December, 2005
Feature
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Study Tracks Home Inspection Business Trends, Profiles Today's Home Inspector

ANTHONY SNYDER

Interested in knowing what the average annual income is for a full-time or part-time home inspector? How about what the average inspector pays for training and marketing, or how many have made the investment in errors and omissions insurance? ASHI's latest edition of the Home Inspection Business Operations Study contains this important information.

The 2005 study, based on 2004 data, clearly identifies home inspection business trends and provides a profile of today's professional home inspector. Data from the previous four editions of the study, dating back to 1996, also are presented in comparison, demonstrating strong growth in the home inspection profession over the past nine years. One of the most interesting statistics identified in this comparison is the growth in average annual income, along with the reduction in the average number of inspections being conducted each year. Additional data from the study include the following:

• Eighty-one percent of inspectors consider home inspection their full-time profession, with an average of 8.1 years of experience supporting their performance.

• Seventy-seven percent of survey respondents based their residential inspection fee on property size, while also considering property age and type.

• Pre-listing inspections comprise an average of 2.6

percent of home inspectors' annual inspection business, compared to 7.9 percent of new home construction inspections and 7.6 percent of relocation inspections. These numbers represent a slight increase over the 2002 study data.

• Nearly 80 percent of inspectors now provide computer-generated report forms versus hand-written reports.

• Sixty-four percent of inspectors use a laptop computer in their inspection, and 83 percent of inspectors use a digital camera, as compared to 49 percent and 60.5 percent in 2002, respectively.

• Respondents answered 45 operational questions to provide the data needed to identify current business trends.


Working with Perception Solutions (Aurora, Ill.), an independent research company, ASHI invited nearly 18,000 home inspectors from across North America to participate in the largest business operations studies conducted exclusively for the home inspection profession. In addition to the full ASHI Membership, the memberships of the California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA) and the Texas Association of Real Estate Inspectors (TAREI), as well as dozens of state licensing and regulatory agencies (in those states where licensing regulation is in effect) that allowed ASHI to use their mailing lists were invited to participate. The return rate was 14.7 percent, meaning that nearly 2,500 home inspectors participated. Respondents completed the survey online via a secure Internet connection.

ASHI received funding support from HORIZON by Carson Dunlop (www.discoverhorizon.com), Pillar to Post (www.pillartopost.com), HomeGauge (www.homegauge.com) and 3D Inspection Systems (www.3dinspection.com) to help conduct the Study.

ASHI Membership may purchase the study for $89.95 and non-members for $139.95, plus shipping and handling. Individuals with CREIA and TAREI are being offered the survey at the member rate as an appreciation for their societies' participation in the study. To order your copy, click here to visit the ASHI Store or call Russell Daniels at 800- 743, ASHI Ext. 185.