home inspection scheduling softwareIf you are a home inspector, and you are not using scheduling software (or better called CRM), then you are not only in the minority, but you are also missing out. Scheduling software for home inspectors has changed how our industry works.

You no longer need to sit at your computer and send reminder emails, print inspection agreements, file anything away, or any of those back-office tasks. Scheduling software markets for you, sends reminder emails, keeps your inspection calendar full, and does a lot of “secretarial work”.

I remember when I was struggling trying to find someone to handle all those tasks. At the time, I had 2 home inspection companies, and was starting my sewer/septic inspection company – and it was a beast. I finally broke down and got scheduling software designed for our industry – and I never looked back.

What Home Inspection Scheduling Software To Use

There are more advantages to having scheduling software than I can even count. But that begs the questions – what’s out there for scheduling software, and who’s software works the best?

Well, we worked, researched, and tried all the scheduling software we could find that was designed for home inspectors, and here are the the best we could come up with. Unfortunately… there wasn’t much. In reality, there are only two worth mentioning. But there is hope at the end of this blog. There are other companies quickly coming up, so be sure to read until the end.

Please note, these are just my opinions, and the opinions of the testers we used. Also, we do not included EVERY software that exists, or software not designed specifically for home inspectors. Theses are just the three that got our attention and the attention of others.

So let’s start with the first one: ISN

ISN (Inspection Support Network)

I will be honest about this review of ISN, I hesitated to put them in this post at all. When it comes to home inspection scheduling software, they have burned a few bridges. I realize that this sounds harsh, but they have violated the trust of their consumers recently. How so? In mid-late 2017, they announced that PORCH had bought an interest in their company.

The issue with this was how they went about it. They didn’t tell everyone. In fact, I found out on Facebook, which made me upset. They sent a small group of inspectors an email, telling them about this change in ownership, and then didn’t give all the facts. The issue was that there was important information about this transaction that I, and others, needed to know.

Turns out PORCH bought all or part of ISN, and then they apparently wanted client data – our client data…. Then home inspectors across the US and Canada banned together and complained, and then they made an opt-out button. All-in-all, this company has lost the trust of me, and many other inspectors.

That being said, let’s talk about their software for a moment (because I don’t want this to be a data privacy rant). Their software is cloud based – which means you have to access your client information like accessing a website, and they keep your info on their servers and not your computer. This has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is not worrying about storage and such, but this also gives them access to all of your, and your clients’, data to sell to PORCH and others…

Here is the basics of ISN:

ISN Cost: $4 per inspection with a $20 minimum each month.

PROS:

  • It does everything. It schedules, sends reminder emails, sends and captures signatures for inspection agreements, integrates with HIP, HomeGauge, Palm-Tech (although not very well wit Palm-Tech), NACHI Buy Back Program, and numerous others.
  • It has reporting for your business. It generates reports on inspections, income, etc.
  • It has storage for all your reports and agreements.
  • Their support people are friendly and are helpful.
  • They have a neat feature called RED (Real Estate Dashboard). This feature allows each agent to have their own dashboard where they can access info pertaining to the inspections you have done for their clients.

Cons:

  • It is VERY hard to set up in my opinion. Because it has so many features, it is hard to figure out how it works and to set it up properly. A lot of the inspectors we work with gave up on the full setup and just got the scheduling part done and moved on.
  • The online form is not very malleable. In fact, one of our testers really only wanted ISN for the online scheduler. But he didn’t want 5 pages of info for his client to have to fill out. They told him that they can’t change the form, so he stopped using it.
  • They sell your clients’ data….

Conclusion: I will not lie, ISN is still great home inspection scheduling software. I just worry that if they were willing to throw away customer loyalty and leave their customers feeling helpless and betrayed, then what’s next? What else will they be willing to do with my clients’ data – or with mine? At either rate, from a strictly software standpoint, it works great. If you can get through how complicated it is to setup then it is great scheduling software.

HG Services

HG Services (i.e. HomeGauge) has been developing and upgrading their scheduling software for years now. In light of what has happened with ISN, they have stepped up their game a bit. I actually had two testers us their software and give me their feedback. Here is what they said.

HG Services Cost: $30 per month, or $300 per year if payed annually

Pros:

  • Like everything HomeGauge does, they do it fancy. It is a pretty sweet dashboard, and it does everything that ISN does.
  • If you are a HomeGauge user for your inspections software, then their scheduling software is seamless and fluid.
  • They have limitless storage for your reports, agreements, clients, agents, and more.
  • Its business reporting is comparable to ISN’s as well

Cons:

  • Just like ISN, any time you have a lot of features, it is pretty overwhelming. The setup for our testers took a while. While they got through it, they definitely were frustrated with it.
  • Customer service was not so awesome. One of my testers tried to contact them and they were not very helpful. I tried to contact them for him, and to just ask questions… as of writing this – still no response. In fact, I sent them a simple email just asking for pricing a while back – and no response.
  • HomeGauge is cloud based like ISN, but they promise not to sell your info. I am not imputing bad motives or anything – but it makes me worry with anyone that stores your data where someone else has access.

I have not switched to them because there is really nothing stopping them from selling my client data. I really believe them that they don’t want to sell client data, but they were recently bought out by a large insurance company – so what’s stopping the new owners from going back on that? At either rate, we found that the pros and cons, the features and usability of ISN and HG Services were very similar. HG Services would be a great pick for you if you want a lot of features, and especially if you are a HomeGauge user already.

NXTINSPEKT

NXTINSPEKT is one of the newest players in the home inspection scheduling software arena. After ISN announced it’s “business ideas”, NXTINSPEKT all of a sudden popped up. In fact, it is so new, that we went back in and added to this blog after the fact. We had checked their website and it said they were coming soon…. and then poof, there they were.

We have looked into their program a bit, and here is some of what we found out.

 

Here is the basics of NXTINSPEKT. Please keep in mind that it has not been out long enough for us to try it out for you yet – but we will get there. Below are just the preliminary points that I got from their customer support rep and their website.

NXTINSPEKT Cost: $4 per inspection

PROS:

  • It seems to do most of what ISN and HomeGauge do.
  • I tested their online form (you can do it right from their website), and it seemed more intuitive than ISN’s
  • Their setup emails after you book an inspection came right through and did not end up in spam and were clean looking.
  • They offer a 180 day free trial.

Cons:

  • You can transfer your contacts, client data, and some other information from ISN (if that is what you are using), but not your reports.
  • According to their support rep, their inspection agreement system is not fully set up yet – that is the reason we haven’t signed up yet to try it. If they can’t fully send and sign agreements, it cancels half of what we use it for. I will be interested to know when this feature is up and running.

Conclusion: Once they are fully operational, we will try them out for you and let you know what we think. They have promised not to share our client data like ISN, and you can see their Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. They have a group of people that they say monitor how they use client data… but I am not convinced yet. I am not saying that they aren’t honorable, but I would like to see how it plays out. Maybe that is just the bitterness from the ISN thing talking too :).

Home Inspection Scheduling Software – Other Services

The problem with writing a blog on home inspection scheduling software, is that there were not a lot of options for home inspectors to choose from. There are other systems that are coming though. Home Inspector Pro is rumored to have a scheduling software coming out, as well as others. There is also a newer company called Spectora. There are several inspectors who have tried and liked them, but it appears that you have to use their inspection software to be able to us their scheduling and CRM features.

At either rate, hopefully this information is helpful. As the new players take the field, we will update this blog after we try them.

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