Learn How to Become a Mortgage Field Service Inspector

The Mortgage Field Services Industry

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 There are two main lines of business in the mortgage field services industry:
  • Property Inspections
  • Property Preservation

This free training course only deals with the Property Inspections side of the business.

As an Independent Contractor in the Mortgage Field Service Business….

When you begin working as a Field Inspector conducting mortgage field service inspections for NMFS (or any other field service company), you are self-employed!  You are hired on as an Independent Contractor.  No Federal or State taxes, Medicare, nothing, is taken from your pay.  Your direct deposit will not have any deductions as you would normally have as an employee working for some other company.  You work on a per inspection basis. You complete the inspection, we pay you for it.  It’s that simple.

Below, you will find information to gain a general idea about the mortgage field services industry along with some of our requirements. We will pay you higher fees per inspection than the national average for our industry! Most inspections only take about 5 to 10 minutes each to complete.  The average number of inspections you can do is about 4 to 6+ an hour (if you live in a populated area), which equates to about $15 to $30 an hour.  It all depends on where you live, how efficient you are at routing your stops, and how many clients you have.

Here are the TOOLS you’ll need to be successful:

  • A vehicle that gets good gas mileage.
  • A Smart Phone (Android or iPhone)
  • A Printer/Scanner
  • A Computer (Desktop, Tablet, Laptop or your cell phone if you can print from it)
  • A Volt stick to check electricity at vacant properties – costs about $10
  • A clean criminal background.

If you have (or are able to attain) all of the above, then you are qualified to conduct inspections for our company and hundreds of other companies like ours in this industry.

After completing the last segment of our Guidelines you will be shown an Independent Contractor Agreement page. This is what we need in order to start business with our company.

 

This Training Course Will Show You How to Conduct Property Inspections

A person can learn all they need to know about conducting property inspections by simply reading over our guidelines and following the instructions on the work orders. Because we have so many different clients, we have different client requirements. We will show you what each of our clients want when completing their property inspections.

Once you read over our guidelines, you will have a general knowledge of on how to conduct our inspections.  Once you read over our Client Specific instructions (after you agree to conduct our inspections, password protected), you will know what is required of you and how to complete our inspections. This job is simply a matter of reading and following instructions, driving to the properties, snapping your photos, filling out the form on your cell phone app and then hitting the upload button, done.

To help you become even more successful in our industry we will provide you with lists of several other companies that may hire you for the same type of services. Getting hired by them will be up to you.  Although many of our inspectors only work for NMFS, if you want to make more money in this business you will no doubt need to add more clients. You will be a sole-proprietor of your own little business.  No licenses required, no degrees, no tests.  You become your own home-based business and will be entitled to all the tax write-offs as any other business.  Your mileage, your cell phone, your cell phone bill, your internet bill, the square footage of the room in your home where you set up your office, are all tax deductions just like any other business.

In exchange for sharing our knowledge about this industry we simply ask that you make us one of your clients.  We will also provide you with lists of other companies to work for. Companies you never knew existed who are always looking for more inspectors.

The more clients you have the more money you make, just like any other business.

 

Duties of a Field Inspector (a.k.a. Property Inspector)

The duties of a Field Inspector vary by the type of inspection, but generally include driving to the property location, performing a visual inspection, taking photos and answering questions on a cell phone application. Some inspections require you to leave a sealed envelope at the property and then taking a photo of it after you slip it in the crack of the door. Other inspections may require you to post a vacancy notice on the door.

NMFS does not engage in any type of debit or money collection services whatsoever. In order to ask questions about why a person is late on their house payments or to get current phone numbers, places of employment etc., you have to have a debt collectors license. We do not do that type of interview.  We are not debt collectors, and we don’t want to be either. We’d rather not talk to any of them to tell you the truth. We do not have any financial information about them and it’s none of our business. We do not need to know their reason for missing mortgage payments because their grandmother took all their money and lost it at the casino.  All we do is the property inspection and leave a message for them in a sealed envelope for them to call their mortgage company. Every door has a crack.  Slip the envelope in the crack, snap a photo of it and be finished.

We represent banks, mortgage companies and other financial institutions. We do not receive financial information nor do we solicit financial information from the homeowner.  We are very much like mail carriers who deliver a message/envelope to the homeowner. Instead of putting it in the mailbox (illegal), we take it to the door.

Field Inspectors often visit the same properties month after month, especially foreclosed properties. Depending on the type of inspection, the Field Inspector may be required to enter vacant properties using a key contained within a lock-box at the property, or key provided by NMFS.

Benefit – One of the advantages you receive while working for NMFS is that we will send you a set of keys that will generally open most vacant properties you come to.  Other companies make you buy your own set of keys which could cost up to $75. Just use ours.

