Using the ISN Repair Request List with Tap Inspect

Repair Request List Tool
The ISN Repair Request List (RRL) tool lets your agents build a repair request without having to copy and paste from the report PDF into another document.

It uses your Tap Inspect Report Summary to build a list of the biggest issues found during the home inspection. The agent can then choose which items to add to the repair request and how to request the repair is done.

The Repair Request List tool is part of the ISN Real Estate Dashboard that is provided to every ISN user. Tap Inspect is one of the only 3rd party reporting system that has the ability to utilize the RRL.

If you are looking for ways to add more value to your home inspections or looking for a way to stand out this article is for you. We will go over how to set up the RRL and how to use the Tap Inspect integration.

Setting up the Integration

Once you have set up your Tap Inspect <> ISN integration is there is nothing left to do from the Tap Inspect side. There are a few steps that may need to be done in your ISN. Take a look at the ISN Repair Request List help document for some links to help you along.

Using the Integration

The Repair Request List tool is just another part of the Tap Inspect <> ISN Integration. There is nothing else you need to do to use it. Just publish your report to ISN and the Report Summary data will be there.

If you make any changes to a report its no problem. Just re-publish the report and make sure you send it to ISN again. The Report Summary data will be updated for you.

There are a few big things to remember while using the tool. Only reports going forward will have the Repair Request List available. If you published reports to ISN before we added this to our ISN integration they may not have the Report Summary data. Just republish any old reports and it will get generated.

The other thing to remember is that agents will not be able to use the Repair Request List tool until the order has been COMPLETED. It also looks like that if you have turned on the the PAID or SIGNED requirements to view a report the agent will also not be able to use the Repair Request List.


Watch My Webinar on the Repair Request List

Cheré Bossard, the Lead Trainer from ISN joined me for a webinar where we talked about ISN and the Repair Request List. I really enjoyed the conversation and think there are lots of great ideas.

How to Archive Home Inspection Reports with Google Drive

Some of the most valuable business information home inspectors have are our reports and the photos we use to create them. The risk of losing that data is something that keeps many home inspectors up at night.

Tap Inspect archives all your reports and photos for you as part of your Tap Inspect account. We use cloud services and lots of safeguards. Some people want even more control and more options. That is why we built the Tap Inspect Google Drive Integration.

There are all kinds of ways and methods to backup and archive home inspection reports. Each have their pros and cons. If you have been manually saving your home inspection reports to a home computer or even to a portable hard drive this article is for you.

It takes time to manually archive your data. If you have ever had a hard drive crash you know how risky it can be to save it in just one place. You will not only save time using the Tap Inspect Google Drive Integration but your data will also be more secure and safer.

Setup the Integration

Google Drive is cloud based storage. Just like a big hard drive. It is part of the free services you get along with every Gmail account. Gmail is the free email service from Google. If you already have a gmail.com email address you already have Google Drive.

It is also included as part of the GSuite service for companies.  We use GSuite for my home inspection company’s email services so we all have the same .com addresses instead of gmail.com. We also use Drive to share all of our company information from a single place.

Setting up the integration is as simple as turning it on in your Tap Inspect user account and then connecting to your Google account by signing in with your Google email address and password.

Using the Integration

Like most of what you see with Tap Inspect we have made it simple to use. Once you set up your Google Drive Integration it just runs. Set it and forget it.

When you first turn on the Google Drive Integration you can start the backup of all your existing inspection data from your Tap Inspect account. It will continue to run in the background until every report and photo in your Tap Inspect account has been backed up to your Drive account.

Each report is given its own directory using the date and the address of the inspection. The PDF report and all the photos are saved in that directory. This makes it simple to search your Drive using the address or data to find a particular report. 


Every time you publish a report we push the final PDF report and all the photos to your Google Drive. If you make changes to the report, just Re-Publish and we will push it all again.

Our Private Facebook Group is Up – Join Now

We are super excited to announce that we have launched a new private Facebook Group for Tap Inspect Users.

Our hope is that it will be an invaluable resource for not just home inspectors that are new to Tap Inspect but even seasoned veterans. We plan to make that happen in a few ways but we need your help.

Tap Inspect Users Helping Tap Inspect Users 

There is no better way to learn than from other Tap Inspectors.  Join in to share tips, tricks, and ask questions from other home inspectors that use Tap Inspect to do their reports.

The only way it will work is if both new and experienced Tap Inspect users join in. We need your help to make it a success.

