Many of you are familiar with the basic tools in the home inspectors tool bag. They include the usual suspect, flashlight, electrical circuit testers, termite probe, binoculars, moisture meter, infrared thermometer, etc. But one tool that I had used in the past which was well received was one that you may not think of as a tool, but rather a toy. The tool that I am talking about of course, is a 7" portable DVD player. I can't blame you if you consider this an unnecessary toy and don't rush right out to buy one for your tool box. In fact I originally felt that way about it myself. How I came to realize that this could be useful for my business required a tense confrontation with my wife and some quick thinking and a little BS on my part.
It happened about 4 years ago, my wife was out of town and I, for some unknown reason, found myself in a Best Buy store, just looking. I happened to see one of these little beauties taunting me from the store shelf, it looked absolutely beautiful, and I just had to have it. Still not sure why, we already had 3 television sets and 3 computers in the house that we could watch DVD's on, surely this was not needed and would be excessive. However, a store special had reduced the price of this beauty to a mere $80.00, and I had a gift card from my brother for $50.00. I am not really a genius, but I figured in my head how much this would set me back and by now was more than convinced that $30.00 was a wise investment.
The tension began several weeks later when my wife saw the player sitting proudly on the front seat of my car. Curious, she asked, "what is that?" After I told her, her next question was "why would you need such a thing?" With no real answer other than just because, I opened my mouth and hoped a good explanation would miraculously come out just to avoid sleeping on the couch. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard myself explain that many times, prospective buyers cannot find child care so they have to bring their small children with them. I plan to use this as a tool to keep them occupied so their parents can concentrate on the inspection process. She thought about it for a second, then smiled and said, "that is a good idea."
Indeed it was, I just wish I had thought of it sooner to spare the suspense. Since then, my new tool has entertained and occupied many children and made the process much more enjoyable for all involved. If you don't have one, I would suggest you put it on your list today. Finding Nemo and Sponge Bob have saved the day more than once.
American Bulldog Home Inspection
Watchdog for the American Dream