Choosing home inspection as a new career, look at these industry facts: The U.S. building inspector industry, measured by revenue, is estimated to have a market size of $4.9 billion by end of this year, according to global research firm IBISWorld.
Launching operations in October, the 43-year-old Kevin Held's road to becoming a small-business owner demonstrates that life isn't lived on a straight continuum, but instead a fluid, ever-changing one that takes us on paths unimagined.
Like many before him, Held originally moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, which led him to working in the hospitality and foodservice industries to make ends meet. He had been the bar manager at a well-known fine-dining restaurant in Malibu when the pandemic hit.
"The pandemic affected us all. For my part, my foodservice career, which had always been about being of service and providing a cheerful experience, became a string of crisis-management tasks," Held said. "The job became unrecognizable to me, such that I could no longer see the larger purpose in it for me."
As a result, Held left the foodservice industry in summer 2020 and became a FedEx driver. The change afforded him opportunities that were virtually impossible when he was in the restaurant business, such as being able to spend holidays and important events with his husband and their families and friends. But there was still something missing for Held.
"At the end of the day it was a functionary job where you pick up a box, move it somewhere else and put it down again. While I was very happy to be able to enjoy my personal time more, the question of a larger purpose still nagged at me," Held said.
Whether fate or not, Held's father had been a contractor and when Held was growing up in Texas, he would visit his father in Washington State on summer vacations and help him build houses. His father had even bought a run-down, old cabin on a river there, one that he planned to renovate and eventually retire to. "His happiest moments were fishing off the deck there," Held said of his father.
But unfortunately, John Held developed cancer and died in 1996 at the age of 47. Kevin was only 16. Not only had they lost their father, but Kevin and his sister inherited the cabin - which was still unlivable - and for which they were unprepared. "We had neither the money nor the knowledge to fix it up, especially from a thousand miles away," Held said.
Years passed and the property fell into further disrepair until early 2020 when a confluence of events occurred that allowed Held and his sister to sell the home to a retired couple with "the means to repair the home and the respect for the beauty of the area that my father always saw," Held said.
This past April, with the proceeds from the sale of his father's cabin backing him, Held left FedEx to pursue his dream of business ownership, that after extensive research, led him to Pillar To Post Home Inspectors. "It was the right mix of going it alone and being part of a team... the right combination of physical and intellectual labors," Held said. "I could go on and on... It was the right personalities in the corporate office, the right amount of training and support as I switched careers entirely and the right potential for personal and professional growth. It just seemed to fit."
One of the many reasons Held chose Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the innovative technologies the company recently introduced. These advanced technologies, along with the business model, provide an exceptional home inspection with unique and innovative features that are all delivered within a seamless brand experience. All developed pre-pandemic and ready to be utilized when the pandemic struck, the new features further highlight Pillar To Post Home Inspectors' standing as a visionary in its industry. The package is now known as the Ultimate Home Inspection and it's revolutionizing the home inspection industry. So much so that the company was just awarded the much coveted Best Innovators by Franchise Update Media in the category of "best customer service tools."
While Held embarks on his new career, he can still see himself calling on some of the many skills he developed while in the foodservice industry. "One of the most essential skills I mastered is that of listening," Held said. "Really listening to and engaging clients as they share their experiences is the only way to manage problems that can arise in a way that satisfies them."
And by following in his father's footsteps in the housing industry, Held is paying homage to his father every day as he begins his chapter as a small-business owner. "I used the money from that sale to fund my investment in my business," Held said of his father's cabin. "Though my father wasn't able to build his dream, he made it possible for me to build mine."
ABOUT PILLAR TO POST HOME INSPECTORS®
Founded in 1994, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the largest home inspection company in North America with home offices in Toronto and Tampa. There are nearly 600 franchises located in 49 states and nine Canadian provinces. They've ranked in Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise500® for 26 years. Long-term plans include adding 500 to 600 new franchisees over the next five years. For further information, please visit www.pillartopost.com or for info about a franchise go to www.pillartopostfranchise.com.