Environmental inspections, whether it’s a mold inspection, well water inspection, lead inspection, asbestos inspection or other type of property evaluation requiring samples, require those samples to make it to the lab for analysis. Typically speaking, best practice is to get those samples to the lab the same day that you take the samples. Sometimes this is mandatory as in the case of bacterial water samples which must get to the laboratory within 24 hours as well as the maintenance of other certain conditions that must be maintained as far as temperature in storage and we have to be careful to maintain the chain of custody that the samples are in our possession from the time we take the samples to the time we deliver them to the lab. So the sooner we can get them to the lab the easier it makes complying with all those regulations possible. Also clients 1/3 library Salz as soon as possible or real estate agents and clients typically are used to getting their inspection reports within 24 hours and sometimes even the same day of the inspection so having them wait 12 to 5 days for environmental samples seems like an eternity for them. So anything we can do to speed up the entire process and not wait to get the samples to the lab over the next few days and provide the same day service is going to help with the overall experience of the client and real estate agent and generate more future referrals.
One of the challenges faced by today’s inspector is finding the time to deliver various samples to the appropriate lab after performing two or three home inspections each day. One thing that can be done to try and mitigate the travel time between inspections and labs is to conduct some market research and find multiple facilities or multiple locations in your inspection territory for each category of inspection you offer. This way, depending on the location of your inspection, you can deliver the samples to the closest laboratory from the subject property. The second, more challenging tactic that can be employed to minimize the travel time between labs and inspections involving samples is to evaluate your inspection schedule and identify any opportunities for altering the order. Ask the question, “Is the schedule as efficient as it can be with respect to driving to and from inspections and different labs?” Of course, we don’t always get to pick and choose where and when clients buy and sell homes, nor do we dictate our clients’ schedule and availability. In some instances, it will be possible and efficient to drop samples off between inspections. Other situations may require trips to multiple different facilities closer to the end of the day. Whenever possible, schedule your inspections with lab drops in mind and make sure to leave ample time between appointments so that you can show up early and maintain professional appearances. Many facilities offer after-hours drop services for samples as well. Obviously, this may not be appropriate for certain samples depending on certain factors but is a great option for most nonperishable samples.
A third and very underutilized option is to simply eliminate lab stops entirely. Many labs offer a delivery (FedEx) option for overnighting samples. Many of these services can be delivered next day and arrangements can be worked out where the results will be returned same-day. This will vary by type of sample and the individual analysis that is requested for each client. If you are thinking about this option, it is critical that arrangements are outlined with the lab ahead of time. You need a clear understanding of their turnaround times so you can outline your delivery expectations to the client. Best practice is to have the samples turned around as expeditiously as possible as you’ll have ample time to review and translate the report into a form that is digestable by the client. It’s much easier to locate a FedEx store or drop box, drop the samples in and let them do the driving for you. If your location makes it so that you are foregoing an inspection each day due to the time it takes to taxi lab samples, this option could not only save you time and money, it could also help you earn even more by freeing up valuable time that can be used for additional inspections.
Additionally, if you work with a multi-inspector organization or network, it may be possible to coordinate your schedule with other inspectors to help shuttle samples to different sites. If a different inspector lives in an area close to one of the destination labs, it would be very simple to arrange a meeting in a convenient location for both of you. In this scenario, it may be far more convenient for a different inspector do transport samples especially if he or she lives in close proximity (or their home base is on the way) to/from a laboratory or office location.
Compensation is another critical aspect that needs periodic evaluation and review. Ensuring that the rates being charged for environmental inspections and any associated sample collection, delivery and analysis should be appropriately priced. On the positive side, most environmental inspections will actually require less time for the visual inspection component when compared with a standard residential inspection of the same property. Compared to a standard residential inspection, the compensation per hour is generally higher for environmental inspections. For example, a typical mold inspection on an average sized dwelling with 3 samples will generate around $300 in revenue and will take around 1 hour to complete. A full inspection on that same home (depending on the condition of the property) will take an average inspector 2 – 3 hours to complete. Factoring in an hour in transport time to a lab to drop off samples, this inspector will actually earn more per hour even with an hour of extra driving.
