Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephen Verbeek.
Stephen, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
The dot-com bubble had just burst and 9/11 was the news of the day when I basically lost my tech job. I found myself two years out of college and working nights at a popular downtown Financial District bar. A fateful trip one day to the Somerville Public Library sealed my professional fate when I came across a book about up-and-coming at-home businesses of the new Millenia (or something like that). I saw home inspectors were on the list and it got me thinking. After much research and studying behind the bar during my Sunday brunch shift, I was hired by the largest inspection firm in Mass. Four years, a little sweat and a whole lot of ambition later, I had my own company with nearly two thousand inspections under my belt. I went at it hard, grew my exposure, and earned the respect of thousands of satisfied customers. I’m now in my fourteenth year of home inspecting. I’ve seen the worst of hoarding and the grandest of opulence. I’ve come across an original basement speak easy in JP and a multimillion dollar hand blown glass collection. I once had Noam Chomsky as a client and bartered my fee for an hour of his time just talking about the madness and hope of our world. He agreed and I unwittingly picked a meeting spot at the exact location he met his current wife. Speaking of wives, I met mine when she showed up at her home inspection being conducted by yours truly. She was late and I was crabby about it. I got over it. The rest is history.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Life is rarely smooth. Work is no different. I fell in a full bathtub on my first ever inspection which luckily didn’t set the tone of my career. Over-protective dads who pretend to be contractors are probably my biggest challenge. I kill ’em with kindness and win them over with knowledge. We almost always walk away smiling, both having learned something. I also struggle with back sweat on hot days while inspecting crawl spaces. I’ll get in there if it’s safe and accessible but don’t think I’m not cursing it the whole time.
Talon Home Inspection – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I conduct home inspections throughout the greater Boston area. The vast majority of my business is within Boston proper and the 128 belt. I specialize in all ages of homes and I’m a certified pest inspector who includes a pest inspection with every home inspection. Knowledge and approach is what sets home inspectors apart. I’m a sponge for information and I can have you laughing while delivering bad news, same as good. My approach consistently earns me between 350-400 inspections a year. I’m most proud of my ability to vacation without asking anyone’s permission. I won’t sugar coat that. I’m also proud of my father, who books my jobs, answers my phone and puts up with my sh*t.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Undoubtedly, I’ve saved my clients millions of dollars over the years in unexpected repair costs. I once found an underground oil tank which turned out to be leaking for years in a Belmont front yard. When my buyers backed out of the deal and used me again, the wife was literally crying with gratitude and hugged me in the driveway. I love hugs and promote them profusely. I also once saved a juvenile raccoon from a pretty gruesome death in an attic. That felt good.
- Plus or minus $500
- Website: www.talonhomeinspection.com
- Phone: 888-808-2566
- Facebook: http://m.facebook.com/talonhomeinspection/