Many people dream of their own house. However, purchasing a home is a significant investment and there are many things to look for before buying a home. From ventilation and appliances to the temperature-control systems, your new home includes a lot of systems and hundreds of parts.
When all of these things work together, your home becomes more comfortable. However, while properties may appear to be in good condition on the surface, purchasers should be aware of a number of issues that only a trained eye can detect. Enter, a professional house inspector who can find any kind of flaws and assist you in making an informed decision about the property.
Thus, the demand of home inspection services is increasing significantly and to fulfill this demand, Home Inspection Services South Africa started to provide quality inspection services with trained professionals.
In the following interview, Jean-Marc Masson, the Owner and Certified Master Inspector of Home Inspection Services South Africa gives detailed insights about his company, its services, and the future aspects of home inspection sector.
Please brief our audience about your company, its USPs, and how it is currently positioned as a leading player in the home inspection space.
Home Inspection Services South Africa is one of the first InterNACHI trained and certified inspection companies in South Africa. Since then, many newer companies have adopted the InterNACHI training and certification, and some have even started training schools.
There are many trained home inspectors in South Africa, but many of them are not yet functioning as home inspectors because of the misconceptions in the Real Estate industry about the role and functions of a certified and trained home inspector.
There has also been no real drive from the authorities yet to make home inspections mandatory. We believe this is changing though, and if we continue to influence the mindsets of individuals, real estate agents and commercial property owners, the public will push the government to make the much-needed changes.
We have already seen some bills put into law in recent years, especially with our new consumer protection act introduced in 2011, and later, recognition of home inspectors as property practitioners.
However, we need more specific laws passed that will see Home Inspections made mandatory as part of the sale of a property. We see ourselves as industry leaders and influencers in South Africa, even though Home Inspections are not as prevalent as they are in the US. We believe we are making headway in influencing a change in governmental policy and private psyche.
With very high ethical practices in our day-to-day dealings in the property industry, and with reliable, responsible reporting by trained and certified inspectors, we are slowly but surely seeing the much-needed changes coming into play. As a private company, we have decided to franchise our duplicatable, and very scalable home inspection service company.
We hand-pick specific individuals around the country who have the same mindset and work ethic as we do and train each inspector in each franchise with very specific in-house criteria. We put each inspector on the InterNACHI training and certification program, and we support, guide, and assist them to function as professional home inspectors who also influence the change, and foster trust in the real estate market in Southern Africa. All of this is done under our growing brand – Home Inspection Services South Africa.
Shed some light on your offerings and how are these making an impact on the industry and your customers?
Home Inspection Services South Africa offers a trustworthy, reliable, unbiased inspection service to any individual or company who requires specific conditions related due diligence on a property/building they are involved in.
This may be:
- A private individual who is buying a small apartment for the first time and needs to be sure that the property is in a good condition and is not going to cost him/her money to repair unknown defects after they are in the property.
- A seasoned property investor may require our services to understand the condition of a fixer-upper property that they are about to purchase, so that they can budget for the necessary repairs or renovations needed to flip the house and sell it at a profit.
- Commercial properties are purchased and sold daily with detailed due diligence required during a purchase or sale process.
- Maintenance inspections are required for sectional title complex/multilevel apartments or homes. These communal properties are managed by associations or management companies who need unbiased, regular reports on maintenance requirements.
- Insurance companies and banks require inspections for claims.
- New buildings need to be snagged for architectural firms, developers, individuals etc.
- And we also offer very specialized services which include indoor air quality inspections, mould inspections, asbestos etc. As health and wellness control is moving more and more towards the individual, we are seeing an increase in individuals needing specific types of inspections in their living and work environment, relating to their health and wellness.
Being an experienced leader, share your opinion on the impact of the adoption of modern technologies on the home inspection niche and what more could be expected in the future?
Modern tech is vital to our industry. In recent years we have seen how thermal imaging, drones and many more new technologies have come in and assisted us in our industry. We are on the constant lookout for new ideas and strategies to do our job more efficiently and effectively.
We can see how new developments in reporting, scanning, and demands by the public for less bulky reports will be the future.
Considering the current pandemic, what initial challenges did you face and how did you drive your company to sustain operations while ensuring the safety of your employees at the same time?
Our challenges were like most others, we were very limited in movement. Since we rely on meeting people in their homes and offices, we had to be very creative in our inspections and needed to keep our clients and staff safe as we did so.
We followed leading from InterNACHI through:
1) Doing their COVID-19 training
2) Implemented masks and sanitization at all inspection sites
3) Set up some clear boundaries and parameters in operating that would foster safe inspections for our clients and staff. We did consult online and developed a franchise plan that saw our business expand over this period.
Now we are in a better position to safely assist more people in a wider area.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the home inspection services space?
- Get the best training, with the most reputable record in the industry.
- Work and study hard to be as knowledgeable as possible in your specific field.
- Don’t go out there on your own, join an existing company to guide, assist, and help you in your career.
- Be teachable and learn from all those with experience around you.
- Be driven to help others, not to make money. Your true motives will always come out under pressure.
How do you envision scaling your company’s operations and offerings in 2022 and beyond?
- By focusing on expanding our very duplicatable system, through franchising, to more major centers in the country. Once we have established a strong base, we have a greater voice to influence more people in the real estate industry.
- Through ongoing training and team building in the existing Home Inspection Services franchises. We believe in fostering good relationships with our inspectors and helping each grow in their individual giftings.
About the Leader
Jean-Marc Masson joined home inspection services in 2011 as an inspector agent in one area. This was when the idea of home inspections was still a fresh concept in South Africa, and the new consumer protection act was about to be instituted. Jean-Marc Masson was trained and became a certified home inspector in 2012. After inspecting more than 1000 houses and fulfilling all of the requirements, he became a certified master inspector.
He has always been committed to educating the public about the importance of having a home inspection done and how it protects all the parties involved from any foul play in the process of the property transaction.
In the beginning of 2020, Jean-Marc Masson became the owner of Home Inspection Services South Africa and started expanding the business to the major cities across South Africa.