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So Just How Much Does A Home Inventory Service Cost

February 16, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 154

The home inventory industry offers a wide range of services offered at an even wider price range. We are often asked "What does an average home or business asset inventory cost?" I don't know if there is an "average" anything. It's difficult to say what one would pay as a general rule. There are many reasons for that.

The type of service - Is it just video? Just photos? Is there a limit to the number of photos? Is there a written report or no written report? One process could take 1/2 hour while another process would take 4 times that, for the same size house. Do they do just living area, or will they also go into the crawl space and climb into an attic? Do they scan all of your receipts and place that information in a written document?

How it is priced - Some inventory service companies charge a flat fee for a range of square footage (small, medium and large house, for example). Others charge a set amount of cents-per-square-foot, which makes it an easy way to quote a job on the telephone. Some have a minimum fee; others don't. An hourly rate is an alternative method of pricing the project. And there are some who mix and match these options. For example, they might charge a flat fee, plus so much per hour. This can often cause confusion to the point the customer really can't tell what it's going to cost. The cents-per-square-foot pricing varies throughout the United States from 10 cents to over 50 cents. That's a huge variation! Also involved is the travel expense. You'll find that some charge everyone for travel while others charge only when the destination is more than a set number of miles or minutes from their office location.

The final product - Your inventory service provider could hand you a CD as he or she leaves your home or business. Another might create a CD from the photos and/or video and mail the CD to you, which means they probably edit and clean up the photographs. A portfolio complete with printed photos and a written report - plus this information on a CD as well is another option. This indicates time at the office editing the photos and preparing the written document. The quality and thoroughness of the final product will dictate the cost.

After the inventory - Another thing to consider - do they mail it or hand-deliver it?If your service provider hands you the CD at the completion of documenting your contents, you can guess that this is the end of your service. Many offer some type of back up for you, which can range from placing the CD in a safe in their closet to a secured, encrypted online backup service. You also could receive opportunities for updates, renewals and other after-the-initial-service options. Some include this in their initial price; most charge an annual fee to continue to provide the service.

Each element of the service process usually means a higher cost, as you would expect. Most often, the old adage, "You get what you pay for," is true with any service business. It often applies to the home inventor industry as well. Know your service provider. Get referrals. Talk to the owners (are they the ones who will be doing the inventory, or do they sub it out?). Understand fully what you'll get during the inventory process and also what options are available after they leave your home or business.

One size doesn't fit all. It depends on the type of service, thoroughness of that service and level of followup received. Other areas to consider are how long they've been in business, trustworthiness, honesty, ethics, confidentiality, national certification, etc. It behooves you to ask questions and receive clarification on any issue that is unclear.

A personal property inventory service is an important investment. You're busy working to maintain your current lifestyle; you also want to know you'll be able to recover financially if you suffer a loss. Do your due diligence and make sure you get the quality work you expect at a fair and honest price. Then enjoy the peace of mind this service has provided for you.

Cindy Hartman is Co-Founder of Hartman Inventory Systems LLC, a complete personal property inventory turnkey business package. This franchise alternative guarantees success when following the established program. It provides all the tools and resources needed to start and grow an inventory service company. Major components are hands-on training, national certification, complete marketing package, life/business coaching program, guaranteed market area, and continued support. She and her husband also provide personal property inventory services through Hartman Inventory LLC, a woman-owned business.

Source: EzineArticles
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