WIN Strategic-Partners succeed by being good communicators, marketers
James and Jessica Price
When most people think of home inspectors, they think of middle-aged individuals with backgrounds in construction, carpentry, roofing or perhaps engineering. But the WIN Home Inspection franchise has found that, while technical knowledge is important, what matters the most for a successful home inspector is attitude and their approach to business.
Many of our most successful Strategic-Partners didn’t start out with extensive experience in construction or other technical fields. More often than not, we’ve found that the common denominator they did have was a willingness — and an aptitude — for communicating with customers and learning the ABCs of local networking and marketing.
Consider James Price, a Strategic-Partner in Lubbock, TX, who has one of the fastest growing WIN Home Inspection franchises in the country, and is defying the traditional image of a home inspector. Jim, who served in Iraq in 2009 and 2010, didn’t have any direct experience in construction or other related fields when he started out in 2012. And at 26 years old, he is much younger than the stereotypical home inspector.
“Home inspection home looked like a great opportunity, and I wasn’t intimidated by it,” Jim says. “I’ve always been the guy who would lend power tools and lawn mowers, so I figured I could learn the technical side.”
“A lot of people who go into home inspections are introverted,” Jim adds. “They’re technically gifted, but they don’t interact well with customers and Realtors. For a lot of them, the only thing between them and having a successful business is having a franchise that can help them with social skills and networking opportunities. I’m kind of half and half. I enjoy the technical side, but I also like getting to know people, spreading my name around, passing out business cards, going to sales meetings and trying to learn everybody’s names.”
Bert Welsh, a WIN Home Inspection franchise owner in Fresno, CA, believes people skills often outweigh a technical background when comes to the making of an excellent home inspector.
“I’m training someone right now, and I’m stressing the importance of having empathy for people,” Bert says. “You need a good personality. I think the technical skills can be learned, but the people skills can’t. My worst fear about being a home inspector was that I wouldn’t be able to do it right on the technical side. But I learned one step at a time and everything worked out well.”
“Clients let you know how much they appreciate people skills, tool,” Bert adds. “You are between two situations when you do this job. There’s the Realtor, who could stand to lose the deal if you are too picky or say the wrong thing, and your client, who is paying you to do your best. It’s a real balancing act, and I’m not sure everyone understands that. You need to be able to read people. How you handle the situation is really important.”
Dewey Messenger, a WIN Home Inspection owner from Vancouver, WA, did have a background in construction before he bought his franchise, but he says he probably wouldn’t be successful if he didn’t have an authentic passion for working with people and providing great customer service.
“I’ve got a great attitude, and I’m a good communicator and I like people,” Dewey says. “I like engaging people in conversation. I don’t care what industry you work in, you have to enjoy what you do. I love talking with people.”
“Some of my competitors are not good communicators,” Dewey adds. “They don’t explain what they are there to do to the homebuyer, and they don’t take the time to educate the buyer about the structure itself. When you walk away, you want your customers to know a house better than anyone, and part of accomplishing that is having the ability to sit down and talk to them like a friend. If you see a bad roof or a bad plumbing supply, you note it and let them know about it in a non-alarming fashion. Anything can be fixed, and you should be able to answer their concerns. If you can’t, you’re not providing service the way you should.”
Lee Blackstone, a WIN Strategic-Partner who has a franchise that serves the Madera, Chowchilla and Merced areas of California, thinks a construction-heavy background can actually be a detriment for some home inspectors. Before he bought his WIN franchise, Lee owned a Snap-on Tools franchise for 12 years. He sensed a bigger opportunity with WIN.
“You need to have a people mentality, and you need to become a good sales person. You will basically be selling two things — yourself and a brand name. If you do these two things — and believe in yourself and in the company — your sales will come. You need to follow the format of what WIN trains you to do, and you have to work hard. Success will always follow.”
Learn about starting a home inspection franchise
WIN provides extensive training to help Strategic-Partners understand both the technical skills needed to be a great home inspector, and 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.