Dealing with trips to the lab for environmental inspectionsAnytime that we do environmental inspections whether it’s mold inspections well water inspections lead inspections or asbestos inspections we will have lab samples that we must deliver to the lab for analysis. It’s best practice to get the labs samples to the lab the same day that you take the samples. Sometimes this is mandatory as in the case of bacterial water samples that must get to the live within 24 hours as well as their certain conditions that must be maintained as far as temperature in storage and we have to be careful to maintain the chain of custody that the samples are in our possession from the time we take the samples to the time we deliver them to the lab. So the sooner we can get them to the lab the easier it makes complying with all those regulations possible. Also clients 1/3 library Salz as soon as possible or real estate agents and clients typically are used to getting their inspection reports within 24 hours and sometimes even the same day of the inspection so having them wait 12 to 5 days for environmental samples seems like an eternity for them. So anything we can do to speed up the entire process and not wait to get the samples to the lab over the next few days and provide the same day service is going going to help with the overall experience of the client and real estate agent and get us more referrals in the future.What are the challenges is that we are busy doing home inspections are usually between two and three a day and now that we’ve completed our home inspection we’ve taken the lab samples we have to find the time to drive to the lab and deliver the samples . Space one thing we can do to try and mitigate the travel time between inspections and labs is to research and find multiple labs or multiple locations of the labs in different areas of your inspection region that we can deliver the samples to the closest location from our inspection second thing we can do to mitigate the travel time with i have samples is to evaluate our schedule look at our schedule Tryon schedule our inspections where we can possibly drive past a lab on the way to our next inspection now this is more difficult than it seems we don’t always have the choice of where inspections are and we only have one or two inspections in a given day it’s hard to really juggle them down we only have one or two options but sometimes maybe I’ll switch the first job or the second job or if we do happen to have a third job we might be able to move those around a little bit to make it convenient to drive past 11And drop off those samples on our way home. Another way to help mitigate the drive time to drop off lab samples is to utilize FedEx or another shipping service so some of the labs we have arrangements with we can get overnight delivery to the lab and have worked out arrangements were they’ll get a same-day service and this is important to not just FedEx or mail these samples anywhere to any lab Lab important to go ahead and get arrangements with that lab that once they receive it which is already a day after your inspection I felt provide results the same day this in essence gives you the same results to your client as you hand delivering those lab results on the same day of the inspection and getting the results the next day so if some labs will do this and will make it much easier for you to put the samples in China custodies into a FedEx envelope where you have a tracking number and it is much easier to find a FedEx drop box location between your inspections are on your way home that’s mitigating your drive time . Another way to help me to get your drive time for lab samples if you are a multi inspector firm and have several inspectors it may be possible to coordinate schedules to meet another inspector that also has lab samples and that one inspector could take multiple sets of them lab samples to the lab that may be on his or her way to one of their next inspections or in the direction of their home or home office.Making sure we get proper compensation for not only performing the environmental inspection but also the delivery of the lab samples were that’s the cost of the Fed ex or the cost of our time and gas driving to the lab we want to make sure that the inspection is priced appropriately to the time that we’re going to spend performing the environmental inspection. The good thing about most of our environmental inspections as they actually take less time than a full home inspection and usually we get paid more. Then a typical inspection. For example on a typical mold inspection with 2 to 3 samples on an average size home will generally take approximately one our to complete. Not a home inspection typical size home so I average 2000 square-foot home for average fee $300 that is also the average fee of a mold inspection is $300 so the home inspection will take between 2 1/2 to 3 hours for the $300 and the mold inspection should take you around an hour or less . So if we take the full-time of the mold inspection and include even an hour of drive time going out of your way and driving to a lab an average out both amounts of time and money you’re still actually getting paid more to perform that mold inspection as compared to home inspection so you got two hours of time involved for the same $300 fee as the home inspection you have three hours plus in a longer report to write for the same $300 so that is why in most cases the drive time to the labs in the delivery of the samples is included in the pricing and in the compensation packages of the environmental inspections. Now when we perform a home inspection along with an environmental inspection the time gets even less. Example if we’re doing the mold inspection excuse me a home inspection with a mold inspection attached then we’re already looking for signs of moisture intrusion signs of possible mold like substance is while we’re doing the home inspection so that adds no more time walking around the house i was looking for any of these areas the only extra time on the inspection is walking over and starting the lab samples in one two or three areas of the home was lab samples take about 10 minutes but what we wanna do is start the air sample hit the button and then continue our regular inspection so in this instance we’re getting paid an extra 195 to 295 fee on top of the inspection for approximately 15 to 20 maybe 30 minutes extra work of starting the lab samples and then delivering those lab samples to the lab. So if we can do everything we can to mitigate the drive time with the suggestions in this article and we’re performing environmental inspections in the appropriate time do bring the physical inspection we should still be making more money doing environmental standalone and environmental out on inspections to her home inspections even with delivering the labs and the samples to the labs.