Pensive builder in hardhat with clipboard and pencil indoors
To say it’s been a busy year for Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is to understate the year 2019 for the Tampa-based company. Aside from celebrating its 25th anniversary in January, the company ranked as the No. 1 franchise opportunity in its category by Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500®. It’s the 19th year in a row for this honor, which is a pinnacle for a franchise company.
“We’re thrilled to once again be recognized as the leader in our category,” says Dan Steward, president and CEO of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors. “We consider Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 to be the gold standard of the industry.
“This accomplishment is a testament to the strength of the brand, our franchisees, support team and the Pillar To Post franchise opportunity.”
2018 marked a record year for the company, including the signing of more than 60 new franchise agreements, bringing the number of franchisees to nearly 600 in the U.S. and Canada. About 30 percent of those agreements in 2018 were made through the company’s VetFran program to members of our military. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors takes great pride in their five-star status in the International Franchise Association’s VetFran program.
“During 2019, we’re also seeing many new franchisees from home-related industries such as REALTORS®, former mortgage brokers, construction experts and independent home inspectors who want the power of a national brand behind them,” adds Steward. “In 2019, we’re on course to add an additional 65 franchises.
“One of the newer franchisees joining our family was an independent home inspector in the Metro Atlanta area. Kareem Mincey had worked in the industry for 20 years, but he wanted the technology and support we offered. He now heads up his own Pillar To Post Home Inspectors of Metro Atlanta. You feel like you’re part of a village if you’re in the right franchise system,” says Steward.
Demetrius Payne of Norfolk, Va., decided to use his expertise and skills learned from serving in the Navy for 10 years. Payne then went on to operate a testing facility for aircraft carriers and submarines for 11 years. Ready for a new career, and with an interest in all things home-related, Payne became a licensed REALTOR® in 2017. In September 2018, the practical Payne added a Pillar To Post Home Inspectors® franchise to round out the tremendous services he already offered to homebuyers and sellers. He credits the company’s training to his success in home inspection.
At the company’s annual conference held in January, many franchisees were honored. Among them, Matt Robertie of Montgomery County, Pa., was named Rookie of the Year. The military veteran had a stellar first year in business, conducting 308 inspections.
After a distinguished military career, he worked as a residential energy auditor and in sales for five years. Those experiences worked well to sharpen his business senses along with a very personable demeanor and very adept quality of relationship-building.
One of Pillar To Post’s biggest advantages is their tremendous training program. They provide comprehensive training for all new franchisees during the first year of their business. Through their Foundations For Success training and business launch program, franchisees receive two weeks of in-person, instructor-led, hands-on education that covers all aspects of the technical requirements of home inspecting, as well as business operations, marketing and business management. Beyond the initial training weeks, new franchisees are instructed through continuing education mediums that include live webinars, self-paced online learning and one-on-one business coaching, all of which deepen the franchisee’s understanding of successful business operations. All franchisee training is done with a dedicated startup director of Business Development, whose sole focus is the success of each new franchisee.
“Adding and welcoming new franchisees makes our system stronger. We network and innovate; that’s the strength. It’s not always easy, but it’s how we grow as professionals,” says Steward. “We want our very first franchisees to be as happy as our newest ones, and the mentoring we see among them is wonderful.”
Over a span of 25 years, the company estimates that they’ve served well over three million families.
What’s up next for the brand?
Pillar To Post Home Inspectors has formed a new partnership with The Salvation Army to encourage homebuyers and sellers to donate unwanted goods to the charitable organization, with the proceeds from the donations going toward The Salvation Army’s innovative Real Estate for Rehabilitation program.
As the No. 1 home inspection company in North America, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors has an ongoing commitment “to ensure confident homeownership and enrich the lives of the people and communities we serve,” says Stephanie Bowling, the company’s director of Marketing.
“The program is very simple,” says Bowling. “If a homebuyer or seller has unwanted goods that they don’t want to move, they simply contact The Salvation Army and they will send a truck to pick up the goods.”
The Salvation Army’s Real Estate for Rehabilitation program will use the proceeds from the donation to help fund 139 adult rehabilitation centers across the United States that offer free drug and rehabilitation programs. In 2017, more than 145,000 people were served by the programs, which boast a success rate that’s three times higher than traditional rehabilitation programs.
A professional evaluation both inside and outside the home is at the core of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ service. Data and digital photos are input into a computerized report that’s printed and presented on site. All information is provided to clients in a customized binder for easy reference, allowing homebuyers or sellers to make confident, informed decisions. For this program, a one-page informational insert highlighting the Pillar To Post Home Inspectors/Salvation Army program will be included in every report, and the alliance will also be featured on the Pillar To Post Home Inspectors website.
“We hope this program will serve as another way to differentiate ourselves as a company that’s dedicated to making a difference in the communities we serve,” says Bowling.