If you are looking for a career, home inspection seems like a good bet, with lots of built-in opportunities.
Almost every time someone buys a home, they'll need a home inspector to ensure there are no hidden, costly problems to deal with after they take possession. At times, in a hot real estate market, buyers purchase homes without inspections (to their regret often), but this is a minority practice. About 90% of home sales include a home inspection — usually for the buyers but sometimes for the homeowners, too, ensuring their property is up to snuff for sale and anticipating any problems that may get in the way of closing a deal.
Once you've decided on your own business as a home inspector, then you must choose between adopting an independent business model or starting a home inspection franchise. Many opt for the latter because of the training offered, the marketing support, and the brand name recognition that helps to get clients through the door.
What Does a Home Inspector Do?
It is the job of a certified home inspector to ensure a house for sale is up to code and doesn't have any unpleasant surprises in store for buyers that will cost them a lot of money down the road. Inspections will cover all functional aspects of the home, ensuring that it is a safe place to live.
Home inspectors will test how all major systems in a house are operating, including plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling. They will also check the roof, the foundation, and the home's exterior.
Business can come from home buyers and home sellers directly or through recommendations of Realtors or real estate lawyers. In many states, business owners of home inspector franchises and their employees will require a home inspection license before working in the new business. These are issued after completing standardized exams and certification programs.
Outlook for Home Inspection Companies
As a profession, construction and building inspectors have a strong outlook, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median pay is $62,860 per year or $30.22 per hour.
From 2019 to 2029, the employment of building inspectors is projected to grow 3%, driven by public demand for safety and to improve the quality of construction. To become a building inspector usually requires a high school diploma and practical experience in the construction trade or the home building industry.
Why Choose a Home Inspection Franchise Over an Independent Operation?
While the start-up costs for a home inspection franchise may be higher than launching an independent operation, a good franchise can deliver long-term benefits, and the costs will have paid off multifold in the future. Trying to cost franchise expenses, let's take the example of purchasing a franchise in the national Buyer's Choice Home Inspection chain; you would receive both home-study and in-classroom training sessions and one-on-one training with the franchise president and CEO.
Marketing assistance would include:
- A protected territory for a population area of about 200,000
- A personalized website
- Access to proprietary management software
- Lead generation for six months
- Printed marketing materials
- Group buying power for advertising and marketing campaigns
Costs for a Home Inspection Franchise
According to Small Business Trends, a home inspection franchise usually costs between about $30,000 and $260,000, with most franchises coming between $40,000 and $60,000. Costs are kept low because overheads can be minimized when the franchise is run from home.
Buyer's Choice Home Inspections requires franchisees to have:
- Liquid capital of $10,000
- A net worth of $20,000
- An investment of $40,000
- A franchise fee of $40,000
It boasts low royalty fees of 8% and growth fund fees of 3.5%, and "no surprises and hidden costs."
Before someone buys a home inspection franchise, the franchisor must provide a franchise disclosure document outlining how the business relationship between the franchisor and franchisee will go and how support shall be provided in return for the licensing fees.
Good Home Inspection Franchise Opportunities
When looking for the best home inspection franchise, you need to balance the cost of buying the franchise against having access to a proven system and services that will help you launch and run your small business successfully. For example, what kind of training and ongoing support do they offer? Do they provide access to useful management and turnkey services technologies? What is their reputation in the business — do they provide proactive, ongoing support to home inspector franchisees? Will they help you to market your business effectively?
Besides Buyer's Choice, here are some home inspector franchises worth checking out:
Pillar To Post Home Inspectors
Pillar To Post woos potential franchises with its compelling brand propelled by more than 20 years of experience, during which they developed a successful home inspector franchise model. In addition, it has a large support team and a low upfront investment, which means that franchisees can more quickly realize a ROI.
Dedicated home inspectors can come from backgrounds as a:
- Skilled tradesman
- Business leader
- Young entrepreneur
- Real estate professional
- Family-owned business
As far as pricing, Pillar To Post offers:
- Startup costs as low as $40,445
- Royalty that is 7% of gross revenue
- Brand fund (for advertising) that is 4% of gross revenue
The franchise fee covers training programs, onboarding, and support for $21,900.
Founded in 1979, the HouseMaster home and building inspection franchise system has grown to over 370 locally owned and operated offices across North America. As far as investment costs, the initial fee for the franchises is $42,500 and $32,000 for any added territories. Total startup costs range from $60,100 to $106,150. Franchise candidates are expected to have a minimum net liquidity of $45,000 and a minimum net worth of $100,000.
HouseMaster boasts outstanding user satisfaction with its training and support, decades of proven marketing and sales systems, proprietary technology that provides competitive advantages, and royalties of 7.5% that decline after home inspector franchisees hit certain sales targets.
AmeriSpec Home Inspection Services
In business for 30 years, AmeriSpec inspection services can offer up to 76% financing of the initial franchising fee in some cases. It asks you to imagine your home inspection franchise business backed by:
- National accounts with potential for recurring revenue.
- A world-class training center with full-time instructors.
- Expert business, marketing, and technical support.
- Dedicated marketing support.
- State-of-the-art software.
A franchise applicant must pay an initial $24,900 fee to get the owner going in their own territory. And total startup costs range from $53,600 to $72,300. Its training and support include:
- Two weeks of initial training at the AmeriSpecAcademy in Memphis, Tennessee
- Model house training on a lifesize home replica
- Continuing franchise development
- Ongoing support with updates on state-of-the-art processes, new products, business issues, and home inspection industry news
The Inspection Boys
The Inspection Boys claims that it "is the most inexpensive and reasonable franchise business opportunity in the home inspection arena." The initial franchise fee is $40,000, and the total initial investment ranges from $50,150 to $64,500.
The franchisor says, "We place a value on customer service and customer loyalty. We can only achieve our lofty goals by partnering with like-minded individuals who want to exceed their customer's expectations each and every day."
Inspection Boys emphasizes that they form true partnerships with franchise owners and are committed to their success. It doesn't burden them with extra fees, monthly minimum charges, or any other monthly payments that could "add to the challenges of running a small business." Instead, it offers state-of-the-art marketing software that helps drive promising leads to franchise operators.
Help Build Your Home Inspection Business With Skynova
When you launch a home inspection franchise, your eyes will be on the big prize, building a successful business with loyal customers and great growth opportunities. Part of doing a successful business is the deft handling of day-to-day administrative activities, including invoicing and accounting, and bookkeeping.
This is where Skynova comes in — an invaluable resource for small businesses like yours. Our easy-to-use and easy-on-the-pocketbook solutions enable you to invoice quickly and get paid faster. Just click on the send button, and you know exactly when the customer has opened and seen your invoice.
The Skynova Accounting solution enables you to get started quickly and keep accurate records of your income, expenses, sales tax, and payments. If you come to inspect the many benefits we offer small businesses, you will find that we pass your stringent criteria with flying colors.
Notice to the Reader
The content within this article is meant to be used as general guidelines and may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with the appropriate accounting, legal, and business professionals to ensure you have the most accurate advice for launching and operating your home franchise inspection business.