If you’ve been in the inspection business for a while, you’ve probably heard one of your clients say,“That’s a lot of money for only a few hours’ work!” As more and more home inspectors use time-saving report-generating software, including pictures (worth a thousand words), and even generate their reports on-site, they also start to make it look easy. When I was an inspector, I used to collect my fee on the job. I had a short but true story I printed on my letterhead and kept it with me to present to any client who questioned how much I was earning. The story goes as follows:
Pablo Picasso, the painter, was dining at a restaurant in New York City. A fan introduced herself to him and gushed at how thrilled she was to meet the great artist, and how she loved his work. Encouraged by his polite acceptance, the fan begged, “Oh, Mr. Picasso, would you draw me a sketch?”
Picasso grabbed some paper and, with a pen, promptly sketched the waiters passing parfaits. As the woman reached for the sketch, Picasso said, “Madame, that will be $10,000.”
Shocked, she replied, “But that only took you five minutes!”
“No, Madame,” replied Picasso. “It took me 50 years.”
Picasso priced his service to its value, not to the cost of manufacture. Picasso did not price his service based on the cost of the paper plus the cost of ink plus some hourly wage… and nor should a Certified Master Inspector®. Keep your pricing up.