Wichita Real Estate Podcast | Episode 1
For our first podcast episode, we are joined by Eric Robinson with Great Plains Inspection Company to get the details on home inspections, common myths debunked, and what to expect from your inspection. Read below or watch the video for more details and tidbits from Eric!
Tell us a little bit about your background – who is Eric Robinson?
I have grown up in Wichita all my life and have a lovely wife named Crystal and together we have three kids: two girls and one boy. We recently adopted a Bull Mastiff over the weekend, so we have that along with a cat and a fish.
I started out my career by working in the restaurant industry working for Chili’s on international development. In 2010, I joined the family business of Insurance and Inspection. My family’s company started off as insurance adjusters and we did a lot of commercial real estate claims at the time. Personally, I always loved homes and have been curious about them since it was always my favorite type of claim.
About 5 or 6 years ago, we realized that there was a market for people that were in real estate transactions and trying to get things settled up before they closed on their property. We realized we could make a difference and really education people – show them from our perspective as insurance adjusters what we see as potential problems in homes that could lead to future claims down the road.
What is something you wish you knew when you started out?
Something I think is important, no matter what business you’re in, is basically every business is a “people’s business”. Being able to understand the needs of the people that you are working for and being able to communicate with them is essential.
So, whenever I first started out in the insurance and subsequently the inspection business, I really tried to fill my mind with all the information that I could to be a practical and logical adjuster and inspector. When I really gained a lot of strength and sort of “hit-my-stride” was when I calmed down and started listening and communicating with people.
I found the confidence and courage to sometimes say that “I just don’t know, I need to find out more information” and being able to communicate that nobody’s perfect and we really need to work together as a team in order to meet the client’s goals.
You’re in the hospitality business – what unique value and services do you offer?
We offer full-line home inspections services whether it’s a small investment property to very large residential homes. We can also do small commercial buildings for those that are in the market for inspectors for their business dwellings. I’m a Kansas Certified Radon Measurement Technician and I also have relationships with Pest Control and Termite companies so that helps me provide complete service packages to any inspection that I do.
One of the things that I offer where other local inspectors in this area don’t is a state-of-the-art inspection report that is digitally produced while I’m at the inspection. This digital report allows me to take photos during the home inspection and incorporate those into the report with captions, along with embedded web links that provide definitions to uncommon terminology used by home inspectors. It’s a very interactive report that offers visuals and technical details that other home inspection reports lack in.
What are common myths you’d like to debunk about the home inspection industry?
I think the biggest myth is that the home inspection shouldn’t be a “deal-killer”. It’s my job to note and explain everything that I see – I remain unbiased during the entire inspection process and make it a point to not over-represent either the seller or the buyer. I’ll let you know whether an item is critical and needs addressing before the home closes and I’ll also note non-critical items on the report that are just general maintenance issues with easy fixes. I want to provide as much detail as possible so the buyer can be prepared by the time the house is closed on.
I also think it’s important that people understand that a home inspection doesn’t focus on the cosmetic issues in a home. For instance, I won’t be making notes of brown shag carpet or a pink toilet within the report – instead I focus on any mechanical and operational defects that the home buyer needs to be aware of.
What can we expect during home inspections with you?
I like have a pattern and consistency with each inspection – this allows me to create a routine so I don’t miss any items during the inspection. It’s important to me that I produce a consistent quality product rather than try to cram in four inspections within one day. Therefore I never do more than two inspections in one day – I’ll do one in the morning and one in the afternoon so I’m never rushed.
Essentially, what I’m doing during the inspection is creating a repair or an “action list”. So not only do I want you to understand what I am seeing during the inspection but I also want to offer advice on how to address any issues and the level of important those issues hold. I want the buyer to be prepared as much as possible when it comes to closing on their new home.
I love when the buyer and real estate agent come at the end of a home inspection so I can personally walk you through the items that were tagged on my report. This allows me to visually show the client my perspective on any potential issues and helps them better understand the home.
Whenever the buyers aren’t able to be present, I go through everything that I could get to and add it to the report during the inspection. The great thing about this report is that I’m able to create it while I’m doing the inspection – I capture photos, I take notes, I write recommendations all during the time of the inspection. So whether the buyer’s are able to be present or not, the reports will still show as much detail as possible.
After each inspection, I go back to my office and review my notes and add more details to the report. I try to gather as much details as I can during the inspection but then I take time afterwards to view the report and add more information. Finally, I send an interactive PDF of the report that includes the web links and photos to the home buyer and real estate agent.
Any advice you’d like to give for home buyers?
My advice for home buyers is not to rush and to really make sure you understand what you’re buying and how the process works before you get going. Be selective in what you want before you go out and make a decision because no matter if it’s an investment or a home you’ll be residing in, you’re going to have to live with that for a significant amount of time. We’re here to help you understand what you’re buying and to assist with that process.
How do we get in contact with you?
I want my clients to understand that I’m not going anywhere – so if you ever have questions before, during, or after your home inspection then I am always available to talk and answer your questions or concerns. If you’re looking for recommendations or someone specialized such as a contractor or plumber then I can assist you with that process, as well.
Office: (316) 729-5551 / Text: (316) 393-9125
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