Tag Archives: home inspection franchise

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:

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.

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:

It’s Never Too Late to Change Careers

Photo by stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo by stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Frustrated with the corporate grind or tired of working for someone else, encore entrepreneurs — those over 50 who plan on working through their retirement — are looking at changing careers by going into business for themselves. Oftentimes, this involves starting a franchise business.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), one in four individuals between the ages of 44 and 70 are interested in becoming entrepreneurs, and this is one of the fastest-growing groups in the United States.

If you’re a member of this group, then now is a great time to explore your options for owning your own business. National Property Inspections in the United States and Global Property Inspections in Canada have plenty of open territories where you can start your own residential and commercial property inspection business. We offer an intensive, comprehensive training program, and our home office staff in Omaha, Nebraska, will help you every step of the way as you build your business.

Named a top low-cost franchise by Franchise Business Review, National Property Inspections, Inc., scored outstanding with 4.1 stars on our 2015 franchisee satisfaction survey — click here to read the survey summary. In addition, National Property Inspections, Inc., is listed in Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2015 Franchise 500 and the magazine’s top low-cost franchises list.

Ready to start your new career with NPI or GPI? Contact Julie Erickson at 800.333.9807, Ext. 24, or email julie.erickson@npiweb.com for more information.

Give Your Career a Second Wind

Photo by taoty, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo by taoty, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You’ve retired. That’s supposed to be the end of working, right? But now you’re bored, or you’re feeling unfulfilled, or golf and gardening aren’t actually as much fun as you’d imagined. Maybe money is tighter than you had expected and you need additional income. Whatever the reason, you’ve gotten a second wind in the career department.

Sometimes it’s called recareering. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) likes the term encore entrepreneurs. It’s when people start a new business later in life, usually between the ages of 50 and 65. In fact, in a 2009 report, the Kauffman Foundation said that the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity belonged to the 55 to 64 age group.

According to the SBA, one in four individuals between the ages of 44 and 70 is interested in becoming an entrepreneur. Oftentimes, this involves starting a franchise business.

Franchises offer people who are at or near retirement age many benefits and advantages over starting an independent business from scratch:

  • Proven business concept
  • Proprietary business systems
  • Training and/or education
  • Assistance launching the business
  • Advanced technology
  • Buying power
  • Established branding
  • Ability to start the business quickly

Starting a franchise can offer the opportunity for great financial growth and freedom, and since you choose your work hours, franchising also allows you flexibility with your schedule. Moreover, it’s definitely worth your time to investigate the options for a low-cost franchise (under $100,000). According to research firm FRANdata, there are currently 668 low-cost franchise opportunities in 29 industries, so you can start a new career in virtually any field.

Get Your Second Wind With Property Inspection
A field you may not have previously considered for a second career or franchise is property inspection — conducting home and commercial building inspections. It’s an exciting and challenging opportunity, and you’ll start a business that you can grow and either sell or pass on to your children.

Named a top low-cost franchise by Franchise Business Review, National Property Inspections, Inc.,* scored outstanding with 4.1 stars on our 2015 franchisee satisfaction survey — click here to read the survey summary. In addition, we are listed on many top franchise lists. And, NPI/GPI is the only property inspection franchisor that trains its franchise owners to perform both home and commercial building inspections, offering the opportunity to diversify your business and increase your earning potential.

Now is a great time to start your second career by launching your own business. National Property Inspections and Global Property Inspections have plenty of open territories where you can start your own home and commercial property inspection business. We offer an intensive, comprehensive training program, and our home office staff in Omaha, Nebraska, will help you every step of the way as you build your business. Plus, military veterans receive a 15 percent discount on the franchise fee.

* We operate as National Property Inspections in the United States and as Global Property Inspections in Canada.

Why Choose Our Franchise?

NPI Inspector2You’ve decided that property inspection is right for you, and you know you want start your business as a franchise. The next step is to choose the franchise system that is right for you. But which one is that?

One of the factors you should consider is franchisee satisfaction: How satisfied are the franchisors current franchisees? After all, you’re starting your own business eliminate factors like bad bosses and unreasonable constraints, so why become involved with a franchisor that could potentially make you unhappy?

At NPI and GPI, we are proud of our franchisee satisfaction record. We recently wrapped up our 2015 franchisee satisfaction survey and scored 4.1 out of 5 stars for the second year in a row — an outstanding achievement. (Click here to read the full survey report.)

