Monthly Archives: August 2015

What You Need to Know SBA Loans

Pocket Watch And Five Dollar Bills

Pocket Watch And Five Dollar Bills

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is designed to fund loans that small businesses loans may need for a variety of different reasons. However, the SBA does not actually provide the money; rather the organization provides the guarantee that the debt will be repaid to their partners.

The SBA website offers overviews of loans that entrepreneurs may use to start their businesses. The most common loan is the 7(a) loan. Here is some information regarding this loan:

  • Eligibility: Operate a for-profit, small business (by the SBA’s terms of small). The business must reside in the United States or its territories. Applicants must demonstrate need for the loan and must have used other resources first. Applicants may not have delinquent U.S. government debt.
  • Use of proceeds: Loan recipients must use the funds to establish a new business, purchase equipment, pay operational expenses, refinance existing debt, etc.
  • Repayment terms: Based on the recipient’s ability to pay and other determining factors, repayment could range from seven to 25 years.
  • Fees and interest: Maturity fee and fixed or variable interest rates will be negotiated.
  • Loan application checklist:
    • Loan application
    • Personal background and financial statement
    • Business financial statement
    • Profit and loss statement
    • Projected financial statement
    • Ownership and affiliations
    • Business certificate/license
    • Loan application history
    • Income tax returns
    • Resumes, business overview and history
      Business lease
    • Existing business information if purchasing an existing business
  • Processing time: 36 hours.
  • Types of 7(a) loans: Several types are offered.

Visit the SBA website to review the complete information regarding available loans, specific guidelines and requirements available for your business needs.

With all of the information provided by the SBA, entrepreneurs have an enormous opportunity to get their start-up loans funded and to repay them with fair and reasonable terms. Visit the SBA’s website, make inquiries about what you want to know, gather your documentation, apply for the loan and begin your success story.

Strong Real Estate Market Means Increased Business for Property Inspectors

Home for Sale SignAs you may have guessed, the real estate market affects the home inspection industry, and it’s been good news for both fields as recent economic information shows an uptick in the housing market. July had the highest rates for new-home construction in the past eight years. Furthermore, interest rates remain low, and the job market continues to improve, according to the Cape Cod Times. In addition,

  • Home builders are feeling more confident, as new-single family homes rose to the highest levels since November 2005.
  • Single-family gains have pushed housing starts to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 782,000 units. The new-home market appears to be inching forward at a slow but steady rate so far this year, and the outlook remains positive through 2017.
  • Existing home sales are also on an upward trend and are higher than they have been since February 2007. Sales rose in June at a seasonally adjusted rate to 5.59 million.
  • Commercial real estate showed a 30 percent increase in the second quarter this year.

While lower interest rates have many home owners refinancing through different types of programs, the inspection field has blossomed. The aspiring real estate market statistics represent a time of enormous growth potential and prosperity for home inspectors.

Now is the time to prepare for upward trends in home construction and sales. Home inspectors should stay motivated and continue to work diligently as the market continues to rebound. Obtaining specialty certifications for mold inspections and testing, wood-destroying organism (WDO) testing, thermal imaging, and four-point inspections are among several add-on services that can lead to increased revenue for home inspectors.

This is also a great time to market your property inspection business and take advantage of any networking opportunities that may arise. Connect with Realtors and bank and mortgage companies that may use your services. Deliver yourself in a professional manner and keep in touch with them — you want them to remember you by name. Make a positive and lasting impression so that when they need to refer a property inspector to their clients, they know you are the inspector for the job.  After that, deliver service to your clients, and your will continue to receive referrals.

Are you interested in starting your own home and commercial property inspection business? National Property Inspections in the United States and Global Property Inspections in Canada have franchise opportunities in your area. For more information, visit our website and complete the Next Step form.

Now Is the Time to Start Your Home Inspection Business

Inspector + Realtor or client38When you think of starting your own business, your first thought may be that the economy isn’t right. Or, you may question why you would leave your current job to go off and start your own business. There are several reasons why now is the right time for starting your own business. In fact, a recent article in Entrepreneur Magazine addressed 3 reasons why now is the time to start your own business:

  1. Improved technology. Less expensive, better technology has enabled the rise of small-business owners by dropping barriers to entry, speeding distribution channels and reducing overhead.
  2. Better access to credit and loans. Small-business lending is still down 20 percent compared to levels before the recession, but lending is improving due to factors like crowdfunding, alternative lenders and expanded access to U.S.-backed loan guarantees.
  3. The economy is rebounding. Unemployment rates are decreasing, interest rates are low and stocks have hit higher records.

