Category Archives: Home Inspection

NPI/GPI Prepares to Celebrate 30 Years by Remembering First Franchisee

By Roland Bates, President, NPI/GPI

Roland Bates, president and founder of National Property Inspections, Inc.

Roland Bates, president and founder of National Property Inspections, Inc.

It will soon be 30 years since I sold the first NPI franchise. I am pleased to say that franchisee, Clyde Yost, is still with us. The first franchise is certainly the hardest one to sell. You are selling your idea, and at that point, no one other than you has any reason to believe that your idea and business plan can be duplicated.

If you walk into the National Property Inspections, Inc., corporate office today, it is well-decorated, has nice furnishings, provides a professional training room, and has all the amenities we need to operate our business. We are successful, and our office shows that. Let’s turn back the clock 30 years:

Back in 1987, I had rented a small office and purchased a few furnishings. To describe the office as “Spartan frugality” would have been generous, indeed. When Clyde Yost first visited, I think I was sitting at a folding card table. For sure, I was sitting with a small electric typewriter and typing book because I was teaching myself how to type. That paid off because now I can type most three- and four-letter words without looking at the keyboard.

After Clyde and I visited about how I’d been doing inspections myself and thought the property inspection business was poised to take off, I told him I wanted to franchise it. I explained how the franchise would work, how I hoped to help him and others build an NPI business.

Clyde naturally asked, “How many franchisees do you currently have?” To which I replied, “You and two others will make three.” Clyde has a good sense of humor and thought that was sort of funny.

Clyde Yost, NPI's first franchisee, remains a franchise owner in Kansas City, Missouri.

Clyde Yost, NPI’s first franchisee, remains a franchise owner in Kansas City, Missouri.

Clyde believed in the NPI concept and became our first franchisee. Without sounding maudlin, Clyde had worked hard for his money, and I felt more than obligated to make this company successful for him, if not for myself. To this day, I try to keep all of our franchisees in mind, and I feel indebted to all of them. But I’ll admit that many of the business decisions I have made over the years I have made with Clyde and our very first meeting in mind.

Maybe there would have been an NPI without Clyde, but it certainly wouldn’t be the same. Clyde, my friend, thank you for believing in me and for everything you have done for NPI.

We have franchises available in your area. To learn more about an NPI or GPI franchise opportunity, click one of the links below:

National Property Inspections, Inc., Named in Two CNBC.com Articles

Eldon "Scooter" Holliday

Eldon “Scooter” Holliday

National Property Inspections, Inc., parent company of National Property Inspections in the United States and Global Property Inspections in Canada, is pleased to congratulate NPI franchise owner Eldon Holliday for being named one of America’s Star Franchisees 2016. The list, compiled by CNBC.com in conjunction with research partner Franchise Business Review, evaluated nearly 30,000 franchise owners across the United States seeking one star franchisee in each state. Although Holliday lives in Olive Branch, Mississippi, his territory crosses the border into Memphis, and he was selected as the Tennessee star franchisee.

“I am honored to be recognized by CNBC.com,” Holliday said. “I’ve worked hard to build my NPI franchise, and I’m grateful that I’ve had a strong company behind me. That support has made all the difference. I feel like NPI is dedicated to my success.”

Holliday, whose background is in automotive repair, started his franchise nine years ago. Although he has a mind for mechanical things, he didn’t have a background in construction. He credits NPI’s top-notch training program and ongoing training to helping him achieve great success with his business.

“Eldon is a fantastic franchisee,” said Roland Bates, president and founder of National Property Inspections, Inc. “He is one of our award-winning franchise owners because he consistently pushes himself and takes his business to the next level. He has proven that our franchise system works well, and helps entrepreneurs succeed.”

CNBC.com chose America’s Star Franchisees based on franchisee satisfaction and high regard for management, as well as the following franchisor criteria:

  • Strong proof of concept in multiple markets
  • Clean review of the franchise disclosure document
  • Solid financial performance and a good opportunity for franchisee return on investment

In addition to the news about Holliday’s selection, National Property Inspections, Inc., was named yesterday on CNBC.com’s list of “9 Low-cost Franchises That Can Make You Rich.”

“We have worked very hard for many years to make our franchise one of the best,” Bates said. Because we are dedicated to our franchisees and to helping them succeed, we have high franchisee satisfaction, and that has opened doors for us. We are well-known and respected in our industry, and I am convinced that’s because we live up to our motto and operate with honesty, integrity and professionalism in everything we do.”

