Inspection Franchises

I have been preparing to enter the Inspection business at the same time running a busy construction business, because I gotta keep food on the table and so I haven’t said no to some bigger jobs.

InterNACHI has been very helpful with classes and videos and all as I slowly prepare for the National Exam my state requires.

I see some benefits from joining a franchise. InterNACHI provides some of these benefits, but not all. However, there are costs as well (upfront and ongoing).

Questions:

What are your experiences?

Thoughts?

Thanks.

What state Cory?

Oregon.

What doesn’t InterNACHI provide that you want?

Nick -

Good question.

As I see it, as a newbie who is wanting to get going as quick as possible is that they have a tried and true system. With support for that system.

In addition and maybe even more important (at this time, when I am preparing to get licensed) is their two weeks of training (classroom & field work). I really appreciate all the online classes through InterNACHI but I learn best in an actual classroom with instructor interaction.

And their training (and connections) in commercial inspections seems like a good benefit.

And there seems to be a slight possibility of gaining work through national contracts.

With InterNACHI I can get most of these taken care of but I have to put together the package, and being a newbie, that takes time. Things I am thinking about: picking the best software, computer, printer, and getting familiar with them, creating a marketing plan, creating a contract-which protects my business from bad clients, etc. etc.

I guess what it comes down to … I could use a mentor, someone who has worked through the kinks. Someone who won’t view me as competition in the marketplace, but as a co-worker.

I probably won’t invest in a franchise, because of the expense, but the time saving benefits and system support are intriguing.

Nick, thank you for what you do. I look forward to meeting you and the crew at InterNACHI one of these days.

-Cory Gant
Eugene, OR

Hi Cory
Franchises have positives and negatives like anything else. If your looking to a Franchise to give you INSTANT client base it will not happen. You will need to get out and market yourself just as you did in your construction business. Franchises have startup cost in the tens of thousands so make sure you calculate your ROI. I have owned a franchise for almost 15 years. Things are much different today then when I bought mine. Lots of good third party software, lots of training, especially here and InterNACHI. With the right Franchise you do have the advantage of a brand and some support however, you also have to function by the Franchise Rules which in some cases you may or may not agree with. Also be sure to look at Franchise Fees & Royalties. The Franchisor is in business to make money just as you are. The support and Branding they provide you all have cost associated and they can change over time. Hope this is of some help. Feel free to email me if you have more questions.

Willy

Most of the franchises use 3rd party software anyways. I can only think of one or two that still use home grown software.

www.nachi.org/school

And the franchises don’t have the House of Horrors: https://www.nachi.org/school/internachi-university/house/

Dominic answered this one. Franchises don’t offer software. Reporting software companies like Dominic do.

What franchise manufactures computers and printers? Here: www.nachi.org/apple

Why reinvent the wheel. Most of the franchise owners use www.nachi.org/onlineagreement

Most franchisors don’t have a Mark Cohen and a Nick Gromicko who have worked for more than a decade on improving our one-page contract.
%between%

They don’t know what they are doing. They actually have you doing the commercial inspections yourself like a moron. Stay away from those classes. Come to Boulder and take my commercial inspection course. In one night I’ll show you how to run a commercial inspection business blindfolded, just like you would if you were a general contractor who subs out plumbing and electrical to those licensed in those subject matters. And you can come with me on a commercial inspection and watch me make bank for not inspecting anything.

I think I’ve worked through the kinks in the past 25 years. Have you read any of my books yet?

Do yourself a favor, buy a calculator. The inspection business is a high margin business if done right. But at first, you’ll have to spend some money… as you correctly pointed out. That means your margins are going to be tight at first, say 20%. If your franchise fee takes 10%… HALF of every day is spent working for your franchise. Now there are some franchises that are pretty good. Brickkicker comes to mind. HomeTeam is another one. Steel Rhino is another. BPG is good too. So it NPI (except they need to let me redo their marketing). WIN still thinks NAHI is in business (ssshhh, don’t tell them :wink: ). Buyer’s Choice is good, but mostly in Canada. HouseMaster needs to just throw in the towel and go all in with InterNACHI (I could really help them). I’m also working on getting Amerispec to come up with an InterNACHI-specific program that would be good for you possibly. I’m meeting with them soon on this matter (just spoke with them again today). Some franchises are rough. Pillar to Post is one where they keep you in such a tight lane that you can’t net much. You might as well be an employee. You gross a lot with P2P but their contract prevents you from doing anything outside their system and you are going to be trying to compete with InterNACHI members who have way too many competitive advantages that they are free to exploit to beat you in the market. You have to work to hard for profit with P2P, although you’ll churn a lot of gross. If you really want a franchise, you should come to Boulder, tour our huge facility, go through the House of Horrors, meet our marketing people who will be of great help to you, get legal assistance from our legal team, test out all the tools and equipment here, and then lets you and I sit down and decide what franchise would be best for you and I’ll help you negotiate a deal with one.

Nick-
I will plan on coming to Boulder and taking the Commercial Inspection class.
Thanks.

My point was that there are at least 3 good software programs, with the franchise they choose and then help you figure out how to use it.

On my own I will look at each of them and make the best educated decision on what works best for me.

Thanks Willy!

Computers and Printers are just another piece of the puzzle to be worked out, what works best in a mobile office will have to be determined.

Thanks for the discount with Apple.

Thanks guys for the responses.

I look forward to visiting Boulder one day, taking a class, meeting the InterNACHI folks, and being terrorized by the House of Horrors.

On franchises.

I owned a Kitchen Solvers franchise thinking when I sold my remodeling company the franchise would be like icing on a cake.

All the training I got was little help because I was already a successful business owner with habits and processes that worked. If I were new to business I would have appreciated it more.

CONS:
I didn’t get to advertise the way I liked.
I paid 7% to the franchise.
I had to operate the way they said (to a large degree)

PROS:
Up and running right away.
Help if I needed it.
A brand.

I left after a year and a half, took the loss and moved on. I just couldn’t follow the rules.

In leaving I got the usual lawyer letter about non compete and proprietary information. I stayed under the radar and did fine.

Would I consider a franchise again?
Never, I am too independent. If you can follow orders then maybe a franchise is for you but the 7% you give them could be put in a retirement fund.