Field Inspectors are the “eyes and ears” for our clients. Our purpose is to inform our clients if the grass needs cut, if debris needs removed on vacant properties, or if there are liability concerns by pointing out non-compliant conditions. Our clients use this information to determine if they need to send out another company to preserve and protect the property from the elements. (NMFS does not engage in property preservation, grass cuts, clean-outs or debris removal.)

We also inform our clients if a property becomes vacant by providing proof of its vacancy. This is accomplished by asking and verifying with neighbors (if necessary), that the property we are inspecting is actually vacant. Additional proofs of vacancy are the photos taken through the window showing vacancy. A few years ago our United States Congress passed a regulation that the person doing the inspection has to sign a Vacancy Certification showing that you verified the property to be actually vacant.  This is just a short form you fill out, snap a photo of it and then throw it away.

 

Cell Phone App Utilized: InspectorADE (IA)

When conducting inspections, you don’t just take photos and email the pictures to somebody, and we really don’t want you to have to print pages of questions on a work order.  The day of digital cameras, printing work order reports and using clipboards are long gone. NMFS uses a program called InspectorADE (which we pay for each inspection submitted, not you). IA is a cell phone app that you download to your smart phone. You enter your username and password and then download the inspections to your smart phone.  Letters, postings, certifications are all downloaded from the IA website which you can access from your computer, laptop, tablet or even your cell phone.  (You will be provided with your own unique username and password to InspectorADE at our expense.)

Photos are taken with your smart phone through the IA phone app. The smart phone application (Android or iPhone) automatically attaches the photos directly to each work order. You just select the photo label from a pull down list, check the boxes on the form and upload the inspections all with your smart phone. InspectorADE makes it very simple and easy to download work orders as well as uploading your photos and completing inspection reports.  The Android app is free to download but you iPhone users have a nominal fee to download the app. Both versions work very well.

Windows-based cell phones are not supported at this time.

 

Work Environment

Field Inspectors usually work alone. Some inspectors team up and bring a partner to help them with the inspections.  Although they spend considerable time inspecting residential and sometimes commercial properties, inspectors also spend time in their home office reviewing property inspection orders, routing their inspections, answering e-mails and telephone calls, writing reports, and occasionally scheduling homeowner appointments for insurance loss inspections.

While conducting inspections on vacant properties, you may be required to walk completely around the property, through tall weeds and grass. During certain months and seasons, the use of insect repellent may be a good idea. Some inspections require you to enter vacant properties to inspect the interior.  Some interiors are just down right nasty inside. (You need to know the good and the bad about this type of work.) Never open a refrigerator in the summer heat…just sayin.

Inspectors normally work regular daylight hours, (you cannot take photos in the dark!). Additional hours during peak periods may be required when conducting “rush” or a high volume of inspections within a short period of time. Most inspections provide 3 to 5 days to complete the work order with a due date.  Some inspections you receive may be due the next day or may already be past due by the time you receive them. There are reasons for that, which we explain later.

Sometimes your clients will ask you to go outside your normal assigned area or counties to cover inspections where there are no inspectors. In these instances you should ask for additional funds added to the regular fee to at least cover your fuel expenses and the additional time expended.

Being open to travel to areas outside your assigned areas helps us and your other clients.  It can also be more lucrative when you’re able to group several inspections together.

Be aware of your ability to handle stressful situations with short turnaround requirements on some work orders, as it may affect your ability to be successful in the mortgage field services industry. Keeping and maintaining good communication with your account managers is essential.

 

Other Considerations

Field Inspectors come from all backgrounds including, the medical field, photographers, home inspectors, electricians, real estate agents, industrial workers, and a variety of other trades. We even have a few attorneys, many off-duty firemen, several police officers, a judge, accountants, and other full-time mortgage industry professionals. Most inspectors learn that they really enjoy this type of work and often replace their current careers to do inspections full time.  Before you up and quit your current job, give the CEO of NMFS a call for some advice because there are always things about any industry you do not know. We believe in giving you as much detail about this industry as possible. That is why so many of our inspectors have been with us for several years.

Field Inspectors require attention to detail, following directions, caring about turning in good work, taking good photos, caring about returning completed inspections by a due date, and a general understanding of running your own business.  These are the keys to a successful business career in the Mortgage Field Services industry. Independent Contractors understand that sometimes you may need to take the good with the bad because some inspections will be very close while other inspections may send you out several miles for just a few.

 

How Much Money can I Make?

This question is impossible to answer.  In general it depends on where you live and how much volume your clients can provide you in the county(s) you provide coverage for. The more inspections you do, the more money you can make. Some people only want to do 10 to 20 inspections a day while others only want to work 2 or 3 days of the week. Other inspectors can do 80 to 100 a day.  It’s all up to you and of course it really depends on where you live and how many clients you bring on. Inspectors are paid a fee per inspection. Obviously the more clients you work for and the more inspections you conduct, the more money you will make.  There are several ways we can show you in how to get more clients to work for by listing your services on certain websites. Most of them are free.