To read the full article about America’s Star Franchisees 2016 and learn more about Holliday’s experience with NPI, please visit http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/11/50-big-franchise-success-stories-americas-star-franchisees-2016.html.

To learn more about an NPI or GPI franchise opportunity in your area, click one of the links below:

Franchisees Find a Bright Future in the Property Inspection Industry

Dual LogosWhether you have construction experience or sales and marketing experience, National Property Inspections, Inc., offers the opportunity for a bright future. Our turn-key franchise system gives franchisees the tools, training  and support to succeed in the property inspection industry.

BusinessOpportunities.biz recently interviewed Roland Bates, president of National Property Inspections, Inc., parent company of National Property Inspections (U.S) and Global Property Inspections (Canada), and asked him what differentiates the franchise among others in its niche; what makes this concept a good fit for potential franchisees; and what’s next for the franchise, both in the near future and the long term.

To read the full interview, please click here.

Entrepreneur Magazine Names National Property Inspections, Inc., a Top 500 Franchise of 2016

2016 Entrepreneur Franchise 500National Property Inspections, Inc., parent company of National Property Inspections in the United States and Global Property Inspections in Canada, is honored to again be included in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500®, an annual ranking of the best franchises based on objective, quantifiable measures of a franchise operation.

The most important factors in the Franchise 500® formula include the franchise system’s financial strength and stability, growth rate, and size. Entrepreneur also considers the following:

  • The number of years a company has been in business
  • The length of time the company has been franchising
  • Startup costs
  • Litigation
  • Percentage of terminations
  • Financing opportunities

For the annual Franchise 500®, each franchisor’s financial data is analyzed by an independent CPA. Then, the exclusive Franchise 500® formula calculates each eligible company’s cumulative score. The score does not take into consideration franchisee satisfaction.

“We are always pleased to be included on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500,” said Roland Bates, president of National Property Inspections, Inc. “We are featured on many top franchise lists every year, and Entrepreneur’s is one of the most prestigious. We have always worked hard to make NPI and GPI top franchise opportunities in the United States and Canada, and this year we have some exciting new benefits and programs for franchise owners.”

In addition to its ranking as a top franchise, National Property Inspections, Inc., is proud to be a top-ranked franchise based on franchisee satisfaction. In an independent franchisee satisfaction survey conducted by Franchise Business Review, NPI scored 4.1 out of 5.0 stars, demonstrating high franchisee satisfaction and outperforming others in its industry. Click here to access the most recent NPI/GPI franchisee satisfaction report.

To learn more about NPI/GPI franchise opportunities, visit http://npifranchise.com/ in the United States or http://gpifranchise.com/ in Canada. To access the Entrepreneur Franchise 500® report, go to http://www.entrepreneur.com/franchise500.

Tools of the Trade

By Randy Yates, Training Consultant Administrator, NPI/GPI

Tools_IMG_0601Home and commercial property inspectors need specific tools to perform certain portions of the inspection. Inspecting properties requires more than just a clipboard and flashlight — although a flashlight is one of the tools needed. An inspector’s basic set of tools includes the following:

  • Shock-resistant combination flat/Phillips screwdriver. This tool is primarily used to remove electrical panel cover screws, which is why it’s imperative that the screwdriver is shock-resistant.
  • Combustible gas detector (e.g., TIFF model 8800). This device is used to detect raw gas leaks and the presence of carbon monoxide in natural and propane gas piping systems, as well as in gas- and propane-burning appliances. This device is more advanced than a simple carbon monoxide detector, which only provides a number of parts per million and cannot detect a raw gas leak.
  • Moisture meter. This device is used to detect the presence of moisture in locations such as kitchens and bathrooms, as well as around the exterior of a house or building. A moisture meter can also be used to determine whether a water stain indicates an inactive or active leak. Whether a stain is active or inactive, it should still be listed in the report.
  • Two digital thermometers. These are used to check the air conditioning temperature differential, which should be between 14 and 22 degrees between the supply and return air for the HVAC system.
  • Inspectors use binoculars to inspect roofs from the ground when circumstances do not allow them to put a ladder at the eave or to physically walk the roof.
  • Static electrical tester. This device is used to detect stray current and live current, and it’s a good tool to use to test whether a service panel cover is energized.
  • Electrical circuit analyzer. This device is used to check electrical outlets for proper wiring, reverse polarity (hot and neutral switched), open grounds, and missing or bootlegged grounds.
  • Good quality extension and or universal ladder. If an inspector uses an extension ladder only, then the recommended length is 24 feet — that should get you up on most if not all residential roofs and some commercial roofs. We recommend using a fiberglass ladder whenever possible.
  • Various hand tools. Other tools often come in handy during an inspection, such as a tape measure, a 2- to 4-ft. level, a plumb bob or a laser level.

