”To be honest, I didn’t start out to run a business, but the potential of growing the female inspection industry is enormous. Less than 5% of home inspectors are female.“
I grew up on construction sites.My earliest memories are of sweeping up sawdust and listening to subcontractors argue. My dad was a builder and our family was heavily involved in the day to day operations. My mom was the master organizer and my brother developed into a high-end trim carpenter. On the weekends we would pile into the car and drive around to job sites. My dad was constantly quizzing us on components and how things were put together.
My mother read an article in the newspaper in the spring of 2003 about home inspectors and immediately called me and said, “Pammie, you can do that!” Mississippi had just passed legislation that required licensure for home inspectors. The first few years were tough. I was met with some resistance from my male counterparts. However, the president of our local Home Inspector Association was welcoming and very helpful. He taught me that there are enough houses for everyone to inspect. I became committed to raising the standards of the home inspection industry. From the beginning, I wanted to bring a higher level of professionalism, and I’ve always been available to anyone wanting to know how to get into the business. I believe the more good inspectors we have, the better off the entire industry is.
After a few years, I noticed I was getting a lot of return business from clients who wanted “that gray-haired lady” to do their inspection. I began to realize that I was automatically different from my competition just by being female. So I changed my business name to Pam’s Inspections.
During a women’s softball game, I heard someone yell, “You throw it like a girl!” My first thought was, “I inspect it like a girl!” The tag line was added to my business and eventually evolved into the name of the business. With the help of my partner, we have trademarked the name and the logo. We added eyelashes to the business car, a Mini Cooper, and began to aggressively market that we were women inspectors.
At this time, we can’t keep up with the increased sales. We have hired two more female inspectors, are in the process of hiring someone to take the phone calls and have part-time office help. And just for the record, we will hire men. If they are willing to wear the logo, Inspect It Like A Girl, then they are welcome!
To be honest, I didn’t start out to run a business, but the potential of growing the female inspection industry is enormous. Less than 5% of home inspectors are female; however, the National Association of Realtors market research shows that 91% of homebuying decisions are made or influenced by women. Over 70% of Realtors are women. We are proof that women like doing business with women. And, as a side note, one of the funniest things I hear from men is, “if you are anything like my wife, I want you inspecting my house.”
Our current business is based heavily on meeting the needs of our clients. We aren’t trying to impress anyone with how much we know. We are trying to listen to what they want to know about their new home. We stress the importance of communication, not only with our clients, but also with the Realtors and with each other. I personally have had to open up my mind to new ways of doing things. The inspection business is so much more than inspecting the house. It’s all about building and maintaining relationships, something, we believe as women, we do quite well.
Our vision is to grow nationally. We’d like to be a platform for other female inspectors to stand on. We are working diligently to build systems that can be duplicated by women nationally and internationally. We are currently networking with inspection companies around the United States and Canada, soaking up as much knowledge as we can. Just like Rosie the Riveter claimed, “We Can Do It!”
By Pam Pybas
Inspect It Like A Girl