Category: News

Changing Lives: More Than Just a Home Inspection

Every industry needs a leader. A simple – yet profound – statement, it’s a driving force for everyone at Pillar To Post.

Our determination and drive to continue to lead the home inspection industry has been recognized with Pillar To Post Home Inspectors being featured on the cover – and as the lead story – of the December issue of RIS Media’s Real Estate Magazine. Real Estate Magazine is distributed to over 400,000 top-producing agents and prominent power brokers from all of the leading real estate brands.

As an innovative force within the home inspection industry, Pillar To Post is focused on continued success. Our focus on delivering an outstanding customer experience, along with innovative inspection technology, means Pillar To Post is seen as the leading home inspection business across the real estate community.

Click here to read the full article.

 

 

Pillar To Post recognized as Top Veteran Franchise

Raise Veterans Discount from 10% to 20% on Franchise Fee

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors has achieved the highest position in the Top Franchise for Veterans ranking in Entrepreneur Magazine for 2016. This prestigious honor is the sixth such ranking from the famed business publication for Pillar To Post Home Inspectors. The company ranked as follows in the magazine’s January edition of the Franchise 500: #1 in their category of Home Inspection, Best of the Best, Fastest Growing Franchise, Top Home-Based Franchises and Top Low-Cost Franchises. In addition, the booming chain has already awarded 70 additional franchises since January of this year.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled with this honor,” said Dan Steward, President & CEO of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors. “It says so much not only about how hard we’ve worked but how hard our franchisees have worked and maintained absolute integrity in their home inspections.”

In addition, Pillar To Post ranks high in Franchise Business Review rankings. Franchise Business Review is a national franchise market research firm that performs independent surveys of franchisee satisfaction and franchise buyer experiences, examines the critical areas of a franchise system including training & support, operations, franchisor/franchisee relations, financial opportunity, and more. Its survey results deliver the unbiased facts about the overall health of a franchise system directly from today’s franchise owners.

Pillar To Post has been named by Franchise Business Review’s rankings of Top 50 in Franchisee Satisfaction, Top 30 among Home Service Franchises and Top Low-Cost Franchise for 2016.

“We have been doing so well and are so honored to be named among Entrepreneur’s Top Franchises for Veterans,” said Eric Steward, Marketing Manager for Pillar To Post. “The veterans who join our system end up as top performers. Our business model and structure and culture seem to be a perfect fit for those leaving the military. As a result, we have recently added an additional 10% discount on our franchise fee for veterans, going from a 10% discount to a 20% discount for them.

From Career, to Degree, to Business Ownership

Dave Sumner had a lofty goal and he achieved it. Not content to rest on his laurels, he built upon his first achievement and turned it into another. But knowing where he came from and where he’s headed, it should come as no surprise to those who know Sumner.

Sumner is a franchisee of Pillar To Post, the largest home inspection company in North America and serves multiple counties throughout northwest Minnesota and northeast North Dakota.

For 25 years prior, he held positions in several industries, always holding true to his mantra of “if you take care of your company, your company will take care of you.” It worked as he earned numerous promotions and pay increases at every workplace.

But there was a void in Sumner’s life story that he wanted to fill. That’s why in 2011, Sumner earned a college degree after a failed first attempt right out of high school.

In fact, Sumner earned two bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Manufacturing Management from the University of Minnesota Crookston. And Sumner is only six credits away from earning a third degree – a bachelor’s in accounting.

“I was an older-than-average student, but it was a dream of mine to earn a college degree,” Sumner said. “I am the first one in my family to graduate from a university.”

Having always been successful in the workplace and now with a college education on his resume, Sumner decided it was time to focus his efforts on going into business for himself.

Sumner spent 18 months researching and evaluating various opportunities before finding a perfect fit with Pillar To Post, the leader in home inspections in the U.S. and Canada, giving homebuyers or sellers a clear, unbiased evaluation of a home’s condition and answering any questions they might have to help ensure peace of mind.

“I love the idea of managing my own business, yet still having the chance to get dirty once in awhile,” said Sumner, who estimates he invested about $25,000 to launch his Pillar To Post franchise.

A professional evaluation of more than 1,600 items inside and outside the home is at the core of Pillar To Post’s service. Inspectors input data and digital photos into a computerized report that is printed and presented on site. All information is provided to clients in a customized binder for easy reference, allowing homebuyers or sellers to make confident, informed decisions.

All Pillar To Post inspectors are members of regional, state, national and provincial associations across the United States and Canada, and all inspections are conducted within the Standards of Practice of those associations.