The cost for a property inspector’s tools can really add up, but they are crucial if you are going to perform inspections properly and expertly. If you are interested in starting your own inspection business, make sure to purchase the proper tools.

Did you know that National Property Inspections and Global Property Inspections provide every new franchise owner with the tools they need to conduct home and commercial building inspections? From the tools listed here to a tablet computer and portable printer, our franchise fee includes everything you need to start your inspection business. Learn more about our franchise opportunities:

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.

What Skills Do I Need to Become a Property Inspector?

Inspector + Deck7If you’re looking for career options for your first career or your next career, then property inspection may pique your interest. As one of the leading property inspection franchisors, National Property Inspections and Global Property Inspections have franchise owners from a wide variety of backgrounds. Here are the top four skills you’ll need to become a great home and commercial property inspector.

1. Technical Knowledge
Property inspectors need to have sound general knowledge about all aspects of a home or commercial building, including structure and foundation, heating and cooling systems, plumbing systems, electrical systems, roofs, and interior and exterior elements. They need to know how each component functions, what it does and how to inspect it. They also need to know the common problems of each component and how to identify problems.

Although many property inspectors have a background in a construction field or trade, the good news is that you don’t need a construction background to succeed in the property inspection business. We have plenty of franchise owners who came from corporate or IT careers and have become successful property inspectors. The most important thing is that you find outstanding training in the property inspection field.

Our franchise owners say that the NPI/GPI training program is a key reason they choose to start their property inspection business with us. Our extensive training program gives them the knowledge they need to perform both home and commercial building inspections, and our training is approved in states and provinces that require licensing.

2. Report-writing Software
The inspection report is a crucial part of every property inspection. The report lets home buyers and commercial building buyers know what components are in good working order, what needs to be repaired or replaced, and what systems are nearing end of life. In addition, many buyers use their inspection reports as checklists of things to repair after they buy the house or building.

The report-writing software that you use must provide comprehensive, professional-looking reports that are also easy for your clients to understand. The software must allow the insertion of plenty of photos. And it must be user-friendly for you so that you can create inspection reports efficiently and quickly.

Inspector + Client73. Effective Communication Skills
Because so much of a property inspector’s business comes from referral sources, such as real estate agents, it is imperative that people in this business have superb communication skills, both verbal and written. Verbal communication is vital when meeting and networking with potential referral sources, as well as when reviewing your report findings with clients. Effective written communication is critical for your inspection reports.

4. Sales, Marketing and Computer Skills
You don’t need to have an extensive background in sales and marketing to have a successful property inspection business, but people who know how to sell and market will succeed better and faster. Again, the good news is that if you have no sales or marketing skills, you can easily learn the skills you need for the property inspection business.

Some examples of where sales and marketing skills are essential to your business are meeting with potential referral sources, using social media marketing to position your business, knowing how to close the sale when someone calls for an inspection, and developing and growing your business contacts.

Intermediate computer skills are a great asset to a property inspector. For example, you’ll use report-writing software loaded on your computer. You’ll also be giving presentations at real estate offices, so some skill with PowerPoint and other Microsoft Office applications will be helpful. And any experience you may have with websites, social media and Web applications will definitely help you.

So, is property inspection a good fit for your next career move? If you are interested in the industry and have some of the skills necessary, then there’s a good chance you can succeed with your own inspection business. Bear in mind, though, that most of the skills you need can be easily learned — you just have to find the right training classes.

For this reason, many entrepreneurs who venture into property inspection choose to start their businesses with a franchisor. National Property Inspections and Global Property Inspections offer comprehensive training in the technical aspects of inspection, sales and marketing, business, and networking so you can get your business of to a great start. Call 1.800.333.9807, Ext. 24, for more information about our franchise opportunities in your area.

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.

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.

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.