Killing termites in 5 zip codes

AT WORK

May 03, 2006|By NANCY JONES-BONBREST | NANCY JONES-BONBREST,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Bill Kidd

Inspector

Terminix/Towson

Earnings --$83,000, which includes a base salary and sales commissions.

Age: 35

Years on the job --2.5

How he got started --Kidd ran his own real estate investment company in New Jersey. During the sale of his own home, he worked with a Terminix representative who impressed him. When his business didn't work out, Kidd completed a three-month training program and test to become a Terminix inspector. He originally worked in New Jersey but moved to the Baltimore area last year because it was a growing market.

Typical day --Kidd works five zip codes in the greater Towson area. He completes eight to 12 appointments each day, starting his day about 7:30 a.m. and going until his work for the day is complete - usually 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. He also works most Saturdays and will work on Sunday if needed.

Responsibilities --He performs an inspection of the home, inside and out, and walks around with the homeowner, looking for termite or pest damage. Kidd uses his own truck and is partially reimbursed for gas. He gets paid a commission based on the number of contracts he sells. A technician is then scheduled to come out and do whatever remediation is needed.

Most damage --Termites. "We treat for all the bugs and inspect for all problems. Ants, roaches and rats can cause problems, but are considered pests. Termites will destroy the foundation of your home."

Average service plan --Costs about $1,200 and includes one year of service.

Worst situation --Termite job for a young couple who purchased a house "as-is" and after an inspection determined significant termite structural damage all the way up to the third floor.

Nasty critters --Black snakes and rats found in crawl spaces. "It's part of the job."

Control or termination --Kidd says the ultimate goal is to get rid of termites or pests completely, but sometimes it's difficult, especially in townhouse and condominium communities. "Unfortunately you can inherit your neighbors' problems."

The good --Customer appreciation.

The bad --"When customers don't take heed to the warning signs and wind up having to get repairs done."

Philosophy on the job --Kidd says he is persistent, professional and consistent. "Treat the house like it's your house. Treat customers the way you would want to be treated."

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