“Realtors I have spoken to have indicated that more and more people want a professional home inspection,” Sumner said. “One major agency even told me that 75 percent of all home sales involve a professional inspection. Since fewer people are knowledgeable about the systems that make up a home than in the past, I truly believe that both home sellers and buyers will be looking to Pillar To Post for my expertise.”

Fireman to Pillar To Post Franchisee, Scott Frederick’s Transition

workers in front of van

Scott and Megan Frederick purchased their Pillar To Post Home Inspectors franchise, which is called Pillar To Post – The Scott Frederick Team, in St. Louis, MO in August 2013. It was open and operating by October 2013. Scott recently shared his experience with Franchise Business Review.

To see how Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ franchisees rate it in a variety of crucial areas such as leadership, culture, training and support, financial outlook, and franchisee community, click here to check out FBR’s Franchisee Survey Results.

What advice would you share with people considering purchasing a franchise? First identify your skill set and your interests. It’s important to be passionate about your industry since it will show in you communication with your clients and colleagues.

Why did you decide to go into franchising? The support of the franchisor and franchisees as well as the willingness to share ideas on success.

What kind of support do you get from fellow franchisees? When we first opened, I felt I had access to multiple franchisees in a similar situation. We talked and shared ideas, which helped with many learning curves. Now, I feel like I have a family. I can reach out to anyone. The support is great. We all share ideas through social media, etc. 

What kind of support do you most appreciate from your franchisor? The Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ training in Toronto when we first began was incredible. It was so organized and informative. I felt like I was really part of something special. Now, I like that the franchisor involves the franchisees with research and development of new technology and marketing strategies.

Why did you choose to invest in a Pillar To Post franchise? I was looking for a franchise that was a market leader and had a strong focus on customer service and customer satisfaction. I looked at multiple other home inspection franchise opportunities and found that Pillar To Post Home Inspectors fit my vision. Its leadership team is also committed to developing and innovating new strategies, which helps ensure it remains competitive.

How did you fund your franchise? By leveraging my retirement account from my previous career as a firefighter.

What previous experience have you found particularly helpful when it comes to successfully running your franchise? I have an extensive background in building construction from being a general contractor and was a career firefighter. When you merge these two skill sets, it creates a value to my clients regarding home construction and safety.

Would you share your gross revenue figures? In 2015 it was $350,000. Our projected 2016 gross revenue is $525,000. We broke even during the first nine months and made a profit the first year.

How did you make ends meet until your business was profitable? We had savings and my wife worked full time. Now, that we’ve grown so fast, Megan, my wife, is full time with our Pillar To Post Home Inspectors franchise.

What is your work/life balance? When I first opened, I continued with my usual schedule working seven hours a day with weekends off. Now, due to our rapid growth, I work 12-hour days and only have Sundays off. The business takes up the majority of my time, but I am learning to delegate things to others. We still take one family vacation a year.

Are you at the office daily? I am in the field inspecting 95% of the time. Megan, is in the office running things full time.

What is it that you like best about owning your franchise? I like knowing I am delivering an exceptional service and seeing the results. I also like being in control of my own success and destiny.

What is the most challenging aspect of being a franchisee? As we grow and scale up, we want to make sure we can find and hire employees who will deliver my level of service and represent our franchise properly.

Where do you see your business in the next five years? Our goal is to achieve $1,000,000 in gross sales.

Pillar To Post Franchisee is BCAR Affiliate of the Year

Chris Hebert, Pillar To Post Franchise Partner, was named the Baldwin County Alabama Association’s (BCAR) 2016 Affiliate of the Year during the 2016 BCAR Awards Ceremony held Thursday, August 18. 

A member of BCAR since 2013, Hebert is a member of BCAR’s Events committee and Education committee and has served as a member of the affiliate council.

He has volunteered at the BCAR’s 2015 Iron Bowl, the 2016 Seafood Boil and has been a sponsor at two BCAR new member orientations. He also frequents BCAR member luncheons and attends semi-annual conferences for Pillar to Post, as well as furthering his knowledge by completing 20 hours of continuing education each year.

“These nominees were not nominated because of their success in real estate,” said guest speaker, Rick Miller, president, and CEO of Pro 365 Consulting. “These nominees were nominated because they had persistence and grit to keep going, even when nobody was buying real estate in Baldwin County.”

Chris Hebert started his Pillar To Post franchise in 2013 after 17 years in the Navy Construction force.

The role of a Pillar To Post franchise owner comes with both responsibility and honor in service to the real estate professional and the home buyer.

