02 Apr 2014

Technology, branding and leadership give WIN Home Inspection franchise an edge over competitors

The two founders of the WIN Home Inspection franchise — Tom Knapp, a prominent Seattle real estate developer, and Dianne Knapp, a real estate broker — started the franchise in 1993 after seeing how hard it was to find a truly professional home inspector. Back then, a typical home inspector was likely to show up in a beat-up truck with a ladder hanging out the back, wearing tattered jeans and a dirty T-shirt, not looking very credible.

Dianne and Tom were determined to do something about the industry’s image problem, and they did. Over the past two decades WIN has grown into an elite home inspection franchise, a trusted and respected brand that’s widely considered among the very best in the country. Here are three ways the WIN Home Inspection franchise earns the trust and loyalty of customers and franchisees.

Consistent, reliable branding

WIN Home Inspection’s branding is by far the best in the home inspection industry. WIN inspectors arrive at a home in a branded service vehicle. They drive vans or SUVs, not pickup trucks. WIN vehicles are sharp, clean and instantly recognizable — like rolling billboards for the inspectors.
Homeowners and real estate agents also can rely on WIN home inspectors to have a professional appearance. WIN inspectors wear a signature polo shirt, which evokes the professionalism WIN is known for. They greet the customer and the real estate agent and begin a careful and thorough inspection. Everything about the inspector’s appearance and demeanor is designed to be welcoming, crisp and professional.

“We are always on time, we look good,” says Mike Hankins, a multi-unit WIN franchise owner in Nashville, TN. “Our clients feel like there is a bigger company behind this guy to hold accountable if there’s a problem — it’s not some Joe Blow who could change his phone number and disappear forever.”

Technical edge, educational approach

WIN’s proprietary software helps inspectors perform a consistent inspection, guiding them through the various parts of the home, providing checklists of items to inspect and allowing the inspector to make notes that are incorporated into their home inspection report. The software streamlines the inspection process and makes it faster and easier to generate reports, saving inspectors time, which helps them do more jobs and make more money.

WIN Home Inspection vehicles are sharp, clean and instantly recognizable — like rolling billboards for the inspectors.

One of the things that sets the WIN Home Inspection franchise apart is that in addition to examining the condition of the home, inspectors also take the opportunity to educate potential buyers so they know how to operate all of a home’s systems. For example, Here is the water cutoff valve; this is how you can adjust your water heater; here are your circuit breakers; you have gas heat, so check with the utility company before you start digging in your yard. These things, which might seem obvious to a veteran home inspector, are often unfamiliar to a new home buyer, and WIN inspectors take the time to make sure customers understand their homes.

WIN’s software allows an inspector to quickly generate a detailed final inspection report that’s usually 30-35 pages. It’s not unusual for it to be delivered before the inspector even leaves the home. It also allows WIN inspectors to generate three versions of the narrative report — a professional-looking printed report, a PDF file, and a cloud-based digital version of the report that customers can access from anywhere, either through WIN’s corporate site or the website of the WIN inspector.

Outstanding leadership

A lot of franchises sound good on paper, and it can be difficult for a potential franchisee to choose one. Do you pick the cheapest buy, the one with the most overall franchisees, or the franchise with the most national brand recognition? At WIN they have seen over and over again that many who decide to buy WIN Home Inspection franchise do it after meeting our leadership team.

Dewey Messenger, a Strategic-Partner from Vancouver, WA, decided to purchase his franchise after meeting WIN’s leadership team.

“We have some class acts working for this company,” Dewey says. “When you see people behind the scenes who are true professionals, that gives you motivation to live up to that reputation and the brand. There are a lot of moving parts behind me — from WIN President Steve Wadlington, to Marketing Chief Jimmy Rocchetta, to Franchiser Services Manager Pat Knight and Technology Support Manager Gary Greenberg. What’s great about it is that all of them are helping me to succeed.” Bill Gray, a WIN Strategic-Partner in Phoenix, AZ, agrees.

“The leadership team at the home office is very responsive,” Bill says. “They have expertise in a lot of different areas — home inspection, real estate, marketing, and technology and business operations. WIN’s annual conference and expo, which is for franchisees, employees and spouses, is outstanding and includes a lot of information on in-depth technical and business topics and marketing. This event lets you build camaraderie with fellow WIN franchise owners and network with industry specialists. I also like WIN’s emphasis on continuing education. They require a minimum of 20 hours a year, but I more than double the requirement every year because I’m an eager to learn everything I can.”

Learn about starting a home inspection franchise

The WIN Home Inspection franchise provides extensive training to help Strategic-Partners understand the technical skills needed to be a great home inspector. In addition the people skills to help you relate to home buyers and Realtors, in order to earn their confidence and ensure you are delivering a great experience to your customers.