible for the repairs up to fifteen hundred dollars per plane. And that guarantee is very unique in the industry it’s not a third party guarantee it is backed by our local office. So and it’s just our ability to do a good job of course and also to instill confidence and give our buyers a peace of mind that they’re working with a company that is going to stand behind what they do.
Morris [00:03:18] When I wrote that question I didn’t know you’re going to get such a good answer.
Carol [00:03:25] So Kathleen do you would a home inspector need to have a construction background to get started with you.
Kathleen [00:03:32] Not necessarily most of our inspectors certainly do have some kind of a construction or remodeling background but very often especially as we we bring on franchise owners they have an interest they tend to have an interesting real estate they have an interest in buildings and how it all works but it is a very trainable skill. So we’ve been mentioned we’ve been doing this for 40 years we actually have a sister program called the National Institute of Building inspectors that’s our affiliated training and serve occasion program and we’ve trained thousands of home inspectors. So you don’t have to have a background in construction because again we provide the not only initial training but ongoing training on an ongoing basis. The key really is to have good communication skills and be able to be very focused and obviously have the ability to learn.
Morris [00:04:31] I tell you the truth I’ve made home inspections and I have a truck full of tools so if I need to test anything I have the equipment what is in Coleman Specter’s toolbox.
Kathleen [00:04:42] It varies a little bit from area to area but frankly the most important things are a flashlight and a probe rebate. [laughs] The most important things as well as their computer nowadays but they’re going to have a variety of things from. Outlet testers. They’re to have a moisture meter so that when they see a stain they can assess whether it’s an active stain in some areas they’re gonna use a gas detector. And then there is a variety of other tools that might be available depending on additional services. But at the end of the day a probe a flashlight a camera now is of course become an essential piece of equipment for an inspector because everything that we do is documented not only in writing but also through video and through pictures.
Morris [00:05:33] Very very interesting.
Carol [00:05:33] Yeah.
Morris [00:05:34] I never thought of a moisture meter.
Carol [00:05:36] Oh I do.
Morris [00:05:38] Interesting.
Carol [00:05:39] Are all home inspectors created equal? What makes each individual unique?
Kathleen [00:05:44] No they’re not. They’re in about 34 states 34 states. There is licensing so in those areas there is a set standard. However the quality of service can vary dramatically despite the licensing. It certainly is a good starting point and I think the biggest thing that separates an inspector is the access to ongoing support. It’s also the guarantee as you know being able to use a company that is willing to stand behind they are finding some companies will pay a third party to guarantee their work but we think that’s somewhat telling and the other big factor probably is technology. I mean nowadays technology plays a very big role in the home inspection process at housemaster. Our inspections are completed and uploaded to the housemaster cloud and that is an account a home management platform account that the consumer gets they access their report through the house master cloud but they also can coordinate the setting up of their utilities they have access to savings and offers a lesson schedule maintenance alerts they can check for recalls. So technology is another really powerful tool that can separate inspection companies.
Morris [00:07:04] It just literally amazes me. We’ve gone to the cloud just recently we’ve been on computer long before most construction companies ever started. We began with 3-D drawings long before most construction companies were doing their own drawings and now we’re well into the cloud and connected to the software which we’ve been using for decades. And the cloud is really an amazing advantage and I think we’ll see more and more of that as time goes on putting the operational or the field into the business in direct connection to the office. That’s a pretty cool deal and especially for the customers as well.
Morris [00:07:47] Kathleen as you know we ask our CareyBrosPros guests for three points for success. What would you like our fellow pros to take from your visit with us?
Kathleen [00:07:58] First of all I always like to reinforce the value of a home inspection. Now most consumers do opt to take advantage of an inspection. But I certainly incurs a value whether you’re buying your home or if you’ve been in your home for quite some time. You can really get a great value by having a home inspector come check it out give you some suggestions on how to maintain the home probably be able to reduce or prevent problems down the road. We certainly like are your listeners I would really appreciate if they take a look at housemaster if they’re in the process of buying a home or selling a home or if they’re thinking about their next step in the career opportunity. We are a national franchise company we’re the first company the franchise in the industry and it is a great business. We help provide the competitive edge for our our franchisees. It’s a very exciting time in the industry and I think the third thing that I would recommend is that if you are getting a home inspection you attend the inspection the home inspection is really not just something where the inspector goes out does his thing and then send you a report. It’s really should be at least a good home inspection will involve the customer address questions that they may have let the customer see what the inspector is doing and ask. As I said ask questions and also it just makes for a more comprehensive or more more value in the written report when the bar has been along on the inspection a good home inspector is also going to be able to demonstrate how to operate many of the systems at home. So it’s time worthwhile.
Carol [00:09:32] That’s wonderful. Kathleen thank you so much for joining us today. Kathleen Kuhn president and CEO of housemaster. If you’d like to learn more about housemaster you could visit their Web site at housemaster.com.
Morris [00:09:48] But remember if you’re looking for information about any of our guests as well as other podcasts videos and articles just check out our Web site at CareyBrosPros.com.