“Premier” Home Inspection Service Lives up to Its Name
For Bob James, owner of Premier Home Inspection Service in Salem, Oregon, the events leading up to his ownership of the company is a classic case of being in the right place at the right time.
Before becoming a home inspector, James ran a construction business for several years. But seeing that the work was hard on his body, his wife Shelley encouraged him to pursue a less taxing career.
“I decided to work as a building inspector for nearby cities and counties needing building inspections. But after I got my associate’s degree in Building Inspection Technology, there were no jobs waiting for me,” James said.
It just so happened that the couple was looking to buy a house about that same time. Since they needed a home inspection, their real estate agent hired Premier Inspection Service.
“When Bob was at the house during the inspection, he got to talking with the owner of the company and discovered that he was looking for another inspector. So Bob got the job as a home inspector,” Shelley explained.
Long story short, a few years later the owner of Premier Inspection Service decided to retire and sold the business to James and his wife. James and his inspectors conduct the inspections, while Shelley handles the marketing.
In 2015, Premier Home Inspection Service conducted 823 home and commercial building inspections, with the majority being home inspections. The firm services Salem as well as the entire Willamette Valley area.
Growing the Business
While the business was thriving when James and Shelley purchased it, they ensured their continued growth and future profitability by emphasizing great customer service and providing additional services that set them apart from their competitors – all at no additional cost beyond the paid and completed inspection.
These additional “free services” include MoldSafe, a mold protection plan; SewerGard, a sewer inspection plan; a free 5-year Platinum Roof Protection Plan; RecallChek, a program offering free manufacturer repairs on any built-in appliance or HVAC product that is recalled; and a complimentary Total Home Support gift membership, which includes a 24/7 property Emergency hotline, an “Ask the Experts” mobile app, a Concierge Utility Service, and several other benefits. Additional paid services include radon and asbestos testing.
Premier Home Inspection Service is also good at maintaining excellent relationships with realtors and getting their feedback about the kinds of inspection services they’d like to provide homebuyers. For instance, when considering purchasing a sewer scope for sewer inspections, the company queried realtors and learned that while plumbers typically offer this service, most are looking for something to repair.
“They told us if would be nice if we could do the sewer inspections instead of a plumber because we’re not biased in the results,” Shelley noted.
James notes that moisture intrusion is one of the worst problems he and his inspectors encounter during a home or property inspection. Whether it’s from leaking plumbing, a leaking roof, or even a clogged air conditioner drain pipe, too much moisture can allow mold and mildew to grow which can discolor and damage properties, or cause the musty odor associated with mold contamination, and even cause health problems.
Excess moisture can also increase humidity levels inside a home or building, resulting in an uncomfortable sensation of dampness, and cause wood to swell and warp, or even rot, weakening a home or structure.
“Although we don’t inspect for mold, we do air samples or swab sample testing for mold as needed,” says Shelley.
“Our inspectors can give our clients a good idea whether mold may be present, based on experience, but they always advise that suspected mold growth be tested first to verify its presence. We can test for mold when requested. If we verify its presence, we can recommend local companies who do mold remediation,” she adds.
“When we bought this company, the previous owner was already using the Wagner BI2200* moisture meter. And since this meter is durable and very reliable, we continued using it,” Shelley notes.
“We also like it for other reasons. Because it’s pinless, our inspectors aren’t poking damaging holes in our clients’ walls and flooring materials which happens when you use a pin meter.
“And besides measuring lots of different materials, it has a Press and Hold feature that makes it real easy to take readings in tight places like beneath sinks or under cabinets without having to actually see the display. Once our inspectors remove the meter, they can easily document the readings,” she adds.
‘Going the extra mile’ distinguishes a great customer experience from one not so great. For Premier Home Inspection Service, ‘going the extra mile’ includes offering its customers several value-added services and encouraging customer-inspector interaction.
“Besides the various warranties and extra services we provide, we encourage clients to be present for the inspection and to ask the inspector any and all questions. And before the inspector leaves, he carefully reviews all his findings with the client.
“We also leave them a book that we supply at no charge covering extensive maintenance tips. This is especially helpful for first-time homebuyers and any client who needs that kind of help.”
“We’re always striving to give value to our clients, and we do it with passion and a smile,” Shelley declared.
*The BI2200 is no longer available. We recommend the Orion® 950 for your home and building inspection needs.
Wagner Meters is a family-owned American business that aims to provide solutions in moisture measurement technology that will enhance the quality and value of each customer’s project. With an almost 60-year legacy of innovation, Wagner continues to be a resource for both individual craftsmen and high-performance commercial endeavors.