July, 2018
Feature
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Assessors in Action: Peace of Mind Inspection Services

ASHI STAFF



This article continues the profiles of ASHI members from across the country who are successfully integrating the Home Energy Score into their businesses.

Peace of Mind Inspection Services is a business united by bloodline, and a passion for helping buyers understand home energy use and overall performance courses through its veins. Claude “Cody” Hardy’s Western Michigan–based company delivers a vast array of inspection services, but what really stands out is the extensive energy expertise that this young firm has on tap. Should a homebuyer want to take a deep dive into the gritty details of how energy efficient or safe and comfortable their home will be, Cody’s team can break out the blower doors, duct blasters, CO monitors and all manner of state-of-the-art gadgetry befitting a team that boasts multiple certifications in advanced building science and energy diagnostics. 



Despite their impressive energy-geek firepower, however, Cody’s team doesn’t lead with these energy packages—it’s the humble Home Energy Score that gets top billing for his homebuyer clients. “It’s the simplicity of the Home Energy Score that makes it a winner for us,” he said recently. 

“Homebuyers are already overloaded with information, so the 1-to-10 scale and the understandable recommendations for improvement are the perfect entry point for a broader conversation.”

And Cody keeps that conversation flowing, too, by following up with clients after they’ve lived in their new home for a season or so to offer the comprehensive energy analysis packages and other services that enable his clients to save money and to enjoy a more livable home.

Credible energy information delivered in plain language and diligent customer follow-up are key parts of Cody’s “system approach” to offering the best inspection service in their territory. This successful formula also incorporates a well-nurtured real estate agent network and some above-and-beyond touches like a personalized “Home Inspection Book” that provides detailed information on the operation of the home, an ongoing maintenance checklist and access to a Home Owners Resource Service to provide the homeowner how-to support, as well as a list of professional experts in their area.

The Home Energy Score is a no-brainer inclusion into Cody’s structure because it’s so consistent with a mission to not only point out problems, but also to put those problems in a manageable context (that is, urgency, cost to address) and to guide clients toward clear, actionable solutions that help them keep their eyes on the prize of owning the home that’s right for them. “We try hard to make sure that homebuyers don’t get thrown into panic mode from the information we’re giving them,” Cody told us. “The Score fits into our thorough and high-integrity approach because it doesn’t just identify problems and call it good…and there’s real value in that for buyers and for agents, too.”

In all this, there’s the strong impression that Peace of Mind Inspection Services would find a way to include critical energy and comfort-related information to its clients whatever the cost to them operationally. As it happens, however, including the Score as part of their standard inspection service is easy for them—so easy, in fact, that they don’t even charge for it. “We gather almost all of that information anyway,” Cody noted, “so the extra effort required to deliver a Home Energy Score report is minimal, especially considering the value we feel it brings to the table.”  

The strong growth trajectory of Codys  business suggests that Michigan homebuyers—like their counterparts across the country—do indeed see the value of “knowing the Score” when it comes to the home they’re buying, and ASHI is proud to be making sure that their members can deliver on that demand.



Assessor Snapshot
Q&A with Peace of Mind Inspection Services

Why Home Energy Score?
Delivering energy, health and comfort information is a big part of the business model, and we can go very deep with those services. Homebuyers need something simple as a first step, though, and the understandable Home Energy Score report and credible U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) name fit the bill. 

How do you work it into operations?
We gather the small amount of additional data needed for the Score as part of our standard inspection process and then generate the Home Energy Score report along with the regular inspection report. It’s a very minor addition to our process, so we don’t charge extra for the Score, but we do advertise that buyers get it for free in our marketing.

What do your clients think?
They appreciate the simplicity of the 1-to-10 scale and the clear layout of energy and expected utility cost information. They tend to see it as a really nice bonus; it’s not making or breaking any deals.

What does your real estate agent network think?
We work closely with our network, delivering lunch trainings on our services, so being able to highlight the Home Energy Score is a bonus. Agents see the Score as part of our system of delivering solutions to their clients, and they are supportive of that.



Get started now!
You, too, can make the Score part of your successful business plan. Jen Gallegos at ASHI HQ is always on hand to answer questions and to help you get the ball rolling. You can reach her at jeng@ashi.org.

Or you can save a step and head right to ID Energy to get signed up. They’re waiting for your application at
energyscoreusa.com/sign_up.php.