Other reasons to think about starting your own business include personal convenience and your own well-being. Corporate America involves car pools, traffic jams, traffic violations, parking struggles and time clocks — not to mention that corporations are demanding more work from fewer people these days. Workers can feel overwhelmed at times. Simply lives robotically, with daily redundancy every week day and possibly some weekends, can become exhausting. Family functions and important events with the kids may be impossible to attend. Sometimes, when you are lucky, you get to show up late for these irreplaceable moments in life.

If you operate your own business, you can arrange to work from home at least part of the time, and you’ll set your own schedule. You can attend family events and functions and keep both your family and yourself happy. Why not work to make yourself prosper and watch your family grow while remaining an active part of their lives?

If you eliminate the hectic daily life of Corporate America, and spend more time with your family building your own destiny, you could become a happier person. Happier people can live longer lives. Stress itself can be detrimental to your health and in turn cause a shorter life span. At the very least, stress can cause aches and pains that lead to discomfort or the need for medications.

Health, happiness, finances and convenience all are reasons you should consider starting your own business. If you are looking for a challenging, exciting business opportunity in a field that is rewarding and recession-resistant, we invite you to explore opportunities in the home and commercial building inspection industry with National Property Inspections in the United States and Global Property Inspections in Canada.

What’s the Market for a Home Inspection Business?

Inspector + Cabinet2If you’re interested in starting a property inspection business, you’re undoubtedly curious about the market for home and commercial building inspections. The past year’s recovery of the housing market and its current stability are positive signs for the inspection business. But, according to an article posted by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), the market for home inspections speaks for itself:

  • The majority of home buyers (77 percent) order a home inspection prior to purchasing a home. Among these:
    • 81 percent had a contingency for the inspection in the contract.
    • 79 percent attended and participated in the home inspection.
    • 97 percent believe the home inspection was a good value for the price they paid.

Furthermore, the 2014 year-end sales results provided by National Association of REALTORS®  revealed that 4,940,000 existing homes were sold, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 437,000 newly constructed homes were sold. At an average cost of $300 per home inspection, there’s plenty of money to be earned in the business.

In addition to inspections, home inspectors often obtain certification to provide specialty services outside basic home inspections: Mold inspection and testing, thermal imaging, radon testing, and wood-destroying organism inspections are among the most common additional services that inspectors offer. By providing these and other specialty services, home inspectors increase their earning potential and their sales.

Now is a great time to start a home inspection business. You’ll be your own boss, set your own schedule, and enjoy a challenging and rewarding career. And, when you become a franchise owner with National Property Inspections or Global Property Inspections, you’ll receive additional training so you can further diversify your business by offering commercial building inspections.

Learn more about franchise opportunities with NPI and GPI by contacting Julie Erickson at julie.erickson@npiweb.com or 800.333.9807, Ext. 24.

Starting Your Own Business: Strategies for Success

IMG_1109Age is mostly irrelevant in becoming a determining factor for succeeding as an entrepreneur. There have been young entrepreneurs as well as older, established entrepreneurs. Some have built success on seemingly impossible ideas and others seem to possess a certain amount of luck. For the most part, a successful entrepreneur will have to fearlessly work hard, cultivate positive relationships and develop great business skills.

A recent article in Entrepreneur Magazine noted five things you should do when you are ready to become an entrepreneur:

  • Go all in. Once you’ve made your decision to start a business, don’t doubt yourself, and no looking back.
  • Find a mentor. Enjoy your success with an experienced entrepreneur who has agreed to mentor you.
  • Create daily routines. Set goals for what has to be accomplished each day, and make sure you abide by your own rules.
  • Eliminate negative people. People who wallow in self-pity and are unemployed may not be the ideal people to associate with. They may not really want to help you or see you succeed.
  • Network as much as possible. Try to meet new people and tell each of them what you do.

Focus on Your Customers
It is helpful to pursue things that you enjoy doing and master what you do. No matter what carefully placed business strategy you launch, the bottom line is you must win customers to whom you sell your product or services. Without customers, you have no business, no employees, no self-employment income or success.

Make each customer feel important, try to get to know a little about them, follow up with them and make sure they are happy with your service. Your customers are actually the employer — they are how you succeed and how you get paid. Make sure you deliver what you promise, when you promise it. Be honest and reputable, and provide quality for what they purchase. Be persistent and patient as your customers will grow and return over time.

Ready to become an entrepreneur? Take the next step and inquire about a franchise opportunity with National Property Inspections or Global Property Inspections. We’ve already developed the business, sales and marketing models for you. For further information, contact Julie Erickson at 1.800.333.9807, Ext. 24.

