In the past few years, side hustles have surged in popularity. Not quite a job, but definitely not a hobby, millions of Americans turned to part-time work to make extra cash during and after the pandemic. There's just one problem.
Most of them suck.
You've probably read or seen some side hustle horror stories on your social media feed. The fact is, many of them pay little and demand a lot. Food delivery services can amount to as little as $10 an hour on a bad shift. And part time work for weekends only can often be difficult to find. What's more, most side hustles offer little or no opportunities for growth.
But there is a small industry that has quietly been producing six figure business owners for the past decade. Many of this industry's most successful people began as part-time side hustles. It has a low cost of entry and a high revenue per hour: It's home inspections.
If you've never really considered it as a side hustle, you should. Despite what you hear in the news, it's still a great time to be a home inspector. And a changing market means there are more opportunities than ever. Here's everything you need to know, starting with the most common objection:
If you're imagining hard hats, tool belts, and safety vests, you may be relieved to know that many home inspectors don't come from the world of contracting or construction. In fact, many of the most successful home inspectors come from people-oriented backgrounds like real estate.
The single most important skill a home inspector can have is communication. They need to be able to make friends, articulate ideas, and put people at ease. The actual knowledge of how homes are built and inspected can be acquired easily.
Ok, but you will need some training before you simply start pointing out defects in people's homes. Home inspection is regulated by each state. Some states, like California, have virtually no licensing and you can start inspecting overnight. Other states, like Texas, have thorough regulation and it could take quite some time (months, not years).
Here's a list of every state's current licensing requirements.
In most states you can get licensed in weeks or sooner. Even if you're not required to, you should definitely take a few online courses to get up to speed. Organizations like the InterNACHI and ICA offer various courses to get you certified as a home inspector. Certifications help give you some credibility, even if it's not required.
Wait a minute, isn't the house market supposed to implode this year?
Despite the doom and gloom headlines, most experts expect the market to simply return to pre-pandemic levels.
If that happens, it could be a great thing, even if it means less home inspections. You may have heard horror stories about buyers being pressured to waive home inspections in order to compete in a red hot market.
If the market cools and returns some power to the homebuyers, you will see more careful transactions. That means inspections for every home. Even the new construction homes.
You can start a home inspection business for just a few thousand dollars. Depending on where you live and what your ambition is, you can pay some up front and more later when you get up and running. If that sounds like a lot, it's actually one of the most affordable businesses to break into. But the rewards can far outpace the risks.
The average home inspection cost in 2022 is trending above $400. Meaning that after just a few inspections, you can recoup your investment. The ongoing costs on being a home inspector are minimal, and a part time inspector that stays busy can easily pick up an extra $20,000 in their first year.
If sinking every last minute of your free time into a second job doesn't sound fun, then there's good news. An average home inspection (using the Spectora app) will take just a couple hours. Even with other, slower software, four hours is tops. Charging $400 means you could be making $200 an hour. Compare that to something like Doordash, where a driver can make, at best, $25 an hour.
Home inspection is getting easier. New tools and modern marketing are giving new inspectors an edge over the entrenched "old guard." In the past, home inspection reports were long, text heavy documents delivered in word documents, or worse, on a clipboard.
Now, thanks to modern apps, home inspectors can perform jobs entirely on their phones. Reports can be written and saved in the cloud. The reports themselves are highly visual, leveraging the powerful cameras and modern phones. Other parts of the business, like automated emails, contracts, and payments can also be handled by Spectora, making it an "all-in-one" software solution. Spectora can also bundle its software with a custom website for a new home inspectors.
If you're curious about some success stories from new inspectors , check out some of our testimonials from new and veteran inspectors in the video above. And you can always schedule a 15 minute call with someone from Spectora here.