10 years and still growing. Hard to believe it's nearly ten years in business as a full time home inspector. But I've enjoyed every minute and can't wait for what's to come.
2009- At this time in 2009 I was working for another company in the building materials industry and had completed less than 20 inspections, total in 2 1/2 years. I was frustrated as a territory manage for that company and requested a demotion to prevent my brain from exploding from the ignorance of dealing with stupid sales and regional managers. The extra time I was going to have by not working long hours on redundant paperwork was going to allow me more time to build my inspection business. My oldest daughter was married that year and we had an amazing, fun party. The music was the best wedding music ever, I was told. I helped pick the music for the DJ.
2010- The last year with that company turned out to be very significant. Their version of management was to write up warnings on employees for every minor issue they could come up with, which would then be used at the end of the year to deduct from your bonus. I received one such warning, which reduced my bonus to less than $100. The last work day of the year (my wife's birthday), they fired me. The next day, New Years Eve, I went to all my local realtor offices and told them I was now full time. I completed 34 inspections in 2010.
2011- The struggle of owning your own business is real. You can't just snap your fingers and bam, have a bunch of business. The rules are simple, keep working at the business every day. Everything counts. No matter what you're doing, it counts either for the good or the bad. Sadly, our daughter's marriage was not to be. She was divorced in late 2011 and it was then that we realized how sad she had become with a husband that was not a good person to her at all. Around us at our home he was just great, but their drive home was another story. I completed 111 inspections in 2011.
2012- This was the most impactful year of all and it came down to December. I had completed 141 inspections as of December 10, 2012. That night, at 1:30 in the morning I was rushed to the hospital having a heart attack. I died twice on the table in the ER, was shocked back to life, and had a stent put in my LAD, Left anterior descending artery. I was very lucky we lived so close to a hospital and the ambulance was only 3 minutes from our home. That is the most important part of my whole life story.
2013- After finishing my rehab in January, I was released to go back to inspecting. My middle daughter Leslie challenged/convinced me into becoming a vegetarian. I took the challenge and have been a non meat eating member of society since then. Honestly if I ate a cheeseburger now I would probably get pretty sick. As the real estate market was recovering, my business was picking up. I was attending some seminars and learning new marketing ideas. It seemed to be working. My inspections that year were 256.
2014- Having 2 children in college at the same time dominated 2014. One in our town in Bourbonnais Il and the other in Carbondale Il at Southern Illinois University. Our son achieved his bachelor's degree in Forestry in December that year. Knowing he barely graduated high school, this was quite a big deal. More seminars and more USP's for my buyers. My list of Unique Selling Propositions (which can be seen below,) was getting noticed by many of the local agents and making a difference. Total inspections in 2014 were 296.
2015- Graduation day was a real party in May of 2015. Our youngest daughter became a licensed nurse and with that came a nice raise for her and she started looking for a new house of her own. She found one and made it look just like an IKEA store. Our son had already received his bachelors degree in forestry and was now starting on his Master's degree. Continuing to grow my business, I was now making noise beyond my small circle of realtor offices. I started visiting nearby offices when I had an inspection in those towns and picked up a bit more business. I also joined a local BNI group and made some new friends and great contacts. Total for 2015 was 350.
2016- Our middle daughter moved to Vermont that year. We were now empty nesters. Quite a change. I moved my office upstairs to my son's old bedroom. I hired a lawn service to cut my lawn so I could focus on inspections instead of saving $30 but lose a $400 inspection slot. I gave my daughter the lawn mower. More amazing seminars and learning from some top inspection companies in the country. Total inspections for the year were 450.
2017- 2018- Very similar years, business was booming but I was killing myself. I was to complete over 500 inspections both years. I realized I needed to hire an inspector. I had a close call in 2017 nearly hiring a guy that turned out to be a complete liar and would have wasted a lot of time and money working with him. He's now my competition in town. I had the other big inspection company meet with me as he wanted me to merge with his company and I was to become his manager of his team of inspectors. Turns out he had no team, it would have been me managing me. In July of 2018 a young man named Luke who I had done an inspection for 3 years earlier, called to see if I would consider hiring him to become an inspector. He had no interest in owning his own business. He's smart, polite, and very dedicated to doing an exact type of inspection that I do and the buyer gets the same experience no matter is doing the inspection.
My family picture after my heart attack.
2019- This year has been amazing. We watched our son walk across the stage at SIU and receive his Master's degree in Science with a specialty in Biology. He has a job that he loves and is living the life. Our oldest daughter is pregnant and is going to have our first grandchild in September.
Our inspection team is a smooth running machine, agents and buyers are happy with Luke. He's even getting his own reviews from our clients. I have made another move to build my business by interviewing a marketing person to help me focus on doing inspections and she can focus on getting more inspections. I'm hoping she is able to be hired and up and running by this fall. We are on pace for 600+ inspections.
Scott Seaton-The Home Inspector With A Heart
SLS Home Inspections @815-644-6271
Inspecting homes like yours in the Kankakee, Bourbonnais, Bradley, Illinois area since 2007.
Real Estate inspections with same day report delivery.
Mold and air quality testing.
FREE 90 day Homeowners Warranty. Included with every inspection.
FREE Sewergard protection for the first 90 days. covers up to $4000 of sewer or water main repairs.
FREE Recallchek appliance recall service. Included with every inspection.
FREE Moldsafe coverage on every inspection.
FREE Platinum Roof Protection Plan with 5 year leak repair coverage.
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