Why We Built Tap Inspect for Home Inspectors

Anyone that has done it knows that growing a home inspection business is hard work. Its is a special club of home inspectors that have risked safety and predicability to build a business that they hope makes the world a little bit better.

So why did we build Tap Inspect?

My partner, Jason Adams, and myself come from different backgrounds but share a common belief. We believe that all the hard work, sacrifice, and risk is worth the price if we can make a small dent in the universe. We honestly hope we can leave the world a better place due to our efforts.

With Tap Inspect, we realized that building home inspection reports does not have to be that complicated. There is more to life that sitting at a computer every night and writing home inspection reports. Everything we do, every feature we add, and every design we implement is focused on making that a reality.

It is hard to believe that so many home inspectors use Tap Inspect every day and it has become such a big part of so many lives. We look forward to more improvements and helping all of you spend more time doing what you love the most.

3 Ways to Get Home Inspection Photos onto your iPad

Using an iPhone to take your home inspection photos and sharing via your iCloud Photo Library may be the easiest way to view photos on an iPad but not everyone likes using an iPhone.

A number of Tap Inspect’s home inspectors that either have an Android phone or still like to use a point and shoot camera or maybe even a high end DLSR. We are big believers in using the best tools for the job and the best tool is usually down to the preference of the person using it. Here are three ways that some of our users have told us about. Let us know if you have more.

Wifi Enabled Camera

Over the past few years many manufacturers have released point and shoot cameras with built in WiFi to let you share photos right from the camera. So what is the general consensus?

These camera are worth a look if you want a higher quality home inspection photo than you can typically get with your smartphone. Beware though. They can be pretty tricky to get setup right.

Once you do get them setup they work like a champ. Just install the camera’s companion app on your iPad . Then every photo you take is wirelessly sent from the camera for you to view on your iPad or add to a Tap Inspect report.

Fair warning. If setting up a wireless router forces you to call the Geek Squad these devices may be more trouble than they are worth.

Wifi Memory Card

Much like a Wifi camera there are WiFi enabled memory cards like the EyeFi memory card that can give your non-Wifi camera, Wifi connectivity.

Once you insert this gizmo into your camera and get it setup it works just like Wifi cameras. Each photo you take is wirelessly sent to a companion app you install on your iPad.

This is little less expensive than buying a new Wifi camera so that can be a plus. The downsides are that these things can burn through batteries. In my experience,  I got about half the life from my batteries compared to using a non-wifi enabled memory card. The other downside is that, just like the wifi cameras, these devices can be a little tough to get setup or to troubleshoot if anything goes wrong.

Apple’s SD Card Connector

If you are looking for the simplest, most reliable method to transfer home inspection photos from a camera or even your Android phone, it is hard to beat the Apple Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader.

Just remove the SD card, plug it into this device, then plug the device into your iPad. The Photos app will launch and allow you to import all the photos on the card or select just the photos you want.

The biggest down side is that you have to remove the card from your camera or Android phone first. This is fine if you want to import all your photos at once. If you want to add and view photos as you take them the Wifi options may be better.

So there you are, three ways to get home inspection photos onto your iPad. There is no best way but there is probably the best way for you.

3 Questions Home Inspectors Should Ask When Buying Tech Gloves

All home inspectors know that sometimes it’s hard to keep warm if you’re working out in the field. Especially if you rely on Tap Inspect or other apps on your iPhone or iPad. Your fingers will freeze!

Many people will look to tech gloves so you can still use your touch screen devices without getting frostbite on your digits. Magical, right?! How do you decide which ones to buy? There are so many! Here is a little guide to help you choose the right ones for you.

What is Your Climate?

The climate where you do your home inspections is the first thing to consider when choosing your tech gloves. If you use the Tap Inspect app somewhere that is below freezing for 3+ months of the year, you may need super thick gloves to keep you warm all day long. If you’re from somewhere milder or out in the weather less, a thin pair will probably suffice. Think about how often during your day you are in the cold and decide from there how thick you want your gloves.

How Much Tech Do You Use?

