Most inspectors focus on one field of specialization, residential or commercial. However, some inspectors do both. While it takes years of experience and perhaps a little more time to branch out, it’s actually a good idea to increase skill sets.
If you’ve seen companies or inspectors who offer both, you might be wondering how a commercial inspection differs from a typical home inspection. Generally, specializing in commercial inspection drives an inspector to a larger and more devoted customer base. Here’s why:
1. An incredible variety of buildings to inspect
A home inspection does focus on different types and ages of home, but it’s still a home. Commercial inspection, on the other hand, has an incredible variety in terms of types of buildings or units. In short, there are lots of things to see in the commercial realm. This includes:
– Office buildings
– Retail stores
– Shopping malls
– Grocery stores
– and other spaces for business purposes
A commercial inspection covers all surfaces, structures, and equipment within a commercial property. This includes interior and exterior walls, structural frame, roof, driveway and pathway, floors, plumbing and electrical system, HVAC units, and other components.
2. Commercial inspections require more time
Unlike a home inspection which is typically conducted between 2 to 5 hours, a commercial inspection is much more complicated. Aside from that, a commercial inspection may have larger fees which means larger work too. The good thing with branching out to commercial work is that it grows the home inspector’s skillset.
However, in some cases, the client may choose a smaller representative sampling of units and systems to reduce the cost of the inspection. The client gambles on this smaller representative which is common for multiple-unit buildings such as apartments.
3. More referral opportunities from commercial clients
As mentioned above, doing commercial inspections also drive a good customer base than home inspections. With home inspections, referrals make a huge impact. However, repeat clients are very rare partially because nobody probably buys a home every single year. With commercial inspections, the clients are investors who may be constantly expanding a business or know somebody else who does. There’s a bigger chance of referrals and repeat transactions. Most of the time, real estate brokers of commercial properties have a good network of clients. Keeping this business people happy guarantees repeat customers.
4. Liability risk and responsibility, however, is higher.
Commercial inspectors usually face a higher risk of liability and greater challenges in general. First, commercial buildings are larger, and sometimes more intimidating to the inspector. Clients here are businessmen who are critical with deadlines and with money on the line. Since commercial buildings are larger in scope, commercial inspectors usually work on a team. This helps streamline the inspection process and minimize the possibility of errors.
Some home inspectors actually happen to become commercial inspectors by chance. Maybe a residential owner who is also a business investor who needed a reliable inspector. For the most part, many seek professional inspections to help grow their business.
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