During the early years of his career, Clyde Yost worked in engineering and technical milling for several national and international organizations. But in 1987, the year National Property Inspections was founded, he was searching for something more.
“I was tired of corporate cutbacks and layoffs and also the many days and nights away from home,” Yost said. “I wanted to be my own boss and stay away from airplanes and motels as much as possible.”
Choosing an NPI Franchise
Yost responded to an NPI ad in USA Today and then traveled from Kansas City, Mo., to visit NPI’s home office in Omaha, Neb. He met with NPI’s president and founder, Roland Bates, for about half a day. After the visit, he was impressed with Bates and went home to discuss with his family NPI and going into business for himself. They agreed that NPI sounded like a solid opportunity and said they would support Yost in his new venture. So, Yost purchased his NPI franchise in June 1987.
Yost considered starting a home inspection business independently, but realized that a franchise system could offer the support and training he needed to get his business off the ground. Today, he’s proud to be part of a franchise system.
“I felt comfortable talking with Roland and did not receive much information from any of the other inspection companies that I contacted,” Yost said. “There were not many choices in 1987.”
Franchising the NPI Way
One of the things NPI prides itself on is outstanding support for its business owners from the moment they contact us about a franchise opportunity. Yost said that the support from the corporate office and meeting with other franchise owners has provided an excellent opportunity for learning the business. “I was looking for technical help in starting a business – having a report to use on inspections and having a good name to present to prospective clients. I got all of that and more with NPI,” he said.
In 1987, Bates did a large portion of the training of new business owners himself (he still does some training with every new business owner today), and had assembled a team that also included an electrician, a plumber and an HVAC contractor to teach new business owners everything they needed to know about the property inspection business.
“There were no computers or other high-tech devices in 1987,” Yost said. “Our tools consisted of binoculars and a Polaroid camera, a screwdriver and crescent wrench. The forms were filled out at the site by hand and given to the client. The training was very good and helpful in developing my business.”
These days, NPI has two training experts on staff full time, and these employees also provide field support to NPI business owners seven days a week by telephone. The tools of the trade have improved, too, as NPI now gives its business owners a complete tablet computer and printer setup and high-tech tools such as a gas sniffer, circuit tester, infrared thermometer and moisture meter.
In addition to its training experts, NPI has a full staff ready to support its business owners, including a marketing team that includes a marketing coach and marketing manager.
“The staff has been very good to work with and has been around almost as long as I have,” Yost said. “There has never been a time when I could not find someone to answer my questions.” And often, this is Bates himself, as he remains very hands-on with NPI business owners.
Yost attends the NPI Annual Conference every November to earn inspector continuing education credits and to network with his peers, other NPI business owners. “I enjoy the annual meetings and getting together with the new members of the organization, as well as seeing the ‘old-timers’ for another session,” he said.
Success With NPI
Today, Yost has been operating his home inspection business in Kansas City, Mo. for more than 25 years. Does he have regrets about leaving the corporate world to start a business of his own with NPI?
“Never,” he said. “My experience with NPI has been great for my career and my family.”