The amount of home inspection work you do on your device throughout the day will also dictate how thick your gloves can be. The thicker the gloves, the more difficult it can be to use your device. This is where you have to decide if warmth or functionality is more important for your needs.

What Kind of Home Inspection Work Will You Do?

The final key consideration is what else you’ll be doing in these gloves. Do you have to get in a crawl space? Will you be using tools?
You may want gloves with plastic gripping so they are useful for more than your iPad. Do you usually just snap a couple pictures and then head back to the office? Then you can go for a more fashionably, less utilitarian pair.

So there you have it. Bigger is not always better. There is usually a point where your gloves can get so thick they make it harder to use your device, not easier. Also, don’t forget that sometimes little features like rubber grips can make a huge difference.

Browse what’s available at Zappos or at Amazon.

Good luck and stay warm.

How Home Inspectors Can Stay in Sync

One of the most powerful features of both the iPhone and the iPad is the ability to automatically back up your data, including your apps, music, inspection reports, contact list, photos, notes, calendar information and voice memos, any time you connect to the web. The benefits of syncing your device are two-fold—first and foremost, syncing with an outside source like iCloud provides a fast and simple way to back up your data. Should your device break or get stolen, your data will be stored elsewhere and can simply be imported onto a new device. Secondly, syncing between your devices allows you to transfer valuable information, such as contact lists, between your iPhone and iPad in an instant. There are lots of different ways to sync your devices and each one is deserving of its own post. To keep this short and simple, here’s a run down of the major hubs where you may want to sync your device.

 

One way to ensure that all of your data gets backed up both to an outside storage service and gets shared between your devices is to sync to iCloud, Apple’s cloud storage service. As a side bonus, iCloud can also help you track down your device if you misplace it and can prevent those who shouldn’t see your data from breaking in. Head right over here to learn how to set up iCloud on your phone or iPad.

 

You can also sync your phone to most major e-mail providers including Google Gmail. This can be especially useful if you use those services to manage contact information on your sellers and home inspection clients or to manage your daily home inspection appointments. Syncing both your contacts and your calendar are similar processes. Here’s a quickie how-to on sharing contact information between devices and one on sharing calendar info.

 

If you use Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Exchange, don’t worry. You can sync too. Head here to read up about connecting your Outlook calendar to your devices and here for information on setting up Microsoft Exchange on your iOS device. Yahoo! Mail, Contacts and Calendar users can step right this way to learn about how Yahoo! can work with the iPhone and iPad.

 

Of course, we’re always here to help too. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out to info@tapinspect.com or call our customer service line at 502-414-1440.

What Your Home Inspection Clients Don’t Know…

Part of the challenge of being a home inspector is simply educating current and future clients about what you do. While the American public has a general idea of what home inspectors do, misconceptions abound. Here are the most common myths you may need to dispel for your clients:

What They Think:

A Home Inspection is a One-Stop Shop

According to a 2012 American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) survey of 2,262 adults, the vast majority believe that home inspectors are important but they’re not sure exactly why. 84 percent of survey respondents believe that a proper home inspection is a necessity, but 12 percent of respondents confused a home inspection with an appraisal and a walloping 28 percent “believes the purpose of an inspection is to verify that a home complies with local building codes.”

What They Think: 

A Home Inspection is Comprehensive

When home buyers enlist your services, they may think that they’re getting every inch of their pad inspected. A 2011 ASHI survey of 2,122 adults showed that the many home buyers believe that components such as septic systems, electrical wiring and plumbing behind drywall and swimming pools are always included in their home inspection even though you may not include them in yours.

According to ASHI, a standard inspection report covers home basics including:

“…the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement and structural components. The report will include covered systems and components the home inspector finds that are not functioning properly, significantly deficient, unsafe, or are near the end of their service lives”

What They Think: 

All Home Inspectors are Certified

The thing home buyers seem confused on most is your credentials. 70 percent of buyers believe that home inspectors must be licensed or certified to perform a home inspection in that state. They don’t, meaning that if you do have a license, certification or outstanding credential, it’s worth your while to educate clients on how you’ve gone above and beyond and what that extra education can do for them.