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Executive Q&A: Adam Long, President of HomeTeam Inspection Service

The head of this established leader in home inspections explains why you’ll never hear “this is the way we’ve always done it” from his company.

By 1851 Staff1851 Staff Contributions
SPONSORED 5:17PM 11/14/21

Home Inspections are a crucial part of the home buying process. Yet, as the rest of the real estate industry has evolved to keep pace with current technology, customer expectations and the changing ways that customers buy homes, the home inspection industry has fallen behind. 

 Adam Long, President of HomeTeam Inspection Service, says his company is changing that. Long, who has an extensive background in technology, has been with HomeTeam for seventeen years. He has been at the helm as the brand developed a trusted reputation within the industry by bringing the home inspection trade in line with 21st century expectations of both agents and customers.

The company developed a unique two-inspector team approach to home inspections, a method that increases speed, efficiency and quality of inspection reports and sets HomeTeam apart from its competition

As a result, national real estate brands are taking notice. HomeTeam has become a go-to preferred vendor for residential brokerages like Keller Williams and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

1851 Franchise asked Long to explain what sets HomeTeam apart from other home inspection services and why real estate agents say that these differences matter to them. 

1. Tell us about how HomeTeam Inspection Service started

We started in 1992, so we’ve been around for a long time. For the first 15 years, our focus was on bringing in independent home inspectors as franchisees, and we were able to expand the company using that model. But, when the housing crash hit in 2008, the real estate business changed, and we knew that we needed to change as well if we wanted the business to continue growing. Originally, our owners had been inspectors first and business owners second, but as we began to grow, we began to search for individuals with stronger business, financial and operational backgrounds to bring into the industry. We learned that it’s easier to license someone to become a certified home inspector than it is to teach business acumen and financial savviness, so we upended our previous model to support this new recruiting system. 

2. What services do you offer home buyers and home sellers? 

We offer a wide range of services for homeowners. For buyers, we complete thorough home inspections as part of the home buying process. Sellers will often hire us to complete a pre-listing inspection before putting their house on the market as a preemptive action to better understand the value and the overall condition of their home.

Beyond those two services, we perform new construction and 11-month warranty inspections for people building a new home, which helps find issues the builders may not notice. We also offer pest inspections to check for termites or other potentially dangerous and destructive infestations. We perform testing for mold, radon and water quality on properties as well. In total, HomeTeam offers over 20 different services.

3. Who is your target customer?

Most people know that we perform inspections for home buyers since inspections are a standard part of the real estate process. We work closely with real estate agents, particularly those who are working with forward-thinking clients who expect high-touch, highly communicative service. They recommend our inspectors to their clients because our inspectors understand how to present and explain information to a potential buyer in a way that clearly outlines a potential problem without alarming the client. Our approach is objective, thorough and clear. 

Another growing portion of our business is pre-sale inspections, which is becoming more common among sellers. Sellers like pre-sale inspections because they are able to get a head start on any issues that may be flagged in the buyer’s inspection, and have a chance to eliminate or address the issue before listing their home, rather than dealing with it as a potential barrier to impede the closing. It's a smart move because sellers don’t need to provide credits or scramble to make last-minute repairs in order to make the deal happen if they address all potential issues before listing.

4. Tell us what's different about HomeTeam than other companies/inspectors. 

When we got started, we knew one thing that could set us apart from our competition right away was to be 100-percent customer-focused. So our mind-set is: We are here to provide a service to you. Unfortunately, too many in this industry act like it’s the other way around. Their attitude is, “Well, this is the way we’ve always done it,” and we simply don’t accept that. Today’s customer is tech-savvy, expects a fast turnaround, and wants total transparency. 

As a result, we strive to always get our reports back into the hands of the agent either the same day or within 24 hours. This timeline is possible because of our team-based structure, which allows us to work faster and more efficiently than other home inspection companies that only send one inspector to the home.

There are more subtle aspects to our approach as well. We respect our clients by dressing professionally when we come into their home, our vehicles are clean and clearly marked, and we make it easy for homeowners to understand our reports, rather than confusing them with lots of jargon or extraneous information. 

5. Why are team-based inspections better?

Two inspectors on the job allows the inspectors to divide the workload, which has three benefits. First, with more eyes on the job, the work is completed faster. Second, reports are more accurate because inspectors have the time to thoroughly examine the property as well as consult with each other when they need to, bringing an increased depth of knowledge and experience to every job. The third benefit to the HomeTeam approach is that inspection reports are completed faster - usually landing on an agent's desk the same day - which allows deals to move to the next stage of the buying process faster than they otherwise would.

6. Why do customers trust you for home inspections?

For one, we’ve got a track record behind us, having been in this industry for three decades. But we’ve also developed a strong reputation for our work. In fact, real estate brokerages like Keller Williams and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices have listed us as an approved home inspection vendor, which is a huge vote of confidence and trust in our brand. Beyond that, our inspectors are trained and supported by and accountable to the corporate team. It’s not a single, sole proprietorship; our clients have a deep bench of support in their home inspection. We’re proud to stand behind our inspectors’ work.