Inspector Communication in the 21st Century

I have been inspecting long enough that I remember delivering paper reports to all my clients. Since that early start, I have adapted to the times by substantially modifying the report from the "Acceptable, Marginal, Defective" format so prevalent to a more granular report with eleven categories. I deliver the report electronically, from the house, using my phone as a hotspot.

Back then, we did everything by phone and I even had an 800 number for out of state clients. Technology kept marching, and I went right along with it, dropping the 800 number when everybody had cell phones. I don't own a fax machine anymore, either.

That march continues. Video conferencing used to involve massive amounts of equipment that only a large corporation could afford. Today we carry it in our pocket. For my out of state clients, I can contact them while at the inspection if I discover a major defect and we can talk about it right then and there. Not only that, but I can show them what I'm looking at with Skype, Google Hangouts, or Facetime.

The pace of change is thundering ahead. As an inspector, I can choose to keep up with it or turn into a dinosaur. (Seriously, there are still inspectors that don't take pictures!) My default position is that whatever I can do to improve the experience for my client while doing the most thorough inspection that I can is worth the effort to learn the new systems.

Those two items need to work in tandem. The best inspection in the world, poorly communicated, is worthless. Obviously, the reverse is true as well. The second biggest skill an inspector can bring to his job is the ability to talk to and educate the client. At every opportunity, we need to, as an industry, improve to meet our clients needs. They need to be able to talk to use. Video chats simply make that a much more personable conversation.

So, would you like to chat? And do you use any of these in your business?