Category Archives: Customer Service

Atlanta Franchise Owner Wins NPI/GPI Franchise of the Year

Franchise of the Year winner Bob McDonough and his team.

Franchise of the Year winner Bob McDonough and his team.

National Property Inspections, Inc., is pleased to announce that NPI franchise owner Bob McDonough of Atlanta is the winner of the NPI/GPI 2015 Franchise of the Year Award.

“Having started my inspection business with NPI in 2008, at the beginning of the real estate disaster, I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of my team and myself,” McDonough said. “It has been a lot of hard, but very enjoyable, work to build this business from the ground up in such a short period of time. I am especially gratified to have such a large group of highly respected Realtors referring my company to their clients. There is no better feeling in business than getting repeat referrals from people I respect. To be awarded Franchise of the Year in front of over 100 of my peers is icing on the cake!”

McDonough operates a multi-inspector company with office staff and also performs inspections himself. In addition to performing home inspections and commercial property inspections, McDonough has differentiated his business by providing mold inspections, radon testing, Phase I Environmental Assessments and winterization services to clients in the Atlanta area.

In addition to overall annual sales, number of inspection performed and percentage of sales growth over the previous year, the NPI/GPI Franchise of the Year award is based on several contributing factors:

  • Overall level of professionalism
  • Continuously striving to improve customer service and benefit customers by seeking additional training and increasing the knowledge base
  • Acting as a role model and mentor to other NPI and GPI franchise owners
  • Demonstrated willingness and desire to give back to the community
  • Positive feedback from customers

“The competition was tough,” said Roland Bates, president of NPI/GPI. “Most of our franchisees had a great year. Bob McDonough has been ambitious since he began his franchise in 2008. He was intent on building a larger business rather than a one-man show. He has worked tremendously hard to expand his territory and build a multi-inspector company, and he and his team have performed thousands of inspections this year. Bob and his inspectors always receive rave reviews from their clients. Bob has truly taken his franchise to a whole new level, and we are so extremely proud to have him as one of our franchise owners.”

Founded in 1987, National Property Inspections, Inc., is one of the oldest and most respected names in the home and commercial inspection business. We operate as National Property Inspections in the United States and as Global Property Inspections in Canada. NPI offers franchise opportunities throughout the United States and Canada to become a home and commercial building inspector. For information about franchising with NPI or GPI, visit http://www.npifranchise.com or http://www.gpifranchise.com.

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.