The Big One

I recently inspected one of the largest properties that I’d ever done in one day (27,000 square feet). Nine straight hours in one location. Thankfully, it was a vacant commercial property and, after a brief discussion of concerns and expectations, the agents and buyers left me alone to do my work.

But how do we stay focused when we’re in the same place for so long? It can be easy to get overwhelmed. One’s mind can easily wander, entertaining us by thinking about more exciting things. It would be really easy to make mistakes, get sloppy, or start to mail it in.

How we deal with this situation is a personal decision. Some people will tag-team the big ones, bringing in more than one inspector to break the job up into smaller pieces and get finished more quickly. Some inspectors will break up the job themselves, doing different parts of the property on different days. And some people will simply muscle through, forcing themselves to (hopefully) remain focused.

I like to combine these techniques (while still working by myself). I’ll break the inspection up into different parts, working on similar things in batches. I’ll tag-team the job myself, doing part of the inspection on my software while on-site, while taking pictures of the bigger parts of the inspection process (roof, attic, and exterior) and entering that data into my software when I’m back home that evening. And I muscle through, trying to remain focused by taking a few smaller breaks throughout the day, giving my mind a few minutes rest between extended periods of intense focus.

Whatever works best for you is what’s best for you (and your clients).