Let's face it, nobody likes callbacks. But here's the thing, don't take it personally. Consumers that call are almost never correct when they say you missed something but that doesn't matter, because they will still sue you.
So whether you're a One Man Shop or a Multi-Inspector Firm, callbacks effect you the same way.
The key here is to prevent as many callbacks as possible, but when they do occur you must manage them quickly and properly so that small problems don't turn into larger issues!
Home Inspection Training
It's best to anticipate client (and agent) call backs and be prepared. Having a systematic and logical approach developed can improve your success allowing you to make better overall decisions and research shows that as you increase your confidence with solving problems, you'll be less likely to rush to the first solution – which may not necessarily be the best one.
When a complaint comes in, it almost always comes down to unrealistic expectations (largely because a local contractor threw you under the bus) so it's very important to set realistic expectations with each client. At The Savvy Inspector, we teach our clients how to use a document entitled "When Things Go Wrong."
This document explains to the client that there may come a time when he or she discovers something with the home that they feel may have been missed during the home inspection and that when this happens, there are some things they will need to keep in mind . Our clients include this document at the end of every inspection report and point out our limitations clearly in the report summary.
Home Inspection Training
The First step after receiving a complaint is to stop and analyze what has happened and why. Next respond to the client to acknowledge your receipt of the concern and that you will follow up with them in a timely fashion. Always resist immediately responding without understanding the complaint from your clients perspective. Emotions may be high so remain calm and follow your plan.
The best way to understand the clients concern is to send them the document we call "The Homeowner Incident Reporting Form" (provided to all The Savvy Inspector clients.) This form needs to be completed by the homebuyer before you really get into any substantive discussions. This will prevent the "he said she said" situation.
The form requires that the homebuyer answer a number of questions like…
- Was the condition observable at the time of the inspection?
- Who discover the condition?
- Did you learn this condition before closing on the property?
- Was this condition on the property disclosure form?
- And many other things
Once you receive the form back from the homebuyer you will be in a much better position to discuss the situation with them.
Many clients, after completing the form will understand that you have no culpability in this matter. However, a number of clients could care less if you were culpable or not they just have a repair that needs to be made and they want somebody to pay for it (besides them). These are the clients that cause you real trouble and need to be dealt with more seriously.
One thing is for sure, if you're in the home inspection business and you do lots of inspections, you are going to get callbacks so it's better to be prepared in advance so that you can prevent as many as possible from turning into claims.
At The Savvy Inspector, we provide home inspection training on how to manage the clients expectations upfront in order to minimize the number of callbacks they receive. Plus, we teach our members how to set up a very effective callback management system.
If you're looking for quality home inspection training on a variety of topics the join The Savvy Inspector.
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