Why You Might Consider Joining A Home Inspection Franchise
Any business owner will tell you, that running a business is hard – let alone a home inspection business. There are so many things to juggle that you might at times feel like a one-man circus show. Even if your inspection company is big enough to have several employees, you still need to be somewhat familiar with every aspect of both your business, as well as the industry. On top of that, unexpected situations can pop up anytime, requiring you to get professional advice from lawyers, accountants, or others. As a Home Inspector, this could seem overwhelming, especially when starting up a brand-new business. You might know other Home Inspectors in the area, but they are more likely to be the competition than supportive friends.
Note – in this blog we talk about the majority of the national home inspection franchises. If you already know that you want to buy into a franchise and just want to know about each franchise individually then click here to scroll down past this initial information to see each franchise and its approximate cost.
Better Than Going at it Alone?
These are some of the reasons why some turn to Home Inspection franchises. A franchise can give you support while still granting you independence for your business. It can remove some of the risks involved, as well as providing a source of experience within your very specialized field. Oftentimes, you will find that the situations you face that seem very unique have been experienced already by someone else under the franchise umbrella. It will also give you an opportunity to get discounts on things such as marketing and brand building with the combined purchasing power of a franchise.
Being a part of a franchise also takes a lot of risk out of starting your own business. There are many pitfalls for a new business owner that can be avoided with good guidance. This can save you time and money and make the process much less frustrating. There might even be classes and training offered to help you get started right.
So, does that mean that everything is a cakewalk if you join a franchise? Not necessarily. You will need to start out by considering all the costs to make an informed decision on whether or not to join a franchise.
The Costs Involved When Starting a Franchise
The first thing to look at is the initial investment. Usually, there will be a requirement both for investment in the franchise as well as cash on hand when you are joining the franchise. Some will also have a requirement of net-worth before allowing you to join. Depending on the business model, this could either mean a large sum when you start out or a larger cost over time.
As for ongoing costs, a lot of franchises will have a Royalty fee that is a percentage of your gross annual sales. Some franchises also add on an Advertising Royalty fee as a percentage on top of that. If it is a national Home Inspection franchise, the advertising campaigns usually offer better exposure.
How to Pay for All of This?
One of the many hurdles to overcome when starting up a new Home Inspection business is that of financing. With a franchise, you will usually have an option to get assistance with this, and it needs to be one of your considerations when picking what franchise to join. So, what do you want to take into account?
First, you would want to know how the financing is arranged. Is it through a third-party lender or through the franchise itself? This can make a big difference, so make sure that you are getting the best deal possible. Ask questions that help you get a full view of what the financing will look like. It is definitely worth taking a look at other, external financing options to get a good comparison. The fact is though, franchise financing is a growing trend in the industry and it can definitely make your life easier.
If you do choose to go through the franchise for financing, it is important to note that they will usually limit what the financing covers. They might apply to items like the startup cost, equipment, the franchise fee, inventory, or even payroll. If the financing doesn’t cover what you need, you might want to look at a different franchise or external financing.
Is the Home Inspection Franchise a National or a Regional Company?
You should also consider whether the franchise you are thinking of joining is a regional or a national Home Inspection company. What is the difference? Well, for one thing, a national brand will be larger and have more resources. The name recognition of a national Home Inspection company will be greater than that of a regional one. Of course, there is nothing that says you can’t join a company that only operates in the south in a northern state. The problem is that they might not have experience with the demographics and market that you are dealing with. You might also not get the same attention as those members of the franchise that are closer to home.
Some of Your Options
So, what are your options? Here is a list of some of the National Home Inspection Companies here in the US. We also provided a snapshot of their pricing structure. Naturally, this information will vary from case to case, and it can change over time. You will need to look into the pricing for your specific case before committing to anything. If you are a veteran, you will find that most, if not all of these Home Inspection franchises offer either a discount off of the fee or other perks to you.
They are Headquartered in New Jersey but have hundreds of members around the country, so they are definitely national. They do have a net-worth requirement of $100,000 – $200,000 and require that you have $30,000 – $50,000 cash on hand. Their royalty fee ranges from 5-7.5% and then the ad royalty fee is another 2-2.5% on top of that. The initial investment is $61,100 – $106,150 and the initial franchise fee is $42,500.