Direct Line to the Tap Inspect Team

I am a home inspector myself. You will see me posting and replying along with Katie to help share our experiences. You will also see us asking questions about how you are using Tap and how we can make it better.


Exclusive Learning and Training Materials

We have already added a few learning units to help you get up to speed on using Tap. Complete them  at your own pace and let us know what else you would like to see.

First Look at All the New Stuff

We want to help build  a community of people that are all interested in making Tap Inspect better. To make that work both ways we will be giving the group first look at development roadmap and all the new features before anyone else.

Go to Tap Inspect User’s Group on Facebook to join the group and start sharing.

How Much is Too Much in a Home Inspection Report

It’s a common complaint in the home inspection industry that clients never read our reports. They may look at the report summary. But very, very few will actually read the whole thing. We usually blame our client and that is really a shame.

I have watched home inspection reports get longer and longer. The biggest reasons for this have been fear. Fear of missing something so you record everything. Fear of getting sued so you make sure you have every possible disclaimer.

Do you honestly think anyone will read a 120 page home inspection report with 300 photos? Sure, they may browse through it and glance at the checklist and photos. But do you really believe they would actually read the whole thing? Do you believe they can digest it all? No wonder they don’t read our reports.

I get it. Our job has risks but delivering a report with so much information that no one can read it is not the answer.

Help Your Client Read Your Report

The very first challenge in serving a client is to give them a report they can read. How can they really understand what we are trying to communicate if they can’t or won’t read the home inspection report? 

We work for all kinds of clients and our home inspection report must satisfy them all. Some just want just the facts, some want more details and information, and some want full technical explanations along with illustrations. How is it possible to satisfy them all AND still keep the report simple to read and easy to understand?

My approach has worked well for over 10 years since I started using Tap Inspect. It can work for you too. Don’t flood them with more information than they want or can handle. Keep the report simple and give the client the ability to drill down to more and more details when they want to know more. 

Report Summary

The report summary is the very top level of the home inspection report. That means it is the short list for anyone that does not want to read the whole thing. For many clients and their Realtor this may be all that they ever look at. That should be ok if that is all they want to know.

The report summary does not need to list EVERY defect or issue found during the inspection. But it should have enough detail for any reader to understand the most important findings and information in the report.

I see some home inspectors put every issue they find on the report summary. The next question that always gets asked by the client or the Realtor is:  ‘Yea, I know all of this needs attention but what is REALLY the most important stuff?’

How can that be any service to our client? It means they have already been overwhelmed and they are not even past the summary. You may want to rethink what is really the most important stuff you want to communicate.

Body of the Report

The body of the home inspection report includes all the sections, the checklists, disclaimers, and usually what is also repeated on the report summary. I tell my clients that it is where all the good stuff is.

For the clients that want to know and understand more this is where they get it. From a home inspector’s point of view, this is the actual report.

If you want even your curious clients to read the body of the report it needs to be simple to read and easy to understand. Stay away from long checklists, repetitive sections and items. Add photos to tell the story but keep it readable. No one will scroll past 3 pages of driveway photos or read long blocks of disclaimers. 

Links to Reference Material

Back in the days of printed reports it was a different story. If we wanted to explain the details of a blow off leg on a water heater we had to put it in the body of the report. We may also have added diagrams or illustrations showing what we meant.

Not anymore.  For any client that wants more information you can add web links to explain it more. Direct then where to learn more if they want and you don’t need to put it in the body of the home inspection report. Sites like the interNACHI graphics library make it simple.

All modern home inspection reports are now electronic. It does not matter if they are HTML or PDF.  Both let the reader click on any web address and it will take them to that web page on the internet. There is no longer any need to put it in the body of the report. The added pages and technical details confuse and overwhelm clients that don’t want that level of information.

How Much is Too Much?

The simple answer is that there is too much in your report when very few are willing to read the whole thing. We need to provide enough information to do our job, but not too much to discourage a reader.

It is incredibly tough to build a report that will satisfy every type of client. Luckily, modern home inspection reporting systems and the internet have made it easier.

By providing a way for clients to drill down through the report summary, into the body of the report, and even to reference web links you can put the control into their hands. They can choose how much information is too much in their home inspection report.

How Home Inspection Reports Got Long, Very Long

Home inspection reports have changed a bunch over the years. When I first started home inspecting back in the 1990’s pretty much everyone used pre-printed 3 part forms. We added our handwritten notes and built a summary for our clients right on the spot. Most home inspection reports ended up in the 15-20 page range.

