Baltimore startup says booking home inspections shouldn't be a nightmare.
USA—January 7, 2017
For many people, buying a house represents fulfilling a dream. A Baltimore startup wants to make sure home inspections don’t add a nightmarish quality to the process.
While working as a home inspector, Michael Floyd found customers had issues with the process of finding the right home inspection company for the right type of inspection (Lead paint or termites? Mold or Radon?) in the right geographical area.
Floyd and a small team are building Inspectivize to make the booking process easier. When considering building such an app for his company, Floyd said he realized, “Why not build a platform that will be available for every inspection company?”
After entering criteria including the type of inspection, date and ZIP code, the app uses an algorithm that offers homeowners and realtors the top three matches for inspectors. Customers can then review the ratings and other info about the services, and decide which to book.
The web and mobile app is also designed to notify users that inspectors are en route, and process payments. It has room for up to eight scheduled inspections.
In addition to helping homeowners find an inspector, the app can reduce the risk of getting overcharged. Inspection prices often fluctuate since they are not regulated. Introducing a side-by-side comparison can add transparency, Floyd said.
Floyd believes it will also help the inspection companies by providing a place for marketing. Just as the customers have trouble finding what they need, the companies can find it difficult to stand out.
“It’s a great business to be in, but the competition is fierce. You have to be able to market, and realtors have to be aware that the company exists,” he said. Many currently use Google AdWords, through which companies pay to be listed first.
Inspectivize will help the companies get in front of the very customers who want their services, Floyd said.
Joining Floyd in building the company is cofounder and Morgan State University professor Celeste Chavis. Morgan State engineering and computer science student Joshua Fitchett, who is also a teaching assistant with CodePath, is the company’s CTO.
The company will make money through a 10 percent booking fee for each transaction. They are raising money through Kickstarter to build out more features in anticipation of a beta launch on Feb. 1, 2017.
Today's Home Inspector