TIPS TO STREAMLINE YOUR REPORT WRITING November 30, 2021 | Business Tips , Inspection Tips | client satisfaction , inspection industry , small business , time management , entrepreneur By Jon McCreath, Technical Supervisor & Training Administrator Every small business owner knows that time is one of your most valuable assets. The more time you have and the more effectively you use it, the bigger you can grow. For inspectors, one task that can eat up most of your day is putting together your final report. If you find yourself staying up late into the night to finish reports, you may need to rethink your process. Fast vs. Fine-Tuned First and foremost, it’s important that we differentiate between rushing a report and finding beneficial shortcuts. Remember that as an inspector, your report is your safeguard from liability. A quality report keeps you protected from possible repercussions and maintains your reputation. If you begin to rush through things for the sake of saving a few hours, it can come back to bite you. As a new inspector, it might take a while before you start seeing a difference in your writing time. That’s OK! It’s best to get comfortable first, and then you gradually start smoothing things out. Before the Inspection Saving yourself time on the job starts before you even show up at the inspection. When you book an inspection, a good practice is to research the property you’ll be inspecting. Look up the address online and write down anything that sticks out. You can also ask the agent for any additional information they have. This will help give you an idea of what you can expect to see, and help you build out your report template in advance. During the Inspection Having a set workflow on the job makes all the difference in your report writing. Set up a sort of “command center” to keep all your tools in one place so you don’t have to make multiple trips to your vehicle and subsequently take time out from your report. Once you begin the inspection, try to stay focused and follow your workflow. That means limiting conversations and other distractions that cause you to stop and go repeatedly. After the Inspection It’s easy to get tied up with a client as you go over the report with them. They might have a list of questions that gets longer as you talk about your findings. To circumvent getting off topic, you need to stay in the driver’s seat during the conversation. Avoid getting caught up in the minutia by sticking to the main points. Having the client’s agent tag along for the wrap-up means there’ll be someone else they can pass questions to so you don’t get tied up. Personalize Your Report Again, your report plays a major role in how long a job takes. As you do more inspections and get comfortable with your report-writing software, start to make it your own. If your template allows for customization, build it out to reflect your process so you aren’t jumping around from section to section. The more you perfect your report and process, the more time you’ll save yourself. You’ll be able to properly balance work and life, which is the best part of being an entrepreneur! For more information on how to improve your report writing, reach out to Jon McCreath at firstname.lastname@example.org . About the Author Jon McCreath, Technical Supervisor & Training Administrator A former NPI franchise owner and real estate agent, Jon joined the NPI corporate team in 2019. With his inspection expertise and foundation in classroom instruction, Jon teaches and mentors new franchisees during their two-week training course in Omaha. He also handles technical support calls during and after office hours and guides franchisees through the state licensing process.