But we know what really makes an impact is what our franchisees have to say about us. So, we’ve collected some comments from our franchise owners about why they recommend NPI and GPI:

“NPI always presents themselves as succeeding through the success of their franchisees. They offer tremendous support and encouragement and continually look for ways of providing new avenues for business.” — Thom Bowyer, NPI franchise owner, Kentwood, Michigan

“The training, ongoing support and equipment I’ve received from NPI is first-rate, and the people throughout the organization have been helpful, enthusiastic and friendly. I am excited to belong to the NPI family, and as I drive around my hometown community, I am proud to have the NPI name on the side of my truck.” — Gary Drenning, NPI franchise owner, Altoona, Pennsylvania

“After evaluating four or five franchisors, National Property Inspections came out the leader. The rest is history. I felt NPI offered the best bang for the buck. Some of the initial investment comes back to you in training, supplies, software and computer equipment. But most of all I liked the people at NPI. There is something to be said for Midwestern values. That made my decision pretty easy.” — Jeff Gilly, NPI franchise owner, Carmichael, California

“[Julie Erickson] was pleasant, patient with my questions and extremely informative. It was a big difference from the other franchises I had called. I was impressed that she wanted to know about me and what I was looking to do and what I wanted from the franchise. No one else asked me what I wanted or told me what they could do for me. All of the other franchises were very cold when talking to them and let me know what I was required to do for them by owning their franchise. It was a huge difference speaking with NPI.” — Jim Giuffre, NPI franchise owner, Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina

“The support team and all the members of the head office at GPI are tremendous.” — Chris Holland, GPI franchise owner, Thunder Bay, Ontario

“When Julie [Erickson] answered the phone at GPI, I knew this company was different. We chatted on the phone for over an hour, and she invited me to call any of the franchises in Canada or the United States for feedback. She was the only one who followed through on her promise to send me some information on the company. I called seven or eight GPI franchisees over the next few days and got nothing but rave reviews. I was sold!” — Greg Mathias, GPI franchise owner, Lloydminster, Alberta

“After meeting Roland and the staff of NPI, my decision was made to join the NPI team.” — Hugh Meade, NPI franchise owner, Johnston, Iowa

“GPI met all of my objectives I was looking for. Besides, Julie [Erickson] was so wonderful to talk with and so convincing that GPI was the only franchise that counted. I have found since then that she was right.” — Gerry Millen, GPI franchise owner, Regina, Saskatchewan

“In all areas, GPI was competitive or beat the competition. Julie [Erickson] hooked me into the GPI culture. The rest is history.” — Todd Newhook, GPI franchise owner, Markham, Ontario

“Once I narrowed my search to home inspection franchises, I did my due diligence on several different companies. I was very impressed with NPI’s staff in Omaha. NPI seemed to be the most professional company and appeared to offer the most support. I had a good feeling from the beginning that they were invested in my success and would help me with marketing and training.” — David Riley, NPI franchise owner, Savannah, Georgia

“I was looking for a company that supplemented my talents and could inspire me to go outside my comfort zone. A partner, not a management firm. A company that would have a vested interest in my success and be willing to help me achieve my goals and push me a little further. NPI fit that bill.” — Hank Shadwell, NPI franchise owner, Dalzell, South Carolina

Award-winning Franchise Owners Love Being Their Own Bosses

Riley

NPI Franchisees David and Jackie Riley

With a background in business management, David Riley worked as a service manager for a corporation when he decided he wanted to go into business for himself. He did a lot of research to find the opportunity that best suited his skills and background. Property inspection seemed like a good fit.

“I knew an average amount about home construction and mechanics from my father and father-in-law, and I felt that with the right training, I could be successful in property inspection,” David said. “I was looking for a company that I could develop and grow the way I wanted to.”

David’s father was a carpenter, and David helped him lay foundations and install roofs, in addition to learning woodworking skills. David’s father-in-law was an electrician, and David assisted him on various projects. With that background, property inspection seemed like a good opportunity for David.

Choosing the Right Franchise System
The Rileys didn’t consider starting their inspection business independently; they knew a franchise was the best way to go. “The franchise model takes so much of the guesswork out of the starting your own business,” said Jackie Riley, David’s wife. Furthermore, David had owned a franchise business in the past, so the Rileys understood the value of a franchise system.

“Our first favorable impression of National Property Inspections was from the brochures we received,” Jackie said. “They were more professional looking than similar brochures from other franchises.”

“Once I narrowed my search to home inspection franchises,” David said, “I did my due diligence on several different companies. I was very impressed with NPI’s staff in Omaha. NPI seemed to be the most professional company and appeared to offer the most support. I had a good feeling from the beginning that they were invested in my success and would help me with marketing and training.

In July 2006, the Rileys signed with NPI to start their own franchise in Savannah, Georgia.

Franchising the NPI Way
David attended the NPI training academy in Omaha, Nebraska, to get the training he’d need to start his franchise. “The technical training was excellent,” he said. “They also gave us training on how to get started with marketing and hit the ground running.”

