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Charlie Glahe WIN Broomfield

New technology improves home inspections

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The basic process of a home inspection is fairly straightforward and hasn't changed much in recent years. This isn't to say that it doesn't require the skill and expertise of a trained professional. But home inspectors who've been in the industry for some time may feel hindered by any new protocol or procedure. At the same time, many industries have seen massive changes in their daily operations thanks to the ubiquity of powerful, intuitive technology and software. You may be surprised at how much your own business may benefit from a few new tricks. If you think the time is right to turbocharge your property inspection business, take a look at what a few professionals are doing with modern technology.

Drones for the home
One of the most profound and quickly evolving areas in tech is in the realm of drones, the common name for a small, remote controlled rotor-powered aircraft. While remote control aircraft have been around for some time, only recently have they become powerful enough, and relatively inexpensive, to make them practical for a variety of uses. One home inspector from Waterloo, Iowa put his camera-mounted drone to good use by using it to inspect roofing. According to an interview with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Jonathan Zeissler was perplexed that the integrity of a home's roof was rarely assessed in detail as part of a typical home inspection. So he began his own business and uses drones to accomplish these inspections.

Climbing onto a roof itself to inspect it thoroughly is obviously very hazardous. Particularly steep or large roofs are difficult to traverse safely. Using the drone, though, Zeissler can get just as close to the roof as he would in person, and look in places where he could not safely go otherwise. Traversing a particularly large roof is also managed much faster than would otherwise be possible. While it takes some practice to gain the precise control needed to safely fly, Zeissler credits much of his success operating the aircraft to his experience playing video games. He predicts that while a home inspector with a drone might be a rare sight now, it wouldn't surprise him to see them more often, and filling even more diverse roles besides roof inspections.

Easier inspections
There are many other innovative tools at the disposal of home and property inspectors now than ever before, thanks to the booming software industry. Home inspection group Inspection Certification Associates highlighted a few popular tools that enterprising inspectors can use to accomplish their jobs with greater efficiency. One useful app discussed was PlaceFull, an online scheduling service that streamlines the interaction between inspectors and clients. Using the service, inspectors can schedule meetings with clients, organize payments and much more from their smartphone.

Another app that home inspectors can use is Palm Tech. This software focuses on the reporting side of home inspections, and will aggregate all the data input into the program - including photos, notes and measurements - into a clean, organized report that's easy to comprehend. The user can scroll through categories of details that home inspections must cover and provides space in which to input information, either from preset categories or customized annotations. Palm Tech is also compatible with smartphones as well as laptop and desktop computers.

The high demand facing real estate professionals today necessitates the most efficient means of organization and communication. Inspectors who utilize any technology at their disposal will likely prove hugely beneficial to their business.