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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Printing Reports

I just wanted to take a minute to explain some recent changes in how I get the inspection report to my clients.  Not too long ago I would develop the report on site and print it out, put it in a binding clear cover and give it to the customer.  That has become rapidly obsolete and I'll explain why.

   It started with the wind inspection changes and a paradigm shift in the industry as a whole.  Insurance companies started to want more and more pictures of wind reports, roof reports, and four point reports.  There is no outside driving force telling inspectors how to present their general inspection reports to the client.  As I found myself taking more and more photographs, I notice the customers (especially ones that couldn't attend the inspections) responded positively the more pictures I took.  Now it's not uncommon to have 30-40 pictures on one report.  Don't get me wrong, I took pictures before, but it was usually just areas of concern or areas that I couldn't get the clients eyes on e.g. the attic.  

Another driving force behind the recent change is software.  I bought a very expensive program that allows me to do almost anything I can think of with any PDF document, including creating them.  All my reports were gradually converted from a Microsoft Office program, to an Adobe Acrobat.  The difference is that I create the inspection in Acrobat instead of converting an Office document later.  That has given me a LOT of flexibility on what I can do with my reports.  I can make PDF binders which is great for reporting.  A binder is a PDF document that has my inspection report, invoice, picture pages (usually tiled 6 pics/page) all bound into one contiguous report.  That means parts of the report don't get separated and when I send a report it's only one file per report.  It makes it very easy for everyone.  

I also have a nice little gadget called a Bamboo Pen.  It allows me to capture a customers signature (ex. wind mitigation report) digitally so i don't have to print out a report only to scan it back in to send it to the insurance companies.   Insurance companies get a pristine digital PDF of the wind mitigation survey with pictures attached.  I've found the easier I can make it for my clients the better the all around experience.  They don't have to run around town bringing inspection reports to insurance companies.  

I now have several options for my clients on how they receive the reports.  Most of my customers want me to email them the inspections so they can have it for their records and forward that very same email off to whoever they see fit (realtor, insurance, mortgage etc).   It makes the process very simple and all the digital images retain their original resolution.  I can also burn the inspection to a CD or just print it out.  It's really up to the customer.  Printing is really the last option because of the photos.  Printed out photos are OK, but you can't zoom in on them to see closer detail and you can't send them easily to other parties that may request to see it.  Keeping them digital is by far the preferred method.  

7:57 am edt          Comments

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Florida Home Inspectors Inc. is located in Brevard county and is a full service inspection company.  Nick McClellan is the owner/operator and performs all the inspections.  Services include: Building Contractor (state certified commercial/residential), wind mitigation inspection,  inspections for buyers looking at a home (real estate inspection/home inspection), inspections for sellers trying to make their home more marketable (pre-sale inspection), and 4 point and wind mitigation inspections for insurance purposes for those who already own their home but the insurance company needs a 4pt. and/or wind mitigation to bind a new policy or to update an older one.

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