I have worked with many Realtors in the 5+ years I have been in business. Many have come and gone, and a few have become not just regular referees but close friends. In fact a select few will not suggest any other Home Inspector to their clients and to them I am truly grateful.
Imagine my surprise when the phone rang late this afternoon and the person on the other end of the phone says"Hi, my name is MJ (not her real name) and I am a Realtor. My insurance company told me that I need to have a Wind Mitigation Inspection done on my home otherwise they will cancel my policy. Do you do Wind Mitigation Inspections, and what do you charge?"
Fortunately I was busy on my computer when MJ called so I went into my database and lo and behold what do I find? Nothing, absolutely nothing. MJ had never used my services before, I had done an inspection for one of my clients on a property she had listed, but never received any replies to any letters or emails that had been sent to her to try and obtain any business from her.
With that in mind I quoted MJ my normal rate and was very surprised with what followed. "Don't you give discounts to Realtors?"
"I certainly do," I replied, "I give discounts to Realtors who send me business all the time."
"Are you telling me you are not prepared to give me a discount?" came a shrill voice over the phone.
I tried to explain to MJ that since she had not given me any business in the past she was not entitled to any discount, and with that the phone went dead.
A Realtor who has been in business since 2003 should have one or two Home Inspectors that clients are referred to on a regular basis.
It makes me wonder about the quality of their work, if a Realtor has to go shopping the inspection of their own home to somebody they have never dealt with but has a reputation for detail and accuracy.
Please don't expect me to offer a discount on your Home or Insurance Inspections if you are not a person who helps me to grow my business. If you are using new inexperienced or desperate Inspectors who write soft reports for your clients and only want experienced inspectors for yourself, your family or your friends then you should be ashamed of yourself. We both have a fiduciary duty to the client to do what is in their best interests and using an Inspector that you would not use for yourself, your family or your friends is not right.
I will probably ruffle a few feathers with this article but there are way too many Used House Salesman posing as Realtors and it is time that Realtors stood up and weeded them out because they are the ones that are tainting the image people have of Realtors. Yours is an honorable profession and a good Realtor is worth their weight in gold.