For the real estate profession, the home inspection is an integral part of a responsible buy-sell transaction. A professional realtor wants to put their clients into the right house and to avoid the kind of surprises and misfortunes that can occur when a home inspection is not conducted. The home inspection is both a responsible recommendation to their client and also serves to mitigate their risks.

Congratulations, to Chris Hebert, AL on being named the BCAR 2016 Affiliate of the Year!

 

Check out the full story in The Onlooker.

Smart Boomer Found A New Career That Marries Passions

Mike Bebault might be the most uniquely qualified home inspector in western Wisconsin.

Holding two degrees, an Associates Degree in architecture and a Bachelors Degree in environmental science –Bebault literally knows his stuff. But it’s when you combine Bebault’s knowledge with his calming, trusting demeanor that he really earns his stripes, especially with Millennials, many of whom are entering the real estate market for the first time.

“I’ve had a few youngsters refer to me as ‘Grandpa’ when their parents accompany them on a home inspection review,” the 58-year-old Bebault said. “I find it entertaining, their parents not so much.”

Bebault has been a franchisee of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors® the largest home inspection company in North America, since November 2013. He serves all of western and northern Wisconsin, east to Chippewa Falls and farther west into the St. Paul metropolitan area, if necessary.

Pillar To Post is the leader in home inspections in the U.S. and Canada, giving homebuyers or sellers a clear, unbiased evaluation of a home’s condition and answering any questions they might have to help ensure peace of mind.

Much as he performs his pinpoint home inspections from the ground up, Bebault began his career in similar fashion, earning all the tools necessary along the way. With his architecture degree in hand, Bebault first worked as a carpenter building homes, eventually moving into a 20-year career in commercial construction management.

But when the economic downturn hit in 2007, Bebault found himself downsized. That’s when he decided to return to college at UW-River Falls to earn his environmental science degree, an area that had long held his interest. Unfortunately, it was a Catch-22. “It was difficult to find a company willing to hire a middle-aged man for an entry-level position,” Bebault recalled.

Whether by fate or chance, Bebault one day found himself doing a favor for his brother by inspecting a home that he was purchasing. Bebault gave his written report to the realtor.

“She told me it was more thorough than the reports she got from the home inspector she normally used,” Bebault said. “A light bulb went off. I had always enjoyed dabbling in real estate and with my construction background I felt this could be a good fit. I joined Pillar To Post because it was so franchisee-friendly and had such a stellar reputation.”

With his architecture/construction and environmental science background affording him special insight into identifying structural and/or environmental issues within a home, Bebault’s comprehensive reports prove a valuable tool for both homebuyers and sellers.

A professional evaluation of more than 1,600 items inside and outside the home is at the core of Pillar To Post’s service. Inspectors input data and digital photos into a computerized report that is printed and presented on site. All information is provided to clients in a customized binder for easy reference, allowing homebuyers or sellers to make confident, informed decisions.

All Pillar To Post inspectors are members of regional, state, national and provincial associations across the United States and Canada, and all inspections are conducted within the Standards of Practice of those associations.

“I really enjoy working with first-time home buyers,” Bebault said. “I can put my ‘dad’ hat on and teach them about the many aspects of maintaining their biggest investment. I also enjoy helping out the busy professional or senior client who may be downsizing.”

NYPD Detective Joins the Home Inspection Industry

It’s no stretch to say that Matt Lloyd knows a thing or two about “detecting problems”. And in the home inspection industry, that’s a good thing.

Since last April, the 47-year-old Haymarket resident and his wife, Lisa, have been serving Northern Virginia as franchisees of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors, the largest home inspection company in North America.

Lloyd began his second career after spending 23 years in law enforcement, beginning in the early 1990s as a New York City police officer and detective before transitioning to the Federal Service within the Department of Homeland Security following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

After retiring from law enforcement, Lloyd spent months researching his post-vocation career and was literally in the process of opening a business when he came across an online banner ad for Pillar To Post.

“I sat with my chin in my hand for what seemed like a very long while. I was contemplating how and when, but never if. I just knew. This was it, right up my alley,” Lloyd said of the Pillar To Post opportunity.

It helped that Lloyd had been rebuilding “little-loved” homes since he was 16 and had a strong understanding of carpentry, electrical work and plumbing. And given his background, Lloyd naturally put the microscope to the Pillar To Post business model.

“I did what I was trained to do, I investigated,” Lloyd said. “And I discovered that Pillar To Post was the most respected name in the industry. It was the benchmark to which all others aspire. As a former New York City detective – whose motto is ‘The Greatest Detectives in the World’ – I could relate to that. I wanted to be part of a phenomenal organization with no equal.”