Another National Home Inspection company that has been around for a long time is National Property Inspections.
They started in 1987 and operate out of Nebraska, but they too have hundreds of franchises throughout the country. Your initial investment will be between $40,700 and $43,000, and they have a liquid cash requirement of $43,400 – $47,100. The initial franchise fee is $34,900 and the royalty fee is 8%.
A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections has headquarters in Florida and has been in operation since 2007. To become a franchise, you will need an initial investment of $36,343 – $43,192, but they also require a net worth of $36,665 – $42,715 and $29,900 liquid cash.
The initial franchise fee is $29,900 and the ongoing royalty fee is 8% with an ad royalty fee of 3.5%.
WIN Home Inspection operates out of Illinois, and they have a fairly low initial cost compared to others on the list. They require an initial investment of $28,745 – $36,870 and have a liquid cash requirement of $25,000.
The royalty fee is 7%, and there is no added ad royalty fee. They have been in business since 1994.
1st Inspection Services has been around since 2005 and operates out of Ohio. Your initial investment can range quite a bit, from $31,350 to $115,000 and they require that your net worth is at least $100,000. The initial franchise fee is $25,000 and the royalty fee is 8% with no ad fee.
Almost Home Inspections is a fairly new player on the field, so we don’t have a lot of information to share with you about them. It might be your opportunity to be one of the first in a large national Home Inspection company.
AmeriSpec Inspection Services has operated since 1988 in Tennessee. Your initial investment will be between $53,550 and $72,310 and they require a net worth of $40,000 and have a liquid cash requirement of $22,000. The initial franchise fee is $24,900, the royalty fee 7%, and the ad royalty fee 3%.
The BrickKicker Home Inspection company is located in Illinois and has been in operation since 1994. Their pricing is also among the lower in the roundup, with an initial investment between $16,750 and $44,550, an initial franchise fee of $12,000 – $27,000 and an ongoing royalty fee of 6% with the added ad royalty fee of 2%.
HomeTeam Inspection Service was founded in 1992 and has headquarters in Ohio. To become a franchise you will need an initial investment of $44,800 – $64,800, a net worth of $100,000, and $25,000 in liquid cash. The initial franchise fee ranges between $35,000 and $55,000 and the royalty fee is between 4 and 6 percent with a 3% ad royalty fee.
Inspect-It 1st has a slightly different model than most other franchises on this list. Their ongoing royalty fee is $200-$400 each month and the ad royalty fee is $50 each month, instead of being percentages. The initial investment ranges between $32,400 and $43,400 and their initial franchise fee is $24,900.
They started up in 1998 and are located in Ohio.
Morrison Plus Property Inspections is also a fairly new Home Inspection franchise that started up in 2017. They are located in California. To become a franchisee you need to have a net worth of $50,000 and $30,000 cash on hand.
The initial investment ranges from $35,043 to $64,313 and the initial franchise fee is $20,000.
The ongoing royalty fee is 7% and the ad royalty fee is 1.5%.
Pillar To Post Home Inspectors has been around since 1994 and operates out of Florida. They require that you have $10,000 cash on hand, and their initial franchise fee is $21,900. The royalty fee is 7% and the ad royalty fee is 4%. Your initial investment will be $37,100 – $45,900.
Last we have The Inspection Boys, which also is a fairly new player when it comes to Home Inspection franchises. They started out in Pennsylvania in 2017. Your initial investment will be $50,150 – $64,500 and they require a net worth of $25,000 – $100,000 as well as $25,000 in cash on hand.
The initial franchise fee will be $39,500. And the ongoing royalty fee 6% with a 2% ad royalty fee.
So, what can we take away from this discussion? While joining a franchise can mitigate the risk and uncertainty involved in starting out as a home inspector, it will come at a cost. It is important that you do the research to find the franchise that best fits you, your customers, and the area in which you operate. With so many options, you need to make the research to make an informed choice.
If you are looking for more information on what you can do to expand and grow your Home Inspection business, look at the articles on How to Start a Multi-Inspector Firm and How to Price Your Services.