Avoid Becoming a ‘Bad’ Inspector

Inspector + water heater5As you know, may know many people will ask friends and family members to recommend a business or an individual for a job they need done. Some individuals will search online for reviews and advice from others. For these reasons, it is crucial for home inspectors to maintain professionalism, provide great customer service and adhere to industry ethics standards. Once you become labeled a “bad” inspector, your business could be doomed.

Home-buying and -selling expert Elizabeth Weintraub wrote that it can be difficult to distinguish a bad home inspector from a good one. Home inspectors could potentially create a conflict of interest by performing repairs themselves or even by suggesting a specific contractor. In these cases, some home buyers may be afraid that an inspector would dishonestly inspect a home in order to gain additional income by performing repairs themselves or receiving kickbacks from a contractor.

Instead, if a home buyer asks for recommendations for repairs, the home inspector should politely suggest Angie’s List or another home services directory. It is also acceptable to give clients the names of at least three companies you would recommend — but make it clear that you have no ties to the companies.

Poor customer service can also make a home inspector untrustworthy in the eyes of real estate agents and clients. Customer service is imperative to any successful business — after all, your clients and their referrals are ultimately who pay you. Home inspectors should answer questions asked by buyers and Realtors honestly, accurately and knowledgeably. Return calls, answer emails or leave voicemails in a timely manner to satisfy your customer. Home buyers are excited about the purchase they are about to make. They want information as soon as they can get it so they can take the next necessary step in the home-buying process. Great customer service will also win over real estate agents — keep in mind that your client’s Realtor will need a home inspector again soon. By offering top-notch customer service, you could win that business.

Some Realtors refer to home inspectors as “Deal Killers.” Usually, though, it’s not the inspector’s fault; he’s just reporting what he sees. Home inspectors should never avoid reporting complete and accurate information, but they should be skilled in how they deliver that information to home buyers. Every problem in a house can be fixed, and the inspector should be sure to let home buyers know this. It’s a serious mistake for a home inspector to be an alarmist or advise a home buyer on whether to buy the house. The inspector’s job is to accurately report the condition of the house at the time of inspection and to inform the home buyer of problems and possible fixes.

Home inspectors must choose their words wisely and carefully when describing and addressing problems in the inspection report. An overzealous inspector can put himself or herself in an unfavorable position regarding legal liabilities. Home inspectors should avoid both overstating and minimizing problems. Just report detailed, honest and accurate information to the intended audience. Home sellers or Realtors may still try to blame the home inspector, but as long as the inspector is reporting and acting ethically, it’s ultimately the buyer’s decision on whether to purchase the house.

Learn How to Start Your Own Home Inspection Business

Inspector + ACIf you’re frustrated with the corporate grind, tired of working for someone else or ready to put your entrepreneurial spirit to work, then you may be thinking of starting your own business. If you already know what business you want to go into, then you’re lucky. For many others who are searching for business ideas or for a second career, home and commercial property inspection offers a challenging, exciting and lucrative opportunity.

Property inspection is a career field with a bright future. Eight out of 10 home buyers order a home inspection. Also consider the following outlook for the housing and commercial property industries:

  • The real estate industry is expected to remain on a sustainable course of solid growth for 2015 through 2017. (Urban Land Institute, April 2015)
  • According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), home builders’ confidence in the housing market jumped five points in June 2015, as their sales outlook improved to its highest level since 2005.
  • In the largest 100 housing markets in the United States, it’s still cheaper to own than rent, by 38% nationally. (Trulia, June 2015)
  • “The pending home sales report added to robust building permits, housing starts, new-home sales and home resales data in painting a bullish picture of the housing market.” (The New York Times, June 2015)
  • Existing home sales increased 5.1 percent in June 2015 to an annual rate of 5.35 million units — the highest level since November 2009. This year’s home sales are on track for the strongest gain since 2007. (National Association of Realtors)
  • The commercial real estate market should continue its upswing. Vacancy rates for offices, industrial markets and retail markets are all expected to decline. (National Association of Realtors, June 2015)
  • An influx in new apartment construction is forecast to cause an uptick in the multifamily vacancy rate. (National Association of Realtors, June 2015.

On Wednesday, Aug. 12, National Property Inspections, Inc., will hold its first-ever webinar for entrepreneurs interested in starting a property inspection business. Click here for more information and to register for the webinar.

Presented by Roland Bates, president of National Property Inspections, Inc., and Julie Erickson, director of franchise sales for NPI/GPI, the webinar will cover topics including services performed by property inspectors; skills, background and training for property inspectors; starting an inspection business; and more.