Tag Archives: Julie Erickson

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.

NPI Exceeds New Franchisee’s Expectations


Gary Drenning

Gary Drenning spent 38 years working in the corporate world, primarily in the finance and administration areas. He was vice president of finance and administration for a company involved in manufacturing, construction and commercial real estate when he grew tired of the corporate stress and politics and decided to go into business for himself.

“I was looking for a business that had a good market in my geographical area of Altoona, Pa., the option to work from home, the benefit of managing my own schedule and minimal start-up costs,” Drenning said.

The Journey to Selecting a Franchise
Drenning knew right away that he wanted to start a franchise business rather than an independent business, so he began by performing due diligence on various franchises in many different industries.

“I did not want the hassle of all the start-up issues. I wanted the benefit of marketing assistance, a proven business model and adequate training while entering the new arena,” Drenning said. “When I began looking at franchises, I wanted a franchise with a proven track record and ongoing marketing and training support.”

National Property Inspections met all of the criteria Drenning was looking for in a franchise, and he started his business in February 2014. Due to scheduling issues, he wasn’t able to visit the NPI corporate office before signing with NPI, but he had in-depth conversations with Julie Erickson, director of franchise sales. “From Julie, I got a good sense of the pride and dedication the people of NPI conveyed,” he said.

During his due diligence, Drenning also talked to several NPI business owners and was impressed with their feedback about the company and their willingness to help him get started in his own franchise.

“NPI was very open with their franchise list, financials and other company information,” Drenning said, “which sent a message to me that they had nothing to hide or be ashamed of as an organization.”

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. Drenning said that the support he has received has been instrumental in starting his business, and his experience with NPI has far exceeded his expectations.

“Since I returned home from my initial training, I’ve asked for and received help from just about every area of NPI,” he said. “I’ve received help in marketing and promotions, preparing bids, writing reports, technical advice, computer hardware and software assistance, and legal matters. In addition, my field trainer continues to touch base with me and send me information that is extremely helpful in moving forward.”

Drenning described NPI’s two-week training academy as “intense but rewarding.” He found the subject matter to be informative and well-presented, and he values the friendships he developed with his classmates and the NPI corporate staff. He also found tremendous benefit in his field training with a seasoned NPI business owner.

“The field training was extremely helpful to see how a tenured professional handles both the inspection and report-writing phases of the job,” Drenning said.

Success With NPI
Hardworking, enthusiastic and driven, Drenning is positioned for success with his NPI business.

“The training, ongoing support and equipment I’ve received from NPI is first-rate,” he said, “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.”

Working Harder Than Ever and Loving It


Susan and Jim Giuffre

Working as an electrician for residential, commercial and industrial buildings, Jim Giuffre wanted to move out of New York, but he was too young to retire. So, he started looking for a profession where he could use his experience and move his family.

“My wife and I decided to move to North Carolina and start the next stage of our lives doing something different,” Giuffre said. “After significant research, I decided to become a property inspector.”

Choosing the Right Franchise System
Giuffre thought about starting an inspection business on his own and began researching franchises versus going independent. After extensive research, he knew that buying a franchise was the best way to get his business off the ground. As he put it, “Why reinvent the wheel?” With a franchise company, Giuffre would have access to proven business and marketing plans, as well as the extensive training he would need to start his future in property inspection.

In selecting a franchisor, Giuffre considered many factors, including the royalty program, report software, training, startup cost, marketing and support. He also wanted to ensure that the franchise company was interested in helping him become successful in his business.

“After interviewing many inspection franchises, it was very clear that National Property Inspections was the best franchise to purchase and grow a business,” Giuffre said. “It has been a great decision.”

At NPI, Julie Erickson, director of franchise sales, spoke with Giuffre on multiple occasions. “She was pleasant, patient with my questions and extremely informative,” Giuffre said. “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.”

In April 2006, Giuffre signed with National Property Inspections to start his own business in Sunset Beach, N.C.

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. Giuffre said that when calling NPI’s corporate office in Omaha, Neb., for help, opinion and direction in any topic, the staff is there to help him and his wife, Susan, immediately.

“If more information is needed, anyone at the home office is prompt in finding that information for us,” Giuffre said. “The support from NPI is a huge help in running our business. It enables me to conduct the best inspections I can, and now my inspectors who work for me call Omaha when they need answers for various topics, too. NPI is a huge help to Susan and my office staff in marketing, networking and presentations. In owning my NPI franchise, I do not have to reinvent the wheel.”

Giuffre said other benefits of NPI include the marketing materials supplied by the company, the inspection report software, the equipment that NPI supplies to each new business owner and promotional items. For example, the NPI startup package includes a tablet computer, a portable printer, and inspection tools, such as a moisture meter and gas sniffer.

Success With NPI
“We have never worked so hard in all our lives, and I mean that in a great way,” Giuffre said. “We are working hard for ourselves and now for our employees.” That hard work has paid off, as Giuffre’s business is one of NPI’s most successful.

“The training I have received through my franchise and the consistent help in all areas of my business have been priceless,” Giuffre said. “Being a franchisee has also put me in direct contact with other franchisees who are willing to help me succeed. There is no competition; we are all building our businesses and help each other in any way we can. I would not have that professional help from other inspectors/competitors if I was on my own. We are ‘home’ with our franchise.”