In southern Cali, becoming a home inspector isn’t hard. Surviving as one is damn near impossible. For the past six years, Anthony Morganti of SureLook Homes Property Inspections in Inland Empire, California has risen above the competition. Armed with a background in building and more than a decade of firefighting experience, Morganti broke into home inspections after spending years doing fire inspections. Today, he’s the sole inspector for 160 real estate agents throughout the region, a success he credits to his personal approach to the inspection process. Here’s how he does it.
Tap Inspect: Ok, give us the skinny on doing business in Cali.
Anthony Morganti: In southern california, there are so many guys doing home inspections, you have to lock down the area where you do business. There’s really no licensing requirements here, so inspectors are a dime a dozen. There are tons of guys who say “Hey, I want to be a home inspector today.”
Tap Inspect: So how do you carve out your piece?
Anthony Morganti: When I first started doing this, I did about 50 ride-alongs. I probably shadowed six different guys which gave me an idea of how different people do business. Everyone has their own way, but the way I conduct my inspections is it’s a true hands-on inspection with the client there the entire time. I really want them to trust me and talk to me. If the client can’t trust you in a purchase like this, who can they trust? If someone feels comfortable with me, my business is going to go that much further. If they ever have a quick question or an issue down the road, if they’re comfortable, they’ll call and talk to me instead of suing me. Some inspectors want to do their thing and send the client the report later, but I like to answer questions while we’re looking at the problem. It’s right there. It’s right in front of them. They’ve seen it and they know what they’re getting into. I try to tell them exactly what the problem is and how they can fix it.
Tap Inspect: Taking that approach, do you run into problems with real estate agents who desperately want to make the sale?
Anthony Morganti: It’s a fine line. It’s all about being honest, but also explaining the situation. The more information you can give on what the problem is and what they can do to solve it, the better. I am required to be a non-biased third party. My main goal is to let the client know that everything can be fixed and how they can fix it. Everything, even structural problems. There’s obviously a cost to fixing things, but I try to remind the client that every house has problems and that’s not the end of the world.
Tap Inspect: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your six years of business?
Anthony Morganti: To stay away from the minor cosmetic issues. When I first started, I wrote up every little paint chip, every little tear in a screen. All that does is make people nervous. Now the life saving issues are the ones that I really key in on. That is really what my business is based off of.
Tap Inspect: We ask this of all inspectors—what’s the strangest thing you’ve seen on the job?
Anthony Morganti: In one situation, I inspected a house where someone had used coat hangars to splice wires together on an electrical panel. That’s a life-threatening issue.
You can read up on Morganti’s business by checking out SureLook Homes Property Inspections.