A professional evaluation of more than 1,600 items inside and outside the home is the core of Pillar To Post home inspections. All Pillar To Post inspectors are members of regional, state, national and provincial associations across the United States and Canada, and all inspections are conducted within the Standards of Practice of those associations.

After spending 23 years “being told when I would be available to work – missing more than my share of birthdays, weddings, communions and holidays,” Lloyd sought a career where he was the decision-maker.

“I was going to be the master of my destiny,” Lloyd said. “I would succeed or fail based on my own personal work ethic,” he said. “And in this career I wanted to encounter people at their best, not when things were going wrong in their lives.”

It should come as no surprise that Lloyd brings the same dogged determination that he used as a detective to his role as home inspector. He knows what he does well and his clients are the benefactors. That’s why, with the basics of running the business under his belt, he’s concentrating on further building his business.

“I am one hell of an inspector, but it makes not one iota of difference how good I am if no one knows ‘who’ I am. We spend a lot of time figuring out ways to get our faces and Pillar To Post’s name in front of as many realtors, brokers and organizations as possible,” said Lloyd, who also calls his business partner and wife, Lisa, his “alternate perseverance.”

Lloyd said Pillar To Post is uniquely positioned for growth. While a study from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found that the average buyer of a single-family home will stay in a home about 13 years before moving out, Lloyd said that timespan is much shorter in the National Capital Region because of the constant ebb and flow of the region’s political, civilian-federal and military-based population.

“Combining that with an upcoming change in administrations and the tremendous boom in residential building means an ever-increasing share of an ever-increasing market of home sales that will have to be inspected,” Lloyd said. “And with more than one-third of current home inspectors reaching retirement in the next 36 months, the business outlook is stellar for the home inspection industry.”

Franchising Today features Pillar To Post

Franchising Today recently featured Pillar To Post. As the largest home inspection franchise in North America, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is poised for growth, as is each individual franchisee in the system.

“The most important factor in our business,” says Dan Steward, president and CEO of the Tampa, Fla., and Toronto-based franchise chain, “is the service we provide to our clients, made up mostly of members of the real estate community. We grow the company by adding qualified franchisees to our system. Our franchisees grow their businesses by following our excellent programs, leadership, training and support systems. They also work hard and are highly motivated since they know we are all in this together. Everyone wins.”

Embarking on a franchising endeavor might seem overwhelming, but Pillar To Post Home Inspectors franchise business model allows franchisees to start small and grow the business as they see fit. Through steady growth and a focus on the homebuyers and owners, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors guarantees a larger, equity-rich company in the long run.

Once aboard, the company will provide franchisees with a comprehensive two-week training program to show them the ins and outs of the home inspection business, including business operations, marketing and management. Franchisees will get both classroom and hands-on and ongoing training at the Pillar To Post Home Inspection Academy, offering a detailed focus on the science and technology of home inspection and how to use the company’s industry-leading proprietary technology.

After the initial training is complete there is continued guidance in a 12-week quick-start program covering every aspect of a successful home inspection business. Additionally, Steward has 11 regional directors posted across the country to offer further assistance as needed.

According to Steward, anyone from any former career field can start a new life as a home inspector as all the technical training will be offered. The company has found that many franchisees have come from other walks of life or industries.

“Wherever there is a downturn in a business segment, we get a big bump of leads for new franchisees,” Steward says. “Many have lost their job, or seen their companies disappear. In 2008 it was the mortgage industry and Wall Streeters. Now we see many from the automotive, oil and gas industries, all that have recently suffered as a result of changes in the economy and lifestyle.

“These people are ready to change their lives,” Steward continues. “They want a new beginning in a career where they can depend upon themselves in a situation with support from us. They want a lifestyle change because they’ve ‘been there’ with job insecurity. As long as prospective franchisees enjoy being around homes and construction, learning how a house works, setting work hours that work for a busy lifestyle and have a knack at communicating with people, they are encouraged to contact Pillar To Post Home Inspectors.”

Pillar To Post Welcomes 7 New Franchise Partners

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is proud to welcome 7 new franchise partners this month!

Congratulations to: (back row from left to right) Glenn Walker, California Desert, CA, Kevin Akins, Houston, TX, Jon Prince, Hamilton, ON, Miles Steele, Atlanta, GA, Nik Hodskins, Maceo, KY, (front row left to right) Richard Herndon, Collin County, TX and Stewart Ritter, Springs and Pueblo, CO.