How to Become a Professional Property Inspector

property inspectorAs the housing market starts to rise again and rentals climb to a six-year high, more and more opportunities open up to find a career in housing.  Buying and flipping property requires a significant up-front investment, and property management can be a very high-stress job that isn’t for everyone, but the more buying, selling and renting of properties that goes on, the more need there is for competent professional property inspectors.  Beginning a career as a property inspector isn’t hard, but it does require time, dedication, and more than a small amount of study. 

Check your state’s licensing requirements

Currently 39 out of 50 states require property inspectors to have a license to work.  Licensing requirements vary from state to state, but typically they involve taking an in-depth training course and passing a certification exam.  Though the requirements may seem daunting, having a license is a very good idea for a property inspector: it establishes a baseline of expertise an inspector needs to work; it ensures that a property inspector’s knowledge is up to date; and it can smooth things over immensely if legal issues arise.

Take a certification course

Even if your state does not require a license or certification, it is a very good idea to take a certification course anyway.  No matter how comfortable you feel you are with the ins and outs of property inspection, there’s still a good chance that some of the knowledge you need to do a good job as a property inspector will surprise you.  Taking a certification course puts you on an even footing with other property inspectors in your area by ensuring that you know all of the essentials for a thorough property inspection, and makes it much less likely that something you find during an inspection will be unfamiliar or confusing to you.

Join a property inspectors’ association

Though it is not necessary to be part of a property inspectors’ association, it is a very good idea, especially if you are in the beginning stages of forming your business.  Associations typically have a wide range of resources for their members, and can make it much easier to build your business, find clients, recommend appropriate tools and get over the hurdles all new businesses face.  An association is a community, and the members will usually look out for each other.  Being on good terms even with your immediate competition is a smart move: you never know who might recommend you to a client if they have a scheduling conflict.

Keep educating yourself in the field

Even once you’ve completed your certification and licensing, keep an eye out for more in-depth courses about property inspection and building technology.  Especially as businesses move towards environmentally friendly operations, technology in properties changes all the time.  Being able to tell the difference between different types of solar panels or to identify problems with a home wind turbine can make you stand out among your competition, and is a great way to find a niche in which you can jump-start your business.

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