In this episode of The Real Estate Excellence Podcast, host Tracy Hayes welcomes Kurt Stein, the owner, and founder of House Scan Inspections. Kurt graduated from Penn State with an engineering degree and managed a factory at Maxwell House for several...
In this episode of The Real Estate Excellence Podcast, host Tracy Hayes welcomes Kurt Stein, the owner, and founder of House Scan Inspections. Kurt graduated from Penn State with an engineering degree and managed a factory at Maxwell House for several years before branching out into real estate investments. He eventually founded House Scan Inspections. Today, he is being welcomed as a guest on The Real Estate Excellence Podcast to discuss his experience managing people, running an operation, and building a successful business.
As an expert in home inspections and owner of a successful professional home inspection company, Kurt knows exactly what to look for when you want make make a thorough assessment of the state of a property, and he understands the balance between taking care of the details and focusing on the money. And, as a successful real estate business owner, he knows the ins and outs of marketing, giving agents advice on how to use cross-platform marketing.
Whether you’re a real estate agent looking to learn how to boost your ROI and increase the satisfaction of your clients, or you’re lookin to buy your next property, this episode will give you some valuable insights on what to look for when inspecting and negotiating a house for the best possible deal.
Tune in to gain valuable insight from a seasoned professional with years of experience in home inspections!
[00:00 - 06:56] Kurt Stein, Owner of House Scan Inspections, Shares His Journey to Real Estate Excellence
- Kurt Stein is the owner and founder of House Scan Inspections.
- He has grown to be a force in home inspections in Northeast Florida.
- He graduated from Penn State with an engineering degree.
- He was voted most artistic of his senior high school class.
- Kurt grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- He grew to manage a 70-80 employee shift at Maxwell House
- Afterwards, he was poached by a head hunter to manage another facility in Jacksonville
- Then, he invested Invested in real estate and entered the real estate business.
[06:57 - 13:35] Taking Advantage of Opportunities and Zoning Changes to Create Wealth
- House hacking is a popular trend in real estate, which consists of buying a house and using it to generate an income to cover its own mortgage.
- The demand for housing is high and there is a need for duplexes and zoning changes to allow for mother-in-law suites.
- Kurt started a home inspection business after hearing complaints from his family.
- He focused on hiring people with high character and good communication skills.
- Home inspections require knowledge of houses, customer service, and presentation of findings.
- Kurt works with high-producing teams to get more at-bats.
[13:35 - 20:15] Digging Into the Hiring Process: Finding the Right Person for Home Inspections
- Hiring people requires trial and error.
- Questions need to be asked to find the right person.
- People hired don't come from the home inspection world.
- Look for character and communication skills, verbal and written.
- Backgrounds of team members are wildly different.
- You need a very organized person to be able to run a team.
- Kurt hired a person called Jillian, who is perfect for the job.
[20:15 - 26:57] Navigating Home Inspections and Avoiding Common Mistakes
- Jillian was brought on to turn a group of 3 inspectors into a company.
- However, they shy away from construction backgrounds, as they can be alarmist and nitpicky.
- Training process is steps 1-100 with handholding for up to 6 months.
- 200 inspections are usually enough to see 99% of what you'll see in houses.
- There are training facilities like House of Horrors in Miami and Denver.
- Complaints come when expectations are too high or too low.
- Home inspectors have to check one item per room at the bare minimum.
[26:57 - 33:23] Discovering Major Safety Issues and How to Handle Them
- Focus primarily on major safety issues rather than spending too much time on minor ones.
- Separate your report into minor, moderate, and major items.
- Major safety risks include floor water damage and the risk of falling through the floor.
- Minor safety risks include missing cover plates from walls.
- Use the technology available to fix foundation issues.
[33:23 - 40:18] Home Inspection: Common Sense, Function, Safety, and Pool Tips
- It takes money and time to make a decision on the condition of a house.
- Home inspections can be highly subjective, and it's good to keep that in mind.
- Inspectors should present information in a matter-of-fact way without sugarcoating or alarming clients.
- The home inspection industry is changing with fresh eyes focusing on the consumer and real estate agent.
- Home inspectors should be able to explain what they do in 30 seconds or less.
- Home inspections don't require citing code, but common sense should be used.
[40:19 - 46:58] Team Training, Marketing, and Other Specific Details of House Inspection
- Pool inspections should be outsourced to a pool-specific inspector.
- Leak detection is included with pool inspection for $289.
- Small details, such as a door latch, can be life-changing.
- Marketing is done through Instagram, engaging with realtors, and sharing findings.
- Realtor relationships are maintained by keeping inspectors close to home and training them to be consistent.
- Quality control of inspection reports is done by reading each one.
[46:59 - 53:40] Horror Stories of New Home Construction
- Quality control person reads every report to ensure accuracy.
- Pre-listing inspections can be beneficial for older homes or those needing to sell quickly.
- Home inspections are the best money spent during a real estate transaction.
- Horror stories of new construction mistakes, such as incorrect piping and toilet distances.
- 35 miles per hour winds can blow shingles off if not properly installed.
[53:40 - 01:00:20] Avoid Costly Home Repairs with Comprehensive Home Inspection and Insurance Reports
- Mistakes in construction are common, even in brand-new homes.
- Home inspection services should include wind mitigation and four-point inspections.
- Infrared scans can detect moisture behind walls and other anomalies.
- An example of a costly mistake was a $3 million house with water leaking in for the first 3-4 years due to improper window flashing.
- Home inspections can help avoid costly mistakes.
[01:00:20 - 01:06:46] Uncovering the Red Flags: How to Spot Significant Issues During a Home Inspection
- The importance of getting a home inspection done before purchasing or selling a home.
- Difference between a basic home inspection and one that includes wind mitigation, four-point inspection, and infrared scan.
- How to stay up to date with industry regulations and standards.
- Red flags or warning signs that a home may have significant issues during an inspection.
- Testing every door and window for proper alignment.
[01:06:46 - 01:13:35] Avoiding Common Misconceptions of Home Inspections
- Codes are not part of home inspections.
- Things behind walls or underneath the ground are not included in a home inspection.
- Home inspectors should provide honesty and integrity when giving information to buyers.
- There are always things wrong with every house, so setting expectations is important.
- Agents should look at Google reviews when choosing a home inspector.
- Stop asking about the interest rate and cost of the home inspection.
[01:13:35 - 01:17:33] Join the Real Estate Excellence Community and Take Your Skills to the Next Level!
- Kurt's team is one of the best in the industry.
- Real estate agents should stay out of interest rate talk and focus on service.
- Kurt appreciates his team for their hard work and dedication.
- Hire people who have internal skills, not necessarily experience.
- Post content across multiple platforms to reach a wider audience.
"if you aren't making mistakes, you aren't doing enough of what you're doing." -Kurt Stein
“Communication is the key in this business, and the ability to communicate often separates those who succeed from those who don’t.” -Kurt Stein
"We can do a lot of things such as podcasts and social media but, ultimately, the people who are out there, being on the field and putting in the work, are the ones who are truly selling the next house.” -Kurt Stein
"Expectations are crazy high in our industry. So, if you don't put every single thing in that inspection, the buyer’s gonna call you out. We have to be incredibly thorough and always give it our all, no matter how big or small the deal is" -Kurt Stein
"It's all about your people. You want to make sure that you’re hiring the right people who have your ideology, your culture, and your focus. You make sure to treat them right so that they’re driven, and you’ll have a great product.” -Kurt Stein
Learn more from Kurt’s business and make contact with him to do business and get the best possible deal on your next property purchase:
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