Chris D. Hilton and Associates
If you imagine that Nora has issues with crawlspaces, you would be wrong about that. We have a rule that us "guys" treat Nora just like any other "guy" on inspections and when appropriate we treat her like a lady.
Later, we talked. I learned that Nora grew up as somewhat of a tomboy, dabbled in building things. Has an education in business admiration and marketing. She had spent many years working as an assistant manager, bartender, trainer and server with Chili’s Bar and Grill in Georgia and Mississippi before her stint in construction with a Texas (relative) framing contractor working on restaurants in California. I explained the training, cost, need for a laptop she didn’t have, and that it was a long tedious difficult journey to become licensed and even more to learn how to be an excellent home inspector. A great hurdle would be to overcome the fact of that she is a woman and there are very few female inspectors on this earth. Typically, this is the last I hear from most interested parties. They imagined this was a much easier journey. Next thing I know, she has found the money, signed up for classes at The Home Inspector Training Center in Burlington, has a conjured up a laptop for training and jumps right in. She begins shadowing us on inspections, learning the ropes, as she taking online and in person classes.
Then comes the difficult state exam, with an average 60% failure rate, you can only take every six months. She doesn’t make it, as many don’t. She hangs in with us, becomes very efficient at assisting inspecting homes and commercial buildings, by my and other inspectors side. Six months later, doesn’t make it again. She becomes so good at what she does in the field she assists me training others. Just before she is getting ready for a third attempt at the exam, she experiences a devastating, twenty-five foot, fall literally at my feet, on a commercial inspection, from an attached roof ladder. Shattered pelvis, two shattered wrists, one shattered elbow and a broken foot. Based on the area where she fell, and the seriousness of her injuries, we are very lucky she remains present. She goes from multiple surgeries, titanium implants, a wheelchair, challenging physical therapy, an expected year recovery, a hospital bill over one half million, to back in the field with us, IN SIX MONTHS. In all honesty, we are almost a year and a half, in May of 2022 as I write this, and she is still recovering. She is one tough trouper and an inspiration to all who experience her.
As Nora continues to work toward becoming a full-fledged, licensed, independent inspector, and recovering her mobility, assisting me and others on inspections, assisting me training other inspectors she has now also taken on the responsibility as our Director of Agent Services. To understand what that is about click here (coming soon, work in progress). Nora is becoming very proficient at commercial inspections as she is typically part of our team when we do those.
As I walked to my vehicle, she confronted me with, “What do I need to do to become a home inspector” as her mother commented, “This is right down your ally. You would be a great home inspector”. Hey guys, I get this all the time and it's typically the last I hear about it. I did, what I typically do, handed her a card, and said, “Think about it, if you're serious, call and we will talk about it.” Interestingly, I was already having conversation with another young lady about becoming a home inspector who was in her last year at a very prestigious university. I couldn’t even believe she was considering it. Nora was a better fit with her background in construction. Not only that, but she expressed her interest by pestering the hell out of me.
On April 22nd, 2019, as I was conducting a home inspection for a couple who were transferring from Mississippi, their thirtyish daughter was present. She honestly didn’t appear overly interested in what I was doing.
Director of Agent Services
Inspector in Training
Assistant to Master Inspector Chris Hilton