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Transforming Home Inspections with a Firefighter’s Eye

Written by:

Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.

Transforming Home Inspections with a Firefighter’s Eye

Welcome to our interview with Jordan Steward, the owner of Fireline Home Inspections. This innovative company, led by Steward, stands out in the home inspection industry for its unique firefighter-owned status, infusing a deep commitment to safety and thoroughness in every inspection. With a comprehensive service range that addresses every critical aspect of a property, Fireline Home Inspections embodies the expertise and dedication of its founder. Join us as we explore the insights and experiences of Jordan Steward, uncovering the challenges and achievements that define the journey of this unique business in the ever-evolving world of home inspections.

Jordan Steward

Background and Inspiration

SBS – What motivated you to start Fireline Home Inspections, especially with its unique firefighter-owned aspect?

Jordan – What motivated me was, at first, a desire to find something to do away from my time at the firehouse. Like many other firefighters, I have enough time to do something on the side thanks to our schedule (ten 24-hour shifts a month). I give credit to some firefighter friends of mine who work as realtors. They introduced home inspections to me. Having worked alongside my uncle for some time on his construction projects, along with the continual education on construction practices that I received at the fire department, home inspections were a natural fit for me. In March of 2023, I launched my home inspection company.

Safety Emphasis

SBS – How does your experience as a firefighter influence the way you conduct home inspections?

Jordan –  As a firefighter, I have been on calls, ranging from flooding to fires in peoples’ homes. Obviously, more times than not, we are called to emergency situations. However, there were a lot of times when we were called due to electrical, HVAC, and plumbing problems. It is not uncommon for us to be asked, “What is wrong?” and expected to know the answer. Having experience in responding to some of the worst instances of poor maintenance or even construction practices has proved invaluable in my comprehension of what may potentially happen if left uncorrected.

Service Range

SBS – Can you elaborate on the range of inspection services you offer and how you decided on this specific range?

Jordan –  I first would like to illustrate a home inspector as a primary care doctor. When you go in for your annual checkup, your doctor does not give you a list of every detailed problem you have. Instead, they give you a visual examination, a few tests/lab work, and then provide you with a report on what you should watch out for. If they discover anything concerning, they refer you to a specialist. Home inspectors are exactly the same! Therefore, as a home inspector, I offer home inspections and certain field tests such as radon testing, mold inspections, termite inspections, and thermal imaging walkthroughs. These ancillary services can really aid me in providing my clients with a detailed and thorough analysis of their home’s health and livable condition.

Professional Development

SBS – How do you and your team stay updated with the latest standards and techniques in home inspections?

Jordan –  As licensed home inspectors, we are required to engage in continuing education each year. For 16 hours, as a matter of fact. I also engage in online courses regularly so I can stay fresh on the latest information related to construction and home maintenance. My belief is that if you are not learning, you are not growing. We will continue to learn until the day we die.

Client Trust

SBS – What strategies do you employ to build and maintain trust with your clients?

Jordan – I am big on education and customer service. As a home inspector, I can have a big influence on how people view a home they are potentially going to buy. Just as a doctor would speak with his patient, I like to converse with my client on what may be of concern with their home but not overly startle them for something that can be fixed. Rarely will someone go in for a physical examination and discover something is wrong, and nothing can be done to fix it. The same is true for a house. So I strive to
make that clear to my clients.

Quality Assurance

SBS – How do you ensure consistent quality in your inspection services?

Jordan – I have a routine, and I stick with it. Sometimes that routine may have to be adjusted due to extenuating circumstances. However, most of the time, I can stick to my inspection routine. This prevents me from missing something or forgetting to examine a specific aspect of the house. Being clear with clients also aids in quality assurance. Sometimes well-meaning clients attend the inspection and shadow me. This can be a hindrance, as I cannot solely focus on the inspection, and I make this clear when I speak with them about it.

Unique Challenges

SBS – What are some unique challenges you have faced in the home inspection business, and how have you overcome them?

Jordan – The hardest challenge is exposure. The home inspection industry is saturated with inspectors. Due to this, many do not know about my business. To combat this issue, I have been visible on social media and have a high-quality website. Utilizing Google My Business has also helped in being seen by potential clients. I still have a long way to go. However, I am witnessing its effect little by little.

Customer Satisfaction

SBS – Can you discuss the Buy-Back Guarantee you offer and its impact on customer satisfaction and business growth?

Jordan – Sure. The Buy-Back Guarantee is a program offered by an association I am a part of. InterNACHI, to be exact. As an InterNACHI member, I can offer this program to any client I do an inspection for. There are specific criteria that have to be met, but if I were to miss a HUGE defect (which I won’t), then my association will purchase the home from the clients, and they can find another home to their liking. This program is honestly a great protection for the client, realtor, and myself. The client is protected because if I mess up, they can sell the property to InterNACHI. If I have a bad day and miss something huge (again… I won’t), then I am protected from the lawsuit. The realtor benefits because they get a double commission from the first sale and then the subsequent sale to InterNACHI.

Marketing Strategies

SBS – How do you market your services, and which channels have been most effective for you?

Jordan – I market my services primarily online, on Facebook and other social media platforms. I also utilize LinkedIn to meet with local realtors and try to build relationships. I have found that many realtors really do not understand the components of a home and how they function, so that makes for good conversations and to educate them.

Business Growth

SBS – What have been the key factors in the growth and success of your business?

Jordan – Consistency, staying hungry, and continually learning.

Advice for Entrepreneurs

SBS – What advice would you give to entrepreneurs looking to start a business in the home inspection industry?

Jordan – In the home inspection industry, you have to be very patient. It takes a long time to reap the fruits of your labor. I am still trying to break through the first ceiling. However, by being patient and consistent, I am noticing progress and growth. I would also consider doing home inspections on the side or working alongside an established inspection business as you grind to get your business up a running.

Industry Changes

SBS – How has the home inspection industry changed since you started, and where do you see it going in the future?

Jordan – Having started just a year ago, I have not noticed much change, but I have noticed inspections have been harder to come by as a whole. I believe this has to do with the fact that the market is changing and interest rates are high. Not as many people are moving post-COVID. This makes relationship-building with clients and realtors all the more important today. In the future, I expect the industry to continue to grow and hopefully be taken more seriously on the real estate side, the same way realtors and mortgage lenders are.

Lessons Learned

SBS – What are the most important lessons you have learned running Fireline Home Inspections?

Jordan – Patience and consistency have been a huge lesson for me throughout this first year. Not everything will work right away. Not everything will go according to plan. However, sticking with a plan will yield results over time. I also learned some of the nuances of running a business. It is a full-time job outside of inspecting houses. I have come to embrace it!


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Transforming Home Inspections with a Firefighter’s Eye