Hugh Meade owned a franchise restaurant in Johnston, Iowa, when the home inspection industry began to appeal to him. Tired of the long hours involved with the restaurant business and working with a mediocre franchisor, Meade was searching for something new.
Meade previously bought and sold several investment properties and had an interest in the property inspection field. “After talking with a real estate agent about the home inspection industry, I decided to pursue the business,” Meade said.
Choosing the Right Franchise System
Meade thought about starting a home inspection business independently, as Iowa doesn’t require home inspectors to be certified or licensed. However, “after researching the possibility of going alone, I realized my best chance for success was having a successful franchise company to provide me with additional training and support,” Meade said.
In selecting a franchisor, Meade considered many factors, including the royalty rate, training, startup cost and support. He also wanted to be sure that the franchisor had a good reputation to avoid working with another poor franchisor.
“I wanted to do my due diligence when deciding on a home inspection franchise,” Meade said. “I had been with a restaurant franchise chain prior to NPI and experienced firsthand the problems with a bad franchisor. I researched NPI extensively on the Internet and called several NPI franchise owners to get feedback on how they felt about NPI. My final decision relied heavily on the comments of current NPI franchise owners.”
Before purchasing a National Property Inspections franchise, Meade and his wife visited NPI’s home office in Omaha, Nebraska. There, he met with Roland Bates, president of NPI, and the home office staff. “After meeting Roland and the staff of NPI, my decision was made to join the NPI team.
In October 2012, Meade signed with National Property Inspections to start his own property inspection business.
Franchising the NPI Way
Meade was impressed with NPI’s blueprint for building a business, which includes training on everything from the technical topics of home inspection to the marketing plan. In addition, NPI franchise owners receive a startup package that includes all of the equipment they will need for their business, such as a tablet computer, a portable printer, and inspection tools that include a moisture meter and gas sniffer.
“NPI has two weeks of training in Omaha and training in the field after that,” Meade said. “The field training allows you to work with other NPI franchise owners and gives you hands-on experience. NPI does a great job of preparing you to become a property inspector. There will still be situations that will come up outside your knowledge base, but that is when you call the support staff in Omaha to get the answers to your questions.”
NPI support staff is available seven days a week to answer any questions that franchise owners may encounter in the field. In fact, Meade described NPI’s support as “second to none.”
“When situations, questions, or challenges come up in the field, I know I can always pick up the phone and get assistance from the support staff at NPI.”
Success With NPI
“I only wish I had joined the NPI team earlier in my career,” Meade said. Since starting his NPI franchise, he has become a successful business owner in the property inspection field. “I followed NPI’s business model and have successfully grown my business to a point where I’ve had to hire another inspector to keep up with business demands.”