David said that his greatest challenge in starting the business was balancing inspections, scheduling, marketing and bookkeeping. “I was able to grow the business quickly, though,” he said. “Jackie came on with me after 18 months, our son Patrick joined the business in 2011, and we have added an inspector helper.”

Since Jackie, whose background is in insurance compliance and sales, has taken over the marketing responsibilities, she has the time to develop relationships and has become active in the local board of Realtors. The Rileys said that another key to their marketing success is the fact that they have diligently followed NPI’s marketing plans and have gravitated toward those that work best for their business.

The Rileys said that they remain impressed with the dedication of the NPI home office team in Omaha. “Kenn [Garder] and Randy [Yates] are always available for technical questions,” David said. “Kim [Stevens] was great with marketing tips when I was getting started. Nancy [Resset] has bailed me and Jackie out of some software quandaries several times.”

Success With NPI
The Rileys have won multiple NPI awards: They won the NPI Pacesetter Award in 2009; the NPI Pinnacle Award in 2010; the NPI Presidents Award in 2011; and the NPI Platinum Award in 2012, 2013 and 2014. These awards are given to top-performing franchises.

“We enjoy the freedom and successes of owning our own business and being able to grow it as a family business,” David said. “I have gained a lot of satisfaction out of growing a successful business from the ground up. I have always been competitive and don’t like to fail, and that’s what makes me strive to succeed.

“Our experiences with NPI have been extremely positive,” David continued. “With the help and support of NPI, we love the business we have.”

Michigan Franchise Owner Succeeds With NPI

bowyer 2010

NPI Franchisee Thom Bowyer

Thom Bowyer brings to his National Property Inspections business a varied background and a mix of talents. Bowyer was a retail store manager for nine years, editor of a golf magazine for one year, and a stay-at-home dad to his two daughters for a year when his wife’s employer transferred her out of state and the family moved. After relocating to Kentwood, Michigan, from West Virginia, Bowyer began researching ways to become his own boss.

Choosing the Right Franchise System
“I wanted a business with no leases, no employees, a low inventory and flexible hours,” Bowyer said. Property inspections came to the forefront. “And from there, NPI quickly rose to the top.”

Bowyer never considered starting his home inspection business independently. He knew he wanted to be part of a franchise system for the training, support and national name recognition. He wanted to receive everything necessary to succeed.

“NPI always presents themselves as succeeding through the success of their franchisees,” Bowyer said. “They offer tremendous support and encouragement and continually look for ways of providing new avenues for business.”

Bowyer purchased his NPI franchise in the fall of 2000.

Franchising the NPI Way
After signing the contract for his NPI franchise, Bowyer attended the intensive two-week training program at NPI’s headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. “It is a well-rounded baseline to get a franchisee started,” he said. “No training is absolutely complete without years of experience and ongoing education, but it is amazing how much you can learn in a two- to three-week initial training program.”

Bowyer also appreciates the ongoing support he receives from the NPI home office. “It’s been awesome. From technical support to marketing support, NPI always is available with wisdom and insight,” he said.

Many business owners rely on referrals to increase profits, acquire new clients and grow their companies. Bowyer has fine-tuned the referral concept to pay off in a big way.

About every six to eight weeks, he sends a fax to the customers who have ordered his service. “I tell them what’s going on with my business and ask them to pass my name along to another real estate professional if they’re happy with my work. When a new agent calls and I complete the inspection, I sent a $20 movie gift card to the referring agent. It’s been very successful.”

If you do the math, you’ll realize that a $20 movie gift card is just a fraction of the cost of a home inspection. Bowyer’s method just makes good business sense. And, when he receives additional inspections from those new real estate agents, that $20 goes a long way. It’s that kind of innovative thinking that earned Bowyer a Rising Star Award for becoming a top performer during the first six months of operation of his NPI franchise.

Success With NPI
Bowyer has come a long way since starting his business. “The first few weeks, I was scared to death. I didn’t feel qualified,” he said. “So, I just threw myself into it. I wasn’t comfortable giving presentations or going to an office where the telephone was ringing, so I did almost all of my marketing at open houses. I’d take a bottle of water, a cookie, a gift, a price list and a business card, and visit 10 to 15 open houses on a Sunday afternoon. I usually ended up with two to four jobs from an afternoon of making contacts at open houses.”

Bowyer’s customer service philosophy is based on “always making buyers feel like I have all the time in the world to inspect their homes — even if I have another appointment in 30 minutes,” he said.

“My business has grown steadily from year one,” Bowyer said. “The past three years have been the most successful I have ever had, and I am hoping that my volume in 2015 will allow me to add an additional helper/inspector.”

Bowyer also said that joining the NPI franchise system has been one of the wisest decisions of his life. “I have never regretted joining the NPI family, and I have been extremely pleased with all aspects of my career.”