Franchisee Success Stories May/June 2021 Previous Issues

A Day in the Life: Helping Homeowners Cover Their Bases

Saskatoon-based Bradly George outlines what a typical day looks like as a Pillar To Post Home Inspectors franchisee

By Jessica Burgess

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the largest home inspection franchise in North America, with more than 550 locations across Canada and the United States. As leaders in the field, the company offers in-depth home inspections for home buyers, owners, and real estate agents, including added services such as indoor air quality testing, water system and potability testing, mold detection, septic system inspection, wood-destroying organism detection, sewer scoping, asbestos and lead detection, radon testing, as well as swimming pool, spa, and hot tub inspection. Pillar To Post’s rigorous home inspections cover more than 1,600 different home areas and items and can be performed for any home – single- or multi-unit, new or old.

With teams across North America, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors provides these essential services that are a necessary part of the home-buying process. For potential homeowners, home inspections can seem like a daunting task, and Pillar To Post inspection teams support clients so they can successfully navigate something as significant as buying a house.

“The Saskatoon team has been assisting home buyers, home sellers, and real estate agents since 1996 in determining the true condition of a home,” shares Bradly George, a franchisee and inspector with Saskatoon’s Pillar To Post operation. “Deadlines such as closing dates may require a fast inspection turnaround time, and we work to accommodate every client’s schedule whenever possible.”

George’s dedicated team quickly and dynamically responds to and works with inspection requests, having completed over 10,500 home inspections to date across Saskatoon and the surrounding areas.

A typical home inspection day

While the past year has been anything but typical, George shares what his day-to-day schedule looks like and how it has changed throughout the pandemic. “My typical day is from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.,” says George. “My normal routine is to prepare for the day’s inspections, make sure my team’s inspections are set up and ready to go, and then head out to the day’s inspections myself.”

“After 5 p.m., I’m always on call… as well as answering calls to book inspections and emails,” he adds. While this schedule itself has not necessarily changed due to the pandemic, the way inspections are carried out was altered due to health regulations within and across provinces.

“A lot of clients aren’t on site anymore to experience the home inspection themselves. We have adjusted by offering video walk-throughs of the inspection near the end to show the clients any findings of their home inspection,” George explains. “For example, the other day we had a couple from Ontario who had purchased a ranch sight unseen and we did a walk-through of the home via FaceTime to review the inspection findings. We were able to show them that the deck was held onto the house with roofing nails!”

Through innovative use of technology, George notes that Pillar To Post has been able to adapt to a constantly changing world and continue to provide critical services to their clients. Additionally, each home inspection report from Pillar To Post includes a binder full of customized care guidelines for the home, such as seasonal maintenance checklists, cost-and-repair estimate guides, and a home filing system to track future repairs.

Pillar To Post has an extensive website and social media presence, with a user-friendly site dedicated to each franchise location’s team, making it clear that customer service is the brand’s focus. “Realtors tell us that they refer our services to clients because of our professionalism, great reports, and verbal walk-throughs,” explains George, adding that they often receive the same positive feedback from the clients as well. “Our client satisfaction rate is extremely high, and the professionalism that we bring to every home inspection helps our customers relax.”

Choosing a franchise that fits

“The highlights of being a part of this franchise are meeting new people every day and being able to help the clients with what is most likely the largest purchase of their lives, providing them with some peace of mind and helping them determine the condition of a home,” says George.

Pillar To Post offers security and peace of mind to clients seeking home inspections, but also to franchisees and franchise teams across the company. “I invested in Pillar To Post because it’s an established brand with great recognition amongst the real estate community both locally and nationally,” says George. “The established system that was presented made sense and was a better long-term investment than going independent.”

“When I started out as a single inspector, I was wearing all ‘hats’: bookkeeper, scheduler, office manager, inspector, etcetera. My routine is different today than when I started as we have a dedicated office manager to schedule all the inspections, among other things,” explains George. “Starting out, the focus was just getting my name out there by meeting new people and networking.”

George notes the numerous advantages of being a part of a franchise in general and of Pillar To Post in particular. “Some of the benefits of the Pillar To Post system are brand recognition and the willingness of the brand to do research and to develop new opportunities for income for franchisees within the well-developed franchise system,” he says.

Franchising itself can offer people the opportunity to create their own schedule and daily routine. “I love the flexibility of being my own boss and spending time with family,” George adds. While no day is quite like the other, typically George is meeting new people, inspecting a variety of homes, and sometimes taking long rural drives to places he’s never been to carry out inspections.

“Being interested in construction myself is also a highlight of the work for me,” says George. “For example, just when you think you have seen it all, something new comes up. The other day, I was inspecting a basement, and something was off about the layout. It seemed like there was space missing. I opened a refrigerator door and it led to a concealed ‘man cave!’”

Creating a strong foundation

When asked what personal and professional qualities might help a Pillar To Post franchisee through a typical day, George shared that a positive attitude, making attentive customer service a priority, a willingness to learn, integrity, and being solution oriented are invaluable.

“I’d encourage potential franchisees to reach out to those of us already in the network,” says George. “Franchisees don’t necessarily need a background in the home inspection business or in the industry, but a general knowledge of residential construction would be beneficial. And a franchisee really needs a willingness to learn and a willingness to be customer-focused and able to network.”

While starting out in a new business is often a nerve-wracking time, being a part of an established franchise system provides dedicated and tailored support to new franchisees. “Stick with the system and don’t go off track,” says George.  “The plan is established and proven over time. You just need to get out the door every day and implement the plan, and success will follow.”

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