It worked pretty well. Our clients got a clear and concise home inspection report. The report was delivered pretty much immediately.  The buyer could get on with the next step in the home buying process. The repair request.

Today there are quite a few home inspection reports that go over 100 pages and include over 200 photos. So what changed? 

Desktop Inspection Software

A little over 15 years ago the first desktop systems started coming out to help build home inspection reports. They are probably the single biggest reason home inspection reports have gotten so long. 

Essentially you would go to the inspection with a checklist. Just like we had done for years. Then you would go back home or to your office and start building the report. Today you can use a mobile companion app instead of the checklist but you still go back to finish up the report.

Just follow all the prompts. Drill down into the options and select the appropriate boxes. When something needed extra clarification you could write and save a narrative or comment to your library. Over time you expand and elaborate your narratives and comments.

After another hour or two you would have a nicely formatted electronic report you could email to your client.

The legacy software like HomeGauge and Home Inspector Pro made it super easy to add photos. So many home inspectors would take hundreds of photos of everything in the house. Just in case they may need one specific photo when they were writing the report hours later.

Many home inspectors today still follow this exact procedure today. Even after technology has changed they still do it the same way it was done 15-20 years ago.


Home Inspection Schools

Most new home inspectors that have just come out of school have one common trait. They tend to report on everything just to make sure they don’t miss that one super important thing. This gets drilled into them in the course of their schools or from their mentors.

“If you miss something you could get sued.” is what they are told. New inspectors still don’t quite know what is valuable information to their clients. So they fill the report with all the information they can collect just to make sure. 

Eventually these new inspectors become experienced and learn what is really valuable to the client and what is just CYA or fluff. But it is incredibly hard to change the way you have done things for years. Especially if you think that is the way it is supposed to be done.

Desktop home inspection software promotes a ‘follow the prompts’ mentality. Put that together with the need to record everything out of fear. You will always end up with a long report. A very long report. 

Want to Provide More Value at the Same Price

Other home inspectors feel the need to provide so much information to their clients to make sure they know the value they are getting. This is compared to another home inspector that may be delivering a more realistic report in the 35-50 page range.

These reports include everything. The belief seems to be too much information and photos are better than not enough. They want their clients to know they got their money’s worth and don’t want any questions after the job. I often see over 200 photos. Photos of every room and every area of the home to prove what they saw in addition to anything unusual.

I understand this is a business decision of standing out from the crowd. It is really like providing a Kobe beef hamburger at a McDonalds price. The amount of time and resources it takes to do this is pretty amazing.

How Much Information is Too Much

I honestly believe that everything I’ve discussed is meant to provide a better home inspection report. In many ways they do. But how much information is too much?

Our job as a home inspector is to help our clients understand what they are buying. What reasonable person could really digest and understand a 100 page technical document. Even if they actually read the whole thing.

Reports have gotten so long that now the summary has also gotten too long. When buyers and Realtors are asking for a summary of the the report summary you should know it has gone too far.

They are telling you, “The report is way too long that we are never going to read it so we have only looked at the report summary”. Then, “The report summary is so long and has so many items that we don’t now what is REALLY important. Can you give us a summary of the really important stuff?”


What Can Be Done About It

I was just working with a home inspector that had been in business about a year. He was getting complaints that his 109 page reports were too long.  As we talked he told me that all his clients complimented him on his detail so he was very scared to take anything out of his reports.

I asked him how many home inspection reports had his clients had or seen. What did they have to compare his level of detail to? Is it possible they would feel the same way if his reports were maybe 75 pages? What about 60 pages? Was his idea of a detailed home inspection report the same as their idea of a detailed report?

My suggestion was for him to make a copy of a recent report and remove everything that was not valuable information for his client the home buyer. If he had a comment that was 3 paragraphs could he say the same thing in one paragraph? Did he need a section for each individual bathroom? Could it just be one section for Bathrooms?

Then there were the photos. Could he show the same thing with 2 photos that he was trying to show with 4, 6 or 8 photos? Could he use photos to describe things that he was describing in his comments? Remove anything that was not valuable information for his client. 

After his first edit the report dropped from 109 pages to 69 pages. He still reported on all the same things. He still made all the same recommendations. Now he had a report that a client could read. More importantly he had a report the client could understand.