Here in Washington State, all home inspectors must complete a 40-hour class, pass a certification test and finish 120 hours in the field with a certified inspector. After these boxes are checked, the state says these inspectors are ready to inspect your home or business. However, for Dwayne Boggs, owner of Boggs Inspection Services, this is just the beginning.
The state certified is just starting point for the Boggs team. Once hired, each inspector engages in the Boggs customer training protocol, ensuring every inspection completed from Boggs involves the same process, precision and professionalism as Dwayne would complete it himself with his 13+ years of experience. New Boggs inspectors are paired with a veteran, ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) certified inspector and follow them not just through the required 120 hours of inspections, but 150 to 200 individual, full home inspections.
“Some inspectors will only inspect 150 to 160 houses a year. That’s a minimum number for our trainees to see before we’ll even turn them loose on their own,” explains Dwayne. This much exposure creates deep knowledge about a home’s mechanics as well as an understanding of the quality of service Boggs inspectors are known for.
After completing the 150 to 200 home inspections in tandem with a mentor, new inspectors have experienced new construction, historic homes and fixer uppers. This work creates a knowledge base to draw from going forward. Dwayne even runs inspectors through “mock inspections”, sometimes in the homes of other employees or friends to test their strengths and needs.
“This level of training is just standard for us,” says Dwayne. “We have a certain way, a certain protocol, for our inspections and we want to ensure all our new inspectors are comfortable and competent with our protocols before they are out on their own. They represent our company and we want to be sure every inspection is the same high quality, every time.”
Keith Bowman has been with Boggs Inspection Services for over four years and is an ASHI Gold Certified inspector. Keith mentors new inspectors through their 150 to 200 inspections. “When you do something long enough, when you inspect enough houses, you just register the home as you walk through. You don’t have to go looking for each item,” he says. “When you are a new inspector, you have to look for everything. That’s why we partner with the new inspectors, watching them while they are looking, helping them to learn to just see.”
It’s this “seeing vs. knowing” that Boggs instills in their new inspectors, creating a depth of knowledge second to none. In addition, Boggs arranges monthly educational sessions for his team with industry experts sharing their knowledge and answering questions.
“Dwayne’s brought in plumbers, electricians, roofers to meet with us and share the newest guidelines and answer our questions,” explains Keith. Dwayne knows that to stay on top of best practices and code, continuing education is critical. “We want to ensure our customers have the most up to date information about their home, so that means we have to have it, too,” Keith adds.
George Green has been with Boggs Inspection Services for two years. He agrees that the in-depth training regimen is second to none. “I worked with both Bill (Ryan) and Keith during my training and being able to shadow them both, watching them utilize the same protocols and procedures, reiterated the process so clearly,” he explains.
With all of his classwork and some of his field training already completed, George came into the Boggs team a bit ahead. However, he still needed to complete his 150 to 200 training inspections. “I was concerned, going into the process, that there would be a gap in my income while I was in training,” George recalls. “But, Dwayne believes it’s important for all of his team to have a steady income. You are paid for each house you inspect, even during training, and this relieved the financial worry for my family and allowed me to focus on the learning.”
During training, communication skills are also taught and emphasized. “Our training helps us learn to set expectations with the client and agent going into an inspection, during the inspection as things come up, and helping talk through the findings, prioritizing and understanding what is a major concern and what is a typical defect that shouldn’t raise red flags,” explains George.
Keith knows first-hand how critical good communication skills are. “When you’ve been through something 200 plus times, you know how to explain it,” he says. “When I was new, I’d fumble through simple explanations. But, after watching Dwayne during my training, I could clearly communicate to clients what they needed to know while remaining calm and helpful.”
Training makes all the difference. And, for Boggs Inspection Services inspectors, it’s a difference that you can see and feel during the inspection and one you’ll appreciate when you receive your clear, accurate and informative report the very next day.