The property inspection space in the US is quite crowded. Digital property inspection has made it easy for new entrants into the space. This becomes clear if you, for example, consider New York where there are over 4000 property inspectors competing for opportunities. The truth is, real estate is fast running out in the big American cities and developers are looking to new lands overseas to stay in business. Now, competition is good because it brings out the best in an inspector but new markets are better because they bring in money. Up until a few years ago, it was unthinkable for an American inspector to venture outside the US since property inspection in other countries is not as developed as it is over here. In some countries, building is not as regulated as it is in the US, rendering property inspection irrelevant.
But now the game has changed. Forbes just broke the news that Silverstein Properties, the real estate company that was given the contract to rebuild the World Trade Towers, is making a $2.21 billion investment in a free trade zone in China’s Shenzen province. The Silverstein Company will build close to 5 million square feet of shopping space, office space, and a hotel. Shenzen is close to Hong Kong, a city with over 7000 buildings and one where property inspection companies have made a killing. The deal just broke to the media a week ago and it now remains to be seen how it will pan out.
So how does this affect the property inspectors business? Well, there are 2 ways through which the American property inspector can benefit from increased investment by US real estate companies in other countries, as we see below.
New Business for Relatively New Inspectors
The most obvious way to benefit from a deal like this Silverstein deal is by moving to the new areas. If Americans are going to be investing, you can be sure that inspection will be part of the deal since properties cannot be leased or bought without inspection reports. This is a godsend for new inspectors who have yet to break into the American market. If an inspector is young and willing to travel and immerse him or herself in a new culture, this kind of deal presents probably the best opportunity for career advancement.
Leveraging the American Brand
The US national brand is a powerful one, anywhere in the world. Property inspectors chasing big real estate deals will be pleased to know that by virtue of being Americans, they will be respected and even trusted. It is also unlikely that investors from America will hire local firms when there are US inspectors available. This is because it is expected that the US inspectors have learned from the relatively older US real estate industry and have a technical edge over the local inspectors.
With that said, it has to be mentioned that moving abroad is search of new business is quite a big risk. But what is business with no risk? Experts recommend that an inspector make contact with real estate investors like Silverstein while still in the US. That way, the inspector will be moving into the new country with the contract ready; he or she will have effectively reduced the risk of being without a job in foreign land.