Purchasing home inspection software is one of the most important decisions a home inspector will make. Whether it is a new inspector who is just getting started or a veteran one who has been inspecting homes for 20 years, inspection software is going to play a major role in their businesses. Here are five questions home inspectors should ask themselves before purchasing home inspection software.
Is the software easy to use?
Before making a decision on software, an inspector should be sure to try out the software and make sure it is simple to use. Most home inspectors will be the first to tell you that they are not computer experts, which is why having home inspection software that is easy to use is a must. They need to make sure they can effectively use the software the way they want to. With a home inspector’s busy schedule, being able to learn the software quickly with little training is crucial. The quicker they can get up and running the better.
How flexible is the software?
Having software that is flexible and customizable is important. Every home inspector has a unique inspection style and way of putting together a report, so finding software that can adapt to them is essential. An inspector should make sure that they are able to edit forms, as well as, create their own. They shouldn’t have to change the way they do inspections; they should be able to change the software to suit them.
Can they picture themselves using it in the field?
An inspector should visualize themselves using the software in the field to make sure that it is a good fit for them. An inspector will first need to decide if they want to use a handheld device, tablet, or laptop in the field and then decide if the software will work with their choice. Using software in the field should be a benefit to them and their inspection process, not a hindrance. They will also need to make sure that the software does not take them away from their clients during the inspection. The client is the number one priority, and being able to use software effectively while still communicating with them is extremely important.
What is the total cost of the software?
Determining the total cost of the software is also very important. Inspectors need to ask the software company if there are any ongoing fees while they own the software, such as paying per inspection. Paying per home inspection may sound like a cheap alternative, but an inspector should figure out what the total cost would be over time. For example, if an inspector pays $7 per inspection and they do 200 inspections a year, that’s $1400 for one year! They should also ask if there is a monthly or annual fee to use the program. If the inspector plans to use the software on multiple computers, they will need to see if it costs extra to install to multiple devices. Home inspection software is a big investment, and an inspector needs to make sure they know exactly how much it is going to cost them.
Can they see themselves having an extended, working relationship with the software company?
Since software is one of the keys to a home inspection business, it is important to determine if an inspector can visualize themselves having a working relationship with the software company for many years. An inspector should call the software company beforehand and have a conversation with them. They should see how long they’ve been in business and talk to the technical support department to make sure they are responsive and helpful. A home inspector should plan on developing a long-term relationship with their software vendor.
Purchasing home inspection software is a great idea for any home inspection business. With such a big decision, the home inspector definitely wants to make sure they make the right choice. Asking the questions above will help them accomplish that goal.