Property inspectors are one of a kind in that they go to lengths to properly evaluate the condition of a home for potential buyers. It’s a given that these highly knowledgeable individuals are detail-oriented, articulate, strategic, and highly organized in their approach to meet business needs and adhere to the demands of their industry. Still, there’s more to their profession that what meets the eye. It’s essential to know how to use discretion in this position and understand the rules of this trade if you’re in it for the long haul. Remember practice makes perfect. Getting familiar with this profession’s etiquette could help you avoid undesirable scenarios with your clientele and keep your business relationships in good standing.
Make Suggestions, Not Demands
There’s an obvious difference between telling clients what they can do and what they should do. Avoid statements that sound pushy, like “This needs to be fixed and here’s what you need to do to resolve the issue.” Clients usually don’t respond well to these kinds of sayings, as they can be off-putting and insensitive. Also, customers may start wondering if, as a property inspector, you even have the credentials to make comments in an area that seems completely out of your range. If you have a hunch about how to enhance or repair a feature in a client’s home, try recommending some alternative solutions in a way that sounds helpful, not domineering.
Steer Clear of Broad Descriptions
Be mindful of how you describe components. For example, a client could interpret a household system or object that’s labelled “old” in several ways. Depending on the item in question, some might assume that you mean it’s antique-like and therefore, a classic item that’s irreplaceable. Others could think of the term in a more negative light and assume that you’re saying there’s a more modern alternative to what they currently own. In any case, it’s best not to be too general to avoid misunderstandings. Explain exactly what you mean in a clear, tactful, and objective way.
Don’t Downplay Your Training
It’s no easy task winning your clients’ confidence and respect. Many people aren’t eager to put their trust in strangers, especially for a duty as complex and daunting as property inspection. That said, it’s even more difficult to win back their trust if they’re inclined to take it away for feeling betrayed or let down in any way, especially if it’s associated with a seemingly lack of expertise. Professional property inspectors are typically required to go through strenuous training and become licensed which reflects their extensive knowledge and high degree of commitment to the field. While you don’t have to sound over-confident or pretentious about your educational accomplishments, it’s a good idea not to minimize the level of your expertise. Clients need to have faith that you know exactly what you’re doing and the inspection process is nothing new to you. Otherwise, you run the risk of having people second-guess your capabilities or undermining your authority.