Home Inspection Companies Adapt to Changing Realities in the Time of COVID-19
As the COVID-19 outbreak began to spread around the world and throughout the United States, all types of service industries, particularly those accustomed to dealing directly with the public, were faced with a challenge: Find ways to quickly adapt or find themselves unprepared to deal with an ever-changing business landscape.
This was true for the home inspection industry. In a world where mask-wearing, 20-second hand-washing, social distancing, and doorknob disinfecting had become daily rituals for millions of Americans, home inspectors would need to adopt these common-sense practices—and even stricter measures—to once again be able to serve clients with confidence, prevent the spread of the coronavirus, provide the real estate community with an essential step in the home-buying/home-selling process, and contribute to an economy in need of a serious jolt.
One of the first home inspection providers to grab COVID-19 by the horns was A-Pro Home Inspection, a 26-year-old company with independent home inspectors across the country. A-Pro is employing in-home strategies to protect their communities and all parties involved in the home inspection, while still delivering the high level of inspections they were known for long before COVID-19 became a household word. Here’s a summary of A-Pro Home Inspection’s coronavirus action plan:
- Certification: A-Pro home inspectors were required to become COVID-19 Certified by InterNACHI, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. This means A-Pro inspectors meet the highest standards formitigating exposure risks and maintaining a sanitized environment in the homes they inspect.
- Recommended Restricted Access: Home inspectors like those at A-Pro thrive on one-to-one communication. It is one of the most beloved parts of the job—walking through the house with a potential home-buyer and answering questions in real time. While A-Pro has always welcomed clients to attend the home inspection, the company has temporarily amended this policy over public health concerns. During this extraordinary time, home inspections will ideally be performed alone by the home inspector, who will provide a detailed explanation to the client and real estate agent via Skype or Zoom following the inspection. Clients who insist on attending must follow all recommended safety precautions. These are temporary measures that will be in place as long as A-Pro feels they are necessary.
- Safe and Sanitized Inspections: By being vigilant in using common-sense precautions, A-Pro strives to provide real estate agents, the seller, and buyer with peace of mind that homes will be inspected with an abundance of care and caution. Per company guidelines, all inspectors will…
- Wash hands with soap and water whenever necessary during the inspection and afterwards (for at least the recommended 20 seconds)
- Dry hands using paper towels or hand towels which they have brought
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when hand-washing is not available in a specific area of the home
- Avoid touching surfaces unless absolutely necessary
- Immediatelyand thoroughly clean touched surfaces (door knobs, faucets, window latches and locks, toilet handles, light switches, etc.) using disinfectant wipes or other cleaning material
- Refrain from shaking hands, bumping fists,or making any contact with attendees
- Maintain the recommended social distancing rule at all times
- Wear masks by request of the seller or buyer
- Sanitize home inspector tools and equipment before each inspection
- Practice all recommended personal safety practices, such as not touching one’s nose, mouth, or face
- Cancel appointments if there are any signs of illness
- Same Quality Work: During discussions about managing the COVID-19 outbreak, A-Pro decided early on that any change in how home inspectors conducted business could notaffect the quality of the home inspection itself or alter the company’s core mission—to deliver an industry-leading 500-point roof-to-foundation inspection and other exclusives, like a free foundation level survey and A-Pro’s 120-Day “If we don’t report it, we repair it” guarantee.