Founded in 2015, Spectora Home Inspection Software was designed to streamline the home inspection report process through easy-to-use technology. We sat down with co-founder Kevin Wagstaff to discuss the tech-forward future of home inspections, and how Spectora is leading the charge for more powerful software tools, visually appealing design, innovative features that adapt to end-user needs, and exceptional customer service across the board. This makes Spectora not only an essential service but a treasured Acuity client that we are proud to support!
Read our Q&A with Kevin below, or scroll to the bottom of the page for the full video interview.
Tell us a little about Spectora and what the software does.
We make home inspection software for the real estate industry, which involves the mechanisms and software behind what inspectors do to present to homebuyers and agents. Our vision is for every agent and homebuyer in the country to know what a modern home inspection report should look like. We want all we want to be the dominant player in the home inspection software space, and we want our reports to be seen by millions and millions of home buyers and agents to help them make better decisions about their home.
As we created these tools for home inspectors, we started to realize that some of them were actually helping agents and clients better negotiate the buying of the home and the terms, what gets fixed what doesn’t — and they were doing it quicker with our reports. We also started to realize that it was bigger than just creating a tool for home inspectors to do their job; we also help agencies negotiate when they get the home inspection report back.
Spectora emphasizes stellar customer service. Can you tell us a bit about why that’s so important?
Recently, I finished a book called Delivering Happiness by the Zappos CEO and founder Tony Hsieh. It’s about focusing on company culture and prioritizing customer service, which is basically what we want — we want to be a kick-ass service company that goes above and beyond when it comes to serving people and providing a higher standard. I want [our service] to be legendary and so that’s kind of a new thing that I’m bringing to our team and trying to constantly be looking at — how can we do things better and treat each other, our customers, and our partners better.
Spectora works closely with many small businesses, namely inspectors or contractors. How have you seen the needs of small businesses change over the years?
I’ve seen technology — obviously with the pace of SaaS products — that allows companies to outsource certain parts of their businesses, and I’ve seen a growing sophistication in terms of how contractors and home inspectors specifically are thinking about their businesses. Granted it’s at a slower pace in our industry than maybe the rest of technology, finance, or other industries where you’re seeing rapid advances, but they’re still coming along. And so I think the industry is looking at ways to either outsource or find virtual solutions.
Finding a bookkeeping service like Acuity or outsourcing anything that you don’t enjoy doing has never been easier. And I think it’s driven the cost down overall for these other services and technologies — being able to automate and scale and think big picture about your business. It has never been easier for small businesses to do that.
Do you think there are opportunities here or room for improvement?
There’s definitely an opportunity for companies and existing service providers to say, “every small business needs to know about their books or do their taxes properly or send professional emails before and after their appointments.” All of these things that you think are given aren’t being done by a lot of small businesses, so that screams opportunity.
As for improvements, I think the majority of our industry needs to be educated on the tech side of things so it’s about making these services more accessible. Also knowing about time versus money. I think every smart business or business person thinks about not only the cost of something but how much time will I save? Because I think growth gets held back every time someone thinks “I don’t want to spend five bucks for that service, even though can save you an hour a day.” That’s a steal!
That brings us to the importance of finances as a small business. Spectora features a revenue tracking payment processing for tracking expenses on the job. In what ways have you seen such modern financial resources and tools like these help your customers?
You know, it sharpens everything up for them in terms of knowing the financials and numbers. I think that it’s unbelievable to me when I hear or see someone who is running a business that doesn’t know what their cash flow or revenue is, or how they are doing financially. So I think providing these tools makes people’s lives easier by helping them know their business so they can run it better. And that’s the value that we provide that we sometimes don’t even realize.
Is there anything in particular that you’re excited about in 2020?
We are excited about extending our tools even more to real estate agents to help them book inspections and make their lives a little easier on that front. We’ll be building a real estate agent app that realtors can use to book their favorite inspectors across the country and in any city. So that’s really exciting.
We’re also just looking at how we can keep innovating, whether it’s using FaceTime-type technology with inspectors at homes or using particular technologies to talk with homeowners and pull up, say, their water heater on their phone so we can literally map out the dimensions of it and tell you the make and model. So it’s figuring out how to use spatial recognition technology and how that can be used to help customers virtually.
I’m also at a point in my career where I love hearing other stories from business owners or people within small companies. Seeking out mentors and being a mentor is something I enjoy. I love making time for those human connections because we’re all heads down doing our jobs trying to grow our businesses trying to do the best job we can, but reaching out and speaking with others is always refreshing.
Follow along with Kevin on Twitter at @Kevin__Wagstaff and learn more about Spectora on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.