18 Feb 2014

WIN’s Strategic-Partners say the home inspection franchise’s ‘ZIP-code’ method of creating designated territories yields high sales totals


We define our territories for Strategic-Partners differently than most other home inspection franchises, and it’s one reason WIN Home Inspection franchises stand out.

While some franchises award territories based on the overall population of an area, figuring that with enough rooftops, you’re certain to find enough work, WIN Home Inspection zeroes in on two highly relevant pieces of data — how many active real estate agents are in an area and how many home transactions are taking place.

Why, you might ask?

It all goes back to the importance of real estate agents to begin with — their referrals are essential to the long-term sustainability of a successful home inspection franchise. Realtors are at the heart of home sales in most communities, the ones that buyers go to for advice and referrals. Our two decades-plus of experience at WIN have shown us, again and again, that the fastest way to grow a thriving home inspection franchise is to let agents know about the service and professionalism that we can provide.

How do we do it? It’s pretty simple.

From Day 1 we train our Strategic-Partners to get in front of as many real estate agents as they can because that’s where they can building trusting relationships that will lead to inspections. We design our territories so that WIN Strategic-Partners can enjoy protected, designated marketing areas in which they build key relationships with other real estate professionals. These marketing territories are drawn based on the number of real estate agents in specific ZIP codes as well as the estimated number of home sales generated by real estate agents who have offices in those specific ZIP codes.

Three big advantages

There are at least three major advantages to WIN’s approach.

First, it helps build relationships. Since the designated marketing areas are tightly focused according to ZIP codes, our Strategic Partners can quickly meet and earn the trust of dozens of top-performing real estate agents. Furthermore, WIN’s comprehensive training teaches our Strategic-Partners how to market services to agents.

Next, it reduces time spent in the vehicle. By concentrating on their core business amid a hotbed of real estate activity, our inspectors can avoid a lot of unnecessary travel. Having to drive 15 minutes for each inspection vs. an hour can mean the difference between doing two inspections in a day or three. WIN wants Strategic-Partners to make money performing inspections, not burn through gas and time by traversing the city twice a day.

And finally, our tightly-focused marketing areas create wonderful opportunities for teamwork. Every city has a lot of homes being sold at any given time, which means there is a lot of work for inspectors. Unfortunately, systems that don’t carefully delineate territories can wind up in a situation where one franchisee is siphoning business away from another. At WIN, other franchise owners are not your competitors — they are assets to your business. We don’t market in one another’s territories or encroach on one another’s referral networks, which means we can work together to make each other’s lives easier.

Lee Blackstone, whose WIN franchise covers the Madera, Merced and Chowchilla communities in central California, says networking with Realtors has given him many opportunities to train agents about the home inspection process, a role he thoroughly enjoys. WIN’s approach has allowed Lee to grow massive 80 percent market share in his tightly focused marketing area.

“Part of our job is to educate Realtors of the importance of home inspections,” Lee says. “When I first presented our narrative style report, it opened up a lot of eyes. At first, Realtors were somewhat afraid of it because they thought it contained too much information. But there’s no such thing as too much information if it helps assure a buyer. A home inspection is not all about bad information. The typical report is 30-35 pages long and contains objective information about a house. It’s like a punch list of things that need attention to one degree or another.”

WIN Home Inspection started in the Pacific Northwest in 1993 and has grown to more than 170 franchises in 27 states. It is one of the fastest-growing home inspection franchises in the country, and is ranked as a top franchise opportunity by Entrepreneur magazine, and by G.I. Jobs.