We had the good fortune of connecting with Eric Christie and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eric, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When I left the oilfield I realized I did not want to go back to the 8 to 5 job. I knew the industry offered no job security and no longer cared about the employees. Shortly after leaving the oilfield I was offered a contract engineering position. At that point I had not even considered contract work. Within a few weeks of starting, my mind began to shift from the 8 to 5 mentality to an Entrepreneurial mindset. It took some time, but when you can flip that switch in your mind, you see opportunities everywhere you look & everywhere you go. Looking back, I wish I had considered this earlier in life as I believe I would have built my business and would have seen the opportunities are available.
What should our readers know about your business?
I own a residential home inspection business – Boxer Inspections LLC. I help clients understand the condition of a home before they buy it. I offer a wide range of inspections that allow me to be a “one stop shop” for inspections. I inspect new construction, existing homes, rentals, and investment properties. A couple of items set my business apart from other inspection companies. First, the home inspection follows minimum requirements set forth by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). However, based on education and experience, I can inspect to a higher level of detail. My education provides me with a strong background in mechanical structure and electrical systems. Continuing education builds on my foundation and provides more in depth knowledge. Second, I have taken advantage of a previously untapped market in Houston working with real estate investors. Many inspectors report they do not want to work with investors. My experience in real estate investing has uniquely positioned me to take advantage of the market. I have created investigative methods specifically for investors. A focal point in my business is about building trust with people who are difficult to crack – realtors. I don’t mean it negatively, but they are in a business where they always seem to be on the “hot seat”. For realtors to be successful, they need an exceptionally strong network of service providers. Building a business is NOT easy, it takes real effort & patience. People use the phrase “Take action every day!” as a cliche. Until you are building a business you don’t know how true and fundamental that is. One lesson I learned as an engineering manager – “You cannot know everything, so surround yourself with people who do.” That has always guided me to find the right people. I strive to be added to the right people’s lists. What I want everyone to know about my business and what sets me apart is the following. I could use lots of technical terms and confuse agents and clients. However, my technical writing experience allows me to communicate very effectively and to help buyers understand. By understanding, they become more informed and better prepared to make the decision to purchase a home.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Our friends and family like to do things that allow us to be together, be comfortable, and have a enjoy the company. Outdoor activities would include a visit to local breweries like Saint Arnolds or Karbach Brewing. Spending an afternoon in Levy Park or biking at the Brazos River Memorial park in Sugar Land. A quick road trip to Moody Gardens & Galveston can provide a distraction from the city. Lunch stops might include Brother’s Taco House or Tornado Burger. Once evening falls, dining options include Prima Pasta, Avenida Brazil Churrascaria Steakhouse, The Spanish Flower, Brenner’s, or Christie’s Seafood & Steak. Our go-to entertainment is at Stages Performing Arts Theater, The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Show, or some laughs at Houston Improv. Maybe even a visit to the Saturday Car show at Otto’s BBQ.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Well, that is a tall order as businesses are built with the influence & support of many people. As I am sure many will, I have to give a shout out to my wife and partner Nancy for believing in me and putting up with the long hours, constant calls, marketing, and tight budgets. I was fortunate to have someone help me out by joining the inspection while I was in training. Ryan A. gets a personal shout out. While it may not seem like much letting me inspect the same house he was, let me offer this. Without him, this COULD have been an early conversation.
Client: “Thanks for helping inspect my future home. How many inspections have you completed so far?”
Me: “Your very welcome, it is my pleasure to assist. This will be my 2nd inspection and I appreciate your giving me the opportunity!”
However, with Ryan’s help, my answer was more like this:
Me: “Your very welcome, it is my pleasure to assist. This will be my 32nd inspection and I appreciate your giving me the opportunity.”
Others who have had a significant impact are Diego Melo (Strativenturs Inc.), Mike Milton (M-Squared Climate Control), & Iris Salmins (Dynamic Whisper Marketing).
I always recommend folks read one particular book titled “The E Myth”. It is directed to real estate investors, but has been adapted to many different industries. They key message in the book is to help readers make that change in mindset that will help me become an Entrepreneur. The mindset change is so vital.
Boxer Inspections LLC