Audio Recorders & Home Inspections (UPDATED 2/28/18)
All inspections should have an audio recording for your protection. This helps limit liability and the “he said/she said factor” of what was said at an inspection. This will also help with quality control and training to help you explain things better. Use your voice recorder on every inspection. The recorder should be turned on as soon as you get out of the vehicle and stay on the entire length of the inspection until you get back in the vehicle. This recording is not only used for training to assist the inspector in improving the way things are explained, but to limit liability from he said/she said situations. There is nothing illegal whatsoever about doing a recording.
Make sure your batteries are fully charged every night and between inspections. Even one bar down on the battery indicator means to change the battery. You also want to make sure that you always have two memory cards.
These recordings can save your company thousands of dollars when clients or agents call and say an inspector said something that was not supposed to be said or they did not say something that was supposed to be said.
It is important to document everything and have proof, that way we can prove our side. If the recording proves that we did something wrong, then we take responsibility for the mistake and take corrective action to make sure it does not happen again.
At the beginning of each day replace your battery with a newly charged battery. This will get you through a full day of inspections. During the inspection make sure to glance down and make sure LED light is on showing you are still recording. Make sure to slide your button lock on the side of the recorder.
Make sure the date is correct on the recorder. Do not change any other settings. You can view time left to record once you start recorder prior to inspection to double check. Record inspections even when vacant and you are the only one at inspection.
Examples of Complaints:
Here are some real examples of when a recording of the inspection would have been or was useful to prove what really happened:
- Agents have called and said the inspector has used alarming language with the client.
- Agents called and said inspector had a bad attitude and was rude to client or homeowner.
- Clients have called and said that the inspector told them one thing at the inspection but the report states a different thing. They relied on what the inspector told them instead of reading the report.
- Agent has called and said that inspector used inappropriate language that made them feel uncomfortable.
- Axium involved in a lawsuit with having conversations with a neighbor about the condition of the property.
- Complaint filed because Agents said that inspector told client not to buy the property.
- Client recorded the inspectors final verbal review, but did not record the entire inspection where the inspector described in detail the defects of each component. So the client only got a brief summary of what the inspector actually told the client on the inspection.
There are many more examples of proper and inappropriate verbal communications that will be added to this section at a later time.