When it’s time to set up new inspection services or simply edit the existing ones, have you asked the question, “how should I add this in the ISN, is it an inspection Type, Service, or Fee?”

It sometimes might be confusing, but we will explain their concept and the best practices for each one of them:

Inspection Types

The Inspection Type is the main “service category” for the inspection, the foundation. Only one Inspection Type can be selected on each individual order, however, you can add as many Services and Ancillary services according to the clients’ needs.

Using this concept is how you will categorize the whole order, ie. Standard Home Inspection, Condo Inspection, Townhome inspection, Commercial Inspection, Radon Stand Alone, etc. You can't have an order created without an Inspection Type.

As you can see it does not include services, it’s not a Package, it’s just the main concept for your order management. However, there are some users that actually include a specific service in the title, like “Standard Home Inspection with Radon”, sometimes because the service is outsourced and they require to easily identify this kind of inspection in the reports or inspection grid.

It’s up to you to define the format, but we recommend you keep it simple.

The Inspection Types have interesting features, such as:

Associate Agreements with Inspection Types: It doesn’t matter if the order is scheduled online or in the order form, if you have the Inspection Type associated with a specific Agreement and the email event set up, the client will automatically receive the request to sign it.

Email and SMS Events association: You can send automated emails and SMS events according to the Inspection type defined in the order. That will help to deliver certain information regarding the inspection.

Business reporting: You can run reports by Inspection Types or filter by this concept in most of the reports.

Porch Home Assistant Gold: If you have this added value enabled you can select specific Inspection Types from where clients will receive the Home Assistant Gold benefits.

The Inspection Types can also include fees, but that’s something we will see in the Fees section within this article.

Click here if you want to know more about adding new Inspection Types


Services

The main purpose of the Services is to provide your clients the different solutions for the inspections that your Company offers.

For example, the Services for an inspection can be:

Standard Home Inspection

Radon Testing

Mold Inspection

WDO (Wood Destroying Organisms)

But wait, I already have the Standard Home Inspection as an Inspection Type, why am I adding it again as a Service?

The answer is simple, the Services are available for the client to select in the Online Scheduler, the Inspection Types are never visible to the clients because that concept is for order management, so, if someone would like to schedule online for a Standard, Condo, Townhome inspection, etc, your ISN must have those added as Services.

Types of Services

In this section you have the option to categorize the Services in two and to create Labels:

Service: These are the primary services for the inspection.

Ancillary Service: These are complimentary services.

For example, you can have them set up like this:

Standard Home Inspection ---> Service

Radon Testing ---> Ancillary Service

Mold Inspection ---> Ancillary Service

WDO (Wood Destroying Organisms) ---> Ancillary Service

We have two very useful features in the Online Scheduler settings to control the Services Types when the client is scheduling the inspection:

  • The first setting will force the client to select only one primary Service to be added to the order.

  • The second setting will require the client to select one primary (or more, depending on if you enable the previous option) before adding any ancillary services to the order.

What if I want to have Radon, Mold, WDO, etc, as Stand-Alone Services to be offered to my clients?

This topic can open a debate as it depends on each inspection company. You can have the previously mentioned primary and ancillary services options turned off in your Online Scheduler so the client can select as many primary and ancillary services without restrictions, or, you can have primary Services only.

There are companies that have no Ancillary services and have this primary Service format:

Standard Home Inspection + Radon

Standard Home Inspection + Radon + WDO

Standard Home Inspection + Radon + WDO + Mold Inspection

Radon Stand Alone Service

WDO Stand Alone Service

Mold Inspection Stand Alone Service

Condo Home Inspection

Condo Home Inspection + Radon

...

This is clear but you will have to associate Fees, Agreements, Agents, and a lot of settings to have this working correctly. Also, that amount of information might be confusing and overwhelming to the clients during the scheduling process.

We recommend you to keep it simple, you can have primary Services only by having the minimum and precise options to select:

Standard Come Inspection

Condo Home Inspection

Radon

Mold

WDO

The key is to be very specific about the Services descriptions and mention that Stand Alone Services do not include other services.

NOTE: Services don't have fees on their own, they have to be assigned from the prices created in the Fees section. This will be explained in a moment.

Labels (service type): The Labels in the Services feature are a very straightforward setting, by choosing it you can add a Label or divider that will help you and the client to differentiate the Services.

You can use them to label the Primary Services and Ancillary Services, or you can label Home Inspection Services and Comercial Services to have them separated, again this depends on what your company offers to the public and how you want to manage the data.

Here is a picture of how the label looks in your Services settings:

As you can see it does not have the option to associate any extra order settings, it's just a label.

The screenshot below shows how the same label looks in the Online Scheduler (the red square is illustrative to identify the label)

ISN has some features that can be triggered or linked to the Services, you can take a look at how they work in this useful article: Adding New Services

You can also use the Services to associate them with email events and are very useful when it comes to filtering and analyzing reports.


Fees

Here is where you set up the inspection prices on your ISN, you can set a default value or add different calculators that will do all the math for you!

We are not going to focus on how they are set up as an article on Fee Options & Calculators already exist, our main objective here is to explain the interaction with the Services and Inspection Types.

After creating the Fees you will now be able to assign them to the Services previously created. As mentioned before Services don't calculate the fees on their own, that's how the Fees interact with the Services:

You may have noticed that in the Inspection Types you can set a Fee for each concept, or from the Fees, you may see the Inspection Type Calculator option:

By going to Settings ---> Office Settings ---> Inspection Types you will see the Fee column at the end where you can edit the Inspection Type Fee, it works just like the default value on the Services but for the Inspection Types.

If you have already set up the fees and assigned them to Services, it will be not necessarily to add any to the Inspection Types as they will be summed to the total of the inspection.

That's all the necessary interaction between Fees, Services, and Inspection Types.


Conclusions

The information provided is a recommendation only on how to use those features, you can set them up however you want, but, the simplest the better; that will help you to easily run reports, and the client will schedule orders faster without having to contact you to clarify anything, and if you have to update any Fees, Services or Inspection Types, it will be easier to edit and save them with minimum configurations.

As a support analyst once said, these features work in a similar way to preparing a pizza:

The inspection Type is the dough, the base of the inspection.

Services: Are the toppings

Fees: are all the ingredients in the recipe.

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