Somewhere in the mission statements of various businesses there is a line about service to the customers. We need reminders at times as to what that means
Over the years of writing posts and articles for blogs and other periodicals, I receive an email or phone call thanking me. Often people send me questions or ask for advice. Besides being an ego boost, I obtain ideas for new posts, or seeing new ways to explain details to make comprehension easier. This has helped me grow as a home inspector. A message left by a reader of this site touched me, and it caused me to think about those of you who come to this blog. I realize that I need to thank all of my readers for making me a better home inspector, but the message caused concern in another direction. I need to ensure that I am not paying lip service to the idea of service, and I think the real estate community in general should remember the mistakes which led to the housing crash in 2008.
The purchase of a home will be the largest financial transaction in the lives of most people. By the time a homeowner finishes paying off the mortgage on $100,000, they may have spent $300,000. (A good reason to pay down the principal on your loan). Buying a home effects other parts of our economy. We work on our gardens; buy furniture; and fix the structure. I am sure that most real estate professionals are well aware of this fact, but the idea of how big this is to our clients should remain foremost in our thoughts. Our culture had been mobile. A few of my clients still speak of moving to find the best location for their family. With the current economy, the mobile lifestyle seems to be coming to an end. The home that we have now may be our last. We pushed people to become homeowners since it would help the economy, but this was done at their expense, and we should not let that happen again.
I was happy to hear that the posts on this blog helped a person going through a difficult time. I attempt to live by a code of taking responsibility for my actions. No body is perfect, but I hope that I remember that responsibility. The real estate community shares part of the blame for the housing crash of 2008, yet the new homeowners have their part in this unfortunate situation as well. What is really needed is education. Buyers should be able to understand the paperwork in front of them. This involves education on their part, yet the paperwork should be clearly written. We real estate professionals must remember that we are the guides for our buyers through the process.
Now that homeowners are facing the consequences of action in which we played our part, we should find ways to help them through these hard times. Our industry has benefited from the stimulus of the tax incentive. I know that this led to homes being purchased earlier. (Buy this year, instead of next year). The effects of this stimulus are being debated, and I think it is too soon to determine. Since we have benefited, maybe we should return the favor, and find ways to help those homeowners in need.
This is meant to be a thank you to the readers, so I will held back in that direction. As I have written, the readers of this blog made me a better home inspector. Please continue to send your questions. Emails are better for me. Good luck in your own homes.